Lucky choice

by Chris Bertram on November 17, 2003

Brian’s post has set me off reminiscing about the first album I ever bought – and one of the best. In Loughborough, the nondescript market town where I lived, Boots the Chemists was just about the only place you could buy records back in 1972. And most albums were just beyond my means (or certainly required deferring gratification through saving for longer than I could bear). But one day there appeared on the racks some samplers from Atlantic at 99p each. The one I settled on, though I’d never heard any of the artists, had a bright yellow cover with a dragster and was called _It All Started Here_ . My urge to possess overcame the irrationality of buying something I knew nothing about and so this 13-year-old came back home with the following tracks:

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Greatest Rock Albums

by Brian on November 17, 2003

Matt Yglesias links to an appallingly boring list of the top 10 albums of all time, courtesy of (who else) Rolling Stone. Because I so love lists, and because I like flame wars, I decided to commemorate the occasion by pulling out my top 10 list, tinkering with it, and posting it.

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Terror and civil liberties

by Chris Bertram on November 17, 2003

The “Constitutions, Democracy and the Rule of Law”: symposium is online at Columbia. I’ve only listened to some of the October 17th proceedings: specifically Jerry Cohen’s “Casting the First Stone: Who Can, and Who Can’t, Blame the Terrorists?” which argues that those who put terrorists in the position that they can only use morally unacceptable means thereby disqualify themselves from complaining about the the morally unacceptable acts terrorists then perform. (Thanks to Lwandile Sisilana for email about this.)

[Since my purspose here is merely to link to an interesting item and not to comment myself or to start a debate on CT, I’m going to disable comments — a policy I intend to use in similar link-only items on a selective basis.]

Fantastic news

by Chris Bertram on November 17, 2003

Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black looks to be “in deep trouble”:,7495,1086980,00.html .

National anthems

by Chris Bertram on November 17, 2003

I’m not keen on national anthems, but I was struck before the England–France semi-final by the constrast between “God Save the Queen”: and the “Marseillaise”: . One a dirge like hymn to hierarchy and submission, the other an upbeat celebration of martial comradeship. There’s no question that

bq. Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé

are good lines to be singing before you take the field, even if — as it turned out — it hadn’t.