Friday, July 31, 2015

Paglia's Recursive Regurgitation

It was a long time ago that I noticed that the pseudo-feminist Camille Paglia's biggest fan base seemed to be the, then, middle-aged, college educated men who made decisions in the media.  Some of whom had any respect I had for them shattered on the rock of her cultural cliches.   Christopher Lydon was one of those whose lack of attire I had to admit to upon hearing what he had to say about her.  And it wasn't just him, it was a large part of the post-literate littérateurs who are faking it through a career as our post-literate intellectual class.  There are real intellectuals but they seldom get into the media because those who run the media don't think there's a market for it.  They are more likely to be found at a land-grant university, a small college, working in some out of the way place than in the media as it comes from New York, Boston, Washington or LA.

In the case of Camille Paglia the persistence of total bilge regurgitated for a quarter of a century, stringing together names, current and topical ones,  artificial idols of the pop industry, mixing all of that with names dropped in from old Western Civ textbooks and your World Lit anthology and inserting the frequently misreported crap from the corporate media and you've pretty much got what her entire act consists of.  The woman is a total fraud spouting back at the corporate media the same crap they spout mixed in with enough superficial name dropping to make the upper escalations in that media feel superior because they know the names - though they clearly don't know enough to know that she doesn't know any more about them than they do -  and you've got a perfect model of life among our non-intellectual untellectuals.

But why should I go into her again when Molly Ivins summed up this situation perfectly 25 years ago.

What we have here, fellow citizens, is a crassly egocentric, raving twit. The Norman Podhoretz of our gender. That this woman is actually taken seriously as a thinker in New York intellectual circles is a clear sign of decadence, decay, and hopeless pinheadedness. Has no one in the nation’s intellectual capital the background and ability to see through a web of categorical assertions? One fashionable line of response to Paglia is to claim that even though she may be fundamentally off-base, she has “flashes of brilliance.” If so, I missed them in her oceans of swill.

One of her latest efforts at playing enfant terrible in intellectual circles was a peppy essay for Newsday, claiming that either there is no such thing as date rape or, if there is, it’s women’s fault because we dress so provocatively. Thanks, Camille, I’ve got some Texas fraternity boys I want you to meet.

There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “Poor dear, it’s probably PMS.” Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “What an asshole.”

Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia, Sheesh, what an asshole.

No comments:

Post a Comment