Re: I Continue To Love Camille Paglia

1

Do you think we'd have a better political system if we ritually sacrificed the President after the end of his or her term?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:03 PM
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invariably ends up playing out the American president's psychodrama

"I got an A on a paper for saying that!"

and Paglia is the only person in anything near the mainstream press who takes that seriously and tries to address it with actual insight

Oh, please. Possibly Paglia's projecting her own psychodrama? Or playing out with the audience playing some odd role--creepily attentive father?--to the precocious (not to say "mature") child? She'd be a diva if she had the talent to back up the attitude.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:03 PM
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First thoughts: the letter writer to whom Paglia responds uses 'everybody knows' a lot to mean 'what I believe', and seems to subscribe to a weird theory of personality traits and politics (spin is unique to the Clintons?). And then Paglia conflates 'a Clinton' with Hillary, so we're left with a strange conclusion: beta males flock to both Clintons because Hillary is a drill sergeant with weak brothers?

The hell?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:04 PM
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2.---Paglia certainly had a weird relationship with Harold Bloom.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:06 PM
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I genuinely loathe her.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:07 PM
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Don't feed the trolls, people. Even if they own the feed store.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:08 PM
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You may now bore me with your Paglia hatred.

How about we skip the middleman and go straight to Sorrowful Blogger of Constant Trolling Ogged hatred?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:09 PM
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Ogged, we recognize your desperate need for love anywhere you can find it. None of us will stand in your way, regardless of how we feel about Ms. Paglia. Maybe the make-a-wish foundation will get you an audience with Camille.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:10 PM
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5 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:11 PM
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Our Blogger of Perpetual Trolldom.

Seriously, what makes you think this was an actual analysis rather than the product of make-believe hour at the sanitarium?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:12 PM
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I agree that the male staff who Hillary attracts are slick, geeky weasels or rancid, asexual cream puffs. (One of the latter, the insufferable Mark Penn, just got the heave-ho after he played Hillary for a patsy with the Colombian government.)

I can buy that part.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:13 PM
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what makes you think this was an actual analysis

I'm saying it doesn't matter. It has the form of an actual analysis.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:14 PM
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For a weedy beta-male loser who would not naturally succeed in a common male-type hierarchy, Mark Penn's not done badly for himself.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:15 PM
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12: This has the form of a meaningful blog comment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:16 PM
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Perhaps a pet peeve, but "entrepreneurial," after the passing of the era of striped shirts, power ties and slick '80s hair, and "enterprising," as applied to the Royal Navy of wooden ships and iron men from Sir Francis Drake to Lord Cochrane, are not the same goddamned thing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:16 PM
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I can't believe I let myself get trolled that easily. I feel shame.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:16 PM
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Which is to say that she tries to articulate (overheatedly and intemperately, to be sure) real people's real emotional reactions to the candidates.

Or she just has a random insult generator. "Rancid, asexual creampuff" reminds me of nothing more than a fascist octopus singing its swan song. I honestly don't believe that's her real reaction to anyone, including Mark Penn. What about Penn strikes her as particularly asexual, or makes him look like a push-over (which is what cream puff means, I think)?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:17 PM
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I'm saying it doesn't matter. It has the form of an actual analysis.

Ogged celebrates Gresham's Law?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:17 PM
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I got a kick out of Sexual Personae when it came out -- Harold Bloom on drugs, man. Some good stuff in there.

Her political stuff is frequently stupid, but is it any stupider than, oh, Chris Matthews gets? No. Is it almost always more entertaining? Yes.

One can appreciate Paglia for what she is without railing against her for what she isn't.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:17 PM
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I think a definition of trolling that includes "I know you all disagree, but I continue to think you're all missing the point" is overbroad.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:18 PM
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What's Camille's BJ policy wrt young, good-looking, exotic guys?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:18 PM
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instead of "analyzing" "character" in the pre-packaged concepts of the rest of the media ("bold" "tough" "flip-flopper" "fibber" etc.)

Careful, you almost used the "n" word.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:19 PM
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Her political stuff is frequently stupid, but is it any stupider than, oh, Chris Matthews gets?

I call shenanigans.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:19 PM
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I honestly don't believe that's her real reaction to anyone

Oh, surely you jest. I have no doubt that it is.

Mark Penn is a Karl Rove wannabe, and "rancid, asexual creampuff" sure sounds like the guy I saw on Fox last time I watched the primary returns.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:19 PM
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12: Well shit, by those standards, thinking it's about being bold, or a flip-flopper, or secret microbial colonies in your colon has the form of an actual analysis. The premises matter, urhonky.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:20 PM
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and "rancid, asexual creampuff" sure sounds like the guy I saw on Fox last time I watched the primary returns

Yeah, I thought it was a great description.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:22 PM
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a definition of trolling that includes "I know you all disagree, but I continue to think you're all missing the point" is overbroad.

Maybe. But, cripes: Which is to say that she tries to articulate (overheatedly and intemperately, to be sure) real people's real emotional reactions to the candidates. That's insight into the candidate's psychodrama?

I'm not sure that you had a point. Maybe the form of a point.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:22 PM
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While I do prefer my creampuffs non-rancid, I don't think a sexual creampuff is quite my cup of teapuff.

Only one sentence beginning with "As a..." and it doesn't come until page 4! Camille is off her game.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:22 PM
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The premises matter

Right, which is why thinking about whether people are asexual, or very masculine, or have weird parents, is exactly the kind of thing I appreciate her for.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:22 PM
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Something about the way Karl Rove and Mark Penn behave on television makes you think "they have no sexual desires"? Is it that they're not fucking someone while you're watching?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:23 PM
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Which is to say that she's at least speaking a language that I think can go somewhere, unlike all the other analysis of character that we hear.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:23 PM
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Something about the way Karl Rove and Mark Penn behave on television makes you think "they have no sexual desires"?

No, it's that they have no sexual charisma.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:24 PM
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Oh, come on. We all know that the only reason the English fleet got where they were was the weather. Paglia is going to lose Obama the Spanish-speaking vote.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:25 PM
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15. There is not a moment to be lost


Posted by: Capt. Jack Aubrey | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:25 PM
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Ogged turns to Paglia when Mickey Kaus won't return his calls.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:25 PM
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which is why thinking about whether people are asexual, or very masculine, or have weird parents, is exactly the kind of thing I appreciate her for.

What about what kind of tree they would be, if they could choose?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:25 PM
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What Ogged is telling y'all is that, if Paglia writes about McCain, she is not going to call him a "maverick" and then act like she's figured him out or something.

More likely (here I invent), she'll speculate on whether the North Vietnamese sodomized him, and whether he acquired a taste for it, literally or metaphorically. Which, however unjustified and gross, is at least a more interesting way of thinking about John McCain.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:26 PM
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You people are hopeless, but you know what? I accept you just the way you are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:26 PM
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34: The lesser of two weevils! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:27 PM
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Her political stuff is frequently stupid, but is it any stupider than, oh, Chris Matthews gets? No.

