The day I decided to never read Camille Paglia again

“I like Sarah Palin, and I’ve heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is — and quite frankly, I think the people who don’t see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn’t speak the King’s English — big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist.”

The whole article is here.  But honestly, if you’ve ever read Paglia before, you’ve already read this.

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5 Responses to The day I decided to never read Camille Paglia again

  1. JimPanzee says:

    I will not read this. It is a trap. Paglia has made it clear on countless occasions that she is a buffoon–the kind of buffoon that right-thinking people mimic when they want to lampoon honest intellectuals. She is flagrantly intellectually dishonest at every turn and only says things to inspire response. She has been able to leverage her position as a “feminist” and “liberal” so that her obviously anti-feminist and anti-liberal messages are read by the audience most likely to have a violent reaction to what she says. If Camille Paglia catered to the right like Ann Coulter did, the left would dismiss her without thinking twice, but because she purports to be one of their own, the outrage at her shenanigans has outlived that of her peers on the right. Good for her, she found a way to market her ridiculous insensitivity to the thinking life. But she isn’t and hasn’t been worthy of my frustration in a long time. I think that your sentiment here is reflective of the longer arc of her career. Her weekly column in Salon did more damage to the longevity of her life as public intellectual than any book or teaching gig ever could have. It was one thing when we would periodically read her essays in the LA Times or NYT and think “Man, that’s weird for a liberal to say.” But seeing her badmouth honest liberalism and dismiss progressivism every week in Salon has made it clear that her sentiments are not, if they have ever been, in line with liberals.

    Humbug to Camille Paglia!

  2. Yeah, it’s neat how she’s managed to embed herself in with the people she’s most likely to enrage on a regular basis. But more than that, she’s also completely out of her mind. I heartily endorse the efforts of most iconoclasts, but Paglia turned honest iconoclasm into an artform. And not good art, but something like “Piss Christ” crossed with pooping-in-public-style performance art. Her main MO (especially when it comes to pop culture, but also in the realm of politics) is to celebrate something that most right-thinking people justly despise. And rather than make a decent, coherent case for her subject, she instead just strings together lots of adjectives and floats one or two extra-retarded metaphors. Reduce the quote I cited above to its essence and you have this:

    “I like Palin, heartily smart, people who don’t are stupid fuzzy worn-out; powerful clarity. She rippling be-bop saxophonist.”

    Of course her reasons for (allegedly) liking the much more likeable Obama are equally bizarre. He reminds her of a surfer… breezy sunny graceful etc. Goddammit I just can’t read this crap any more.

  3. Shae says:

    “Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.”

    Wha..? The Third World is the last place that needs pro-life.

    I like to read Paglia, but yeah, she comes up with some real doozies.

  4. “I think it also showed, though, that certainly as a Washington outsider and not one to just I guess play even the campaigning media game that is played, in just repeating, perhaps, memorized lines in a, in a interview, that’s not me.”

    Mmmm, the sweet sound of bebop.

  5. Ryan says:

    “Mmmm, the sweet sound of bebop.”

    As played by epileptic geese, perhaps.

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