Archive for July, 2009

Links gone wild!

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

A pair of worthy voices today: To begin I’ll offer this essay in the New York Times from law professor Stanley Fish, who counts Duke University among his academic postings. Fish is a fellow with whom I hardly ever agree, but like anyone with a truly supple mind he’s capable of surprising readers (or annoying them; see below). In this case he rises to the defense of both Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford, two high-profile Republican who’ve endured much bad press lately. Fish argues that their explanations for recent events can, and should, be taken at face value — essentially, that their cigars are just cigars, and that it’s a mistake to plumb for deeper meaning. Be sure to read the comments, though. Lots of Times readers seem to want their attitudes certified, not challenged.

Also in the Times was this piece from David Brooks, who articulates a point I’d been pondering for a while. It’s fine to disagree with the course set by President Obama (and God knows I have endless quibbles with what he’s doing), but it’s nice to see someone bring dignity to the job. When it comes to dignified comportment, Clinton was a disaster, of course, and Bush wasn’t much of an improvement. I give Obama credit for, as Brooks says, conducting himself in a way that “may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation.”

I read about this video while thumbing through Sports Illustrated at the gym recently. A college softball player hits a home run (her first) in a tournament elimination game, but hurts her leg while running the bases. Two players from the other team decide to carry her around the base path, carefully lowering the injured girl so she can touch each base with her foot. And they did so knowing it would end their season. It’s true that how you play the game matters most.