Stefan Beck, writing in The New Criterion's Armavirumque, contrasts the wide outcry to recent comments made at Harvard against the teapot-sized tempest over New York Press's juvenile piece anticipating the pope's "funny" demise, and sees the death of outrage:
Why is it that things that are offensive don't generate the same outrage, in degree or in kind, as things that aren't meant to offend at all? My suspicion is that genuine outrage is seldom felt nowadays. Experience has taught us that there is no insult or provocation so great that it will not rear its head sooner or later--and so when it does, its effect is lessened. It's a shame to be deprived of one's moral gag reflex, to be exhausted, indifferent, or despondent in the face of what one should vigorously despise.Read the whole thing. If Armavirumque's oppressively small font size causes eyestrain, go to the View menu in Internet Explorer and use Text Zoom. This is one of the best-written op-eds slumming as a blog post that I've seen in a while, and it makes an important point.