Camille Paglia Talks About This Crazy Weather We’re Having


Camille Paglia, self-appointed feminist gadfly, is back at Salon with an interview in which she rides her various well-worn hobbyhorses into the glowing late-July sunset. Almost everything she says in this most recent (beware, there are more coming) installment — about topics like Bill Cosby, Emma Sulkowicz and the Clintons — ranges from incorrect to out of touch to genuinely insightful to extremely funny. She loves Freud, and also really loves Camille Paglia.

Well, not to be outdone in the scramble for those precious Paglia pageviews, we also talked to Paglia* about the hottest topic of the day: the hot weather we’ve been having lately. I mean seriously, it’s humid. So humid that only one thought came to mind: what does Camille Paglia think about the state of the thermometer, nay, both the thermometer and the barometer? Read on to find out.

Flavorwire: How about that hot weather we’re having this summer, huh?

Paglia: Right from the start, when the temperature began to climb into the 70s, 80s, 90s, I knew what was coming for society. Now this is something I discussed widely in my first, never-published book, Meteorological Personae, which was a tome so before its era that no one could understand it, it being far too complex for the ordinary feminist or even academic mind! Even now, the heat creates a situation that today’s Lena Dunham feminist PC types simply cannot grasp because they don’t read enough Freud. Here’s how I see it: the heat wave is sort of a feminine presence, a smothering earth-mother cloyingness that makes it hard for us to breathe. This wilting weather makes men feel deeply insecure, bringing out their pathetic abusive tendencies.

Is that why they turn the air conditioning up so high?

Air conditioning is a natural and powerful male reaction to a feminist overcorrection, and if you’d read the revelatory and prescient writing of one (ahem!) Camille Paglia, the Susan Sontag of the ’90s, you’d appreciate that fact. When I hear women saying that they are too cold in their offices, that they have to use space heaters or shawls, those old-country artifacts, do you know what I think? I think that they’re playing the victim card yet again! Don’t just sit there being cold, but instead, take ownership of your goosebumps. To go around exhibiting and foregrounding your wounds and your shivering is a classic neurotic symptom. Read your Freud. Wear a blazer.

How do you feel about thunderstorms?

The thunderbolt is a powerful phallic symbol, a reminder that guess what — women are different from men! (When will feminism wake up to this basic reality, by the way?). You know what today’s mealy-mouthed feminists would probably say about thunderstorms? That they’re part of “rape culture” due to their association with Zeus, ancient wielder of the mighty thunderbolt and serial rapist. So we’ve come to this: are these storms, natural though they are, going to come with a trigger warning now? Are meteorologists going to get on the television, or the internet-box, and announce “TRIGGER WARNING, here comes a thunderstorm,” infantalizing all of us in the process? It may well happen. Of course I forecasted this ( ed. note: no pun intended) in Meteorological Personae but naturally, the world was simply not ready for that bit of wisdom. It took the polar ice caps melting for my ideas to finally catch on, that’s how hot they were.

But back to Zeus for a minute! Now there’s an example of someone who was smothered by his mother figures. I mean, his grandmother was literally Mother Earth! And his mother secreted him away in him a cave rather than letting him be swallowed and eaten by his father, which — if you read your psychology, you know is a normal and healthy process for a young God, by the way, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Anyway, that’s why the Ruler of All the Olympians was emotionally infantile in his abusive relations with all those nymphs and dryads–he was engaged in a war with female power. You see it had something to do with that early sense of being smothered by female power — and this pathetic, abusive and criminal behavior is the result of that sense of inadequacy.

Do you ever barbecue when it gets hot out? How do you feel about the man who felt incredibly guilty about his love of grilling because he was a feminist, and the grill that responded to him?

To be honest I actually agree with the grill entirely. The grill and I are really of one mind on this particularly grievous example of today’s PC feminism run amok, wilting the spirits of previously virile members of society.

How do you feel about the women’s soccer team winning the world cup?

I still prefer Madonna, if we’re being honest.

(*not really.)