In the current (October) issue of Vanity Fair, the editor, Graydon Carter, admits to readers that he likes to give his children what are, in reality, scrapbooks about himself. He notes that his own father “was of a generation not given to retrospective chitchat,” which would mean, I suppose, that Mr. Carter Senior would have been most unlikely to have contributed to a conservative blog. The son has obviously not inherited his father’s reticence. One year he “assembled [his] 120 favorite poems, had them typeset and bound, one copy for each child.” Last year he subjected his luckless brood to a 10-CD set of, good grief, “the 225 songs that had essentially formed the soundtrack to [his] life”, one of which is, apparently, The Internationale, that lugubrious hymn to mass murder and revolution.
Such an ordeal would be highly unlikely to occur in the not noticeably musical Stuttaford family. If such a nightmare ever had been one of our traditions, however, the briefest contribution would have come from my paternal grandmother, a woman who went through life claiming to recognize only two tunes – Abide With Me and God Save The Queen. Granny would not have needed a 10-CD set : one good old 45 RPM single would have done just fine.