Insert Lawyer Joke Here

 By Shamus Jul 30, 2007 59 comments

Most advertisements are stupid. I’ve mentioned this before. But once in a while an ad comes along that exceeds the others in banality, vapidity, and idiocy. It achieves some sort of transcendent state where it becomes the sort of stupid that only a genius could come up with. Which makes you wonder how the thing came to exist in the first place. Case in point:

stupid_ad1.jpg

Legal advice. For single “girls”. The mind reels. I predict this will annoy twice as many women as it will attract. The idea that women can’t be expected to seek legal advice unless it’s fabulous! is about as insulting as suggesting a man couldn’t comprehend an algebraic formula unless it was written on some chick’s boobs.

Perhaps this is the first in a series of articles on esoteric subjects which have been demarcated by meaningless personal distinctions:

  • HTML for Redheads.
  • Paleontological tips for Canadians.
  • The newlywed guide to Astronavigation.
  • Gravitational Theory for Italian-Americans.
  • Metallurgical Engineering for Diabetics.

Oh, and I’m just commenting on the ad. I have no idea if the column or the expert herself are interesting or not. I’m just saying: That ad is crazy.

20201959 comments. It's getting crowded in here.


  1. Dead_Radish says:

    Not to say that algebraic formulas couldn’t be improved by being written on some chick’s boobs….

  2. nerdpride says:

    “Not to say that algebraic formulas couldn’t be improved by being written on some chick’s boobs….”

    Now you’re just being silly. Butts > Boobs :P

  3. Robert says:

    Not to say that algebraic formulas couldn’t be improved by being written on some chick’s boobs….

    Especially if it’s a function for a conical solid.

  4. Not to say that algebraic formulas couldn’t be improved by being written on some chick’s boobs….

    Especially if it’s a function for a conical solid.

    I really get the feeling that xkcd has done something like this already … or will soon :)

  5. Roz says:

    (Perhaps the ad was written by one of your commenters :-/)

    You’re absolutely right, by the way! Very annoying.

  6. Thad says:

    Not on their boobs, but how about their backs?
    http://www.cafepress.com/physchicks

  7. They really ought to alliterate: Cellphone for sycophants!

  8. Julie says:

    I say this with the greatest affection, Shamus: you the MAN. (No pun intended.)

  9. MOM says:

    Can someone help me understand that ad? Who is Carrie Bradshaw?

    And, Shamus, the ad does not claim that the legal advice is fabulous or even that the lawyer is fabulous. Worse, it seems to claim that a single girl who is fabulous (?) needs specialized sot of legal advice. Prenup advice, perhaps.

    Or lawsuits against such men as your commentors:)

  10. Gus says:

    Algebraic equations, when writ upon bosoms, become an impenetrable thing to men.

  11. Matt says:

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrie_Bradshaw:

    Caroline Marie Bradshaw (born October 10, 1966) is the fictional narrator of the HBO sitcom/drama Sex and the City played by actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

    On the HBO series, Bradshaw is a New York newspaper columnist, party girl, fashionista and later, freelance writer for Vogue. Her weekly column, “Sex and the City,” provides the title, story lines, and narration for each episode.

  12. CJG says:

    Lord knows *I’m* not interested in Legal Advice unless it’s Fabulous.

  13. Bigwave says:

    On the one hand, any ‘girl’ that would fall for this ad ((“*I’m* fabulous. *I* like ‘Sex and the City’. *I* could be friends with Carrie!”)) probably needs some advice from time to time… okay, on a nearly daily basis.

    But then again, “Lis” is only really saying she’ll ‘be their Carrie” What’s that? – She’ll talk about her dates? consult about shoes? narrate their next court appearance?

    So… much… wrong…

  14. Bigwave says:

    Sorry, forgot to add…

    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, SHAMUS!!!!!!!

    “No takebacks.”

  15. Leslee says:

    Heck, I’m a woman (at least, last time I checked I still had two X chromosomes…) and *I* didn’t even know who Carrie Bradshaw was!

