The Right to Convenience

If a lawsuit like this isn’t immediately thrown out of court, can we really say we have a “reasonable” justice system? The suit, brought by a judge in D.C., asks for $65 million dollars for a once-lost pair of pants.

This is one more illustration of our society’s sense of entitlement. My favorite part of the suit is where the plaintiff asks for $15,000 to rent a car and drive to another dry cleaner. The defendant’s lawyer’s reply? “He’s somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment.”


I wonder, though, if this isn’t also more evidence of the long degradation of the Constitution. After all, if you can find a right to privacy in there; if you can find legal ground to ban books; if you can imply that the establishment clause equals absolute separation of church and state; why not a constitutional right to convenience?

It’s hard to know where to begin laying blame for this nation of children in grown-up bodies. Western individualism? American consumerism?

In any case, this suit and others like it really shouldn’t surprise us. From an economic standpoint, our “friends” on Madison Avenue have been feeding us slogans like “Have it your way!” and its successor, “Your way, right away,” for years. And the “customer is always right” ethos has been seeping into our collective consciousness for so long that we now think we are right. On every subject. Every time. The result is a nation of belly-button gazers who think life should be like ordering a hamburger. If you don’t get that extra pickle, do whatever it takes to get it. And if, in getting what you want, you can punish the evildoers who robbed you of your rights, so much the better. Whatever made it happen, it wasn’t your fault.

Burn yourself with coffee?
The restaurant shouldn’t have served it so hot!
Put on a few (hundred) pounds eating at Mickey D’s? Somebody should have told you burgers and fries are fattening!
Smoke 30 years and get cancer? Those tobacco companies “must have the devil in them.”
Dry cleaners lose your pants? Make ’em pay, in spades.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s