Monday, February 9, 2009

why is Stanley Fish the only opinionist in the NYT who focuses on academic matters? He is allowed to set forth his rather conservative view of higher education unchallenged. This lack of hegelian focusing allows him to roam far and wide cherry-picking examples from post-60s university culture that distress him rather than focusing on more meaningful issues.


Senor Beavis said...

Non-compete clause?

Because the Ivy League would use their alumni might to strongarm the NYT out of business otherwise?

I have no idea. Happy birthday our mom!

Wade Garrett said...

He does cherry pick rather blatantly - higher education is always going to have its charlatans and poseurs and ridiculous people, but so does every profession, and you don't see Stanley Fish-like editorials about many other professions except perhaps for politics and investment banking. Fish's tone is off-putting to me - he writes as if the public at large should be making a bigger deal out of every non-scandal he discusses. Maybe its not just that big of a deal.

Furthermore, the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff is one of the more important skills one learns in college, and if we removed all of the characters Fish complains about, students would graduate from college in a much different state.

Elaine said...

Except for articles on genetically testing your 2-year-old for what sport he would be best at and on where to find the best taco stand in the Hamptons, nothing on the NYTimes gnaws at my soul like the fact that it gives precious column space to Stanley Meriweather Fish. (I'd like him more if that were his real name.) He is a caricature of the worst kind of old school academic: pedantic, self-important, out-of-touch. Two classic articles: 1) when he listened to country music apparently for the first time because he was driving somewhere out of NPR's range and decided to apply close reading to country music tropes. 2) when he went to Starbucks apparently for the first time and philosophized on the current state of consumer culture. His contribution to the editorial page is about as useful as Bill Kristol's.

Paul Smecker said...

why does anyone who get column space at the times get column space at the times? they all suck. it's a completely debased form of writing. even krugman, who does not suck, sucks in his column. it gives you just enough room to cherrypick and/or write something obvious/boring.