    But then, I’m too busy doing whacky things like playing D&D and reading Shamus’ commentary.

  16. Kristin says:

    I’m a woman. A single woman at that. And I even know who Carrie Bradshaw is – one of my coworkers has an SitC obsession second only to her Scrubs obsession. Of course I get her back with Star Trek and Order of the Stick. Still, I’ve become reasonably literate in self-defense.

    However, if this is how they’re marketing to me, I’m not buying their product. Because I’m not fabulous.

  17. The ad suggests that it’s not the “services” that are fabulous. The services are for girls who are fabulous; single and fabulous, baby! So the advice/tips might very well be mediocre. At best. But only given to FABULOUS single young females.

    That seems to stick between my incisors.

  18. adam says:

    17 Leslee Says:”Heck, I’m a woman (at least, last time I checked I still had two X chromosomes…)”

    I am very curious by this method of checking gender. It sounds more accurate than mine, being to look in my pants and seeing what I got(it’s an outie).

  19. Space Ace says:

    The funny thing about Sex and the City? To this day it’s the only American series I’ve seen that had nudity.

    Oh, and Kim Catrall was in one of the Star Trek movies. Yay for nerds!

  20. Rich says:

    Slightly off topic. My girlfriend and I both have remotes when watching TV. When a particularly annoying commercial comes on we will instantly kill the sound. We have come to know which commercials the other finds annoying. It’s funny to see who can kill the sound first.

    Bottom line, lately commercial breaks are almost completely silent because now when we mute we find no reason to un-mute before the actual program comes back on.

  21. As an act of professional courtesy, I’d like to play evil’s advocate and defend the (possible) rationale behind the ad:

    Women in the USA – and single women, at that – are more likely than other groups to find themselves in certain situations where the law comes to bear. Sexual harassment and workplace discrimination are common problems for women, single or married; differential treatment of married and single people by employers is also a big issue. Rape and domestic violence target women disproportionately. Women – especially women without a man backing them up – are more likely to be subjected to high-pressure or dishonest tactics in business transactions, from contract disputes to real estate leases. Single people have specific tax strategies available that aren’t relevant for married people or people with kids. Examples abound.

    Now, as to whether any of these qualifies as “fabulous” is another question… but, as other commenters have pointed out, the ad targets women who are fabulous, it doesn’t claim that the advice is fabulous.

    So perhaps the ad is targeted at, like, fabulous rape victims.

    (Okay, I’m done trying to defend it now. It’s ridiculous.)

  22. rmg says:

    As a Canadian, I’d appreciate a book on paleontology that uses proper spelling for words like colour..

  23. Doug Sundseth says:

    “As a Canadian, I’d appreciate a book on paleontology that uses proper spelling for words like colour.”

    I can see why; by the available evidence, you have a real problem with spelling it and need good examples whenever possible. Remember, just like in “team”, there is no “U” in “color”.

    8-)

  24. Retlor says:

    Unless your English, and then you have to annoy those wacky Americans who can’t spell sich a basic word as colour.

  25. DiscountNinja says:

    `Actually, my good friend Doug – there is a ‘U’ in colour!

    In fact, there’s been one there since the word started, as a matter of fact.

    Our friend the Canadian is using the Queens English, which is to be commended on all occasions.

    While American English is to be mocked at all availible times. Especially when my word processor reverts to it every time I open a document.

  26. Dylan Zimmerman says:

    Actually, discountninja, we only sometimes use the Queen’s english.

    Take, for example, the all-too-Canadian phrase:

    Tire Centre.

    If I were British, it would be Tyre Centre.
    If I were American, it would be Tire Center.

    We took one of each.
    Don’t ask me why, but it’s true.

  27. Cenobite says:

    Dammit, WHY didn’t I see that guide on Astronavigation back when I still had a wife????!?!?!??!? That book more than likely would have saved our marriage.

  28. Rolld20 says:

    I feel for ya, Cenobite; the first lightyear of marriage is the hardest.

