Friday, February 16, 2007

Camille Paglia and Sting: a bonfire of the vanities

Two brilliant puncturings of two brilliant egos.

The first is Stephen Metcalf's perfect – perfect – assessment of Sting in Slate:
For the better part of 20 years as a solo artist, the King of Pain has been locked in a Mexican standoff with the rest of humanity. We refuse to believe that he is deep; he refuses to believe he is shallow. Nothing—no amount of sniggering on our part, no amount of Elizabethan luting on his—has broken this impasse. High-minded self-regard has been to Sting's star image what groupie-defiling sex once was to Led Zeppelin's. Maybe this is why Sting, still a ludicrously photogenic man, has never looked anything less than stupid on his dozen or so album covers.
Everything in that piece is quotable.

The second is a close look at Camille Paglia's first column for Salon in six years.
Vicious insults to the English language: 3 (”enthused” is not a word, with good reason; “surfeited” means that there’s “more than enough”, you don’t then have to tell me; “drearily prolix” is the worst two-word phrase I’ve ever heard in my life, and I’ve read Camille Paglia.)
(Read Paglia's column here.)

Never, never say there is no place in the world for first-class snark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enthused


Main Entry:
en·thuse Listen to the pronunciation of enthuse
Pronunciation:
\in-ˈthüz, en-, also -ˈthyüz\
Function:
verb
Inflected Form(s):
en·thused; en·thus·ing
Etymology:
back-formation from enthusiasm
Date:
1827

transitive verb 1 : to make enthusiastic 2 : to express with enthusiasm intransitive verb : to show enthusiasm
usage Enthuse is apparently American in origin, although the earliest known example of its use occurs in a letter written in 1827 by a young Scotsman who spent about two years in the Pacific Northwest. It has been disapproved since about 1870. Current evidence shows it to be flourishing nonetheless on both sides of the Atlantic especially in journalistic prose.

learn to read a dictionary