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The Dialectic of Fear

Despite this, in many ways the firm is still a reasonable approximation of actual large law firms see further Bradney, , pp. For much of the five series Wolfram and Hart serve as a dramatic counterweight to Angel himself. However, whilst Angel is, or attempts to be, ethically good, Wolfram and Hart are not, by contrast, simply ethically evil. Members of the firm do do things that are straightforwardly wrong.

And we wield a lot of it here and you know what? I think the world is better for it. Members of the firm consistently deny the existence of clear moral rules. It is partly this that makes them a suitable counterweight to Angel. For Wolfram and Hart the notion of being a champion makes no sense.

Angel becomes Chief Executive Officer of the firm whilst the others take on a variety of roles with one, Charles Gunn, hitherto a character more associated with brawn than brain, becoming a lawyer in the firm by virtue of a surgical implant, arranged by the firm, to give him legal knowledge. The first few episodes of the series suggest that Angel and his friends can do just that. Lives saved, disasters averted, with all our fingers and souls still attached. However, this in fact proves not to be the case. Working in the firm increasingly corrupts the characters.

Thus, for example, when the implant that gives him his legal knowledge begins to fail Gunn agrees to arrange for the release of some things that are being kept in customs so that the firm will authorize further work on his implant. As Spike observes,. Not from the out. You sign on there, it changes you.


Puts things in your head. Taking over Wolfram and Hart proves to be an error. Individual moral failure in lawyers in Wolfram and Hart does exist. Thus one of the lawyers, Lyndsey McDonald, who comes from a poor family:. Six of us kids in a room, and come flu season it was down to four. I was seven when they took the house.

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They came right in and took it — And my daddy was being nice, you know? Joking with the bastards while he signed the deeds. Either you got stepped on you got to stepping and I swore to myself that I was not going to be the guy standing there with a stupid grin on my face — while my life got dribbled away.

In the case of Lilah Morgan her moral failure lies in the fact that the struggle to be successful in a masculine environment has meant that she has given up an attempt at morality:. I have been doing this [being a lawyer] a damn long time. As a result, I live somewhat dangerously, and quite comfortably.

Comic books in 'Buffy'

My mother, who no longer recognises me, has the best room at the clinic. I get up every morning, put on my game face and do what I have to do…The game face — the one that I worked so hard to get — I became that years ago. However working for Wolfram and Hart over time subverts even those who believe in and seek moral good. Gunn is reluctant to give up his legal knowledge because he values that status of being a lawyer.

Her place in the series and her contact with Angel is a lot less substantial than is the case with Wolfram and Hart, Lockley featuring in only 15 episodes, sometimes very briefly. Nevertheless she is still of some significance in considering the place of legal institutions in the series. Two things about Lockley are important for this article; first her own perception of herself as a police-officer and secondly her treatment by the police. What's going on with you? However the Captain makes a complaint against Lockley and she is subject to an internal disciplinary hearing. Later she is told that.

What it appears you've been doing, detective, is isolating yourself. You've withdrawn from the stabilizing influence of your fellow officers, developed this morbid fascination for cases of a bizarre and macabre nature, and even you can't seem to give an explanation to why. This dismissal is unjust on a number of different levels.

She has in fact been fighting crime and the disciplinary procedure that is applied to her is based on the inaccurate premise that her beliefs about the demon and vampire world are ipso facto wrong. Lockley herself is not exempt from the corrupting nature of being a member of the police force. She cannot value her self as herself if she is not a police officer.

Being an employee of Wolfram and Hart, a very large law firm, will corrupt even those who are basically morally good. Drawing on the work of Reynolds, Halfyard argues that Angel, like other superheroes,. Stands for justice, upholding the rights of the innocent. However, in order to do this he must often place himself over and above the law as represented by politics, the legislature and the police, and therefore finds himself standing in opposition to these legitimate authorities, whose expedience, corruption or ineffectiveness forces the hero to act illegally in order to uphold natural justice.