This strikes me as an unhelpful standard.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:27 PM
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We're filled with hope, Ogged!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:27 PM
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42: Curtailed! Because it's a dogwatch!


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:28 PM
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38: Are you honestly claiming that there's some kind of value to her claims? Beyond the fun of invective (not really her skill, tbh)? It's just made up.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:29 PM
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The real question is what distinguishes this from a Maureen Dowd column?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:29 PM
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42: One of my old employers and I would crack each other up pretty much daily with that one. Cur-tailed! Ha ha ha!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:30 PM
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I think a definition of trolling that includes "I know you all disagree, but I continue to think you're all missing the point" is overbroad.

You're smoking crack (or you don't actually know what trolling is). Trolling is seeking and provoking a response in the absence of any actual likelihood of meaningful discussion occurring. You didn't honestly think anyone was going to be swayed by this post, did you?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:30 PM
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42
42: Curtailed! Because it's a dogwatch!

You're commenting on yourself?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:31 PM
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is at least a more interesting way of thinking about John McCain

Right; maybe something along the lines that because suffering great torment has made his life worthwhile, he's bizarrely committed to foisting hardship on the rest of us, for our own good.

It's a strange standard that says everything has to be thought about in terms of policy and politics; sometimes you just want to try to describe the world you see.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:31 PM
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It's just made up.

This is exactly what analytic philosophers say about Heidegger. I continue to accept you just the way you are.

You didn't honestly think anyone was going to be swayed by this post, did you?

The night is young.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:33 PM
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Paglia needs to write a piece on the latent homoeroticism of the Aubrey- Maturin series (particular friend indeed) as it relates to McCain's misogyny (called his wife a "cunt") trigged by his castration and subsequent buggering by his North Vietnamese captors ('stabbed in the groin" is always mentioned in the story of his capture).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:35 PM
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stabbed in the groin

Uncle Toby!!!!1!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:37 PM
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Trolling is seeking and provoking a response in the absence of any actual likelihood of meaningful discussion occurring.

I'd have said you're trolling if a reasonable audience can't tell if you mean what you've written seriously or not. There's a "Made you look!" quality to it.

sometimes you just want to try to describe the world you see.

And you see the world through the eyes of a recondite Oprah?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:38 PM
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I should claim that making a verbal slip in the telling is part of that joke (which is true) and that it was therefore intentional, but that's false.

The column suggested in 50 is at least as likely to say true things as the one cited in this post. Which I haven't read, besides the excerpt.

Also, I like the current rollover text. Haven't looked for a while, don't know when it changed.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:39 PM
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50: Shut your filthy mouth, you filthy-mouthed mouth-filtherer.

About Jack and Stephen, I mean. You can say whatever you like about McCain.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:40 PM
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Trolling is seeking and provoking a response in the absence of any actual likelihood of meaningful discussion occurring.

Wittgenstein recognized this at the beginning of PI:

It is not impossible that it should fall to the lot of this work, in its poverty and in the darkness of this time, to bring light into one brain or another - but, of course, it is not likely.

Like Wittgenstein, Ogged soldiers on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:41 PM
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And more seriously, there's plenty of evidence that Paglia isn't moving past the main stereotypes: Hillary as man-eater, Clinton machine as corrupt, Clinton machine as the only campaign ever to use spin, Clinton machine as inherently combative, &c.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:42 PM
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Wittgenstein as noir.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:44 PM
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OT:
Anyone know anything to do in St. Louis? I could be stuck here a few days because AA sucks. God Damn American!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:45 PM
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Paglia isn't moving past the main stereotypes

Aw, come on, "asexual cream puffs" adds enough to be qualitatively different.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:45 PM
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58: I have a whole book here from the Chamber of Commerce or the Tourism Board or whatever. Plus, I used to live there. What do you want to know?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:46 PM
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50 - What do you mean, latent?

To wives and sweethearts. May they never meet.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:47 PM
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The Anheuser-Busch tour is pretty cool, as I recall. You can see the old wooden beerworks and stuff.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:47 PM
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I did like the bit about the washing machine on spin cycle. Urhonky can't see past the bling.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:48 PM
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37 and 48: I think Paglia's history suggests that she will exactly describe McCain as a 'maverick,' and love him for it, and brook no argument.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:48 PM
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What about "rancid milquetoast marshmallows"? That's 100% insightful.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:48 PM
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60- Well, I've been at a conference the last 4 days so I haven't really seen much besides downtown near the convention center, which is mostly hotels and luxury condos for sale. If I have a day or two to kill, what should I go see? The zoo? Any museums?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:49 PM
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62, cont'd: Of course, if you're there because AA sucks, you shouldn't do the Busch tour.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:49 PM
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Oh, right, have to see the beer.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:49 PM
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Bum around Forest Park and its associated museums, maybe also go to the City Museum (it's kind of for kids, but still pretty cool), and catch a Cardinals game if they're home (though I haven't been to the new stadium and can't speak as to its quality).


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:50 PM
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Grant's Farm is neat. The historical museum underground below the Arch is nice, and the Arch itself is worth the elevator ride.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:50 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Any must-try restaurants?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:51 PM
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Oh shit! You totally have to go to the Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame! So so awesome. They have two bowling alleys, one set up by hand and stuff, like in olden tymes, and one with all the newest technology. Very fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:51 PM
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We did the arch last night, one of the companies rented out the whole museum and arch just for conference attendees.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:51 PM
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If you like snot on crackers, the local pizza's good. (Seriously, my mom is addicted to STL-style pizza. I think it's gross.) Ted Drewes is famous for their frozen custard.

I moved when I was six, so all I remember is kid stuff. But I have this guidebook here. What kind of food are you looking for?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:53 PM
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Barack Obama: Protestant Wind, or Francis Drake?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:54 PM
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Anything not outrageously expensive and near downtown, it's on the Institute. We went to Luc/as Park the other night, that was good (~$15 to $20 entrees).


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:55 PM
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There are good restaurants in the Central West End, and a pub I really like in Dogtown, but I can't think of particular names right now.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:55 PM
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Actually, it was more like $20 to $30 entrees. When you have a per diem food account but the conference provides breakfast and lunch, good things can happen.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:56 PM
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don't know when it changed

Right about here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:57 PM
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Vin de Set sounds cute, sorta French rooftop dining. vindeset.com


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:57 PM
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Balaban's in the Central West End is one of my dad's favorites. If you're really bored you, could probably hang out with my dad.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:58 PM
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Also, yes: do not eat the pizza. St. Louis pizza is repulsive.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 5:58 PM
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Thanks for the advice, heading out to dinner with the boss now. 80 sounds good if we can find our way over there. Apologies for the threadjack.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:01 PM
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Yay! I control destinies!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:02 PM
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79: I swore off that thread fast.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:03 PM
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If you like snot on crackers, the local pizza's good.

Funny.

