Monday, March 10, 2008

Touché Mr. Fish

Responding to my earlier criticisms, Stanley Fish uses his current column to claim that... he wasn't making substantive arguments at all! Instead he's "making arguments about arguments." I've been foolishly playing into his game all along. And to think, he portrayed himself as a bumbling old man in that article about the difficulty of shopping at Starbuck's just to throw me off track. He writes, "Is it the best thing to do? Is it good for the country? These are real questions, but they are not questions I take up..." And why would you? That would be too easy.

Fish taunts me, "I was motivated not by a belief in God — which I may or may not have, you’ll never know," and I am stung. What can you say to a writer who admits, "Given a choice between being trivial and being ethical in any direction whatsoever, I’ll take trivial"? Fish continues, "...a reader of a typical “Think Again” column will have no idea at all where I stand on the issues that catch my attention, because at least for the length of the column (as opposed to real life, which is much longer), I am agnostic on those issues and interested only in the way they are playing out in our present cultural moment." Could it be that he's done it? Has he found a way OUTSIDE the meta-critique and transcended to supramodernity? Given his newfound powers of righteous rhetoricism it may now be proper to think of Fish as a sort of columnist demigod. I will have to reconsider my strategies.

You win this round Stanley.

1 comment:

Little Earl said...

You've really hit the jackpot with this guy, haven't you?