I relish good, old-fashioned public shamings as much as the next casual sadist. I don't know when I've last enjoyed anything quite so much as I've enjoyed watching Rupert Murdoch confusedly looking around for the walls of privilege that have hitherto sheltered him from indignant politicians and pie-throwing ne'er-do'wells.
But I worry that I enjoy it too much. I could watch it all day. I could read this constantly-updated list of outraged comments in the New York Times for the next month. While it's reassuring that I don't feel giddily gleeful when I read about factory closures and food shortages, it's nevertheless disconcerting to realize how mean I am. I would like to be coolly disapproving, or restrainedly censorious. The fact that I am more like one of those people who used to bring a packed lunch to watch a public hanging than I am like one of those people who would have denigrated the public hanging and stayed home to read a morally-improving book is concerning. Of course, I don't actually want to kill Rupert Murdoch. I'm not blood-thirsty. I just want him to be subjected to a level of punishment commensurate with his evilness. And to watch while that happens.
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