Thursday, July 30, 2015

Must Read the Brilliant Camille Paglia on Culture and Politics

She is a very, smart, ballsy woman with very original ideas, a clear understanding of history and does not suffer fools.

This is an excellent interview. There are so many clever thoughts articulated in this piece that I am going to read it a few more times because I don't want to miss anything.

Read the whole thing. 

Some choice nuggets:

Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination.”  It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents– they’re still sneering at dad in some way....All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system.  They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny.  Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death."

On "snark atheism" (brilliant):

"I despise snark.  Snark is a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart and has proliferated since. I think it’s horrible for young people!  And this kind of snark atheism–let’s just invent that term right now–is stupid, and people who act like that are stupid."

On comedy (also brilliant):

"Comedy, to me, is one of the major modern genres, and the big influences on my generation were Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. Then Joan Rivers had an enormous impact on me–she’s one of my major role models.  It’s the old caustic, confrontational style of Jewish comedy."

"It was Jewish comedians who turned stand-up from the old gag-meister shtick of vaudeville into a biting analysis of current social issues, and they really pushed the envelope.  Lenny Bruce used stand-up to produce gasps and silence from the audience. And that’s my standard–a comedy of personal risk"

I think that's the best definition of stand-up comedy, and possibly comedy in general, that I've ever seen. 

And then a bit about her media reads (very similar to mine actually, but I usually cannot stomach Salon). This is how a reasonable, intelligent, well-informed person gets information, along with reading books of course.

I like her style:

"The first thing I always turn to is the Drudge Report, which I’ve done around the clock since the birth of that page... I admire the mix on Drudge of all types of news stories, high and low."

"The reason that nobody has been able to imitate Drudge is because he’s an auteur, stamping the page with his own unique sensibility and instincts.  It must be exhausting, because he must constantly filter world news on a daily basis.  He’s simply an aggregator, not a news source, but he has an amazing sense of collage. '

"The page is fluid and always in motion, and Drudge is full of jokes and mischief."

"So I begin with that, and then I check the New York Post, the New York Times,,, and Arts & Letters Daily.  The Washington Post online is far more ideologically diverse than the printed newspaper ever was.  I’ll look at British papers of opposing sides, like The Guardian and The Telegraph, and I’m a big fan of the tabloid Daily Mail.  I like Google News a lot–I can type in a topic like “Hillary” and get a whole range of articles, both liberal and conservative, including on obscure fringe web sites."

"I think it’s an absolute civic obligation for people to at least briefly review the full political spectrum of viewpoints on any major issue."