A mathematician would dismissively tell you that you can’t describe one-half of zero. The project is absurd.
Yet civil courts, as a matter of policy, demand that defendants perform this nonsensical exercise every day.
This advice about telling “your side of the story about what happened” is offered by the California Court System, and it presumes that something must have happened to inspire some accuser to petition a restraining order. No tips are included about what to do if “what happened” was that this accuser had a malicious impulse to lie or is crazy.
I’m not a mathematician; I was trained as a critic. While a mathematician would almost certainly pronounce that trying to articulate one-half of nothing is meaningless and a waste of time (and then wave you away), a critic, arching an eyebrow, would tell you that the act of trying to articulate one-half of nothing raises the expectation that nothing is something after all. The act of explaining, in other words, creates meaning; it exerts an influence. It says there is “a story.”
To describe “your side” of nothing gives substance and dimensions to zero; it turns zero (a lie or lies) into something real—and this is what the civil court forces defendants to do…then it faults them for the stories it makes them tell about what was BS to begin with.
This sorcery goes on routinely and n-n-n-duh-mbly. The presumption of civil courts that accusations are “facts” that have “sides” is a grave blindness. This prejudice can, and it regularly does, turn nothing into “something.”
A defendant could answer honestly: “Your Honor, it’s bullshit, wholly bullshit, and nothing but bullshit.” But the judge would reject that answer out of hand and would, besides, threaten the speaker with penalties for insulting the court’s “dignity.” The judge could even rule that a defendant is “guilty” of allegations that are bullshit to punish him or her for saying the allegations are bullshit.
Fun, huh? Lives are intruded upon by judges (who are paid lavishly to warm chair seats), and then these judges produce reams of records to make people blameworthy for nothing they’ve actually done.
The mindset of judges is that there must be something, which means they find something where there was nothing. They “find” something even if they have to make it up.
This is all (yet another) explanation of how civil process is (1) stupid, (2) corrupt, (3) stupid, (4) noxious, (106) absurd, and (5) reprehensible.
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*People are daily deprived of their liberties, livelihoods, and even their reasons for living based on equations like this one: 0 = 22.