February 11, 2009

Paglia's purple piffle.

Camille Paglia's new column begins with a purplishness:
Money by the barrelful, by the truckload. Mountains of money, heaped like gassy pyramids in the national dump. Scrounging packs of politicos, snapping, snarling and sending green bills flying sky-high as they root through the tangled mass with ragged claws. The stale hot air filled with cries of rage, the gnashing of teeth and dark prophecies of doom.
Doom! Yet read for a few paragraphs and you'll get hit in the face with the insipidity of: "But aside from the stimulus muddle, Obama has been off to a good start."
True, I was disappointed with the infestation of the new appointments list by Clinton retreads and slippery tax-dodgers.
Yeah, so then not just aside from the stimulus muddle, also aside from the multiple muddled appointments.
Nevertheless, I was very impressed by Obama's relaxed, natural authority with military officers on Inauguration Day, in contrast to the early Bill Clinton's palpable unease and exaggerated posturing.
The President was able to look decent standing next to military personnel. This is the "good start"? She should blush deep red with embarrassment to have defined the standard of presidential achievement down so low.

To be fair, Paglia also credits Obama with saying he'll close Guantanamo. Then, instead of acknowledging that he made only a promise — a promise devoid of details — to do something a year from now, Paglia lamely lambastes "conservative talk radio" for its supposedly claiming — rotely — that every Guantanamo detainee is a proven terrorist who should be "severely punished." But Guantanamo is not about punishment, Camille, it's about detention, and that's the conservative radio talking point.

Now, enough with that distraction, get back to Obama's purported "good start." That one-year-from-now promise and relaxed demeanor around military folk was good for you? But no, Paglia is tripping off to other topics. And WTF are "gassy pyramids" anyway?

62 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's been downhill since Sexual Personae, which remains the great book on gender difference.

Albeit needing an editor.

Psychedelic George said...

Unclear to me why so much attention is still paid to Kozmik Camille. She's always Drudge fav, for some reason.

All her blather about movie stars and their significance..... zzzzzzzz.....the obituary of Edmond Purdom.....

Best snippet: "[Biographer] Kiernan produces testimony that for years the young [Mary] McCarthy was having sex with a different man every day -- and sometimes several men in one day. Mind-boggling! Was she a gay man in disguise?"

Her new scholarly research: "Natural Vision and Psychotic Mysticism in Theodore Roethke's Poetry."

Meade said...

Oh how I love to wake up to a good Paglia fisking!

"gassy pyramids" - methane from manure?

HelenParr said...

I hope you used Kentucky jelly first.

Instugator said...

I completely missed the "gassy pyramids" - my brain filled in the 'r' and I saw 'grassy pyramids'. Are you sure you don't teach English?

David said...

A gassy pyramid is a refuse dump. You see them all over the midwest, rising from the flatland, grassed over, bubbling methane, sometimes peopled by little soccer players and their moms and dads, or golfers. Inevitably the kids will call them Mt. Trashmore.

Rich B said...

C'mon, you can't expect her to be all negative, can you?

EDH said...

Grassy pyramids?

traditionalguy said...

Paglia calls them like she sees them.Her basic honesty is such a special value in today's popular culture that Paglia will always attract an audience. She really struggles to find the truth somewhere by a method that simply expresses insights into the power of public personalities. She figures we will care for truth as strongly as she does, but she may be wrong.

Hoosier Daddy said...

To be fair, Paglia also credits Obama with saying he'll close Guantanamo.

I'm so glad that Obama is closing Gitmo. Providing these poor folks with the rights of due process is the least we can do.

In other news, a Polish engineer kidnapped by the Tollybon was beheaded.

Darcy said...

I'm sure he was given due process, Hoosier Daddy.

Meade said...

Helen Parr: ha ha ha ha ha!

Host with the Most said...

insipidity

I will use this word "insipidity" today 3 times in sentences to increase my Word Power.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm sure he was Darcy.

I just shake my head in disbelief that Obama thinks that this country needs to make some kind of hands across the water overture to these barbarians.

Actually calling them barbarians is an insult to admirers of Conan.

garage mahal said...

Hoosier
What about a half-Muslim? Would the evil half take over the good half, and make it a barbarian? Kind of like the black-white guy on Star Trek. I've always wondered that, and you seem to be an expert on these types of things. And do you get "beheaded" alerts on Google?

jdeeripper said...

To be fair, Paglia also credits Obama with saying he'll close Guantanamo.

Nobody is going to close Guantanomo. It's a US military base.

If the detention center for suspected terrorist at Guantanomo is closed it will be AFTER the under construction detention center at Bagram, Afghanistan is complete and ready to take the extra detainees.

Bagram, Bagram, Bagram.

