We all have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at Camille Paglia. I can manage Goldberg, Derbyshire and even the occasional dose of Steyn, but I avoid Paglia's thought almost as assiduously as I avoid chewing tinfoil.
Today, though, I'll make an exception. Thers advises me that La Paglia objects to Hillary Clinton's "mercurial, soulless self-positionings." Which strikes me as a bit odd, coming from someone who hails Madonna as our liberator precisely because "[she] says we are nothing but masks." Maybe I'm not Dionysian enough to appreciate the distinction.
What's more interesting, in a very mild sense of the word, is her theory on global warming (which, you may recall, was previously advanced by David Limbaugh and some quasi-Paglian chatterbox named Adri Mehra):
This facile attribution of climate change to human agency is an act of hubris. Good stewardship of the environment is an ethical imperative for every nation. But breast-beating hysteria merely betrays impious tunnel vision. Thousands of factors, minute and grand, are at work in cyclic climate change, whose long-term outcomes we cannot possibly predict. Nature should inspire us with awe, not pity.Perhaps because I've never suckled at the milk of wisdom that seeps from Harold Bloom's breast, I'd question whether "good stewardship" is possible once you've embraced Paglia's weird notions about human agency. Perhaps she meant to say "wise use."
Note, too, that we know - somehow! - that climate change is "cyclic," but we "cannot possibly predict" any of its long-term outcomes.
More to the point, there's no reason why nature's vulnerability should make it less awe-inspiring. Rainforests are as magnificent a manifestation of "nature" as you could hope to see, but they're also pretty easy to burn or chop down. And Glen Canyon was pretty impressive before we submerged it under Lake Powell, or so I hear.
We have it within our power to destroy virtually everything on earth, gradually or in a matter of hours. The assumption that the climate somehow remains beyond our reach makes no sense at all. And the argument that recognizing it as vulnerable amounts to "pitying nature," and that pitying nature is "impious" by definition, is as spiritually bankrupt as it is logically incoherent.
Then again, Althouse calls Paglia's argument "a nice twist," so I may have to rethink my position before I'm much older.
(Photo at top: The Babbling Head.)