Kathy G is on it—Camille Paglia has outdone herself in the stupidity department, if you can believe it. People always wonder why Salon publishes her, but I don’t. She was a founder; she probably has an iron-bound contract that says they have to. Mickey Kaus and Lord Saletan are harder-working contrarians, and that’s saying a lot, because being a contrarian is just a matter of guessing what your average liberal thinks and disagreeing. It’s not really different than being a conservative, except you maintain a pose—some people pull it off for years—that you’re a liberal who just finds your fellows thoughtless or disagreeable. Paglia’s twist on this is that she’s the feminist who hates women, unless they give her girl wood. So naturally, she luvs Sarah Palin. Her crush reminds me of this post Samhita linked yesterday for discussion. I disagree that men as a whole are so dick-oriented in their thinking, but I couldn’t disagree that this is going on in light of the wood-based voting comments offered by Rich Lowry, and Palin’s winking and wiggling her way through the debate.
However a lot of men, especially older men see her as hot. She’s a fantasy come to life. She’s the naughty librarian ‘MILF’ who they’d love to get with. This manifest itself in the form of male talk show hosts giving her a pass. Many actually spend valuable time talking about her looks and small time stuff and not her scary politics.
It manifest itself in people actually giving John McCain props for picking such a nice ‘looking babe’ versus’s focusing on his shortcomings. It sort of like him having a trophy wife. Except this one will have serious impact on US policy. It manifest itself in male producers who are behind the scenes spending time editing film and audio tape giving her a favorable look as she is a welcome break from the daily onslaught of old wrinkly white males who they are usually editing.
Paglia is one of these guys. She denies that her main attraction to Palin is bone-ability, but seriously, she invokes Madonna and she waxes poetic about Palin’s motherhood, as if that’s unique amongst female candidates. She actually tries to compare Palin’s unintelligible answers to questions to the dialects of recent immigrants who speak broken English, which is inventive and charming, but I have to point out is a product of necessity. Palin is a lifelong English-speaker. Paglia waves her hands about voting for Obama, but seriously, she writes like a full-blown wingnut.
As for Palin’s brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don’t we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor?
Sure they did, Camille. Sure they did.
Like I told Kathy, I think that Paglia probably likes Palin not despite of Palin’s hostility to rape victims and unwillingness to put law enforcement on the job of fighting rape, but because of it. I dare someone to write her and bring it up, and see what she says.
Paglia is lazy, but I’m not sure it’s easy to be her. After all, her entire writing career is about filtering the world through two lens: 1) Women are just obviously inferior to men, and the only good woman is a woman who presents a fantasy (preferably sexual) for men, and never questions male authority or even violence and 2) Nuh-uh. Which is to say that if she’s not interested in listening to liberal ideas or arguments, but she just knows they’re wrong and will spend her entire time writing coming up with allusion-laden rationalizations for why. If she lives this way, it must be exhausting. Think about all the interactions that she has to be a bellicose bully to get through in order to preserve her self-image as a masculinity-upholding force of super-reader nature. Speculations:
*Paglia usually drinks coffee in the morning that she makes herself. Her wife, in a moment of graciousness, gets up before her and makes the coffee. Paglia swoops in and bristles at the nicey-nice liberal lady behavior. “From now on, I’ll be drinking tea. Liberals have lost the verve and the nerve that drove the revolutionaries to throw the Boston Tea Party. Western imperialists conquered the world with their masculine heartiness reinforced by tea, not coffee. I’ll have nothing to do with the elitist coffee bean that may show up in salt of the earth 7-11 coffee machines, but is also in the drinks of the nattering ladies who cluster in upscale espresso bars.”
*Standing in line at the grocery store, Paglia looks up and sees that the clerk in the next line has opened it up. She waves Paglia over and points out it’ll be much faster in the shorter line. Paglia harrumphs. “Convenience is what makes people so weak. The Greeks would have never been victorious in the Trojan War if they’d tried to speed through it. Madonna wouldn’t have become The Greatest Feminist Ever if she’d given up after her first album.”
*At the bank, the teller notes that she can get Paglia into a better savings account with a higher interest rate in two keystrokes. Paglia arches an eyebrow at her and says, “I will take your offer, but I have to register my distress at the way this bank is run. I blame the feminists who think that women should just be offered the easy life and higher interest rates. What ever happened to scratching and clawing and fighting? Athena did not slide into a higher interest rate through the comforting moisture of the vagina. She burst through a skull and demanded it! Why have feminists abandoned the warrior spirit?”
*In the parking lot, a guy driving by in his car wolf whistles at Paglia. She feels annoyed, and assumes that it must be because other women out there can’t find it in their heart to bask in the mighty masculine power she just bore witness to. She gazes after the car, composing an ode to the “No Fear” sticker on the back window, one that features the word “hysterical” to describe anyone who thinks those stickers are stupid and/or tacky.
*Back at home on the couch, Paglia’s wife suggests they watch the latest critical darling in the vein of “The Wire” or “Mad Men”. Paglia agrees, but within 15 minutes finds herself becoming annoyed. “Lord Byron would have never just sat down at his desk and carefully written his work as if he were Emily Dickinson scribbling away in secret in her bedroom. So why must these TV writers? Have they forgotten the true life of the writer, to put down the pen and go tackle the world! Change the channel. The only true poets working in TV are the ones who toss off the ideas for reality TV shows and then go out drinking.”
Since we’re weak-minded, feminized liberals, let’s make this a community effort. Come up with your own examples of how Paglia’s attitude must make her life wearying.