Record Staff Lists Top 5 / Bottom 5 of 2005


Top 5 Ancient Greek Battles of 2005By Karl Chang

Mantineia 418BCThe great hoplite land Battle that didn’t. Sort of like the little choo-choo train that could. Except a ‘battle’ instead of a ‘choo-choo train’ and ‘didn’t’ instead of ‘could.’ Mantinea could have spelled the end of Spartan land military supremacy and heralded the rise of an Argive alliance. With Athens’ help, Argos, Mantinea and Elis could have established a new democratic alliance on the Peloponnese. Instead, the Spartan victory reaffirmed Spartan military dominance and discouraged the Athenians from directly engaging the Spartans.

Marathon 490BCHoplites phalanxes do it better. That’s just one of the lessons of the Battle of Marathon in 490BC. West smashed East in the first recorded case of an infantry charge. The Athenians and Plataeans, outnumbered 2 to 1, managed to rout the Persians, killing 6,400 while only losing 192. Suck it Darius.

Salamis 480BCI know it’s controversial to include a second battle from the Persian Wars, but Salamis has to make it into the top 5. The destruction of the Persian fleet at Salamis was not only vital in ending the Persian expedition and deterring future direct Persian intervention in Greek affairs, but it also validated Themistocles’ policy of naval power for the Athenians, and foreshadowed Athens’ empire in the Aegean.

Leuctra 371 BCBefore there were gay cowboys, there were Theban elite heavy infantry fighting in 150 boyfriend pairs. Leuctra was more than just Lawrence v. Boetia, it represented an innovation in military tactics – the use of a fifty deep hoplite phalanx, and it was the first time Spartan hoplites were defeated in a classic phalanx versus phalanx collision on the battlefield. The genius of Epaminondas, the brashness of Pelopidas, the personality behind this battle plus its historical significance, heralding the end of Spartan dominance and the rise of Thebes, make this the 2nd top Ancient Greek battle of 2005.

Chaeroneia 338BCPhilip of Macedon is kind of a dick. That’s just one of the lessons we can draw from the battle of Chaeroneia. A rag-tag alliance of free city-states goes up against an authoritarian bent on imperial domination. Unfortunately, the Force wasn’t with Demosthenes, and he couldn’t quite hit the exhaust port of the Death Star that was the professional Macedonian army. This famed battle marked the end of Greek freedom and showcased the military prowess of Philip’s son Alexander, who it turns out, was a Great dick. If not for Chaeroneia, then maybe we wouldn’t be subject to bad movies and books chronicling the misadventures of this genocidal drunk.


Top 5 Dangers of Facebook.comby Anna Brook

1. Having a helpful cousin forward pictures you posted from a recent party to your grandparents

2. Getting poked incessantly by someone who shares your last name and thinks that’s incredibly cool

3. Missing the most important point in class because you were too busy writing on a “wall”

4. Being associated with groups such as “I don’t eat meat, but I sure do love the bone”

5. Looking like a total loser because no one writes on your wall


Top 5 Perks to Having an Identical Twinby Mabel Hwang

1. Having conversations with random people because you’re too lazy to explain to them that you’re not your twin sister

2. Using a picture of your sister as photo ID because you can’t find your own

3. Watching people amuse themselves in identifying all the similarities and differences in your appearances

4. Hearing all the creative ways people try to avoid the simple question “are you twins?” because they’re so scared that you might not be and become offended

5. Wondering when they’ll finally recruit us for those Doublemint or Pizza Hut commercials


2005’s Top 5 Country Music Shout-Outs to Jesus of Nazarethby Mitch Webber

5. The preacher came by Sunday / said he missed me at the service/He told me Jesus loves me / But I’m not sure I deserve it /’Cause the faithful man that you loved / Is nowhere to be found /Since they took all that he believed / And laid it in the ground.(Alan Jackson, “Monday Morning Church”)

4. Oh, Jesus take the wheel / Oh, I’m letting go/So give me one more chance / Save me from this road I’m on.(Carrie Underwood, “Jesus Take the Wheel”)

3. Everybody just wants to get high / sit and watch a perfect world go by /We’re all looking for love and meaning in our lives /We follow the roads that lead us /To drugs or Jesus(Tim McGraw, “Drugs or Jesus”)

2. You say I should stay with you / that Jesus forgives you /You pray I will / but I won’tThe difference is, Jesus loves you / I don’t.(Danielle Peck, “I Don’t”)

1. If I Was Jesus / I’d have some real long hair /A robe and some sandals / is exactly what I’d wear /I’d be the guy at the party / turnin’ water to wine /Yeah me and my disciples / we’d have a real good time.(Toby Keith, “If I was Jesus”*)

* From 2003, but so catchy I still can’t get it out of my head.


