Will Cleans Fish

If you stay tuned, or check back later, you will discover that I am on the verge of doing something I don’t usually do: criticizing George Will. (Unusual, but not unheard of; see here.) Before getting to that post, however, I want to say in this one that one of the things we have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving day is … George Will. If he didn’t exist, in this day and age I’m not sure it would be possible to invent him, or someone like him: an erudite, deeply informed conservative scholar who writes an important, widely read column at a major newspaper with wit, style, and grace.

Today’s column is no exception, skewering as it does the scholarly skunk, Stanley Fish, as “an intellectual provocateur with a taste for safe targets” who, using “slippery language,” wraps himself in the mantle of bravery while attacking “straw men” and who, while enjoying “seeming to be naughty, tamely opts for dogmatic denial” that the twin icons on “today’s academic altar,” race and gender, pose any threats to academic integrity.

Actually, Will went a bit easy on Fish. For some other points he could have made, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Say What?