You know, over the months that TimesSelect has limited access to its key writers, I've started to skip over columns as I scan through the paper in the morning, making quick decisions about which articles to read. Maybe Maureen Dowd said something provocative, but if I can't engage with it by blogging about it, I don't even take the trouble to find out what it is.
But this Stanley Fish blog is just crazy. It's a blog. But you can't link. By having blogs, the Times seems to want to say we're cool. By making them unlinkable, it's saying we're clueless. But maybe they want their subscribers to stay out of the linked-up blogosphere and wade around in the Times blogs. Stay here, in our safe domain -- our clean, well-lit aquarium -- with our approved bloggers. Of course, we riffraff bloggers, in wanting to link, are trying to send them more readers and to get a lively conversation going.
Please, don't send us more readers. Don't talk about us.
So what did Fish say about Scalia? (Limited link.)
Antonin Scalia is the most theatrical of the present Supreme Court justices. (He’s also the best stylist, but that’s a subject for another day.)What, he picks out clothes and designs new hairdos for the other justices? I'm so ready to watch that reality show.
Oh, I know what you mean.
Anyway, the longish column of a blog post is about Scalia's well-chewed theory of interpretation. Here's a taste, which I've picked out for a particular reason -- see if you notice it:
If the Constitution’s meaning is fixed and unchanging, asks Paul Greenberg, a columnist for the Joplin Globe in Missouri, how do you explain the fact that it has been “subject to different interpretations over the years?” Easy. Justice Scalia’s thesis is not that the Constitution’s meaning will be perspicuous and agreed on by everyone. His thesis is that the Constitution has a meaning. The history of its interpretation is a history of successive efforts to specify what that meaning is....Notice? He didn't provide links! He even quoted a specific blogger and didn't link to him!
Is Justice Scalia saying (a third question posed by blogger Wayne Besen) that “American jurisprudence has not evolved in two centuries?” No, he is identifying the jurisprudential goal, which is to figure out what the Constitution means.
What can you say about this purported blog? It's not linkable, and it doesn't link. It's also a longish column, essentially an op-ed, on a well-worn topic. It's called "Think Again."
Perhaps the Times could think again about what a blog is.