Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

11 April, 2007

Everything you ever needed to know about Camille Paglia's gender politics in a single paragraph

Jeebus. Just because a body uses big words and has an attitude is no reason to give her a megaphone to spread her nitwitticisms:
If women as a group are to advance, it is critical for female politicians as prominent as Hillary to mount serious campaigns for the highest office. So what Hillary is doing is important, even simply to draw a road map for future female aspirants. But it's up to registered Democrats (including me) to decide whether Hillary is in fact suited for the Oval Office or whether her talents are more tailored for a Cabinet role, such as secretary of health and human services.

We'll leave for now Paglia's boneheaded assertion that voters have any say in who is tailored for a Cabinet role. Instead we turn to her patented dichotomizing. It's up to voters to decide if Hillary is suited to the Oval Office (a historical manly men's club), or the Department of Health and Human Services, where she will be able to attend to the more "traditional" concerns of women that she so neglected in her personal life, we're to assume. Because really, the range of human gender is neatly divided into two narrowly defined categories.

Bonus inanity from this pompous gasbag!:
However, I am a skeptic about what is currently called global warming. I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue. As a lapsed Catholic, I detest dogma in any area. Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.

Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.

First, can we note the out-of-left-field self-promotion of her brilliantly bad Sexual Personae for no apparent reason in that third graf? You don't get to count that as a citation on your CV, Camille, and no self-respecting grad student is going to read your tome unless it's to point and laugh.

And then, of course, based on her growing up in upstate NY and having a college professor who encouraged her to study geology (and oh, how we wish this professor had been successful!), she dismisses the consensus opinion of climatologists, enshrined in the studies of the conservatively biased (in the scientific sense) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as religious dogma. From her perspective, the major claims about global warming have yet to be proven. Of course, from her perspective, she's a Major Thinker who'll be celebrated in the academic canon for centuries.

Moreover, she reduces climate change to "[s]lowly rising sea levels [that] will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida," and when that happens, people will just move, as they've always done. No mention that even small increases in the average temperature can completely disrupt ecosystems, cause mass extinctions, and completely ruin economies. But nope, for her, it's all a hypothetical matter of losing a vacation home.

What a twit.

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