As for 59: Aw, come on, "asexual cream puffs" adds enough to be qualitatively different.

Not different. Not much different from Ann Coulter suggesting that Edwards was gay (I forget her formulation). Oh, well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:05 PM
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I forget her formulation

"Faggot."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:12 PM
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That would have been her formulation, had not the forces of political correctness seized control of every important institution in this once great and free country.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:14 PM
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55: If we're going to quote Wittgenstein in this thread, can't we just jump to the trump-quote?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:16 PM
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89: I don't get it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:17 PM
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The only redeeming quality of Paglia's lunatic ravings is that no one of any consequence pays attention to them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:36 PM
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the Rodham DNA stick

Ironically, that's what Bill calls his penis.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:39 PM
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It has the form of an actual analysis.

I want to keep using Wittgenstein to explain ogged's bizarre love for an edgy washed-up public intellectual.

"It has the form of an actual analysis" is exactly the sort of lame thing people say when they know something is indefensible, but they like it anyway.

Otto Weinger was an extremely popular controversial public intellectual when Wittgenstein was a young man in Vienna, largely because he said outrageous things about sex and Jews and had some license to say them because he was a gay Jew himself.

Decades pass, and it ceases to be fashionable to like the self-hating misogynist homophobic anti-semitic gay Jews just because they do things like invoke "The essence of the feminine." But Wittgenstein still loves the stuff. How can he justify this to his Cambridge pals? So he tells Russell that Sex and Character is a great book, because if you negate every sentence in it, you get something really true.

I maintain that ogged's "form of a real analysis" is like this.

I will now ban myself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:43 PM
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The analytic philosophers are the last people I would expect to be sympathetic to my point. I ban and re-ban you all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:48 PM
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Oh, Paglia hatred! I just learned of her and started hating her yesterday, in fact, thanks to the wonderful book, The Terror Dream, about how all of America went insane after September 11th. Two choice quotes:

"I can't help noticing how robustly, dreamily masculine the faces of the firefighters are. These are working-class men, stoical, patroitic. They're not on Prozac or questioning their gender."
"I think that the nation is not going to be able to confront and to defeat other countries where the code of masculinity is more traditional."

(Sorry if all of this has been said before (in this thread, even). Like I said, I'm new to Paglia hatred.)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:51 PM
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Wittgenstein bans himself:

For since beginning to occupy myself with philosophy again, sixteen years ago, I have been forced to recognize grave mistakes in what I wrote in that first book [the _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_].


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:52 PM
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Paglia once claimed to support the Palestinian occupation not for moral reasons, but (roughly) because she liked bagels and lox. For real.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:52 PM
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93: Weininger.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:54 PM
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I feel like the proper response to this post would be to search for other examples of writing in the popular culture that appears to do analysis and does or doesn't succeed. If we can't find any than we concede ogged's point that the mere fact of someone going through the motions of analysis is pleasing. If we can find them, than it should be simple to prove that their faux analysis is better than Paglia's.

I have to get dinner now, but I'll look after dinner.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:54 PM
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Not much different from Ann Coulter suggesting that Edwards was gay

Except that we like Edwards.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:56 PM
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John McCain's courage under torture during the Vietnam War deserves everyone's gratitude and respect. But as a national candidate, the stumpy, uptight McCain is a lemon. Oy, that weaselly voice and those dated locutions and stilted intonations. Who needs a weird old coot with a short fuse in the White House? This isn't a smart game plan for the war on terror.

I am not generally impressed by Paglia's analysis of presidential candidates. Plus, I think she is now a global warming denialist. Her opinions seem real random.

I did like "sexual persona" when it came out though.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:57 PM
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97: She respects the bold, manly bagel and the entrepreneurial lox, but she despises the rancid kebab and the asexual baba ghanoush.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 6:59 PM
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real people's real emotional reactions to the candidates

Weak, ogged, weak. You can get real emotional reactions from real people in spades by listening to the people who call into Larry King Live, or by eavesdropping in a bar when a debate comes on the TV.

Paglia's distorted cognitive filters guarantee that her emotional reactions will be no more illuminating than those of Maureen Dowd, while her compulsive need to épater les bourgois ensures that they will be no more representative than those of Bob McManus.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:00 PM
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64: 37 and 48: I think Paglia's history suggests that she will exactly describe McCain as a 'maverick,' and love him for it, and brook no argument.

Actually on the very next page she gives a different take on The Penguin. (and on preview I see a similar sentiment from her in 101)

...McCain strikes me as a glib, irascible hot dog temperamentally unfitted for the Oval Office. The camera is McCain's enemy: The closer it comes, the more ghoulish he looks. There's way too much subtext boiling there. And McCain's weirdly retro Stepford wife is no asset. I'll take the stylish, feisty, bare-knuckles Michelle Obama for first lady any day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:01 PM
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97 is awesome. We've been on the wrong track: you're Golda Meir. Aren't you? Or Hanan Ashrawi?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:14 PM
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Dowd is the obvious comparison here. Dowd is PG-rated to Paglia's R, but that's the only difference I can see.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:14 PM
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This was funny:

Seriously, what makes you think this was an actual analysis rather than the product of make-believe hour at the sanitarium?

Her chapter about Importance of Being Earnest in Sexual Personae gives no sign of realizing that it's supposed to be funny.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:18 PM
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After you've cast your lot with the Democrats or the Republicans, the only thing left to think about is that the country (and often the whole world) invariably ends up playing out the American president's psychodrama

Leaving aside whether Paglia is 'the only person in the mainstream media ... who tries to articulate real people's real emotional reactions to the candidates' [paraphrase of ogged] -- because she's not -- it's possibly worth noting that we're a nation of knee-jerk psychologizers. Hell, someone I normally respect recently confessed to me that he was beginning to think that Iraqis and other people from that part of the world just had it built into their psychologies to try to kill each other: they are so childish.

What's not even remotely clear is that this sort of thing, allegedly giving voice to real people's emotional reactions, is any improvement over standard media-driven political analysis in terms of boldness, flip-flopping and what have you. It's just different, but pretty much equally stupid once it's been pointed out, like once.

And it's not the American president's psychodrama, anyway, it's the nation's.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:20 PM
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Does anyone else get a kick out of ogged's insubstantial invocations of analytic philosophers?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:27 PM
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Will nobody else speak to how calamitous and unreadable her prose is?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:40 PM
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109: Absolutely.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:40 PM
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Schopenhauer would undoubtedly dub ogged a dilettante.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:42 PM
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110: That goes without saying, doesn't it?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:42 PM
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Will nobody else speak to how calamitous and unreadable her prose is?

The more times I read it, the more I am impressed by just how awful the following sentence is:

Hillary's forces have acted like the heavy, pompous galleons of the imperial Spanish Armada, outmaneuvered by the quick, bold, entrepreneurial ships of the English fleet.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:43 PM
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110: Yes. What would you like me to say on the subject? Seriously, I started reading the linked piece, but I try to avoid prose that will make my own writing harder. So I stopped. Still, I'll be happy to say it's awful, if you'd like.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:47 PM
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I thought Tim's 2 should have pretty much ended the thread - then I realized Tim's 5 added an important additional perspective.