Next time some one wants to ask That Guy about closing Guantanomo they should ask him if he's going to close the same type facilities and end the same types of practices at Bagram.

Cedarford said...

..Paglia lamely lambastes "conservative talk radio" for its supposedly claiming — rotely — that every Guantanamo detainee is a proven terrorist who should be "severely punished."

Well, one liberal meme has got her following in mindless lockstep. That America's radical Islam enemies MUST be criminals and those that aren't "guilty" as proven to a jury of US civilians therefore MUST be innocent, or innocent until proven guilty. And if we lack the evidence for conviction, then surely they are harmless as determined by "Due Process, Rule of Law!!" and can be let go.

(Thats why we can all now start calling the 250,000 Nazi POWs we had on US soil in WWII - harmless and innocent. Clearly they must be. As none had civilian trials or lawyers assigned (back then we blessedly had under 200,000 lawyers nation-wide) And holding them years until WWII was over was unconscionable. We should be Better Than That..)

In other news, a Polish engineer kidnapped by the Tollybon was beheaded.

How many US prisoners, Western prisoners, moderate Muslim prisoners do radical Islamists hold?
Oh, that's right, none..But we must so we can show We Are Better Than That..And cause new fuzzy warm affection in Jihadis about the pure goodness of America that will lead them on their own to reform their ways....

(Meanwhile, in actual war reality, Geneva is understood to be reciprocal. When Hitler started talking about executing British bomber crews as war criminals, the Brits sent a message through Geneva that if they did so, Britain would have to start machine-gunning a few camps of Nazi airmen POWs. Hitler backed down.
In Korea, and earlier on certain Pacific Islands, on learning the enemy took no prisoners save for beheading ceremonies later - we started reciprocity..The Chinese and NORKs then decided it was OK to keep US and UN POWs.
Some Japs did, many didn't and the latter were tried during and at war's end - in simple military tribunals that lasted only a few days (for non-Bigshot Japs) - then hanged.

downtownlad said...

I stopped reading the article when she went off on the Fairness Doctrine.

The left doesn't care about the Fairness Doctrine and have no intention of bringing it back. it's simply the right-wing living in a fantasy land, deluding themselves into thinking that this is an issue the left cares about. They don't. Just read any left-wing blog and they will laugh at talk-radio continuing to bring this up.


Sorry - but she has ZERO credibility after she brings the Fairness Doctrine up.

madawaskan said...

garage-

Well, figures you haven't heard of it -that you think someone must get "alerts" to know that it happened.

Henry Buck said...

Sen. Harkin: 'We need the Fairness Doctrine back'

John said...

Contra Downtownlad, the leftosphere might not care about the Fairness Doctrine, but dems in congress do. Try googling Debbie Stabenow and FD.

And let's see, who actually matters to anything, Glenn Greewald or Debbie? Which one can write laws, and which can write shrieky sentences that run on and on and on? Oh yeah.

Henry Buck said...

Sorry, here's the link:

Sen. Harkin: 'We need the Fairness Doctrine back'

downtownlad said...

ZOMG! One Senator wants the Fairness Doctrine to come back.

Yup - And one Republican Senator from Oklahoma thinks that there are roving gangs of lesbians in his state threatening schoolchildren (for real).

Please show me 50 votes in favor of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, let alone 60 needed to overcome a fillibuster. So far you've named one.

Until then - you're not only paranoid - you are delusional.

downtownlad said...

Do you even read the articles you're posting as "evidence"???

From YOUR article.


For instance, Dick Durbin has spoken favorably of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine in the past, but when I contacted his office last week, his press secretary said that he “has no plans to introduce any legislation on the issue, nor is it even on the radar.”

Awesome said...

I originally read "Pizzle", as in the Trader Joe's dog treat, which made me think of Paglia in quite a different position.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier
What about a half-Muslim? Would the evil half take over the good half, and make it a barbarian? Kind of like the black-white guy on Star Trek.


Sorry garage, I've only had a two cups of coffee this morning. What exactly are you trying to say?

And do you get "beheaded" alerts on Google?

No, I get them from the sources you get that we're torturing poor, Muslims in Gitmo and secret CIA prisons in Siberia.

I know such articles don't paint your favorite victims in a positive light. I can't help that.

Paul Snively said...

I appreciate Paglia's appreciation of both Nigella Lawson's linguistic erudition and her body. I find it simultaneously amusing, healthy, and respectful.

But yeah, what the heck is she talking about with Obama and how smoothly everything has gone except his promotion of the stimulus bill? WTF?

Henry Buck said...

DTL,

It's not one senator. A number of them have expressed interest in it, and although they subsequently downplay it, not one of them has actually backed off. Stabenow only shut up about it due to the huge conflict of interest she has on the topic. So let's find another front man for the project - Harkin.

