Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Trouble With Harry

The reason I’ve taken off after Harry Shearer (I envision a couple of bantamweights, in those outsized billowy shorts, one peppering the other with ineffective shots to the body in a flurry in the corner) is because I want to affect his thinking and writing.

Because I’m tired of our best minds thinking and talking and writing like idiots.

Here’s how they do it: by giving the opposing arguments absolutely no respect. By remaining unrelentingly, self-consciously ignorant about those arguments’ details, depth, heft, whatever.

And by taking every opportunity to magnify the moral weaknesses in their opponents’ arguments and character, resulting in the implication – which they gladly follow – that it is in fact immoral to take seriously those who disagree with them.

I expect it out of the Star-Tribune editorial staff. I do not want it out of Harry Shearer.

Ah, there’s the bell, sending me bouncing back to my worried corner man.