Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Love me, hate me, read my CV

As thousands don't care, Camille Paglia returns to Salon after a book-writing hiatus, ostensibly to take down Madonna's new record and career trajectory to-date. But she's far less interested in interrogating Madge than she is in hand-jobbing her own relevance. "Look! Look!" she screams. "I am Provocative and Bitchy! I am Influential and Visionary! I produce Important Criticism!" Somewhere in the midst of all the sweaty self-promo she does observe that dance music is unjustly ignored by academic critics (OMG, Camille, you're so insightful! Richard Dyer and Jeremy Gilbert totally didn't point that out before you did!) and that Angelina Jolie has "a complex psychic life." Since when did a lame-ass filmography, dating Brad Pitt and a third-world kiddie adoption fetish qualify as a complex psychic life?

Also: Cintra Wilson name-drop not appreciated, except as a reminder of the good stuff I could be reading instead of this baffling, self-congratulatory, unoriginal non-essay.

Choice turdbits:

When I wrote in my polemical 1990 New York Times op-ed that "Madonna is the future of feminism," there were squawks of disbelief on all sides -- but that is exactly what came to pass over the next decade.

In a 1991 cover story on Madonna for London's Sunday Independent Review, I described disco as "a dark, grand Dionysian music with roots in African earth-cult" -- a defense that seemed bizarre because disco had yet to achieve academic legitimacy (which arrived in the '90s as more writers embraced popular gay history).

Giorgio Moroder's albums, which I listened to obsessively on headphones, were an enormous inspiration to me throughout the writing of "Sexual Personae" in the 1970s and '80s.

...we should probably be grateful for the Ritchies, our new Burtons with their baronial pretensions and nouveau riche excesses. (I have already tartly commented in the U.K. on Madonna's equine misadventure.)

Specially for Salon readers, I have gone through my vinyl collection to create a master list of my personal all-time favorite disco songs, leading up to the rise of Madonna. This is Madonna's artistic genealogy -- a vibrant tradition that deserves more attention and respect.

Nice try, Cam-Cam. The only "vibrant tradition" you're stumping is yr own.

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