Thursday, 23 September 2010

Gaga v Paglia v Burchill

More Gaga news (in a roundabout way) - the other week noted American feminist author/critic/academic Camille Paglia published an article in the Sunday Times on how Gaga is the death of sexuality. I think she's missing the point of Gaga, and compares her too closely to her beloved Madonna (and Bowie) without assessing her on her own terms. There's a pretty decent reply piece from the Guardian here.

HOWEVER, the real juice in all of this, I discovered, is the battle between Paglia and British writer/critic Julie Burchill (best known for writing TV's Sugar Rush, and being a "hip young gunslinger" at the NME 35 years ago). Now, I am in no way a fan of Burchill, but the wordy spats between these two feminist titans are definitely worth a look.

It starts with:

"9 Feb 93
Dear Mr ffychte [...] I value honesty, accuracy, and fair-dealing, all of which were in short supply in that article.
In view of these circumstances, I regret to say that I must decline your offer. It is certainly true that both Julie Burchill (who is completely unknown in America) and The Modern Review have lost a potentially strong ally in me. Unfortunately, one reaps what one sows.
Yours truly
Camille Paglia
Philadelphia College of Art and Design"

and escalates to this:

"24 Mar 93
Dear Professor Paglia,
Fuck off you crazy old dyke.
Julie Burchill"

Read all the correspondence here.

It seems to be won by Paglia until Burchill gets this little beauty of a comment into a piece about the feud between Paglia and author Naomi Wolf:

"I think Paglia is a frustrated, jealous bitch, whose star is very much on the wane and who has always wanted to fuck Wolf. And, of course, she could barely pull a skunk without money changing hands, she's so disgusting. And that's my considered opinion on the matter. "

Now now ladies, play nice!

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