Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Camille Paglia = kinda in my cool book

A little while back, liberal writer Camille Paglia took a pretty decent shot at the inevitable rise of Hillary Clinton to her destined role in the White House. Writing in Salon, Paglia says:

"It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts."

"As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, 'What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?'"

A pretty solid salvo coming from someone on the left. But then just recently, with the Miley Cyrus/VMA's outrage du jour dialed up to 11, Paglia pretty much comes to what I think is the right conclusion about the whole thing -- it just wasn't sexy:

"But the real scandal was how atrocious Cyrus’ performance was in artistic terms. She was clumsy, flat-footed and cringingly unsexy . . . Madonna’s provocations were smolderingly sexy because she had a good Catholic girl’s keen sense of transgression. Subversion requires limits to violate."

She finished up by correctly pointing out that the awkward performance betrayed the "...childishness of Cyrus’ notion of sexuality."

In the article, Paglia cites Madonna's "Vogue" video as the height of the singer's combination of artistic style and sexiness. I would respectfully disagree on that point. I believe the video for "Respect Yourself" was much better. The song was stronger and more dynamic, and the video with its "Metropolis" vibe was inspired. The subtle shadings and color, the retro avant-garde look of the set -- fabulous. And it was sexy too, using some old school restraint with implied nudity and subtle bondage/dominance themes. It pushed the boundaries in an artistic way. Quite possibly my favorite video of all time.

And exactly the opposite of Miley's performance. Driving home the point that she doesn't have any artistic influences other than the barren wasteland of social media. There's something to be said for reading classic literature, watching classic old movies, and so on. If you don't have a foundation to build upon, you're just going to end up flailing away and making a mess.

Kinda like we just saw the other night.

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