Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Facebook, Judge Alex Style

My abilities fall somewhere between moronic and imbecilic when it comes to Facebook. Because I've been accused in the past of starting any story with either the Creation, the Flood, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, or some similarly ancient occurrence, I will skip the reasons why I can neither text message nor have a Facebook account. Almost anyone with Internet can access the very basic page that is presented on someone's Facebook account. In most cases, all you can see very is very limited information about the person whose Facebook page you are viewing if you are yourself not a Facebook member and a "friend" of the person. The avaibale information on such pages doesn't hold my attention for long. I'd just as soon be searching odd facts or reading about Kim Jong Il. A few Facebook pages, however, focus upon celebrities and are open to non-Facebook members. One of such pages belongs to Judge Alex Ferrer of television's "Judge Alex" courtroom television program.

In the case of most celebrity pages, the featured celebrities either know nothing about the pages or do know and wish for the pages to be cyber-eliminated pronto. Such is not the case with Judge Ferrer's Facebook page. He established the page either himself, or someone at his network did it for him. He makes occasional comments and responses to others' comments. Initially, his appearances at the page were frequent. He now comments and responds less frequently (he does have a real life), but he still makes appearances.

I've never been allowed to watch soap operas (I suppose if, at the age of 16, I tuned in to "Days of our Lives," my parents would make a few choice comments, but I doubt that one parent would cover my eyes and ears while the other grabbed for the remote control to change the channel) not that I've really wanted to, but Judge Alex's Facebook page has become my soap opera of choice. I'm convinced it's actually more compelling than the networks' conventional daytime dramas.

All soap operas have characters, major and minor. Some of the minor ones on Judge Alex's Facebook page approach the level of oddity of the litigants appearing on his television program. Others are, or at least seem to be, comparatively lucid. The rest fall somewhere in between. To facilitate your viewing experience, I'll give you a brief overview of the major characters and some of the more salient minor ones. To list and describe them all would make me guilty of the wordiness of which I've been accused. I'll still be wordy, though. There's no way around it with this topic.

The lead role, romantic or otherwise, of the "Judge Alex Facebook page" soap opera is, fittingly, Judge Alex E. Ferrer. (The "E." stands for "Enrique," which, the judge has explained, actually sounds much better with "Alejandro," the Spanish form of his first name.) Judge Ferrer left Cuba with his family to escape Fidel Castro's regime when the judge was less than a year old. Judge Ferrer became a police officer at the age of nineteen, then completed college and law school. He was a trial attorney, then a judge. He was on the short list of judges being considered for an appellate position by then-governor Jeb Bush, but instead opted for the more lucrative TV judge gig. How much more lucrative is confidential; the network doesn't allow that information to be disclosed. By most accounts, though he worked hard in his early years and had to escape a communist regime (at the age of less than a year, he probably was not the braintrust behind the escape operation and thus does not likely take credit for it), he's led a charmed existence, with a beautiful wife, basically perfect children, and the capacity to go almost anywhere he wants at any time he wants, and the ability to snap his fingers and immediately procure a Harley once he gets there. Judge Ferrer's major role on the Facebook page is to make profound comments, post pictures of himself in alluring poses on his personal or rented Harleys, answer questions, graciously accept compliments detailing his degree of hotness, and occasionally tell posters [one cannot "befriend" Judge Alex on this page; perhaps he has a "real" Facebook page where his actual friends can befriend him] to chill when they come almost to the point of cyber-blows or cyber-catfights. (Victor,who shall soon receive his own featured highlight, is not available at this forum to provide saucers of milk to feline-behaving posters.) I'm not in the habit of becoming light-headed over men who are roughly my father's age, but I will say for Judge Ferrer that he looks much better than my father, my father's friends, or any of my friends' fathers, all of whom are in the same approximate age bracket. It isn't his looks, nonetheless, that draw me to watch his show, or even to read his Facebook page.

The man is brilliant. He reportedly each night reads hundreds of pages of documents pertaining to the cases he will try the next day. His recall of what he has read the night before, sometimes probably at 2:00 a.m., is phenomenal. He manages not to confuse documents he read the prior night concerning one case with those from another, thus managing to catch litigants in lies on a fairly regular basis. If the judge were to apply his reading skills to the Bible (I'm not implying that he doesn't already; perhaps he's a profound Biblical scholar and chooses to keep that aspect of himself private) he would put Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, the Grahams, Joel Osteen, Paul & Jan, and all the rest out of business with his first televised sermon. If any of the televangelists I've mentioned happen to be dead already, may he, she, or they rest in peace. I apologize for desecrating the memory of the dead if I am indeed guilty of such, and/or taking shots at someone who's no longer on the planet to defend himself or herself. The point remains, however, that were Judge Ferrer to take up televangelizing, the rest would be toast.

