You can watch it here – 15 minutes and well worth the time.
Eric passed this along to me. I was at Barnes & Noble and was leafing through Paglia’s new book, Glittering Images, and after watching the vidya I’ll be going back to buy it. More on that in a moment…
Paglia, like the late Christopher Hitchens, is a public intellectual of sorts who holds many views I don’t agree with but nevertheless produces compelling work clearly thought out, and is unafraid to take an unpopular stand among the increasingly dogmatic American left. Of her books, I’ve read only Sexual Personae and had never given her much thought until, on the left-wing “pages” of Salon, she started defending Sarah Palin and is an avid Rush Limbaugh listener.
Wait, what? Paglia, a feminist, an atheist and a Democrat, raved about how much she enjoyed the emergence of Palin, and this drove her fellow liberals bonkers in much the same way that Hitchens’ defense of Bush’s Iraq invasion drove them nuts. It’s telling that instances of respected liberals taking unpopular stands within liberalism can be counted on one hand, no? /groupthink
So, more and more I started reading Paglia’s writing at Salon, then I read Sexual Personae, then I started reading older pieces she’d written … and then I realized I had a helluva lot more in common with this woman and her thinking than a shared enthusiasm for Sarah Palin.
Paglia voted for Obama in 2008 but is supporting Green Party candidate Jill Stein (who Reynolds has also interviewed, and to his credit, gives her more press than any other gateway in the mainstream or right-wing media I”m aware of). Paglia’s expertise is art – it’s clear in 15 minutes talking with Reynolds that, as I’ve insisted before, true academics and truly intelligent people don’t stutter and stumble like the POTUS – Paglia crams more information about and allusions to various works and movements of art into her conversation than I could even keep track of.
I’m sure somewhere in liberal solons that conservatives like me are referred to as “Paglia Fanboys,” and if that’s the case, so be it.
As for Glittering Images, Paglia characterizes its aim quite interestingly to me: she refers to it as an entree into the art world for mothers homeschooling their children. Paglia loathes snobbery and in her writing repeatedly rues how shock art and sacreligious art has actually served the doubly-negative purpose of getting far more attention than it deserves while resulting in the general public turning on art, the arts, and arts funding and education. In the interview with Reynolds, she talks about how much damage the silly Piss Christ has no doubt done. Like Paglia, I’m an atheist who doesn’t hate or demean religion, and it infuriates me when “artists” of all kinds – including writers, singers, composers, actors and yes, even comedians – take cheap shots at Christianity but won’t utter a world about The Religion of Peace. Frankly, its cowardly.
Watch the vidya.