But even if we're going to go on and on about this, surely nothing needs to be said about Camille Fucking Paglia beyond parsimon's 108.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:48 PM
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112 to 109, in case that wasn't clear.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:49 PM
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Sorry, I hadn't seen 114. Not only is the image ponderous there, and not particularly apt, but the nations in question have no resonance for her argument. Also, the ships weren't "bold"; the captains, I suppose, may have been.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:49 PM
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But even if we're going to go on and on about this, surely nothing needs to be said about Camille Fucking Paglia beyond parsimon's 108.

Commenter strike! We demand better front page posts and an end to trolling and other unfair practices. Solidarity forever!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:53 PM
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101 and 104: What, I'm supposed to let what Paglia actually said stand in the way of what I expect her to say? I don't think she'd approve of that.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:53 PM
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Marichiweu, you scab, didn't you see the picket line?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:54 PM
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I try to avoid prose that will make my own writing harder

It has to be hard before it can be seminal. We must make ourselves hard, as Nietzsche declared.

Paglia's seminal oeuvre, like a wastebasketful of porn theatre Kleenexes....


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 7:59 PM
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You can get real emotional reactions from real people in spades by listening to the people who call into Larry King Live, or by eavesdropping in a bar when a debate comes on the TV.

No no, the point is to try to articulate those reactions, not just stumble through describing them with cliches. How do callers on CNN describe things? In the very same terms the media feeds them.

Why is this so complicated? Paglia is over the top, which I concede in the post, but trying to look at candidates in a way that's outside the boring and unilluminating frame of traditional coverage is valuable, and I appreciate that she's at least trying to work in the language she works in, which is the pscyhosexual and world-historical. The problem it seems y'all are having (beyond antipathy to Paglia herself) is that you reject the possible validity of psychosexual explanations. And so I call you cyborgs. Comity!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:02 PM
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Death to scabs. We know where you live.


Posted by: Union Muscle | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:02 PM
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Has anyone done a psychosexual assay of Ogged recently? Perhaps this TIVO-resetting has been traumatic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:04 PM
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Union Yes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:05 PM
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The problem it seems y'all are having (beyond antipathy to Paglia herself) is that you reject the possible validity of psychosexual explanations. And so I call you cyborgs

"You reject my explanation because you fear it, and this rejection is itself an affirmation of my perspective" is a well-worn line of attack in the psychodramatic tradition.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:05 PM
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123: Fuck that. I at least don't reject the possible validity of psychosexual explanations, I just put those explanations exactly where they belong, which is to say that they may have some traction for some political actors, but certainly not for all of them, and someone like Paglia (again, she's not the only one) who wants to apply them across the board is a monomaniac.

There are other treatments outside the boring and traditional coverage that are equally interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:08 PM
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well-worn line of attack

Tried and true.

Off for a while, sadly. Hate away!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:08 PM
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I was getting a little too close to Ogged's area of vulnerability, obviously.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:11 PM
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ogged, you know your invitations for people to go away are heard.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:12 PM
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The union commenter cannot agree to the acceptance of a wage principle which will permit his annual earnings and his living standards to be determined by the hungriest unfortunates whom the non-union operators can employ.

The International Brotherhood of Blog Commenters is ON STRIKE against this thread.


Posted by: John L. Lewis | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:13 PM
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So he tells Russell that Sex and Character is a great book, because if you negate every sentence in it, you get something really true.

The analytic tradition's version of Nietzsche on Rée.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:14 PM
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Into the morass:

Postmortem analysts of this presidential campaign will have a field day ferreting out all the cringe-making blunders made by her clique of tired, aging courtiers who couldn't adjust to changing political realities.

So... dead... analyts will spend a day nosing into... holes... in a... field... hunting for blunders?

That's totally deep.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:15 PM
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Will you be a company thug, or will you be a man? Think it over, which side are you on, Merganser?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:15 PM
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Ogged,
I still love you, but I mean Paglia? Dammit, that bitch plasters on her makeup like a trollop!


Posted by: bend | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:17 PM
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What is it with you strikebreakers? Solidarity, brothers and sisters!

We shall not, we shall not be moved...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:19 PM
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108: just had it built into their psychologies to try to kill each other: they are so childish.

Technically that's Kiplingization, not psychologization.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:20 PM
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What kind of socialist are you, DS, stepping over a lawful picket line like that?

United we stand, divided we fall! Don't sell your birthright for a mess of pottage!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:23 PM
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134: Blunders are like marmots and spread plague, Sifu. That's why we ferret them out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:24 PM
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139: I'm a fascist cult member in good standing, Knecht, not some unionist swine.

105: I've contemplated changing my handle to "Ma-Bot from Alpha Flight" to throw people off the scent.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:26 PM
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Fuck it. I'm going to bed. And people wonder why the labor movement can't get any traction in this country. Card check won't do shit when even the self-described leftists can't observe strike discipline for a piddling warning strike. We're doomed to be immiserated by Capital.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:26 PM
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"Man-Bot," that is. For want of a consonant...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:27 PM
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138: I know what you mean, DS. I suppose I was speaking to the sloppiness of American thinking, insofar as Paglia was claimed to be articulating it: psychologizing entire cultures, psychologizing individuals, whatever, same diff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:27 PM
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DS only posts in the evenings. My guess is that he's posting from Mauritius. Mauritius has a small Canadian community and plans to send a curling toeam to the next Olympics.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:28 PM
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Think it over, which side are you on, Merganser?

I'm on the side of whatever organizations invariably serve the public interest, and no others.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:40 PM
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143: I knew it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:41 PM
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I'm not even reading this thread before commenting. Ogged, I take it all back; we were meant to be after all, even if based solely on the fact that you will allow, nay endorse, my coming out of my Paglia-loving closet. Sweet romance.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:43 PM
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66: in St. Louis, go to the City Museum


Posted by: mistersmed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:44 PM
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123: How do callers on CNN describe things? In the very same terms the media feeds them.

Here's my proposition: we'll forget all about this, uh, little slip here with Camille, if you explicitly acknowledge what is implicit in your argument, that you have changed your position on the primary role of media narrative in determining people's perception of the likability of the candidates.

'Tis an ill post that blows no good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 8:50 PM
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Her Salon caricature's eternally arched eyebrow will live on

You have to hand it to Camille Paglia. Well over a decade after actually mattering, this warrior of the word still maintains the intellectual fortitude to starfuck anyone from Rush Limbaugh to Matt Drudge while protecting the English language from the ravages of her erstwhile creation, the blogosphere, in an interview promoting her "next major work," a collection of other people's poems titled - no doubt with some restraint - "Break, Blow, Burn." The Medium Lobster eagerly awaits her magnum opus, in which Paglia sets herself on fire atop an immense bronze reproduction of her own head, the immolation of which will consume Wotan, Valhalla, and the whole of creation.
posted by Medium Lobster at 9:48 AM, 7 April 2005


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:06 PM
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Molly Ivins got it.