The lead supporting role would have to go to Victor Simon, the bailiff. (Mr. Simon will not appear in the upcoming season of "Judge Alex" because he was unable to make the move to Los Angeles. Any discussion of "Judge Alex" without mention of Victor, however, would be akin to an attempt to discuss the history of "Days of Our Lives" without mention of the late Dr. Tom Horton.) Mr. Simon's role on the Facebook page is to occasionally be commended for his hotness. (Judge Ferrer does not appear to be jealous when such happens, as there seem to be enough "hotness" compliments to feed the egos of both men.) He merits his own section of this blog primarily because of his prominent role on the "Judge Alex" TV court program. Mr. Simon, a graduate of SMU and former linebacker for the university's football team, a taciturn uniformed police officer, possesses a build that would deter the most psychotic of litigants from even thinking of attempting to attack the judge. Mr. Simon's secondary role is to serve as frequent fodder for Judge Ferrer's humor; his state of baldness is a particular source of mirth to the judge. Mr. Simon is not himself without a quick wit, and has been known to make jokes at the judge's expense. Mr. Simon has occasionally stepped between feuding litigants. Judge Ferrer has commented on more than one occasion when females disparage each other that that Victor may need to provide them with a saucer of milk. This expression used by Judge Ferrer may be mildly sexist, as I've never heard him offer to send Victor out to get Milkbones or rawhide chews when male litigants take shots at the masculinity, or lack thereof, of one another, but I don't really care because I think it's funny. The Los Angeles-filmed version of the show will feature a bailiff named Mason. Let us all hope for Judge Alex's sake that the top of Mason'a head resembles a cue ball.

The second supporting role is filled by an entity known simply as **admin**. At some point after the Facebook page began to grow in popularity, **admin** took on the role of administrator. Among **admin**'s duties are to let readers know about upcoming episodes of "Judge Alex,"
to answer questions not requiring the level of expertise of the actual judge, and to give updates and ask questions regarding some incredibly exciting thing that's supposed to happen as soon as September. I for one find it a little hard to swallow. I would almost suspect an identity theft ring of some sort, but Judge Ferrer does frequent the board often enough to see the posts, and surely he wouldn't allow his Facebook page to be used for identity theft purposes. (But if it is, I'll have a good laugh at all of you suckers who are allowed to join Facebook and blindly gave your partial identity to **admin** when it was requested.) We've been told that **admin** is also named "Alex." Conclusive evidence has yet to be presented that **admin** and "Alex Ferrer" are not one and the same. Perhaps the network is paying someone to administrate the site. Judge Ferrer may not be willing to share any of the take. We've read references to "The Ferrer Children's College Fund." **admin**'s paycheck may have a direct pipeline into "The Ferrer Children's College Fund," and it's probably even some sort of tax shelter. Some of the posters feel that it is **admin**'s duty to mediate when posters declare verbal war on one another. Either **admin** does not believe that it is his or her job to do so, or is seriously shirking in that regard.

The plots on the actual "Judge Alex' television program are of course centered on the cases tried -- one per episode. They range from sad to stupid to mundane to hysterically funny. The plots on the Facebook page
are sometimes dictated by Judge Alex when he posts something about his weekend plans, what he ate or drank, or perhaps a picture of himself on a Harley. His fans at times take the judge's posts in strange directions.
Once he mentioned visiting Victor's ailing grandmother in the hospital while he was in Houston. Most posters expressed positive thoughts wishing Victor's grandmother well. One obnoxious poster wrote something inquiring as to why Victor's grandmother was so special to merit so many messages of prayer and wishes for good health when people were dying everywhere all the time. "Others" were quick to criticize the hostile "other" for his insensitivity. I don't think we ever learned whether or not a full recovery was made by Victor's grandmother. I certainly hope so, and if not, I hope she's in a happy place.

Some miscellaneous "others" have been known to "hijack" threads and talk about all sorts of matters unrelated to the judge and his show. Plots thicken when other "others" take offense at each other for a variety of reasons. Any hint of a slight aimed at Judge Ferrer will result almost immediately in the loyal "others" "Strategic Defense Initiative"-style barrage of protection of the judge, which ranges from from literate point/counterpoint-style debate to outright verbal assault on the "other" who dared slight the judge.

The significant "others" are too numerous to mention, but I cannot adequately address the drama that is Judge Alex's Facebook page without mentioning a few. I've been advised not to use names, but I'm prone to ignoring advice. I'll limit myself to first names. What I write will be objective information or will be clearly stated as my opinion. I don't think I am setting myself up be sued for such, but I know that hiding behind the "I said it was my opinion" does not shield one from every possible legal consequence. Example: "I think ------- is a child molester" can land someone on the defendant side of a civil suit if one does not have adequate evidence to back up the statement. What I have to say about the "others" is not so inflammatory, and is mostly objective information, anyway. If an "other" actually happens to read this, which would constitute a miracle in and of itself, and does not like the way he or she has been portrayed, perhapsthe "other" should take a long and hard look in the mirror.

