Saturday, December 21, 2019

Moot Or Death? (The Dark Side Of Mooting)

Previously, I wrote a joke about a lost law student given the choice between 'Moot or Death?'. That and Star Wars inspired me to develop this new theory about mooting...

Let's first talk about the Force. The eternal battle between Jedi versus Sith. Now, popular belief has is that the Jedis are the good guys, whilst the Sith are evil baddies.

Whatever. Irrelevant. As mooters (and soon-to-be-lawyers), it's best to take a more objective perspective and not to be too quick to pass judgments. There are merits in both their philosophies, depending on - paraphrasing the words of Jedi Master Kenobi himself - "your own point of view".

Likewise, there's no right or wrong way in training mooters. There's the easy way or hard path. The fun-filled way or stress-fueled path. The "I'm just mooting to learn" way or "I'm only mooting to win" path. The Jedis would you have us believe that the way of the Dark Side is easier, of course. But really, the Dark Side is just as hard, if not even harder, under the Rule of Two...

Best mooters of the galaxy

* * *

What is the Rule of Two?

For the longest time, the Jedis and Siths waged war.

The Jedis built their structure around ideals of democracy, equality, rule of law, blah blah... Boring!

The Siths are individualistic by nature. But as their numbers grew, they too resort to establishing lines of hierarchy. Problem is, bureaucracy made them soft - just as how the Jedi Order weakened in the twilight of the Old Republic and were wiped out by Darth Sidious and Darth Vader in 'Revenge of the Sith' (RoS).

But fortunately for the Siths, along came along a badass dude called Darth Bane, who stepped in to stop their slide to mediocrity. Long story short, he eliminated his fellow comrades, and ruled as the supreme leader of the Sith. But his ultimate legacy was to formulate a new philosophy aimed at breeding stronger generations of Siths long after his death...

In the words of Mikey Sarasti, eminent Star Wars scholar on Quora, the Rule of Two goes like this:
"The Sith were not equals. There were, and always would be, the powerful, and those who sought power. Egalitarianism engenders stagnation. Individualism inspires improvement.
At all times, henceforth there shall only be 2— a master to embody power, and an apprentice to crave it.
When an apprentice has exceeded the strength of his master, he is to slay him and supersede him as the reigning Dark Lord; and then he is to train his own apprentice, to pass on the power and knowledge that he has gained and to carry on the Sith tradition, until the day the Grand Imperative can be executed.
The philosophy of Darth Bane ensured that every Sith Lord in his lineage would be stronger than the last. This new Sith Order was constantly improving, hiding in the shadows, and it’s members were waiting until they were great enough to launch a full scale assault against the Jedi and the Republic. By the time we see them, a millennium after the death of Darth Bane, the Sith are far greater than the Jedi have ever been. Despite there only being 2 individuals, the Sith rival the entire Jedi Order, an army consisting of hundreds, if not thousands of members."

Jedi = crybaby = loser

* * *

So what the f**k Force does the Rule of Two have to do with mooting?

Obviously, it's not to be taken literally.

Mooters don't kill other mooters. There can be more than 2 mooters in a team. Mooters aren't plotting to take over the galaxy.

Instead, the analogy to be drawn here is the approach to training.

How juniors shouldn't stop at idolising their seniors, but be driven to be even faster, better and stronger than their seniors. How seniors shouldn't fear being supplanted by their juniors, but be happy if their juniors rise to the next level.

In a way, the Banite Siths were not purely individualistic. For their selfish in-fighting indirectly served a common goal - to defeat the goody-two-shoes Jedis. When dueling with Master Yoda in RoS, even Darth Sidious admitted - with great glee - that "Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us".

As a coach, there are times when I have to be as ruthless as a Sith Lord - out of necessity, out of fairness. Recently, a student - let's call Kylo Ren - wasn't too pleased on my call to relegate him to a backup role. He threw a fit, displeased that he wasn't given enough chance to 'prove' himself. Anyway, one of the last things Kylo Ren said was "The team is only as strong as the weakest link". And he was right! Unfortunately for him, the logical conclusion to that is to cut him loose (rather than for the team to spend precious time and attention trying to 'help' him as he was implying).

Moral of the story? Swim or sink. Keep up or be left behind. It's not fair for the entire team to suffer because of your personal struggles. It's not fair to slow others down because you can't catch up.

The dark side is the pathway to many abilities...

* * *

The way of the Sith is indeed daunting and scary.

You'll feel pressured to succeed. You'll face fierce competition from your other hungry peers. You'll face a high risk of being left behind and cut loose.

But ultimately, the ordeal will make you stronger. Look, it's only law school, not real practice. Better you learn the hard way now, than later when you graduate, where the stakes are higher and room of error is lower. After all, the whole point of mooting - just like Sith training - is to prepare you to face real combat.

So don't be afraid, kids. Be a Sith. Join the dark side!

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