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Notes & Comments

December 2011

The writing on the wall

On the overreaction to rude graffiti at Williams.

The naughty graffiti at Pompeii have entertained archaeologists and students of the classical world at least since the city’s rediscovery in the eighteenth century. Before that, when it was a thriving watering hole for rich Romans, the lewd drawings and inscriptions presumably entertained the denizens of that cosmopolitan outpost as they went about their daily lives.

It’s a good thing they didn’t try any of that randy badinage at a modern American liberal arts college. At those citadels of moral sensitivity, they would be likely to find themselves—as a still-unknown perpetrator of graffiti at Williams College finds himself—hounded as a social pariah and the object of an article in The Huffing-puffington Post titled “Violent Hate S ...

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 December 2011, on page 3

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