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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Camille

She's baaaaack.

Naomi deserves the drubbing. If you haven't read the Salon interview, you should. I do want the book.

Camille also delivers a face-slashing, tooth-bashing attack on the "intellectuals" of the Democratic party:
This is why the Republican Party has gained and why the Democratic Party is in disarray — because the Democrats have lost one of their key signature issues from 1960s leftism. Why has the GOP become the freedom party? ... 

It’s like the movie of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” — Democrats have turned into the Eloi; they’re like sheep. They hear a signal, and it’s like pre-programmed spin in their heads — they just trot like sheep in one direction. I am voting Green in protest against the systemic corruption of my party. ... 

If Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media had listened to me and begun criticizing the administration early on, there would have been ample time for a course correction and Obama would now be sailing into reelection. ... 

But liberals have now been trained to be docile and obedient. Last month, I was the featured speaker in a debate about gender roles at the Yale Political Union. At the dinner at Mory’s beforehand, the very bright and talented student organizers were telling me about how every academic year begins with a counseling session where they are instructed about the nature of sexual “consent.” So I said to them, do you understand that there is a level here of surveillance and control of your private lives that at the University of Paris would be considered grotesque? Why should the administration of any college be telling young people the way they should be interacting with each other? But these very able and promising students have been brought up in a culture of smothering paternalistic observation and control. It’s so authoritarian!
Drones, endless bombing campaigns, an utter disrespect for individual rights, a creeping culture of Big Brotherism and a drive for economic and cultural suicide - I don't recognize my country. And the modern Democratic party only will squeak about this when they are OUT of power.

To me it feels as if the culture war is between adults and adolescents. I think the fault lies in my generation (roughly). The slightly older ones started out in a tempestuous explosion of drugs, sex and narcissism in their teens and early twenties, and just never grew up for the most part. Some did - see Assistant Village Idiot.

My cohort was always out of sync with this - that's because we were the children of the bad times of the 70s and early 80s. By the time we hit our early twenties, we were just focused on making it. There was a huge social divergence, and the chattering, nattering potheads never got any serious challenge from my group. We looked at them with absolute contempt and a total lack of sympathy, and they looked at us with absolute contempt and a total lack of empathy (they were always terrible at empathy), and we never have learned to talk to each other. My group did not want to go in with the potheads in academia. If we did do it, we tended to go into the "hard", quantitative fields. They took over the field in all the "weak" disciplines, and after a while they got strong enough to start taking over control of what you could say in the "hard" disciplines.

What they have made of academia is utterly frightening. There is nothing left of liberalism but the Triumph of the Will to Crush All Dissent. That's the ugly truth. Scientific integrity is about gone.

The younger people see it. I was reading Bad Data, Bad! this weekend. She recently had her first child, and she wrote about a talk she was giving:
Also, you'd like my talk. I use the sentence "so this is a little kumbaya, why should [you] care in the real world?". 

 I think that sentence should be used in all talks about how to get along in the workplace. 

I also raise the idea that diversity of thought is an incredibly under recognized aspect of diversity, and that's not a good thing. I think that idea should come up in every talk where the word "diversity" is mentioned.
In the end, our inner children won out, and now our children have to learn how to be adults without any good examples.To help, we are bequeathing them a crushing weight of trouble and an extremely dangerous international system. That's our new motto - Build Your Own Character, Baby, and Pay Our Debts.

Somehow, I think they may decline to pay our debts. They have no alternative but to develop character.

Comments:

I was too young to have many memories of the 70's, but what I do remember is that nothing worked.

Spacelab burned up, Apollo petered out, and the new Space Shuttle looked like a committee-driven design. The wood panels on our station wagon peeled. We were supposed to freeze in winter and bake in summer because of some kind of energy crisis. People thought Harvest Gold and Avocado Green were nice colors. The nice man on TV after dinner went on and on about some Americans trapped in an embassy somewhere.

Ugh. And we have to do it again, but without the built-up capital of the 50's and 60's.

 
Anon posted:
"I have always found it odd that Drudge periodically features such a small-time esoteric character as militant lesbian Camille Paglia. "

Followed by a link to a deleted question on Yahoo answers. Because of a potential security problem, I have deleted that comment and replaced it with this one. The intent is not to censor.
 
Neil - and with the weight of the aging Baby Boomer generation to bear. It is an intimidating prospect.

On the other hand, Europe has essentially attempted to bomb itself fiscally flat a la the post WWII era, so the relative advantage for the New World is pretty big. If we want to get serious, we can dig out.

Time's a' wasting, though.
 
Anon - so what if she's a lesbian. I wouldn't exactly call her a militant lesbian - she's too independent to be a militant as the word is generally used. Maybe "unapologetic" would be a better word?

Her value lies in her bent to look at symbols, images and cultural connectedness, AND MAKE IT ADD UP.

The disconnect that emerged in our intellectual "elite" was due to the failure to ever test their ideas in the real world with any sort of personal accountability.

Every society needs visionaries, but the visions must be put to the test.

The classic example of what went utterly wrong in US culture is Paul R. Ehrlich. He produced an endless series of environmental catastrophic predictions, every one of which went wrong. He made a ton of money and is still a much-honored academic. The ability to utterly ignore reality is not a survival trait, yet the honors for Ehrlich keep rolling in.
 

Oh yeah, Erlich--how could I have left that out? I remember being told by my teachers that the world was getting colder due to man's pollution, and would enter a new ice age if we didn't stop driving our cars. But it didn't really matter, since we'd all starve first due to overpopulation.

Taught me to have appropriate respect for science, they did.

 
The 70's marked the end of cheap oil which the U.S. had enjoyed since the end of World War 2. The U.S. at one time told the oil producing counties how much we would pay for a barrel of oil, my how times have changed! The driving force behind growth has been cheap energy not politics and as it becomes more expensive our overly dependent energy lifestyle suffers.
 
Excellent; thank you very much for this post.
 
Camille doesn’t and never did hate men. Hillary did, and does hate men.
 
There was a huge social divergence, and the chattering, nattering potheads never got any serious challenge from my group.

That is because, as I've said before, they were always the larger voting bloc and that alone gave them more power.
 
Your comments about the children of the 60s vs 70s split really resonated with me. I graduated college in 82 and arrived on campus in 78. We had lived through the oil crisis of 73, the ensuing recession and then lived through another oil crisis in 79 and all the ennui of the Carter years. We were very focused on getting a job and generally took school seriously.

I lived in a fraternity and alums from the late 60s/early 70s would show up at homecoming and other times during the year and tell stories about what life was like back then. Academics for them almost seemed like a hobby of sorts that you got around to when you weren't protesting something much more important or on a multi-day bender. I think they cancelled classes and finals for the last month of the year at one point.

I agree with you that there was a clear cohort from this era that segued into academia and never really confronted the reality of the world the rest of us inhabit. They've created their own reality that is essentially devoid of any accountability, paired with an orthodoxy so strident that it would be labeled fascist if there were any objective analysts in either the academy or the media.

I agree the kids see that they are being force fed the orthodoxy by this group. My son in high school even understands that he has to moderate his views in class due to the overwhelmingly liberal slant of his school's faculty (see the "this is a Democratic school" incident in Philly, for example). He's not drinking the Kool-Aide, he's got his own views.

Eventually they will die off and retire and when the young cohorts figure out the cost of the bill they've been handed by the liberals, I suspect the credibility of the old guard fades rather quickly.
 
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