i want to express my admiration for ian mckewan, who gave the commencement address at dickinson yesterday. he only had one theme: a foursquare defense of free expression, including the right to offend. he directly criticized the people who protested charlie hebdo getting an award from pen. now, my colleagues with some reluctance stood up in their caps and gowns and hoods and applauded when he was done. but i can't imagine that most of them actually would agree with him when push comes to shove. like most academic institutions, we're beset by pc prisses and baby censors of various sorts.