Darcy said...

I agree with the Nigella bit too, Paul Snively.

And hey, I ordered that book you recommended! :)

Palladian said...

What's the "fairness doctrine" like in China? Oh that's right.

Paul Snively said...

Darcy: And hey, I ordered that book you recommended! :)

"Foucault's Pendulum?" You'll either be enthralled or bored to tears, but you'll know exactly what a "homunculus" is, and in context, not just from a dry, dusty dictionary definition. I love Eco when he's on, and I think "Pendulum" is far and away his best work, even better than "The Name of the Rose," which is also genius. I'll also offer my opinion that the entirety of "Pendulum" can be effectively summarized in a single sentence, and that that sentence appears on "Pendulum's" overleaf, but even if you figure out which sentence I'm referring to, it won't detract from reading "Pendulum." Now that's genius.

garage mahal said...

No, I get them from the sources you get that we're torturing poor, Muslims in Gitmo and secret CIA prisons in Siberia.

Interesting.

TitusLetTheSunshineIn said...

I am outraged. How dare she. This has been the worst month in the entire existence of this country. She was cool going off on democrats and Clintons but now she comes up with this.

TitusLetTheSunshineIn said...

When I drink Grape Juice my loaves are green and really smell.

TitusLetTheSunshineIn said...

Grape Juice is a thirst quencher as well as a loaf stinkener.

TitusLetTheSunshineIn said...

The loaf has an almost acid smell to it. I wish you could all smell it. I can't wait until computers have smellevision

TitusLetTheSunshineIn said...

Drudge likes her because they are both homos.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Interesting.

Isn't it? Garage, I only know that about you because before Bush left office, Cheney personally stopped by my house and gave me 8 years worth of files containing your illegally tapped phone calls, Google searches and how much you spent on Propecia treatments.

Then we went pheasant hunting, drank two bottles of Wild Turkey and then flushed a Koran down the toilet.

That Cheney is a wild and crazy guy.

Darcy said...

Yes, I ordered "Pendulum", and almost ordered "The Name of the Rose", but opted for "The Stranger" instead.

Thanks, Paul! Hopefully, you'll be around to discuss it with me when I'm finished reading it.

rdkraus said...

Not just, or only, the fairness (ie. censorship) doctrine (I mean, why use their upside down language?)

There are more than one ways to skin a cat, and the Dem's are on it: dirersity, community rep's, etc.

dtl - get head out of .... sand.

paul a'barge said...

Camille, Camille, Camille!

The detainees in GTMO were captured on the battle field while engaged in terrorism.

So, what is your suggestion for where to put these murdering monsters? Your house.

You nattering moron.

Korla said...

So, Ann, a quick survey: only 2 weeks in, knowing what you know now, and given the chance, would you change your vote?

Now that the novelty of a half-black man being president has a chance to start wearing off, I am wondering if some people are beginning to wake up from their November daydreaming.

veni vidi vici said...

garage mahal said...
"What about a half-Muslim? Would the evil half take over the good half, and make it a barbarian? Kind of like the black-white guy on Star Trek. I've always wondered that, and you seem to be an expert on these types of things. And do you get "beheaded" alerts on Google?"

This guy thinks he's the enlightened one, when the foregoing comment is as clear a demonstration of non-nuanced "all them brown/muslim folks are the same" thinking as could be imagined.

Nice going! The smell I thought was Titus' loaves is in fact your anti-Muslim intolerance.

author, etc. said...

Ah, lighten up everyone - Paglia may not always carry a tune, but she can damn sure lay down a riff. And "gassy pyramids" aside, the woman's got a style I enjoy.

Kurt said...

I'm inclined to agree with Author, etc. One reads Paglia more for the occasionally fascinating insights than for any great logic tying them together. She can be very impressive at her best points, but I will certainly never understand how she reconciles those insights with the political philosophy that prompts her to vote the way she says she does.

ricpic said...

Paglia's a lefty. Although she occasionally sees clearly through the smog of disinformation the left spews over all of us it would be asking too much of her to admit to the total catastrophe being wrought by her buddies.

ricpic said...

Green huh, Titus? Grape juice should produce purple loaves. We all know that. Which means that you are most likely in the early stages of gazotti-kasazza disease. I'd see a doctor if I were you. But I'm not you, praise be.

madawaskan said...

Interesting that Paglia makes the military personnel connection.

Hell, maybe they could learn Obama a thing or two.

You know-like-

If your platoon leader is yellin'-

Holly F@$% this is bad!

-not too many are going to be wanting to follow ya.

Simple things-like that.

Chip Ahoy said...

I would like to share an observation that might could be useful for would-be authors.

Please bear.

