One million lawyers

Here is George W.S. Trow on lawyers, and the love of lawyers, and the diseases they cure. At least here's Trow on lawyers we encounter on television screens, which, after all, bear some resemblance to lawyers we encounter in real life:

He's a lawyer because you like a lawyer; of course you also don't like a lawyer, so we left those parts out. Not completely out. An edge of what you don't like in a lawyer, but he's going to find that the law isn't what it seems to be, he's going to find out that the law is more like what you think it is! He's going to learn that the law is warm and human and caring, because Jenny's blind... The affliction spins the context. To a problem, like blindness or drug addiction or cancer, to a simple state of trouble - to that state there adheres more reality than adheres to the ragged patchwork of abandoned realities that costumes the lawyer on the frontier.

How closely does Brockovich match this description? So closely that she is not, herself, a lawyer, but a direct representative of the mass: poorly educated, poorly dressed, foul-mouthed, and messy in other, varied particulars. But beautiful and victorious, despite her lack of education, through drive, moxie, the terrible desire to win and prove herself - to persevere. She is terribly real; at least, she seems terribly close to the kinds of characters we see on reality programs like Cops. Cops itself is one of two kinds of shows that show real people: those that show real people trying to become stars (Star Search, or Showtime at the Apollo), and those that show real people as they really are. But real people as they really are boring, and inarticulate, when matched against the shimmer of celebrity, so it's only the extremities we see. Only at our most desperate can we hope to compete against celebrity. Perhaps, in time, even the appeal of the desperate will fade.