I shall start with Beausoleil. I said I was going with first names. Beausoleil is very likely not this "other's" first name, but it appears first in her screen name, so we're going with it. I'm including Beausoleil primarily because it's an interesting name. I've spent considerable time deciding how it should be pronounced.
My father, who speaks French, says it's hard to say exactly without the availability of the French language accent marks, one of which would probably appear over the second e, but it's probably something like
BOH/soh/LAY'. Beausoleil has never posted anything outrageous that I've read.

Pinaz seems very sweet, and her comments are always positive. She's from Bombay, but lives somewhere else now. She hasexperienced trouble with her television recently.

Martin is an actual "real life" friend of the judge. They were on the force and worked riots somewhere in the Miami area.

Jaci is a journalist from the UK who has blogged about things she would do if granted access to the judge's body. She would like to interview the judge, but to date, as far as the Facebook page has informed anyone, the interview has not happened.

Betty seems to be a very pleasant and nice lady. She only posts kind things. She may be moving to Los Angeles, but not, she said, to become an actress.

Rebecca, my Twitter and blogging friend, does not post as often as she would like because of health issues. She's a teen, only slightly younger than I. Her posts exude wisdom.

Matt is a fellow football fan of the judge's. I do not know whether they know each other in real life. It doesn't really matter.

Stephen calls himself a friend of the judge. I took it to mean they actually knew each other, but then, I'm fairly gullible. Maybe the judge is Stephen's friend in the same sense I was taught in Catechism that Jesus is my friend, or maybe they've had face-to-face encounters.

John created a major controversy by twice suggesting in not the most tactful of ways that the judge was wearing excessive makeup on camera. Loyal "others" came to the judge's defense to the degree that the judge stepped in to call off the dogs. Then Gail thanked the judge for taking control, because the "others" calling themselves "The Doghouse" were taking over the boards and "hijacking threads," burying more important and pertinent threads. Then the judge came back on to post that he was joking; he was actually "chuckling" at his defenders as he typed, not intending anything to be a reprimand. He further told posters that he was not available to post on the board constantly, and that "others" should use the board to have fun. It may be that my vision is failing, but I can no longer find Gail's complaining post. If it is still there, please direct me to it by posting its approximate location in the comments section of my blog.

Yesenia is a sweet mother of four who has dreams about the judge, but not R-rated dreams. She's someone you'd want to be your aunt or your friend's mother.

Jim thinks there is a stain on Judge Ferrer's name plate. I've looked at it from every angle imaginable on a high-definition screen and can't find the alleged brown stain. The problem could conceivably be with Jim's own TV, or even with his eyes.[MY OPINION]

Stacey posts with relative frequency, but seems relatively sane.

Kristeen has a vivid imagination. She "saw" Judge Ferrer in a white convertible on the 20th Century Fox lot when he was never in said car. Kristeen probably "sees" the image of The Blessed Virgin in her pancakes and tries to turn them into shrines.[MY OPINION]

Laura desperately wants to attend a taping of "Judge Alex" in 2012 and TO MEET HIM. None of the "others" can understand why she is so fixated on the year 2012 as the time to attend a viewing. One helpful "other" even reminded her that many have predicted 2012 as the year the world will end. Perhaps Laura just wants to spend her final moments in the presence of Judge Alex [MY OPINION].

Catherine is the matriarch of the Judge Alex Facebook page. She frequenty dishes out Greek wisdom to many recipients, including the judge himself. Some recipients are more receptive than others. She is a kind and wise soul, and those who fail to heed her advice are poorer for not having listened. (Catherine has been outed as having possible association with "The Doghouse.")

Sharon is a loyal fan "other" on the JA Facebook page, and will jump in to defend him with the rest of the Star Wars Defense Team.

Joyce is a gentle soul and a lover of animals. She finds good in almost everything and everyone. I think she probably draws the line at Scott Peterson and Charles Manson, though if pressed would probably name at least two good qualities each one possesses. Sometimes other "others" are upset with her, and I cannot for the life of me understand why. She is very sensitive, and if she feels that she has hurt someone's feelings, it hurts her. Y'all be nice to Joyce now, ya hear?
(Alert: possible "Doghouse" connections)

Jillian is an ally to Joyce and other "others" who have called themselves "The Doghouse." If you ask Jillian what color her underwear is, she will write a one-thousand-word response. Her typing is abysmal. I don't know if she's blind, uncoordinated, or truly dyslexic. She has a couple of years of law school under her belt, so she likes to spout legalese. Sometimes she knows what she's talking about, but not always. You have to guess. It's like that old television show "Hollywood Squares."[MY OPINION]

Cathy uses a combination of text-message style typing and unconventional spelling in such a way as to leave the reader wondering if she actually thinks the spelling she uses is standard. [MY OPINION] She is a special defender of Judge Alex; if one of the "others" mentions hoping he had a safe trip home or to wherever, she reminds them that he has a wife and kids to worry about such things for him. Worrying about a person is perhaps akin to committing adultery in one's heart. Maybe she's onto something. What do I know?