Anne Rice's original manuscript was a meager few hundred pages. When she handed it to a publisher she met at a writer's seminar in Aspen she had just suffered the loss of her daughter to leukemia. In that manuscript, Claudia, the girl turned vampire at an early age and stuck forever as a girl, walked off into the darkness with Armand. The publisher held the manuscript for a year before contacting Rice expressing interest in the book but asked the ending to be reworked. Rice expanded elaborately on the Theatre de Vampires Where Claudia died, extending the book by over a hundred pages. It's believed Claudia was the literary substitute for Michele, her real-life daughter, and through the year that elapsed since handing the manuscript over in Aspen was able to psychologically process her death. After building up the mystery of the Theatre at length, Rice burns it down.

Similarly, in The Name of the Rose, Eco goes to great length building up the mystery of the monastic library. The secrecy, the intrigue, the treasures, the coded labyrinth, the architecture, the greatness of it all as the depository of Western civilization, and then, after all that, burns it down.

So my observation is this: if ever in need for an ending to a book, conflagrations are a great way to draw it al down.

Darcy said...

Very interesting, Chip Ahoy!!

(Please don't tell me the ending to Foucault's Pendulum though...;-)

Henry Buck said...

Chip -

The same thing works with advanced economies.

Zeb Quinn said...

Nobody is going to close Guantanomo. It's a US military base.

Don't underestimate Obama. Cuba has been demanding we shut it and move out for a long time, and what a nice gesture it would make to poor Fidel on his deathbed. Symbolic even.

PatCA said...

She is seeing what she wants to see. When Obama purses his lips and knits his brow, like when Joe talks, he looks like The Church Lady. That must be his "I am the President Now" Look.

pete-who said...

So, Ann, a quick survey: only 2 weeks in, knowing what you know now, and given the chance, would you change your vote?

To whom? McCain? Do you think he'd have done any better over the last two weeks? Remember he's the guy that blamed the financial crisis on short sales, and was all ready to fire the SEC chairman because of it.

Barry Dauphin said...

I pretty much agree with Kurt. She is a creative writer, which can mean the best and worst. She's excitable but no where near as excitable as we-all-know-who. She is quite willing to puncture certain lefty pretensions.

No question that she missed the boat on the difficulties of the first weeks. I do not think she is a Kool-aid drinker though. I find some of this stuff more forgivable in her than in the pretentious left.

Are gassy pyramids anything like grassy knolls?

Synova said...

Cuba has been demanding we shut it and move out for a long time, and what a nice gesture it would make to poor Fidel on his deathbed. Symbolic even.

I can't tell if you mean that like it's a *good* thing.

(Granted... I figure that an influx of USian tourists and capitalists to Cuba would work better than any army to topple communism there. Would Fidel still be in power on his deathbed if Cuba hadn't been isolated?)

Patm said...

I like Paglia a lot, but I feel like she pulled her punches and gave Obama too much. Okay, she voted for him and she's not ready to say "he's a stinker and we got a lemon". That's understandable. But in pulling her punches, her usual honest voice is pulled and tense.

Defining the presidency down. Of course.

Bush was the last American president.

Revenant said...

That one-year-from-now promise and relaxed demeanor around military folk was good for you?

Paglia gets more credit for clear thinking than some of the lefties around here, one or two of which have stated that Obama's new promise to close Guantanamo counts as KEEPING his earlier promise to close Guantanamo.

Now that's a low standard, when making a promise twice counts as keeping a promise once.

Greg Toombs said...

And for anyone still listening out there, no congress folk are needed to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. The FCC owns the decision and they'll be majority Democrat (3-2) this summer.

Of course legislation and/or court cases may follow...

Beth said...

I'm in with the folks who enjoyed her musings on Nigella Lawson, and all her glories.

Revenant said...

Of course legislation and/or court cases may follow...

It is unlikely that the Court would uphold a return of the Fairness Doctrine. The basis for upholding it before was that the government needed to do so in order to ensure that multiple viewpoints were represented in broadcasts. In the 22 years since the FCC abolished the Doctrine, the range of viewpoints available via broadcast has expanded and diversified to an extent a TV viewer of the mid-80s couldn't have dreamed of. It has, in other words, been proven that the argument for the Fairness Doctrine was fallacious. Hopefully the Supreme Court will take note of this.

But even if they did decide to uphold it, precedent has been that only forms of communication which are inherently limited can be so regulated. Forms of communication which allow for theoretically unlimited numbers of competitors do not. That leaves cable, Internet, and (probably) digital broadcasts outside of the realm of FCC control. Unless you still have rabbit ears sitting on top of your TV, Supreme Court precedent SHOULD leave you unaffected by a return of the Fairness Doctrine.

pj said...

Chip Ahoy: reading Rose right now.