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:08 PM
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Yeah, it does seem like a sad state of affairs when a well-known thinker devotes the remaining hours of her fame to playing a pre-teen game of "I wonder who has a big dick?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:09 PM
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Ed Meese reads unfogged?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:10 PM
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153: Especially because so very few pre-teens have big dicks. It's all a bit futile, isn't it? Though, when I and my best friend growing up arrived, as twelve-year-olds, at summer camp for the first time, our counselor, at light's out the first evening, observed my friend getting into his [insert whatever my friend slept in at that time] and said, "That boy has the penis of the man." Which was true enough. I wonder what Paglia would make of this story. No doubt I've been chasing that kind of homoerotic affirmation all these years. Which is why I've never hired Mark Penn to do anything other than clean my pool and maintain the topiary. Also, I've totally figured out DS's identity; I'm just not telling.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:18 PM
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Paglia is the only person in anything near the mainstream press who takes that seriously and tries to address it with actual insight

Puhleeze. Unlike Chris Matthews, whose "insight" is that Clinton reminds people of their nagging mothers (or whatever). Or Naomi Wolf, whose insight was that Al Gore needed to be more (or less, I forget) "alpha male." Or Maureen Dowd, who gives us her "insight" on politicians every week in the NYT.

I'm sorry to bore you, Ogged, but the only thing Paglia does is dress up conventional wisdom in snappy language. She's as famous as she is because people love having their conventional thoughts (especially about gender) confirmed. And if the confirmation is by a bitchy lesbian, all the better, since it proves that they're not at all sexist!

Talk about boring.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:19 PM
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Paglia is the only person in anything near the mainstream press who takes that seriously and tries to address it with actual insight

Puhleeze. Unlike Chris Matthews, whose "insight" is that Clinton reminds people of their nagging mothers (or whatever). Or Naomi Wolf, whose insight was that Al Gore needed to be more (or less, I forget) "alpha male." Or Maureen Dowd, who gives us her "insight" on politicians every week in the NYT.

I'm sorry to bore you, Ogged, but the only thing Paglia does is dress up conventional wisdom in snappy language. She's as famous as she is because people love having their conventional thoughts (especially about gender) confirmed. And if the confirmation is by a bitchy lesbian, all the better, since it proves that they're not at all sexist!

Talk about boring.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:20 PM
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156 makes Paglia sound a whole lot like Andrew Sullivan.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:21 PM
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Dinner report: Went here since 80 was too far, quite good- duck proscuitto, salmon pastrami, espresso smoked ribs. Went bowling afterwards and set my lifetime high at 169, but is it bad to beat the boss 3 games in a row?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:22 PM
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Ogged, honey, I hate to disappoint you, but bitchphd is right. I _am_ a lesbian.


Posted by: Camille Paglia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:22 PM
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I am surprised we still hear so much about beta males and so little about VHS ones.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:26 PM
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my Paglia-loving closet. Sweet romance

Woohoo! I knew someone would understand. I should have known it would be my dear Sybil.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:31 PM
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153: It's better that a "thinker" does it. When politicians do it lots more people die.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:37 PM
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156 makes Paglia sound a whole lot like Andrew Sullivan.

157 doesn't.

I WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT IS!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:37 PM
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I think a definition of trolling that includes "I know you all disagree, but I continue to think you're all missing the point" is overbroad.

Yeah, well, so do I. There's a certain onus on the person making that statement, however, to sort of explain what the point is *and* how it works. In what manner is Paglia actually right that doesn't amount to boilerplate sexism with kicky metaphors?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:40 PM
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164: ...I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME!


Posted by: Lou Gramm | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:42 PM
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I see that Sybil understands. Perhaps she, then, might actually try to explain it rather than just making the assertion?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:42 PM
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166: I heard it that way too, but not until after I refreshed it a coupla times.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:43 PM
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B. is rarin' for a fight. Someone oblige her please.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:47 PM
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Ogged has the guts to admit his transgressive appreciation of Paglia, but seems to have drawn a line and is unwilling to publicly admire Dowd. This strikes me as being the rough equivalent of acknowledging pedophilia but finding necrophilia too embarrassing to talk about.

But okay. There's only so much exhibitionist degradation we can reasonably ask someone to display.

For my part, I think it's easy to offer an example of someone who actually comes through with the goods that ogged claims Paglia provides - someone who successfully explains profound and important issues in terms of psychosexuality and superficial human tendencies. Take a look at Michael Kinsley, who frames Death Itself as just another instance of keeping up with the Joneses in an essay titled "Mine is longer than yours."

Kinsley, for all his virtues and faults, has always had the spirit of an intelligent blogger - a combination of smart writing, genuine insight, jokes, superficial observations and indifference or hostility to the dominant MSM narrative.

The eponymous inventor of The Ogged is rightly praised for his innovation, but Kinsley, too, has found a novel way to dine out on his disease. And good for him.

I mean, Jesus. In a world of middlebrow pleasures, why would we be talking about Camille Pagilia's graceless metaphors and inept analogies when Kinsley is available to tell us about the operation performed on his brain:

My surgery lasted nine hours, and for most of it I had to be awake, so that the doctors could test the connection, like asking somebody to go upstairs and see if the light in the bedroom comes back on while you fiddle with the circuit-breaker box in the basement.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:50 PM
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169: Not as much as 167 makes it sound. I just think the claim Ogged's making is a stupid one, and it annoys me when people make stupid claims without even trying to defend them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:56 PM
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170: Oh god, that Kinsley piece was so stupid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:58 PM
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I resent Kinsley tremendously because all of the blowjobs he gave Pat Buchanan. Therefore, supposing for the sake of argument that that little piece of writing were good, I would not willing be to acknowledge that it was.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:58 PM
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Luckily, John, it wasn't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 9:59 PM
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For instance, my god, the bit about the old guy. "It was clearly a boast." You know, just a leeeeetle tiny bit of charity and empathy for other human beings might suggest that the commonality of that sort of thing--not least here in California--might actually be because people are *genuinely pleased* and feel lucky at their good fortune and are guileless enough to simply say so. You condescending dick.

I don't like writing that lacks humility unless it's funny. Kinsley isn't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:03 PM
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OK, B.

Um, Paglia is a bold and original thinker who encapsulates our sexual insecurities and fixations in an entirely new way, shedding unexpected light on a wide range of cultural and political phenomena and giving us new insight into what's really fundamental in American life. For example, saying very penetrating shit about Hillary which gets to the bottom of the fundamental tectonic instabilities of her psyche, her campaign, and American life itself.

