A reader writes:
Paglia’s criticism that Lady Gaga is nothing more than a manufactured misfit echoes a similar complaint she has leveled against Obama in the past, for “trying to act more casual and folksy to appeal to working-class white voters" - a demographic she is forever claiming to speak for (namely by nattering on in her essays about her exposure to the urban proletariat during her childhood in Philadelphia). So, Gaga - and, presumably, Obama - are to be condemned as “manufactured personalities,” while right-wing radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh are heralded by this salt-of-the-earth cultural critic as the “embodiment of the American dream,” and Sarah Palin is fawned over for her “fresh, natural, rapid fire delivery.”
Camille Paglia’s work has devolved into a boring parlor trick consisting of lazy contrarianism, arbitrary administrations of her authenticity sniff-test, and compulsive hymns to another performer - Madonna - whose performances have grown almost as stale as hers. Also, sentences like “Gaga’s fans are marooned in a global technocracy of fancy gadgets but emotional poverty,” just make her sound ... well, old.