0322 - Barefoot - 2023.12.04



Do you know every law?

Of course you don't. No one does, in modern society. Attorneys don't. Judges don't. Cops don't. "Experts" on social media certainly don't. That's why lawyers are constantly doing research and looking up precedents, there's simply far too much extant legal documentation for anyone to hold it all in their head simultaneously.

And that's just the normal laws. You're always seeing "wacky" laws that are still on the books, right? Like how it's illegal to tie an elephant to a parking meter, that kind of bullshit. Even if you think you have a handle on theft and murder, you still don't know every one of those, do you?

So how do you know you're not breaking the law right now?

And if someone decides that today is the day that they're going to start enforcing the law you're currently breaking, what defense would you give? Ignorance is, famously, no excuse. Even if the enforcer in question is explicitly doing so because they don't like you - if you're actually in the wrong, what does that matter?

It may be a holdover from my childhood Christian guilt - being told, from birth, that you're inherently so bad that you objectively deserve to burn in Hell for eternity can do a number on you - but I tend to operate under the assumption that I am, at any given moment, in violation of some rule or other. I cannot fully prove - and you can't either - that I am not currently committing any crime and am not fully deserving of arrest, prosecution, and jail time.

That may sound like paranoia (and perhaps it is) but I like to use it as a source of defiant joy.

Every second that I'm out here, outside of prison, allowed to be on the Internet, no one stopping me from making my stupid little comics and enjoying my stupid little life - every second that passes, I'm getting away with it.

And I, for one, am going to wring every undeserved morsel and every unjust benefit out of every incorrectly free moment that I have on this planet. I'm gettin' while the gettin's good.

The day may come when it all comes tumbling down - one way or another, it always does - but I'm gonna live it up until then.

And you didn't see nothin', see?


0322 – 2167/07/07/09:38 - Rosenthal College hex
LC (already removing boots): So I’m not allowed to go barefoot, huh? What about just socks?
PH: Out here in the hex, barefoot is allowed. Inside any of the buildings on campus? No.
LC: And it’s not enough for me to just disengage the-
PH: No recreational sports footwear in designated areas, Mezzer Caldavera. Normal shoes only. I’m afraid I have to be quite strict about this. Liability. You understand.
CP (taking spare shoes out of their bag, clearly too small to fit Lee): D-did you n-not b-b-bring f-f-f-footwear in y-y-your -
LC (holding their own bag): This is decorative, there’s nothing in it!
Zoa: Uh, point of order – I’m barefoot, and no one has a problem with that.
PH: Robot feet don’t have sweat glands and aren’t at risk for injury.
Zoa: My feet can possibly get damaged.
PH: Not at risk of injury we care about.
Zoa: Right. No place that sells footwear on campus... since it’d have to be custom-sized, we can’t get a delivery quick enough... if we take a cab, we could conceivably get to the apartment and back on time…
LC: Yes! Let’s do that!
Zoa: Aaaand now we can’t.
LC: What?
Zoa: Yeah, we ran out of time just then, local taxi algorithm says there’s morning traffic. Also, they appear to have similar no-hoverskate-no-barefoot rules for all their vehicles, too.
PH: A sensible policy is a sensible policy. I approve.