Dick Cavett, like most sentient, hearing-enabled human beings with at least a passing familiarity with English any spoken language in the history of the known universe, hears Sarah Palin and wonders what sonic virus is breaking down his brain tissue with such a grating relentlessness. Camille Paglia, on the other hand, hears…starbursts. Starbursts and jazz:
So she doesn’t speak the King’s English — big whoop!…She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist.
Starbursts, jazz, beat poetry, rock ‘n’ roll and…hip hop?:
However, Cavett’s piece on Sarah Palin was insufferably supercilious. With dripping disdain, he sniffed at her “frayed syntax, bungled grammar and run-on sentences.” He called her “the serial syntax-killer from Wasilla High,” “one who seems to have no first language.” …
I was so outraged when I read Cavett’s column that I felt like taking to the air like a Valkyrie and dropping on him at his ocean retreat in Montauk in the chichi Hamptons [ed note: Montauk is not in the Hamptons. Montauk is in…Montauk oddly enough. I know because I’m ChiChi like Rodriguez and I don’t fact check myself. But maybe I was right all along?]. How can it be that so many highly educated Americans have so little historical and cultural consciousness that they identify their own native patois as an eternal mark of intelligence, talent and political aptitude?
In sonorous real life, Cavett’s slow, measured, self-interrupting and clause-ridden syntax is 50 years out of date. Guess what: There has been a revolution in English — registered in the 1950s in the street slang, colloquial locutions and assertive rhythms of both Beat poetry and rock ‘n’ roll and now spread far and wide on the Web in the standard jazziness of blogspeak. Does Cavett really mean to offer himself as a linguistic gatekeeper for political achievers in this country? […]
Yes, that is the lordly Yale that formed Dick Cavett’s linguistic and cultural assumptions and that has alarmingly resurfaced in the contempt that he showed for the self-made Sarah Palin in “The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla.” I am very sorry that he, and so many other members of the educational elite, cannot take pleasure as I do in the quick, sometimes jagged, but always exuberant way that Palin speaks — which is closer to street rapping than to the smug bourgeois cadences of the affluent professional class.
First of all, anyone looking to lecture another about being out of touch with what the hep young cats are doing these days (meaning the 1950’s on) should avoid using terms like “street rapping” and “jazziness of blogspeak” whenever possible.
There is zero jazzy about blogspeak. And what the fuck is street rapping? As opposed to…say, suburban rapping? And, really, the grimy streets of South Central Wasilla?
Watching Paglia try to cop a “with-it” pose is like watching that too-eager aunt at the family function stiffly raising the roof and pushing out a cabbage patch on the dance floor and looking around at the young folk with an in-the-know twinkle in her eye. It doesn’t impress as much as induce a feeling of embarrassment for the dancer herself. Unlike someone’s well-meaning aunt, though, Paglia gets paid do make a fool of herself aping the latest trends – if on a larger stage.
Anyway, here’s some of MC Mooseknuckle’s flow:
Sitting here in these chairs
that I’m going to be proposing
but in working with these governors
who again on the front lines
are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation
to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states
every day being held accountable
not being just one of many
just casting votes or voting present every once in a while
we don’t get away with that
we have to balance budgets
and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets
and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations
Even at his most dusted out, ODB made more sense than that shit. Cause, you know, all street rap is is just a string of meaningless gibberish meant to conceal the fact that the street rapper doesn’t know shit about what he/she is talking about – or the world in general.
And Paglia chides Cavett and liberal critics of Palin for being condescending while Paglia uses be-bop and hip hop as synonyms for uneducated and stupid.
Make. Her. Go. Away.
Elswhere: IOZ looks at another graf from the same Paglia offering:
The slaughter of the Holtzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: While I oppose all American military operations and bases in the Mideast, I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.
So. The killing of Jews in an Indian City by Islamic Radicals from somewhere around Punjab or Kashmir “confirmed [her] opinion” about a nuclear Iran and the rightness of Israel launching a bombing campaign? Yeah, the divorce and remarriage of French President Sarkozy confirmed my opinion about the necessity of banning gay marriage in California. What? Why?
Adding: Since “only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out” (which is so not a liberal position), therefore we must bomb Muslims until they stomp this barbaric extremism out. That’s the only ways.