  29. Kristin says:

    I’m thoroughly amused that in the post about Americans not knowing how to spell colour, there are two other words misspelled. Hee.

  30. Will says:

    “So this one body’s, all, ‘How you doin’?’”
    “And then this other body’s, like, ‘How YOU doin’?’”
    “That, my friends, is gravity.”

    *stereotypes free of charge*

  31. Ubu Roi says:

    The Italian-American theory of gravity: da pizza crust go up; da pizza crust come down. Except when I’m cleaning da ceiling. Den sometimes I gotta get de ladder ta get my dough back.

  32. Zimmerman says:

    If I were British, it would be Tyre Centre.
    If I were American, it would be Tire Center.

    To which I would add, if I were in Quebec (still arguably part of Canada), it would be Pneu Canadien. Thank God I am not in Quebec!

    As for the Paleontological assistance for Canadians, I am all for it. We need to exhume the rest of our frozen mammoths and dusty TRex skeletons so we can get on with those housing developments and Wal*Mart expansions!

  33. Namfoodle says:

    It looks like the ad was created by a completely insane marketing person. I bet the lawyer who writes the column is annoyed.

    The sex in the city angle doesn’t make any sense at all. If you follow the link, you can see that topics of the column have nothing to do with being fabulous, buying shoes and orgasms. It’s about sexual harassment, child support and other fun topics. No dating advice that I can see.

  34. Annon says:

    “Women in the USA – and single women, at that – are more likely than other groups to find themselves in certain situations where the law comes to bear. Sexual harassment and workplace discrimination are common problems for women, single or married; differential treatment of married and single people by employers is also a big issue. Rape and domestic violence target women disproportionately. Women – especially women without a man backing them up – are more likely to be subjected to high-pressure or dishonest tactics in business transactions, from contract disputes to real estate leases. Single people have specific tax strategies available that aren’t relevant for married people or people with kids. Examples abound.”

    Most of the examples you listed are crimes where the male is specifically the perpetrator. Wouldn’t that mean that both males and females have the same need for lawyers, since the prescence of one is a necessary consequence of the other?

    Maybe the ad is targeted to “single and fabulous” women because they are the only ones that would believe that a “daily legal tip” is passable for an understanding of our legal system…

  35. Mik says:

    “Customer Respect for Advertisers”!

  36. Doug Sundseth says:

    “Our friend the Canadian is using the Queens [sic] English, which is to be commended on all occasions.”

    Sorry, that’s been deprecated. (In that, it joins the King’s English, which was deprecated in the 1950s, and Cobol, which was deprecated before it was even deployed.) Fully standards-compliant readers will still parse it, but no respectable writer would resort to it.

    ps. This comment is a joke, too. 8-)

  37. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    a man couldn’t comprehend an algebraic formula unless it was written on some chick’s boobs.

    Some chick’s boobs is not an aid to abstract reasoning.

  38. Freakpipe says:

    It’s far too late to weigh in with any new thoughts, valuable or otherwise, but, hey… it’s the internet.

    It seems pretty clear to me that the ad was conceived as niche marketing to the “single girl” — single girls being a distinct market with (arguably) different legal needs than the non-single girls, single non-girls, and non-single non-girls.

    The relative silliness of the copy itself should not detract from the usefulness of attracting the targeted readership.

    Do I need a funny quip to end my post? Or is that not mandatory?

  39. nminem says:

    I don’t know about other guys, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m pretty sure if I saw any sort of complicated math – even the sort I’d normally have no trouble comprehending – written on someone’s boobs (for the sake of the discussion, let’s assume they’re my girlfriend’s), I would likely have way more difficulty comprehending it than under normal circumstances. :p

  40. Phlux says:

    I will admit to skimming the article out of morbid curiosity. It really is as bad as you suspected.

    Something along the lines of:

    “Hey there fabulous single ladies! The next time you’re having a power-brunch with your gal-pals you can astonish them with your legal insights into such topics as living wills and why it behooves a fabulous single woman to have one.”