Bottom 5 Dr. Phil Episodes of 2005by Justin Shanes

1. This is a trick category

2. There are no bad episodes of Dr. Phil

3. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or has atrocious taste

4. Dr. Phil handfed me chocolate-covered strawberries in a dream once

5. It was white chocolate because he is classy like that


Top 5 Albums of the Yearby Geoff Brounell

1. Sleater-Kinney, “The Woods”

2. Antony and the Johnsons, “I am a Bird Now”

3. Stephen Malkmus, “Face the Truth”

4. Andrew Bird, “The Mysterious Production of Eggs”

5. The Joggers, “With a Cap and a Cane”


Top 5 Films of 2005by Matt Justus

This past year was a great year for films. Sadly, as many of you are painfully aware, our schedule as law students doesn’t leave us much time to get out to the theater (though apparently we have a bit more time than prior generations did; Professor Dershowitz quoted a former dean of HLS as saying “Movies are very important here at Harvard Law School. Choose the one you see this year very carefully.”). As a result, my list here can’t be considered comprehensive by any means. However, all of the following have my highest recommendation:

1. Munich – Remember when I wrote that review of The Terminal at the beginning of last semester where I said that Steven Spielberg might have lost his touch? I’m happily eating those words now. By taking a closer look at the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics and their bloody aftermath, the film makes a powerful statement about the futility of violence. The last shot is a painful reminder of the universality of his message.

2. King Kong – Peter Jackson further cements himself as the master of the blockbuster with this film. The action sequences are unparalleled; if you ever wanted to know what it would be like if two Tyrannosaurus Rex fell off a cliff, but continued to attempt to eat someone for another several minutes, watch this movie. What makes Jackson’s films so successful, however, is his ability to establish characters that the audience really cares about (he is helped in this respect by an outstanding cast including Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, and Andy Serkis in an especially impressive performance as Kong).

3. Crash – Roger Ebert called it one of the few films with the potential to make its viewers better people, and that description isn’t far off. An all-star cast comes together to craft a series of racial tensions carried to the boiling point. Watching this film, it is hard not to reevaluate the perceptions and preconceptions that we take for granted.

4. Sin City – On the other end of the spectrum from Crash is this film, a beautifully-shot, straight-up film-noir-tastic adaptatio
n of the independent comic book series. The movie is over the top in all kinds of ways and filled with hard-boiled private detectives, crooked cops, sinister politicians, and demented serial killers. Chances are that if you think you might like it, you’ll love it.

5. Walk the Line – Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon give Golden Globe-winning performances as Johnny and June Carter Cash in this powerful biopic (any film that makes me compliment Witherspoon must be good). Though the trajectory of the film isn’t the most original, its mood and the power of the performances slug the viewer in the gut and remind him what Cash’s music was about.


2005’s Top Five Jobs to Get When You Fail Out of Law Schoolby Katie Mapes

5. Chili’s Restaurant Fajita Designer: Someone has to design the numerous new menu items every month. Why not you? “Hmm, this mushroom jack is inspired, but what it needs is bacon.”

4. Teach for [Local Municipality]: Apparently Teach for America is actually pretty competitive, but there are always second tier city specific programs. Surely your Ivy League political science degree qualifies you to teach high school civics, right? Right?

3. Finally write your screenplay/novel/hit television series: For extra bonus points, utilize your terminated law school career for extra bonus points. “The lithe young law student strolled into the library, flipping her long raven hair over her shoulder.”

2. Rumor has it Latin America is currently experiencing a desperate beach bum shortage.

1. Across America, Donald Trump is searching for the nation’s top business talent. That’s right, you could be the next . . .Apprentice.


Top 5 Favorite Songs of 2005by Justin Shanes

1. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl

2. Fiona Apple – O’ Sailor

3. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel The Illinoise!

4. Animal Collective – Did You See The Words

5. Gorillaz – Dirty Harry

(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)