By Isaac Butler
Another day, another step in the constant beat-down of the Oxfordians and their absurd film "Anonymous." This is the question I have when reading these counterarguments: Does it work?
It seems to me that crankpot theories, lies and misinformation are all incredibly hard to fight. Look at the Global Warming issue, or Creationism. The Oxford Thesis is the Global Warming Denialism (or the Intelligent Design Theory) of English Arts and Letters. And I don't really know if taking the arguments of the other side seriously enough to refute them-- as opposed to dismiss them out of hand-- is wholly worthwhile.
We are no longer living in an age where facts seem to matter as much. Very few people are convinced by data and information, because there's always someone else coming up with (or manufacturing) contrary data and information. We've reached the point now where Republican Presidential candidate's consistently lie-- not misrepresent, not prevaricate about but brazenly lie-- about the facts surrounding their positions and the reality of the problems Americans face during debates. And our institutions-- politics, the media, democracy-- are fundamnetally incapable of dealing with it.
As we learned during the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, The press has been hobbled by he-said she-said faux objectivity. Now, with Anonymous, I worry that we've reached the point where one side can claim something without a shred of actual positive evidence that the Earl of Oxford was Shakespeare, and we're expected to take it seriously enough to not just laugh at them and tell them to fuck themselves.
This is why I prefer Playgoer's approach, which is to challeng the Oxfordians to actually make a case that relies on evidence. It's telling that the only commenter to try this instead tries to give him a reading list as long as his arm.