I’ve just returned from Oxford, England, where everything is twice as expensive as it is here, where the weather is crappy and most of the food tastes like boiled cardboard. That said, I still want to take a room in one of those lopsided little houses built in the 12th century and stay for the rest of my life. It’s something I’ve felt fleetingly during previous visits to Europe, but, this time, the feeling was more pronounced. At Oxford, I had the sense of being truly in Western Civilization, with the added poignancy that this might be a last and dying outpost.

 

As everyone knows, Western civilization has its faults — which I will return to discuss later — but it’s hard to think ill of it when you stride through the cobbled streets of Oxford. There you… More…