September 20, 2010

"BRUCE BAWER: Whatever Happened To Camille Paglia? She was never the same after crossing swords with Ann Althouse...."

Ha ha.

And here's the direct link to the Bawer piece:
In those first years after Sexual Personae, Paglia seemed to turn up everyplace. By 1992 she had churned out enough irreverent, entertaining essays for a sizable collection, Sex, Art, and American Culture. Two years later along came another grab-bag, Vamps and Tramps. For a while, the pieces just seemed to pour out of her.

But Paglia was too hot not to cool down. As the years went by, her output declined. And what she did turn out seemed increasingly familiar. She was repeating herself. What had once been provocative was now stale. And her determination to inject herself and her personal history into everything she wrote grew tiresome....

And then came 9/11.... On this all-important subject, Paglia was all but silent....

For some years now, Paglia’s chief forum has been a monthly column on the salon.com website in which she’s combined pop-culture commentary with political opinions. Though she continues to try to sound boldly irreverent, her schtick is old, her voice is tired, and her politics are more consistent with the official liberal line than any Paglia enthusiast of twenty years ago would ever have expected...

Then, on the Sunday before last, the London Times ran what seems to be the longest essay Paglia has published in years. It was touted by the newspaper as “explosive.” What was it about? Banning burkas? Suicide bombing? Female genital mutilation?  No, it was about Lady Gaga....  her Lady Gaga piece accomplished was to affirm her irrelevance.
Here's my reaction to the Gaga goo goo.

And here are: "My Dinner With Camille" ("I didn't know I was capable of stressing out such a big rockstar diva") and "Try to Survive a Tornado With a Post-Structuralist" (the blog post that stressed her out).

26 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

The problem is that the whole sexual identity thing is worn out and trite.

How long can you beat on that shit?

Feminist and gays have been pounding on that bullshit for 40 years.

Wasn't that interesting to begin with.

In other words, hipsterism is dead and exhausted. Time for something new. Like, maybe, traditional John Wayne values.

Irene said...

Wicca seat savers: I had almost forgotten.

ricpic said...

Schvartzes are only concerned about schvartzes. Roman Catholic Italian Camille is only concerned with Roman Catholic Italians. First Madonna. Now Gaga. Her words, not mine. A Paglia column always at some point lets us know how much her thought is informed by her Roman Catholic Italian background. Perfectly legit. But limiting.

Moose said...

Gotta agree with Thomas here. Sexual politics and "gay" anything are essentially vehicles for endless moral masturbation and naught else. Which sorta dates Camille. However I still love her for her earlier works and her overall feisty-ness.

Me - I'm sorta leaning towards gay marriage just to we can get Sully and his Mickey Mouse club members to shut the fuck up.

edutcher said...

Everybody burns out, although some of her work was pretty good. She was one of the first to sock it to the feminists.

WV "medness" What happens to nurses when the pass out too much medication.

traditionalguy said...

I fear that Camille is not smart enough to deal with a superior mind. She has always had one trick pony, dumbed down opposition to go up against. The realm of ideas within western culture is a vast arena that Camille has had all to her own in the 1980s as the traditional female voice that could be heard while White Men were peremtorily disqualified for crimes of patriarchy.

ndspinelli said...

Firstly, anyone who accuses Paglia of not being smart is obviously projecting.

Paglia can be condescending and controlling. She does play the Italian woman tune too often. However, being an Italian man, I get her better than most. She is the archetypal tough, smart, Italian woman of my youth. My God, she looks and talks like my Aunt Julia.

Scott M said...

Say what you will about Camille, but she wrote one of the most fair articles on the difference between both sides of the abortion debate in the Atlantic a couple years back. While she claims she's pro-choice, she admitted that the pro-life side seemed to have a better argument to make.

traditionalguy said...

ndspinelli...If I wanted a tough and adroit advocate for a position, then Camille wins that job. But if I wanted to hear an intellectual duel between equals, Camille is out of her league.

Muggins said...

"...beat on shit?" Sexuality has become boring?
No.
Sexuality and it's issues continue to churn in society. From the aggression in the press towards female Republican candidates, to gays in the military, sex rears it's proverbial ugly head. There are such problems as the decline of boys in higher education, burkas in public, celibacy in the Catholic Church, and women slavery,torture and mutilation in the Islamic world.

And no again with summarizing Paglia's work as being "hipsterism". I would expect such a statement from my crotchety ol' uncle...and I mean really old. I don't agree with everything Paglia writes, but she's a must read.

shoutingthomas said...

Sexuality has become boring?

Whoa!

I didn't say that.

I said that the obsession with sexual identity that characterizes feminism and gay activism is boring.

An entirely different thing.

Michael said...

From the article: "Paglia’s book was sui generis, staggering in its originality."

Well, I guess "staggering in its originality" is another way of saying 400 pages of unsupported assertions.

Joe said...

I'd say it's more because while extreme feminists still have an impact on politicians, they've become nothing more than shrill voices in the popular culture and almost completely ignored by most young women today. (And those women that do pay attention pretty think the extreme feminists are bat shit crazy.)

At the core Paglia's side--i.e. pragmatic feminism--won and the rest has always been irrelevant (intellectual rantings on sexuality are boring.)

Paglia's only option is to go loony extreme and that's not her. At least not yet. Time will tell.

Kirby Olson said...

Ayaan Ali Hirsi is the new Camille Paglia: more truly relevant to the conversation that needs to happen now about the global situation of women.

Also, she is an actual artist (her screenplay SUBMISSION got her director killed).

A truly explosive personality, and truly daring. Camille never really risked anything.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the ticket.

Has Paglia ever commented on Ali?

Ayaan's certainly a lot more important than Lady Gaga.

deborah said...

ST, instapundit quoted your first post.

shoutingthomas said...

ST, instapundit quoted your first post.

Is there any money in that?

kurt9 said...

Brilliant one, shoutingthomas.

For those who don't know, shoutingthomas is both a musician as well as a music critic. He is very knowledgeable of the history of the various genres of music as well as how these various genres play themselves out.

Pseudo-intellectual trends like the sexual identity thing are like certain genres of music. They have a finite self-life before they get played out. Once they are played out, its time to move on to something new.

deborah said...

Sorry, ST, you'll have to be satisfied with our envy.

deborah said...

Dish, Althouse. You giggled when you linked from the requested promotion piece to the 'tornado' post, didn't you?

Andrew said...

"400 pages of unsupported assertions."

Not an end-note reader?

The Crack Emcee said...

Now you leave Camille alone:

She's the only self-acknowledged NewAger that - if it was up to me - I'd let live.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - I'd pay good money to see you and she debate.

Jenner said...

They are only trying to marginalize her because she is a reasonable liberal. She acknowledges both sides of an issue, and explains her opinions rationally (her abortion column was especially truthful).

She is the only liberal I can stand to read. I only discovered her during the 2008 campaign, but she gave Palin a fair shake, and for that I think I will always be a fan.

c3 said...

well at least she hasn't been on
"Dancing with the Stars"

(or has she?)

TMink said...

The left is just dumping Camille because she talked with respect about Sarah Palin.

Trey

deborah said...

Oh, look, those edjimicated, high-falutin' womens from Double X are on orange alert.