04 January 2009

Misrule and Unreason Make for One Hell of a Blawg Review

The inimitable Charon QC has posted Blawg Review #193, the first -- and first great -- Blawg Review of the new year.

Coming on the eve of the Twelfth Night holiday, this week's review celebrates the annual reign of the "Lord of Misrule," or the "Abbot of Unreason," a master of ceremonies for the holiday. As Charon explains, the Lord of Misrule has the power to command anything in presiding over various celebrations which turn the ordinary rules of life topsy-turvy, seeing servants served by masters in a Feast of Fools. The practice has its roots in ancient traditions, but is presently a primarily British custom. This certainly makes sense, considering the British love of lords, something we in America have not embraced quite so fondly but might after reading this week's Blawg Review.

Shakespeare aside, Twelfth Night is probably best known by us on this side of the pond through the English Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which ends, of course, with "Twelve Lords a-leaping." The British also have their House of Lords and, perhaps more importantly for our legal blogging comrades across the sea, their Law Lords. For my part, I'm partial to that other British creation, the Time Lords of Doctor Who.

The Lord of Misrule proves an apt theme for gathering the best recent legal blogging. Charon's post is tremendously far-ranging, tremendously readable, and tremendously... tremendous. Topics include discovering how immoral one can be and still be licensed to practice law, documenting the erosion of civil liberties in Britain (and possibly a turn to popular voting in meting-out criminal punishments), and finding problem-solving Pollyannas in crisis times.

After producing such an epic Blawg Review, Charon is no doubt happy to pass the torch to next week's host, Susan Cartier-Liebel. Those of us who enjoy his blogging (at his Charon QC blog and at his Insitelaw Magazine site), his podcasting and West London Man social satires, and his Twittering are just happy that our prolific Lord of Misrule isn't likely to do a Lord Lucan anytime soon.

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