Whatcha got to say about that, lady?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:04 PM
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I am a bold and original thinker who encapsulates our sexual insecurities and fixations in an entirely new way, shedding unexpected light on a wide range of cultural and political phenomena and giving us new insight into what's really fundamental in American life. For example, saying very penetrating shit about Hillary which gets to the bottom of the fundamental tectonic instabilities of her psyche, her campaign, and American life itself.


Posted by: Camille Paglia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:10 PM
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Pwned by Emerson.


Posted by: Camille Paglia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:10 PM
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Damn. I said "American life" twice. I need to slot in a different cliche.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:12 PM
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penetrating shit...gets to the bottom

Tell me about your childhood, Emerson.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:13 PM
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Well, that's the last word on Paglia, I guess. I've stunk out B., Ogged, and Sybil. Single-handed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:13 PM
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176: And in what way is this different than regurgitating fairly standard sexist b.s.?

(Excuse me, I had to run off to make sure my child was not scalded.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:15 PM
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And so it begins: the final descent into performance art.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:17 PM
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Your response has to be more provocative than that, lady, also longer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:18 PM
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Also, PK is fine? Or you wouldn't be back, of course. But still: child in peril. Are you trying to sell me something? An alarm of some kind?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:18 PM
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175: Jesus, Bitch, that's harsh. Kinsley's entire point in the portion you quote is a self-deprecating bit of gallows humor about his own vulnerability and feelings of inadequacy caused by his disease.

The fact that you fault him for a lack of empathy makes the irony complete.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:20 PM
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Challenging the pomo verities as she does, Paglia has elicited a stiff negative response from the drug-addled perverts, neglectful mothers, and other defectives infesting our deteriorating national habitus.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:23 PM
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Hey, it's not my fault Hillary saddles up Mark Penn like a show pony and rides him around the War Room shouting "Bring me the Presidency! Faster! Faster!"


Posted by: Camille Paglia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:26 PM
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185: I'm trying to sell you on the concept of not letting the science fair project wait until the night before it's due. Bad idea.

186: I know what his point is. But see, it's *not* actually funny. At least not at that point. I confess I failed to keep reading the piece and did not come to realize that Kinsley has a disease; perhaps I am indeed being unkind. (Full confession: I once had a sex dream about Michael Kinsley. I think I've admitted to that on Unfogged before.)

187: Yes, yes, dear, whatever you say.

188: The rude pundit does that sort of thing much better, sweetie. Probably because he's a man; everyone knows women aren't funny.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:29 PM
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Funny? I'm telling you the hard truths here.


Posted by: Camille Paglia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:31 PM
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Probably because he's a man; everyone knows women aren't funny.

Fortunately there are no women bloggers, so we don't have to read them as they try to be funny.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:31 PM
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191: Oh, no one has to read what women write. That's just the p.c. police trying to guilt trip you.*

*Unless those women are Camille Paglia, in which case you really should apprise yourself of her deep insight into the psychodrama of real people's real emotional reactions to the candidates. If, that is, you care at all about how real people (defined as "people unlike your pcself, urban elitist") think. Which you of course wouldn't know, because you don't know any real people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:36 PM
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I confess I failed to keep reading the piece

Fair enough. In additition to your ludicrous remark about empathy, your comment about his lack of humility also seemed insane in light of the actual content of his essay.

But if you didn't actually read it, well, that makes a lot more sense. He is, by nature, a bit of an arrogant prick; I don't deny that. Indeed, as with many good bloggers, it's part of his charm.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:37 PM
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I confess that I am perhaps oversensitive to the "those annoyingly friendly and self-satisfied Californians" game I thought he was employing there, and tend to immediately tune out people who start using it, lest they harsh my mellow.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:39 PM
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Camille Paglia is a cross between Ayn Rand and Andy Rooney. On amphetamines and in drag.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:51 PM
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I'm dubious. 195 actually sounds like it might be kind of entertaining.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 10:56 PM
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I have decided that I must post this comment blind, i.e. w/o regard to any previous comment, lest I become biased. Here goes:

To ogged:
You, sir, are a dick.


Posted by: hypnotizingchickens | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 11:25 PM
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OK, upon a considered reading of the thread, I say this: "Ogged is full of shit, and we could do this thing over at EotAW just as easily, so why don't we? We could make it sexy."


Posted by: hypnotizingchickens | Link to this comment | 04- 9-08 11:36 PM
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I think this one time we need to give Camille a break as she's clearly temporarily unhinged over not having Charlton Heston around to masturbate to anymore.

Hollywood Bible movies of the 50's, like "The Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur," with their epic clash of pagan and Judeo-Christian cultures, tell more truth about art and society than the French-infatuated ideologues who have made a travesty of the best American higher education.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 1:27 AM
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It's not that I hate Paglia, or people who think waving her around makes them interestly contrarian, it's that she's so mindnumbingly dull; three-dollar words masking dimestore ideas.

There's nothing interesting to be said about Paglia and this comment is no exception.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 2:08 AM
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Is Camille Paglia still going? I kind of assumed that she split up around the time that the Happy Mondays did; she was so completely and utterly of her time (mid to late 1990s) that it seems a bit sad that she's still having to haul that act round the nostalgia circuit ten years later.

Next week on Ogged: "The X-Files is the best thing on television! And Oasis are the greatest band ever! You haters just don't realise it!".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 2:17 AM
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It's nice that Camille has this hobby to keep her active. At her age that's very important.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 3:02 AM
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Next week on Ogged: "The X-Files is the best thing on television! And Oasis are the greatest band ever! You haters just don't realise it!".

Close!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 3:18 AM
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While I was off living off of the meager commenter strike fund, some strikebreaker (excuse me, "replacement worker") came in an pwned me on point I was going to make about Paglia resembling no one so much as Andrew Sullivan, to wit, her schtick is derived from equal parts...
-unshakeable confidence in her own powers of discernment
-88th percentile knowledge of philosophy
-self-conscious pride in being "unpredictable", despite being utterly predictable
-desire to validate her own sexuality at every turn
-loathing of the Clintons

If Maureen Dowd were a lesbian with a better education, she could join them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:22 AM
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If it was late at night, and you were out at the bar, and Camille Paglia was shouting her essays from her lonely corner stool, you would think she was the funniest thing ever. Just like she does.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:30 AM
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And while I'm at it, I'll join politicalfootball in defending Michael Kinsley. I haven't liked any of his work for years, since he stopped writing about policy, but he did the Lord's work at the Washington Monthly and the New Republic for many years, the latter during a time when the rest of the TNR editors had fallen victim to Reagan worship.

And as far as not being funny, well, de gustibus and all that, but I love the anecdote about him waking up after his first brain surgery and saying to the doctors, "Of course tax cuts increase revenues. Why couldn't I see that before!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:31 AM
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If it was late at night, and you were out at the bar, and Camille Paglia was shouting her essays from her lonely corner stool, you would think she was the funniest thing ever.

