Aside from the stylish Huma [Abedin], there's definitely something weird and cultish in the sycophantish cathexis onto Hillary of the many nerds, geeks and vengeful viragos who run her campaign -- sometimes to her detriment, as with the recent ham-handed playing of the clichéd gender card. I suspect the latter dumb move, which has backfired badly, came from Ann Lewis (Barney Frank's sister), a fanatical Hillary true believer who has been spouting beatific feminist bromides about her for the past 15 years.... Hillary seems to have acolytes rather than friends...Paglia goes on to lavish compliments on Dianne Feinstein — she's "shrewd" and "steady" — why can't she be the first woman President? Feinstein speaks with "silky ease" and has "true gravitas." Paglia also strokes Nancy Pelosi, who has a "relaxed, resonant realism" and speaks in a "low purr." Pelosi purrs but Hillary's got that "tight-wound, self-righteous attack voice" and that "flat, practical, real-life voice."
But there are no big conclusions here about Hillary. Just an expression of that vague irritation we all feel. (Don't we?) But I wonder if this is the reaction we would have to any woman who got realistically close to the presidency. And I'll bet that's the sort of thing Ann Lewis says behind the scenes, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Paglia lights into Ellen DeGeneres for her "cringe-making on-air meltdown over a dog":
Following Rosie O'Donnell's professional collapse amid lunatic rants and operatic kvetching, this has been a terrible year for Hollywood lesbians' public image. It's as if when the butch mask drops, there's nothing inside but a boiling candy kettle of infantile rage and self-pity.Butch up, girls, says Camille. But don't forget to keep that voice at a low purr.
She's got this on global warming:
This facile attribution of climate change to human agency is an act of hubris. Good stewardship of the environment is an ethical imperative for every nation. But breast-beating hysteria merely betrays impious tunnel vision. Thousands of factors, minute and grand, are at work in cyclic climate change, whose long-term outcomes we cannot possibly predict. Nature should inspire us with awe, not pity.That's a nice twist. Our arrogance lies not in thinking we can indulge ourselves in our carbon-spewing ways — as we're commonly told — but in thinking we move Nature. It's impious to think of ourselves that way.
On Norman Mailer:
I didn't care about his novels -- I don't care about any novels published after World War II (Tennessee Williams is my main man) -- but I was impressed by Mailer's visionary and sometimes hallucinatory first-person journalism. And I was directly inspired by his eclectic "Advertisements for Myself" (1959), which I took as a blueprint after my first books were attacked by the feminist establishment in the 1990s.I will immediately go read "Advertisements for Myself"!
Mailer's "The Prisoner of Sex" (the original 1971 Harper's essay, not the book) was an important statement about men's sexual fears and desires. His jousting with Germaine Greer at the notorious Town Hall debate in New York that same year was a pivotal moment in the sex wars. I loved Greer and still do. And I also thought Jill Johnston (who disrupted the debate with lesbo stunts) was a cutting-edge thinker: I was devouring her Village Voice columns, which had evolved from dance reportage into provocative cultural commentary.Ah, yes, I remember. How we hated Norman Mailer in those days. From this distance, I rather admire him for making himself as a vortex for feminist hate. He got into the center of things the only way he could.
[O]ne of the lousiest things Mailer ever wrote was his flimsy cover-story screed on her for Esquire in 1994. It was obvious Mailer knew absolutely nothing about Madonna and was just blowing smoke.Because he neglected to read Paglia's musings on the subject, no doubt.
Guess what -- Esquire's original proposal was for me to interview Madonna. Mailer was the sub!Ha ha. What a transcendent brag! I especially like the use of the word "sub," with its insinuation of phallic gigantism. Paglia has the bigger... writing talent.
Next, Paglia has a reference to my favorite movie:
Penthouse magazine had similarly tried to bring Madonna and me together, as had HBO, which proposed filming a "My Dinner with André" scenario of the two of us chatting in a restaurant.Camille is the André, of course. Madonna would have to be the Wally.
But Madonna, no conversationalist, always refused.Damn! Madonna just needed instruction on how to play the listener, like Wallace Shawn. "My Dinner with André" begins Wally's voiced-over anxiety about he is about sitting through a whole dinner with André Gregory. He resolves to get through the experience by, essentially, interviewing him. But Madonna's problem was not — I suspect — that she wasn't good enough at talking, but that she didn't fancy herself enduring a long outpouring of Paglia's thoughts about everything. To be a good Wally in a "My Dinner With André"-format movie, you have to wait while the other person has most of the lines, then finally, when the audience can't take it anymore, say "You want to know what I think of all this." And then charm us to the core with a few lines that we will remember for decades.
Hey, remember the time Camille Paglia refused to have dinner with me? I wrote a post about it called — of all things! — "My Dinner With Camille."