Time Essay: Back to Reticence!

Cultivated to a high degree by art and science, we are civilized to the point where we are overburdened with all sorts of social propriety and decency.

—Immanuel Kant, 1784

Jimmy Connors does not labor under Kant's burden. Sometimes when the tennis gets intense, Connors grabs his crotch and shakes it for the crowd. He pelts the linesmen and judges with rotten language. He shoots his finger. The umpire usually responds with the flustered and ineffectual dismay of a curate who has discovered the servants copulating in his study.

This sort of court behavior,...

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