Fleur had a very similar experience recently with Dor/s Kearns Goodw/n, whose regular watering hole is up the street from us.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:33 AM
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207: The closest I ever get to something like that is Dexter Romweber.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:46 AM
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Historically, Paglia has definitely not loathed the Clintons. She has volumes of essays declaring love for both of them.

It's not easy to defend one's love of Paglia, in part because she is academic anathema for a lot of earned reasons and in part because what one loves about her is often a matter of style. She is a stylist, and I like her prose, a lot, I like her diction, I like her tone. Surely we can agree that my personal preference to this effect is fair enough.

Content-wise: I think Sexual Personae is a pretty interesting book of literary criticism, actually, given its context. The chapter on Wilde is still one of the best readings of The Importance of Being Earnest, I think. Her readings of Hitchcock have always been very sharp as well. I further think she has raised objections to the Major Trends of academic discourse that are worth hearing: where are, in fact, the women in Lacan and Foucault? I am not ready for this to be my basis for rejecting their work, but for real, it seems to me a perfectly fine thing to shout about and that she was fussing about it before others. Which is to say, in part, that while her skewering of academia schitck can be Horowitzian, I think she has, historically, made real points about the things hegemonic academic discourse can miss.

She is certainly not the only person who treats public images/public discourse as theater and analyzes it on that basis (ogged probably overstates the originality aspect of his claim) but I think she does it well; brings a range of texts to bear without estranging cultural events from their context. The fact of her using the same mode of analysis to treat Madonna's appearance at an induction ceremony and the gender dynamics of gender valences within the Clinton team, well, I can see how that might be grating to many. I'm fine having a critic whose role is to treat it all as theater. And who does it in prose I enjoy reading.

B may be right in 156 that she is famous mostly because people like to see their own conventional thoughts dressed up snappily. It's why Emerson is famous, so why not (Ralph Waldo, not John). In any case, it doesn't strike me as an indictment. B is accusing her, in other words, of doing the same thing ogged is appreciating her for.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 5:48 AM
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The other thing is that while her work, both hr lit and popular crit , can be unscholarly, where unscholarly means negligent of a lot of the smart and actually radical work that has been done in the fields in question, she is insistent about the fact that art matters. And that knowing about art/the history of art matters. So I appreciate that, as a teacher in the arts.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 6:12 AM
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she is insistent about the fact that art matters. And that knowing about art/the history of art matters

gosh, she can't get *anything* right, can she?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 6:35 AM
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The life cycle of the persian spotted ogged is a strange one.

1. Troll.
2. Pout at response to trolling.
3. Go swimming.

And repeat. Troll, pout, swim. Troll, pout, swim. Troll, pout, swim.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 7:22 AM
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Thinking of Camille Paglia brings back a memory of reading her description of Monica Lewinsky as "a walking advertisement for oral sex" and finding this hilarious and almost shocking, and everybody I repeated this too laughed and laughed. I guess the 90's were a simpler, more innocent time and I was still in my 30s.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 7:37 AM
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I don't think that's a "life cycle". More like a "lifestyle".


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 7:51 AM
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I thought Sexual Personae was a terrific book. It was cultural provocation as much as literary criticism, but worked on both levels.

I enjoyed her for a while after that -- it's good to have people in the public sphere who understand that human beings are driven by some weird spiritual/aesthetic/ideological stew, not rationality -- but she gradually became painful to read. The good nuggets got fewer and fewer between, and the stylized eccentricity more annoying.

Also, her stabs at more serious work were (surprisingly) boring, earnest, and patronizing. Even when she took on the right subjects, like New Age religion, which is culturally central to a degree that few people seem to recognize.

But she had a good run.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:21 AM
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48
It's a strange standard that says everything has to be thought about in terms of policy and politics; sometimes you just want to try to describe the world you see.

Sure, you can talk about "the world you see" instead of policy and politics, even if it just amounts to voyeuristic yet baseless conjecture, but what's the point? Unless that opinion is based on almost literally getting McCain on a psychologist's couch, it's about as reliable as a game of telephone through the entire Gang of 500. Saying that is just as easy and meaningless as saying that Bush is actually a left-winger under deep cover because he has so thoroughly trashed the reputation and prospects of the Republican Party.

Is the point entertainment? If that's as far as it goes, I have no problem with that; it's fun to prick the pretentious of the powerful. But that's not as far as it goes. People treat Paglia and people like her as serious analysts. Even if they take this psychobabble with a grain of salt, it gets into their heads.

Sorry to go back on topic. Clearly I don't spend enough time reading and commenting around here, because I find threads like this much later. I need to start reading unfogged on my own time as well as at work.

142: And who elected you president of the union?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:45 AM
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215: BINGO!

I often wondered if i was the only one who felt that way or if I completely and totally overrated Sexual Personae. After it came out and she said it was part one of a planned two part work, I was eager for the second half. As she released future volumes and her weird obsessiveness with Madonna began to grow, I began to think, holy shit, this lady's flipped.

I've never gone back to SP since then, but I often wonder what I'd think of it now, having seen what Paglia has become.


Posted by: The Critic | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:47 AM
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"Sexual Personae" was vapid, overwrought trash, and a clear indication of the kind of material Paglia would spend the next decade and a half excreting. Ivins's diagnosis of Paglia was right back in 1991:

Tracing Paglia's intellectual ancestry is a telling exercise; she's the lineal descendant of Ayn Rand, who in turn was a student of William Graham Sumner, one of the early American sociologists and an enormously successful popularizer of social Darwinism. Sumner was in turn a disciple of Herbert Spencer, that splendid nineteenth-century kook. Because Paglia reasserts ideas so ingrained in our thinking, she has become popular by reaffirming common prejudices. ...

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.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:48 AM
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The Norman Podhoretz of our gender.

It's all wonderful, but yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:51 AM
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I think Paglia's history suggests that she will exactly describe McCain as a 'maverick,' and love him for it

No, Paglia's history suggests that at some point she will see in McCain a sexy union of Apollonian and Dionysian opposites, then assert that he's the 80 year old return of Jim Morrison and love him for that.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:51 AM
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218: Ivin's diagnosis strikes me as completely wrong -- whatever you think of Paglia, she has very little to do with Ayn Rand.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:56 AM
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Come on, let's not be unfair. Paglia has consistently seen through McCain and thought he was a crazy old coot from the start. For years she's been saying that and never wavered. If we're going to pile on her crappy stuff, we should give credit where it's due.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:57 AM
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If we're going to pile on her crappy stuff, we should give credit where it's due.

That seems unnecessarily limiting.