    I am guilty of paraphrasing, but not exaggerating. The brunch part is for real, as is the living will part.

    The whole thing played in my mind like the woman from the informercial talking about how amazing Product X is.

  41. Telas says:

    Caroline Marie Bradshaw (born October 10, 1966)

    As a until-recently single male, I have no reason to watch Sex and the City, but I’m still surprised that this fictional character was born six days before I was.

    BTW, the pic/link’s down. If that’s buried in the comments above, sorry I missed it.

  42. txknight says:

    “esoteric subjects which have been demarcated by meaningless personal distinctions:”

    What a mouthful! Bet you can’t say that one 3 times fast! In any case, your point is still made. Makes you wonder how good this lady’s legal advise can possibly be if she puts out this questionable ad to begin with.

  43. Sartorius says:

    Maybe it’s a full service advice website for young women.

    Q. Dear Ms. Wiehl: I slipped and broke my foot recently, and I’m in a walking cast. But I have a wedding reception coming up, and I’m supposed to be a bridesmaid. I can’t wear the shoes which come with my dress, but I still need to look fabulous. What do I do? Help!!

    Q. Dear Ms. Wiehl: I have been named as a defendant in a lawsuit in federal court. I also have a claim against the plaintiff, and my gal pal told me that I have to bring this as a compulsory counterclaim under F.R.C.P. 13(a), because it arises out of the same transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter ofthe opposing party’s claim. This is okay and I checked around to make sure that my Rule 13(a) counterclaim does not require for its adjudication the presence of a third party over whom the court cannot obtain jurisdiction, so that’s all good. However, the plaintiff is not the only party who is liable on my claim! Is my counterclaim a Rule 13(a) compulsory counterclaim with regard to these other parties, or can I wait until later on them? Also, I guess I can join them as additional counterclaim-defendants under F.R.C.P. 13(h), as long as I do it in accordance with Rules 19 and 20. But under Rule 13(h) can I just serve the additional parties, or do I need to actually move for their joinder? The judge is kind of a jerk, so I don’t really want to file anything I don’t have to. Help!!

    Q. Dear Ms. Wiehl: My boyfriend and I have been going out for about eighteen months now. But recently, it’s just seemed like he’s kind of distant. We’re coming up on graduation and I know that he’s working really hard on the last finals and trying to find a job. When I ask him what’s wrong, he pretends like he doesn’t know. I know he still loves me, but is it normal to feel sometimes like we just don’t “click” anymore? Help!!

  44. Clyde says:

    No, no, the boobs are used for the Braille lessons, not algebra!

    “Is it cold in here, or is this just a Braille lesson?”

  45. AJ Beamish says:

    Hello, first time posting but I have been a fan of this blog for a while now. To shed a little light on Liz, unless Carrie Bradshaw hated men (I don’t know as I have never sat through an entire episode of Sex in the City) I doubt Liz Wiehl is anything like her. I’m bias though, I find Mrs. Wiehl rather annoying and other than a great set of legs she has little else in the way of redeeming qualities… but… thats just my opinion, which last time I checked, isn’t worth much!

    Was watching the news and Liz Wiehl came on, I sighed and went to viddy my favorite internet sites and Doh! there she was again … so thats why I posted… Anyway, great site Shamus, great fan base too.

  46. AJ Beamish says:

    PS… Hope you are feeling better, Shamus.

  47. Poet says:

    In America it always seems to be “(Blank) for (Blanks)” Or “World’s (Blankiest) (Blank) (Blank).”
    I will create the ultimate best selling media. It will be titled “World’s (Blankiest) (Blank) for (Blanks).”
    I’ll make millions.

  48. Acksiom says:

    Um, no, Matt; women are NOT disproportionately targeted by domestic violence. It is instead the case that men’s domestic violence victimization is disproportionately ignored and denied.

