Cord Jefferson looks at some great Pompeian graffiti (where can we get the Latin for this, short of having a copy of the CIL in one’s study?) and comes to the (inescapable) conclusion that people are just as dumb, sex-obsessed, filthy-minded, and lowbrow as the worst television or rap music or brainless teenagers you can find today. The only answer, in my mind, is a kind of Chaucerian, Rabelaisian, Shakespearian, Petronian love of the craziness of it all – a zest for life as it is, an appetite for it, and a loosening of the struggle to always be cleaning up what God hath made in us a mess. Reading through the graffiti is very pleasant, as absurd as it is delightful. For many of these people, these lines are all the literary monument they leave – something like “Secundus likes to screw boys.” This is very consoling somehow.