Monday, December 22, 2014
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   Ten years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, transformed Great Britain into a massive spasm of emotion—something Time magazine’s Michael Elliott approvingly puts down to Britain’s emergence as a “modern” nation--Elliott is beginning to wonder whether it was really such a good idea to trade “the virtues--the Roman virtues, an earlier generation would have called them--of restraint, stoicism and quiet, private mourning” for Venting Unlimited. Here’s his conclusion: 

    “I thought modern Britain showed the best of itself in the week after Diana died: a feeling and a compassion and an openness to emotional expression that it had for too long kept bottled up. But perhaps--as stock markets stumble and wars drag on--these are sterner times than the mid-1990s, ones when the virtues of reason, reserve and order become apparent. You can't fuel a society on flowers alone.”

    Hmmm. Are these thoughts the sober stirrings of a revitalized appreciation of the virtue of restraint? Not exactly. The...

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