Monday, August 22, 2005

The fine art of bullshit

Article in last week's New Yorker:

Bullshitting can involve an element of artistry; it offers, as Frankfurt acknowledges, opportunities for “improvisation, color, and imaginative play.” When the bullshitting is done from an ulterior motive, like the selling of a product or the manipulation of an electorate, the outcome is likely to be a ghastly abuse of language. When it is done for its own sake, however, something delightful just might result. The paradigm here is Falstaff, whose refusal to be enslaved by the authority of truth is central to his comic genius. Falstaff's merry mixture of philosophy and bullshit is what makes him such a clubbable man, far better company than the dour Wittgenstein. We should by all means be severe in dealing with bullshitters of the political, the commercial, and the academic varieties. But let's not banish plump Jack.

At last - someone who understands.

7 comments:

meditativerose said...

What? Were you sitting at your blog till the very last moment before your flight?? Have image of major hindi movie scene ... your friends (I don't envy them at all) trying to drag you away from the computer as you hold on for dear life ... nahin .. yeh judaai sahi nahin jayegi ;)

Falstaff said...

No, no, nothing like that - it was all very civilised. We sat down, talked it over, decided that we needed a break - that I would see other blogs in the time being and she would allow comments from other people.

meditativerose said...

Wasn't that the conversation you had with my blog?? At least that's what she told me ... can't trust anyone!!!

Falstaff said...

Okay, okay, I admit it - but it's not my fault if you aren't woman enough to satisfy your blog. Someone has to step in. And you could hardly wish for someone kinder and gentler and more considerate than me now could you?

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Where did you find it? Interesting read »

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