Ken practically had a seizure because [my opinion; a medical diagnosis is difficult to make over a Facebook page posting, especially by someone who has no qualifications to make a diagnosis even in person] a preview of a Judge Alex episode alluded to a video that the litigant was then unable to produce in court. Despite Judge Alex's uninvolvement with the production aspect of the program, Ken chose to make a very personal attack against Judge Alex over this seemingly trivial issue. This brought the Star Wars Defense Team out in full force.

If Judge Alex is the Alpha male of the board, Wolf would have to be the Beta male. His primary purpose on the board seems to be to bring levity to tense situations. He does this despite his self-admitted status as an (GASP) atheist. I don't mean to come across as facebook's version of Senator Joe McCarthy (I paid attention in U.S. history and passed the AP exam), outing communists under every bed, but Wolf has been associated with the infamous "Doghouse."

Sandy, despite her known association with "The Doghouse," is often a voice of reason on the JA Facebook page. She defends the judge, but not to a ridiculous extent. She is respectful of others and gets along with most "others." Sandy is an anomaly as a Texan Mormon. You do not find too many of those. Sandy has beautiful red-hair, about which she frequently complains. Victor (and hopefully Mason) would tell Sandy, "At least you have hair."

There you have it in a very large nutshell (maybe a coconut shell?): Judge Alex's Facebook page. It has more drama than any daytime TV drama, with the possible exception of "Grey's Anatomy" re-runs. If you did not find your own name here, consider yourself blessed. If you did, why would you want to sue a sixteen-year-old temporary cripple?

P.S. To my other "mom and dad" ( you know who you are): I miss you!!!!

6 comments:

  1. Alexis, this was really good, and you have every
    one nailed, except me, I'm am afraid I am not worthy of the nice things you said about me
    Thank you very sincerely, and I thought this was
    excellently written, you really have a talent.
    This was so funny, yet true, (except me being
    sweet)LOL
    Jillian has told us about your many misfortunes
    and we are really sorry and hope the upcoming
    year is much safer and happier. You are wise
    beyond your years and I hope you pursue your
    writing for you are very talented. I wish you
    all the very best, and hope the leg is completely well very soon. :)) Sincerely, Joyce Waters.

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  2. Alexis, first of all your description of Judge Alex is accurate as a brilliant man and a hard working soul who deserves to be a judge in full colors after climbing the ladder of success fast with full confidence in himself and his abilities. He did it with his own merits!

    His fans under "others" gave a color on his page by communicating with each other and become Cyber friends at the end. A group determine to check everything out about him and let him know how we feel about it or ask him different questions so we can learn first hand the truth of the matter.
    You have described those fans as close to the characters as possible and thank you about your kind words towards "Catherine"!

    I would describe myself some times as trouble maker not that I am at any circumstances but I love to hear different opinions and the only way to get them is to stir up the pot.
    I also love to make the judge think twice before his response ,which is rare ,thinking "is this woman for real?" But this is my secret. I will scold him like a mother about different things which are totally jokes for me hopping I will make him mad and he will respond to me one way or an other.
    Go and see my new post complaining about his shirt that is not tucked in in his picture with Kathy Griffin.ha ha ha
    The overall blog about Judge Alex is really an excellent job and as I told you before you should pursue your writing skills to a book of any title. Alexis ,you are a Gem,and I mean it.
    Life is beautiful but short take advantage of it as much as you can.
    Love you young girl; Catherine

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  3. This was priceless, Alexis! Although, I'm not sure exactly how much wisdom I exuded. Especially, around the Judge. Ha ha! :)

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  4. Hysterical - your writing is flawless. I've been following your blog since you tweeted it to me a few months ago. Looks like I have to start going on Facebook more often, quite the cast of characters. Writing is your niche, I hope you stick with it.

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  5. Hi Alexis,
    It's Sandy from the JA FB page. I love your writing. You have quite the talent. I can only imagine how good you will become as you grow older and gain more of life's experiences. Thanks for the entertainment through the written word. Love it.
    BTW: You should be flattered because I actually had to open a google account just so I can follow your blog. I've never done that for anyone else before.

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  6. Thanks to all of you for the flattering comments. Sandra, I am truly flattered that you opened a google account to follow my blog.

    Alexis

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