    The dozens of studies and surveys on and of both genders across the anglosphere going all the way back to Gelles, Steinmetz, and Straus’s groundbreaking work in 1975 conclusively document that in the domestic setting, women and men initiate violence against each other at virtually identical rates at virtually all levels. Approximately 50% of all adult domestic violence is mutual, 25% primarily female-against-male, and the remaining 25% primarily male-against female.

    This massive body of evidence further indicates that women are more likely than men to initiate the violence, and more likely than men to resort to the more severe categories of violence.

    I direct you to the Fiebert annotated bibliography at http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm for the brain-crushing massive proof.

  49. -Chipper says:

    Acksiom Says:
    “I direct you to [...] for the brain-crushing massive proof.”

    Um. Are you trying to initiate violence against me? If you are and you are also a fabulous, single woman, I can recommend a lawyer – you’re gonna need one.

  50. Um, no, Matt; women are NOT disproportionately targeted by domestic violence. It is instead the case that men’s domestic violence victimization is disproportionately ignored and denied.

    Well, you’re no doubt correct that domestic violence against men is probably even more under-reported than that against women. So yes, it’s complicated. But if you take a peek at the DoJ crime statistics, you’ll notice that about three times as many women are killed by their partners as men. That part is really not complicated. You’ll also notice, on the same page, that a female muder victim is ten times more likely than a male murder victim to have been killed by her partner (30% vs. 3%). I think those numbers speak pretty loudly in favor my thesis.

  51. Nanja Kang says:

    Screw all this other FOX news nonsense… I’m just sayin, Leslee sounds hot. Furthermore, I have seen FOX and Friends in the morning… its bad at 5am Central Time… Tivo it… watch it for yourself… BE AFRAID.

  52. Telas says:

    I have no idea what Fox has to do with it, but all morning shows suck.

    I think it’s federal law, but I’ll have to ask my Fabulous Attorney to be sure…

  53. Acksiom says:

    Matt, thanks for your integrity on the likely under-reporting of male domestic violence victimization; I appreciate it.

    As a result, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable to point out that, as an explanation and invalidation of your BOJ stats, male homicides by female intimate partner are likely under-reported too. Sorry; it feels like I’m using your integrity against you.

    Rather than rewrite the wheel, though, I’ll just quote Glenn Sacks’s good introductory summary to the matter from his 2002 article:

    “However, contrary to what we were led to believe during the Simpson trial, the murder of male partners or intimates by women is actually as prevalent as the murder of female intimates by men. Official Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics disguise this, however, through what men’s issues author Warren Farrell calls the ‘blinders’ to female murder of men.

    One of Farrell’s blinders is the fact that women generally use less detectable methods to murder intimates than men do. One of the most popular female methods is to poison the victim, and these poisonings are often mistakenly recorded as “heart attacks” and “accidents” instead of murder.

    Another blinder is that women are much more likely than men to use ‘contract’ killers, and contract killers often disguise murders as accidents or suicides. Even when a paid killer is caught and the truth is known, the DOJ counts the murder as a ‘multiple-offender’ killing instead of as a murder of a man by a female intimate.

    Farrell also notes that men who murder women tend to come from lower class backgrounds, whereas women who murder men are more likely to come from middle-class backgrounds. Thus the financial disparities allow for women to have better legal representation, resulting in more acquittals. In fact, according to a Justice Department study, women were nine times as likely men to be acquitted in a trial for the murder of a spouse, and 10 times as likely to receive probation instead of prison time.

    Official statistics are further distorted by what Farrell calls the ‘Chivalry Factor’ and the ‘Innocent Woman Factor,’ both of which make it less likely that women will even be suspected of murder, and more likely that the murders they commit will be ruled as ‘self-defense.’

    Despite these large distortions, men still comprise roughly 30% of those officially classified as being murdered by an intimate. According to the DOJ, each year men murder about 1,275 female intimates and women murder around 500 male intimates (excluding self-defense). In addition, according to the US Department of Justice’s Special Report–Violence Against Women, there are roughly 7,800 unsolved murders of men and 1,500 unsolved murders of women each year.

