Thursday, October 9, 2008
Camille Paglia is Hilarious
Some of you may need a refresher on who Camille Paglia is. It's been a while since she came out with her signature book Sexual Personae, which posited that "the history of western civilization has been a constant struggle between ... two
impulses, an unending tennis match between cold, Apollonian categorization and Dionysian lust and chaos.'' Exactly, Camille. Wait, what?
As the late great Texan Molly Ivins said when her editor asked her to write about Ms. Paglia, "And who the hell might
she be?'' Yes, our Camille has not been hogging the spotlight for quite a while, not since the Democratic primary, when, as a famous Hillary-hater, she wrote an article for the UK's Telegraph (in her own blood!) entitled "Why Women Shouldn't Vote for Hillary Clinton" in which she called Senator Clinton "frumpy, stumpy, and myopic" (sounds like the name of a great cartoon, maybe a sequel to Ren and Stimpy?). Because it's totally legitimate to vote for someone based on their looks.
Anyway, the lesbian noob is sure back with a bang. In a recent Salon piece that is just teeming with classic Camille, especially for anyone that is familiar with her oeuvre (such an elitist word), she wets herself over Sarah Palin the way she used to over Madonna (before the reliably Erotic one had the nerve to get old; Camille likes her powerful women young and smooth), calling her an "Amazon Warrior". Yes. That. More hilarious, she says she doesn’t think of sex when she sees Palin. Riiiiight. Because there’s so much else going on there. Also, she brings up this whole Xena fantasy thing in the context of Ms. Palin's possibly being of Native American ancestry. Don’t you wish Camille would just cut the crap and quit justifying her wet panties with stoopid, tired fantasy tropes? Camille, you've obviously got a ladyboner. Just say you want her in your bed because she wears fuck-me boots, talks tough, and looks like a hot Cinemax heroine. (You can be that common.) Then move on. Give us a break.
But the dumbest thing Camille does in her ode to Dr. Palin is her defense of Palin’s English speaking abilities:
As someone whose first seven years were spent among Italian-American immigrants (I never met an elderly person who spoke English until we moved from Endicott to rural Oxford, New York, when I was in first grade), I am very used to understanding meaning through what might seem to others to be outlandish or fractured variations on standard English. Furthermore, I have spent virtually my entire teaching career (nearly four decades) in arts colleges, where the expressiveness of highly talented students in dance, music and the visual arts takes a hundred different forms. Finally, as a lover of poetry (my last book was about that), I savor every kind of experimentation with standard English — beginning with Shakespeare, who was the greatest improviser of them all at a time when there were no grammar rules.
Many others listening to Sarah Palin at her debate went into conniptions about what they assailed as her incoherence or incompetence. But I was never in doubt about what she intended at any given moment. On the contrary, I was admiring not only her always shapely and syncopated syllables but the innate structures of her discourse — which did seem to fly by in fragments at times but are plainly ready to be filled with deeper policy knowledge, as she gains it (hopefully over the next eight years of the Obama presidencies). This is a tremendously talented politician whose moment has not yet come. That she holds views completely opposed to mine is irrelevant.
Yes, Sarah Palin is…..syncopated. Her discourse has……structure. She’s answering policy questions with iambic pentameter. She’s a poet, and she’s responding to the snooty media in the only way she knows how: free-flowing verse.
Also, that dump my cat just took in the litter box? Pure milk chocolate. Mmmmmmm.