Halfyard, , pp. When mallard ducks sleep in a line, the two outermost birds are able to keep half of their brains alert and one eye open to guard against predators. Fish, reptiles, and insects all experience some kind of repose too. All this downtime comes at a price. An animal must lie still for a great stretch of time, during which it is easy prey for predators. What can possibly be the payback for such risk?

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The predominant theory of sleep is that the brain demands it. But the trick is to confirm this assumption with real data. How does sleeping help the brain? The answer may depend on what kind of sleep you are talking about. Recently, researchers at Harvard led by Robert Stickgold tested undergraduates on various aptitude tests, allowed them to nap, then tested them again.

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They found that those who had engaged in REM sleep subsequently performed better in pattern recognition tasks, such as grammar, while those who slept deeply were better at memorization. Other researchers have found that the sleeping brain appears to repeat a pattern of neuron firing that occurred while the subject was recently awake, as if in sleep the brain were trying to commit to long-term memory what it had learned that day.

Such studies suggest that memory consolidation may be one function of sleep. Giulio Tononi, a noted sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, published an interesting twist on this theory a few years ago: His study showed that the sleeping brain seems to weed out redundant or unnecessary synapses or connections. Sleep is likely to have physiological purposes too: That patients with FFI never live long is likely significant. Do they literally die from lack of sleep?

And if not, to what extent does sleeplessness contribute to the conditions that kill them? Some researchers have found that sleep deprivation impedes wound healing in rats, and others have suggested that sleep helps boost the immune system and control infection. But these studies are not conclusive. In the most famous attempt to figure out why we sleep, in the s, Rechtschaffen forced rats to stay awake in his University of Chicago lab by placing them on a disk suspended on a spindle over a tank of water. If the rats fell asleep, the disk would turn and throw them in the water; when they fell into the water, they immediately woke up.

After about two weeks of this strict enforcement of sleeplessness, all the rats were dead. But when Rechtschaffen performed necropsies on the animals, he could not find anything significantly wrong with them. Their organs were not damaged; they appeared to have died from exhaustion—that is, from not sleeping. I asked him to tell me what he knew, after 50 years of research, about the reason we sleep.

Insomnia is at epidemic levels in the developed world. Fifty to 75 million Americans, roughly a fifth of the population, complain about problems sleeping. Fifty-six million prescriptions for sleeping pills were written in , up 54 percent over the previous four years.

The revenue for sleep centers is expected to approach four and a half billion dollars by Yet remarkably little is being done to understand the root causes of insomnia. Most medical school students get no more than four hours of training on sleep disorders; some get none.

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The social and economic costs from the undertreatment of sleeplessness are huge. The Institute of Medicine, an independent national scientific advisory group, estimates nearly 20 percent of all serious motor vehicle accidents are associated with driver sleepiness. It places the direct medical cost of our collective sleep debt at tens of billions of dollars.

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The loss in terms of work productivity are even higher. If a medical problem in some less private, less mysterious bodily function were causing such widespread harm, governments would declare war on it. As a result the fight against insomnia is largely left to drug companies and commercial sleep centers. The clinic, founded in , was the first in the country devoted to the problem of insomnia, and it remains among the most important. The sleep center sees over 10, patients a year and does more than 3, overnight sleep studies.

The 18 bedrooms that patients occupy looked comfortable, the beds soft and cozy. The monitoring equipment was hidden in the furniture. As you fall asleep, your brain slows down, and its electrical signature changes from short jagged waves to longer rolling ones, much the way the movement of the sea smooths out the farther you get from shore.

In the brain these gentle undulations are interrupted periodically by a renewal of the sudden agitated mental activity of REM sleep. For unknown reasons, REM is the time during sleep when we do nearly all our dreaming. As the EEG records this fitful voyage, the polysomnogram technicians also measure body temperature, muscle activity, eye movement, heart rhythms, and breathing.

Then they look over the data for signs of abnormal sleep or frequent wake-ups. When a person has narcolepsy, for instance, he or she plunges from wakefulness into REM sleep without any intermediate steps. In fatal familial insomnia, the sufferer can never get past the first stages of sleep; body temperature soars and crashes.