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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

# Posted 11:40 AM by Patrick Belton  

NO MORE BOWING and curtseying to the Royal Box by players at Wimbledon's Centre Court (except for the rare occasions royals are actually present). Seems a bit sad, actually, somehow. One of the more important roles of the monarchy and the traditions that surround it seems simply to be to make the country more aesthetic- this along with, and instrumental to, its functions in establishing continuity with Britain's national past, and providing a ceremonial emblem of British statehood who is above politics. Thus it is paradigmatic of Bagehot's "dignified" parts of the state - existing to excite the devotion and loyalty of the people, rather than actually to govern (this latter being the work generally of the Commons - the constitution's "efficient" part). In fact, go read Bagehot's The English Constitution here whenever you have a free evening - his arguments are lively and his style extraordinarily memorable. (Although of course I defer to Josh on constitutional book recs...)

In other sports news (and betcha didn't know neo-cons did sports commentary, eh?), some Iraqis in Najaf utterly decimated a platoon of marines: in soccer, where they defeated a side of combat-boot-clad marines by a score of 7-0. But in true Arab fashion, the Najaf Poets and their supporters were gracious hosts: "They were cheering for the Iraqi side, but they were also rooting for us, because we were getting beaten pretty bad," Major Mark DeVito told Reuters.
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