A Tale of Two Tommies: Assigned Seating

Matt:

My routine consists of waking at the crack of noon, unicycling to school, taking the bus because I remember I don’t own a unicycle, buying my iced-skinny steamed butterscotch-caramel espresso macchiato latte with two ounces of llama milk and a touch of love, and then heading to class. I’ve selected the finest real estate: a wooden chair two rows back, two seats in. Close enough for the prof to remember me, far enough to feed my pet mink unostentatiously.

Last Friday my routine crumbled. Last Friday my mink went without lunch. Last Friday my world fell apart. I entered my class, moved toward my – MY – seat, and bam: one skinny, cherry-blond drama student sat sweating in my spot.

We are creatures of habit. Aristotle’s Ethics tells us that our path to goodness and happiness can only be cultivated through a process of habilitation. This sequential repetition allows for humans to internalise our virtue. Mr. Lynn (respondent) has not only broken the sacred custom of keeping one’s self-assigned seat, but has interrupted my path to virtue and magnanimity.

Any student of politics knows that there are constitutional laws and constitutional conventions, the former enforceable by courts and the latter by politics. A convention requires three characteristics: it must be (i) based in precedent, (ii) have a significant reason, and (iii) be recognised by the relevant actors.

I am the only one with a substantial precedent of claiming that seat. I have the significant reason of requiring the seat: educational achievement, nourishing virtue, being happy. Most importantly, respondent’s injustice is not only recognised by myself but also at least two others, thanks to my change.org petition (thanks mom & dad).

I have Charter residency rights. Further, Butler v. Canada (Attorney General B.C.) ruled that property seizure is only justified if it is required for fulfilment of the law. NOT to break convention… or my heart.

Robbie:

Self-assigned seating? Tough luck, Sheldon!

The shackles of public school have been broken; this is university. We are free to use the bathroom during class, free to use a laptop (albeit with the professor’s permission), and we are free to choose our seat. So I missed the first class? Am I now exiled to the least desirable chair forever: a stool in the back corner of the class, facing the wall, with the drip, drip, dripping of acid rain falling on my head through the crack in the ceiling?

No way is that happening. So I said “today is a new day, and I need a new chair.” This is politics. Television has taught me that when you play the game of thrones, (which are chairs!), you win or you die.

Ah my young political science undergraduate, is it possible that I am beating you at your own game?

I may be a drama major, but Aristotle holds that we are all political animals. It is my right to take a political science class as an elective, as inconvenient as this freedom may be to those majoring in the dark art.

Politics is not for the faint of heart; the political world will not bend to your precious routines! Political science undergraduate, have you not learned from your father? The father of modern political science, Machiavelli, tells us in The Prince that somebody who is used to acting in one way and never changes will come to ruin when the times are no longer are in harmony with their ways.

As to your sacred constitutional convention rules, you fail the third prong; as a drama student, I am the relevant actor. Politicians are just actors; it’s written right into your law. You should reconsider looking down upon the drama students from your high horse, or unicycle if that’s what you think you’re riding.

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