Pantload doesn't use enough pop culture references! Chris Matthews is afraid to say whatever pops into his head!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:01 AM
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Where's the scorn for hacks like Žižek or Lacan? The bile here is motivated by the same urges that led to choosing Martha Stewart (a hot woman, relatively speaking) to bust for insider trading.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:07 AM
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Zizek and Lacan aren't hacks, HTH.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:10 AM
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her weird obsessiveness with Madonna

An essay about the deep meaning of Madonna was my first encounter with her writing, and convinced me she was a twit. Then there was something about the Columbia disaster as a cosmic omen portending the downfall of Bush (over Texas, OMG!), which convinced me that my initial assessment was incorrect, and that she's actually batshit crazy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:14 AM
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221: I don't think you can dismiss claims of similarity out of hand:

I never read Ayn Rand until people started to compare me to her. Since I came on the scene it has come up repeatedly - people have asked me about Ayn Rand, followers of Ayn Rand. I might be on a call-in show; they always asked. Because I was being asked so much, I went out and I read some of Ayn Rand. And I was struck.I could see what the parallels are.
That is, she was influenced by many of the same works that I was. She was reading Romantic thinkers and Nietzsche and so on. There are certain passages in her where I went, "Oh my God, that sounds like a passage from Sexual Personae." So I was really struck.
At the same time, I saw the differences. First of all, she's a libertarian or a radical individualist as I am, but she is very - like Simone de Beauvoir - contemptuous of religion. I am an atheist, but I respect religion. I respect all the world religions, and I regard them as these symbol systems, belief systems that are like poetry. I love these great mythological systems. I feel that mystical and religious thinking tells you more about the universe in many ways than ordinary prose, or even science, does.
So I'm uncomfortable with that. For both de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand religion is symptomatic of an infantile mind, or of an overemotional mind. I believe in mystery; I believe in both Apollo and Dionysus. So I think that my system is more complete.
And what else? I find both Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand deficient in humor. Comedy is my attitude toward life, and I feel that comedy is the spirit of the last half of the 20th century. The first half of the 20th century would have been the age of Beckett and Waiting for Godot and that whole bleak, nihilistic attitude toward the world that Susan Sontag is still carrying around with her like a big black hat. The attitude of the last 50 years is like that of rock and roll - energy, comedy, exuberance, the pleasure principle, improvisation, spontaneity. These are my principles. So I think I have a kind of childlike quality and playfulness that are missing from the dour adulthood of both Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand.
Also I am a little bit uneasy, OK, with the politics. I don't think that Ayn Rand is a fascist particularly, but I think there is a kind of contempt for ordinary people in Ayn Rand - a little bit. I love the high achiever, I am a great worshiper of the high achiever. But I also feel at home with people of the working class. And I think that in Rand there's a little bit of a kind of snobbish elitism about those vulgar masses out there. That makes me a little uncomfortable with her.
From an interview by Hitchins in Reason in 1995, apparently. The differences she traces strike me as negatives (or indicative of negative traits).
Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:15 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:17 AM
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228: make a content-free accusation, get a content-free response.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:22 AM
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229: is one of the best one line summaries of the `blogosphere' I've read.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:23 AM
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Probably besides the point, but Zizek like Paglia clearly blends (in a self-aware way) entertainer and intellectual. Lacan is a Freudian in just the way that's either wrong or stupid, a different case; maybe he doesn't know he's a hack. Funny Zizek

So I don't think I'm wrong about these two, but even if someone can point to something interesting and/or true that Lacan has written, the point was there is a universe of hacks to scorn, funny that so many have chosen to hate an entertaining American woman out of all these.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:34 AM
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231: a woman who publishes a column on salon.com. A publication which, you may have noticed, is widely read throughout the blogosphere.

Yes, but why not troll academic journals for material, you may say.

I have no answer, besides blinking in confusion.

I really don't find Camille Paglia entertaining, incidentally. I find her unreadably awful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:38 AM
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227: the differences she lists between her and Rand are exactly why I prefer Paglia to Rand -- namely that Rand is a narrowminded, humorless fascist and Paglia, for all her other issues, is not.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:39 AM
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I really don't find Camille Paglia entertaining, incidentally. I find her unreadably awful.

Yeah, she teetered on the brink of unreadability for a while and then eventually took the plunge.



Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:44 AM
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And who elected you president of the union?

Are you implying that the election of officials in this union is anything less than fully democratic?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:47 AM
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exactly why I prefer Paglia to Rand

So do I, in much the same sense that I prefer hemorrhoids to dysentery.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:49 AM
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namely that Rand is a narrowminded, humorless fascist and Paglia, for all her other issues, is not.

really? how much Rand have you actually read? She's not humourless at all; the first half of "Atlas Shrugged" is about as good a satire on the New Deal as you'll get.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 10:58 AM
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I actually liked the quote that Ogged posted, but I have a weakness for a certain kind of crazed over-the-top rhetoric. I would probably still like Nietzsche if you removed all of the insight into the human condition. Large doses of Paglia's worldview remind me how inane it is, though.

According to the comic book Lacan for Beginners, Lacan claimed that the symptoms of neurosis were actually rewards that neurotics gave themselves to compensate for the burden of their neuroses. I thought this was somewhat insightful.



Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 11:29 AM
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the differences she lists between her and Rand are exactly why I prefer Paglia to Rand -- namely that Rand is a narrowminded, humorless fascist and Paglia, for all her other issues, is not.

"Narrowmindedness" is the specific niche that Paglia works, she herself denies that Rand is a fascist, and as regards humor...well, as someone (I can't remember) once said, everyone thinks he has a good sense of humor.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 11:37 AM
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And lw is entirely right about Lacan: either wrong or stupid...maybe he doesn't know he's a hack


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 11:39 AM
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CAMILLE PAGLIA = I, MALICE GAL PAL


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 11:50 AM
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Camille Paglia = Glacial Impale


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 11:55 AM
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Camille Paglia = a malice lip gal


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:00 PM
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Agile Pail Clam


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:05 PM
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I Aim All Gelcap.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:07 PM
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Thinking about it further I guess Rand and Paglia have similar tastes -- they both have a thing for Strong Men.

At another level though they have nothing to do with each other -- Rand was committed to Ideas, while Paglia doesn't believe in them at all --for her it's all about sex one way or the other.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:12 PM
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I leap, all magic.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:15 PM
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Ill: a clap image


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:17 PM
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Camille Paglia en Français: "pillage amical"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 12:51 PM
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I was going to come here and say that Paglia's political analysis is basically a Maureen Dowd mad lib in which the kids filled in lots of naughty words, but that point has already been made.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 3:15 PM
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Paglia isn't a one-note worship the strong man type. She is more subtle than that, or was when she was good. Now she's just a lot more random than that.

But boy is her take on Hillary quoted in the main post total bullshit. Hillary actually has a particularly good relationship with the military. The generals like her, which is a strike against her in my book.

Although again, she really impressed me questioning Petraeus earlier this week.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 04-10-08 9:39 PM
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Ezra: "I've never understood why Salon publishes Camille Paglia nor why anyone reads her. Her pieces have always struck me as terribly overwritten and awfully underthought -- the sort of articles that sound smart to people who don't understand them."

You just going to stand there and take that, Ogged?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 7:54 AM
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And Ezra's only 14 years old!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:05 PM
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