I adore a well-articulated narrowness of mind parading as vastness, and Camille Paglia spews it in spades in this fascinating Salon interview. Some selections:
*I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. 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.
*Christopher Hitchens’ book "God is Not Great" was a travesty. He sold that book on the basis of the brilliant chapter titles…. [Richard] Dawkins also seems to be an obsessive on some sort of personal vendetta, and again, he’s someone who has never taken the time to do the necessary research into religion.
*I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone…. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States.
*Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!
*The first thing I always turn to [for news] is the Drudge Report…. Silly people claim he’s stuck in the past, but that’s absurd. Drudge is invoking the great populist formula of tabloids like the New York Post and the New York Daily News, which were pitched to working-class readers.
*Now, I’m a supporter of Martin O’Malley–I sent his campaign a contribution the very first day he declared. But I would happily vote for Sanders in the primary.
Where to begin? At the beginning, and wrapping up quickly. On religion, Paglia declares its historical greatness via helpless relativity, that is, by comparing it to contemporary liberalism — which is like my saying I deeply respect Mike Huckabee's intellect compared to that of a mushroom. As for Hitchens' book, he'd probably agree it wasn't one of his finer efforts. I certainly would. But both he and Dawkins fail to fathom, as I do, doing the "necessary research into religion" when the subject material is hopelessly metaphysical and therefore utterly unknowable. Besides, what "research" proves its truths that transcend the writings of Chaucer, Shakespeare or Cervantes? Jon Stewart. I stopped watching his show after his third, deadpan gaze, but if Paglia really believes that the "The Daily Show" contributed to the insane political statement we've reached, then, well, she leaves me speechless. Drudge's critics are "silly." That speaks for itself. Finally, liberalism is a "sad," "knee-jerk ideology" — and for some, that's true — says Paglia. She then adds that she's a supporter of Martin O'Malley, who, as far as I can tell, holds every approved view in liberalism's ideological playbook.
You should read the entire interview. I omitted a lot of really entertaining stuff.
Now, Josh, you're just being silly: