Thursday, August 31, 2017


Linguistic McCarthyism by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Most Americans recoil from the statue-smashers and name-changers. ‘The Bard,” William Shakespeare, had a healthy distrust of the sort of mob hysteria typified by our current epidemics of statue-busting and name-changing. In Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar — a story adopted from Plutarch’s Parallel Lives — a frenzied Roman mob, in furor over the assassination of Julius Caesar, encounters on the street a poet named Cinna. The innocent poet was not the conspiratorial assassin Cinna, but unfortunately shared a name with the killer. The terrified poet points out to the mob this case of mistaken identity: “I am Cinna the poet.” The mob answers: “Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses! . . . It is no matter, his name’s Cinna!”

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