    Now let’s do the math. Because roughly 33% of all female murder victims are killed by male intimates, whenever a woman is murdered, the immediate suspect is always a husband or male intimate. This means that in these 1,500 unsolved murders, police have already either ruled these men out or decided that the evidence against them is weak.

    Thus the percentage of those 1,500 women who are murdered by a male intimate has to be much lower than 33%. Let’s say the percentage is 15%, though it is quite possibly much lower than that. Fifteen percent of 1,500 is 225 which, added to 1,275 (the confirmed total), makes a total of 1,500 female victims of male intimates a year.

    Now let’s do the math for male murder victims. Obviously the vast majority of these unsolved murders were not committed by female intimates, though police erroneously do not view female intimates as suspects as often as they should. Let’s say that only 7% of these murders were committed by female intimates which, considering the blinders, seems quite low. Seven percent of 7,800 is 550 which, when added to the 500 known murders, bring us to 1,050–over 40% of all intimate murder victims.

    This is consistent with the numbers from the US Department of Justices survey Murder in Families, which analyzed 10,000 cases and found that women make up over 40 percent of those charged in familial murders. If, instead of 7%, the percentage was a still-reasonable 12.8%, the intimate murder rates between the genders would be equal. In addition, as Farrell notes, since many murders of men by female intimates are not even recorded as murders, including them would push the total of male victims even higher.”

    (see http://www.ifeminists.com/introduction/editorials/2002/0430a.html for the full article, and I highly recommend Farrell’s still-unsurpassed classic ‘The Myth of Male Power’ for the full background — http://www.warrenfarrell.org/ )

    So, actually, no, that part isn’t uncomplicated either.

    Another point, rather chilling in the sense of ‘Unintended Consequences’ is that one of the most commonsense reasons for the apparent decrease in male homicides by female partners is the huge amount of domestic violence amelioration outreach towards and resources provided to women. It seems likely that less men are now being murdered by their female intimate partners because, if anything, more women have been afforded more State-funded alternatives to their violent behavior environments.

    Thus we would probably see a comparable decrease in female homicides by male domestic partners if there were comparable outreach towards and resources provided to men in violent domestic environments. To make the ugly icing on this idiot’s cake explicit, that means the nearly complete and utter denial of any kind of outreach or resources to male domestic violence victims is very likely responsible for a non-trivial percentage of these murders of women by their male intimate partners every year.

    So, unfortunately, your numbers in fact support my thesis, rather than yours — we’d very likely have noticeably fewer homicides of females by male partners if female victimization of male partners wasn’t being ignored, hidden, and denied.

    The final thing to keep in mind here is that when it comes to violence overall and in general, men actually factually really truly madly deeply do have it worse than women. And when it comes to killing, NOTHING else comes even CLOSE to the male suicide rate.

    We could reduce the violent death rate in this country dramatically just through targeting of and outreach towards suicidal males. Unfortunately, though, even our economic system is still significantly predicated upon a constant resupply of willingly self-sacrificing males whose well-being, safety, health, and lives are routinely exchanged for cheaper raw resources, manufacturing, infrastructure, and other requirements for our high standard of living. And people really just aren’t willing to pay more just so that fewer boys and men will be less used up and then thrown away when they’re empty.

  54. Annon says:

    Wow. I mean, wow. I thought [i]I[/i] was long-winded.

    Hey, at least we can look at it this way: we now know why men are more likey to have heart attacks (genetics my ass–pfft).

  55. DiscountNinja says:

    “Fully standards-compliant readers will still parse it, but no respectable writer would resort to it.”

    Curse you Doug, you win this time!

    =P

  56. Julia says:

    “HTML for Redheads”?

    Um, I’m a redhead, and I’m fine with regular HTML. Sheesh.

    About the only specialized products I’m ever actively looking for are those aimed at twins or parents of twins, because that’s the only niche I’m in where the usual whatever might not be adequate.

  57. Julia says:

    So, what are good equations to put on breasts? And water-soluble marker or body paint?

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