Welcome to The Acculturated-Ricochet Podcast!



Welcome to the inaugural Acculturated-Ricochet podcast on pop-culture! In our debut show, Ben Domenech and I interview art historian and literary critic Camille Paglia about her new book Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars, which hits a bookstand near you on October 16. For those interested in why the art world is in crisis, how young people are being consumed by the machine world of technology, what the heck happened to feminism (and Naomi Wolf), and why George Lucas is the greatest living artist alive today–then you’re in the right place.

Ricochet Podcast subscribers, you’ll get this in your feed. Everyone else, listen in above. Direct link is here

There are 58 comments.

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  1. Member

    The “A” is for Awesome! Ricochet is a cornucopia of Podcasting Awesomeness!

    • #1
    • October 11, 2012 at 11:53 am
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  2. Member

    Another podcast?! Where will I find the time?!?!


    • #2
    • October 11, 2012 at 11:57 am
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  3. Inactive

    Wow – talk about synchronicity! I just came to Ricochet a minute ago after reading her Salon interview.

    I wonder if she’d agree to be a guest contributor. I know she’s not a … shall we say … dedicated conservative. But we’re a welcoming and polite group of people, and I’d love to hear her talk to us.

    • #3
    • October 11, 2012 at 11:57 am
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  4. Member

    I’m listening to the podcast now and this is exhausting! But I’m enjoying the discussion. I’m learning much.

    • #4
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:01 am
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  5. Inactive
    Emily Esfahani Smith Post author

    Glad you guys are enjoying this! Be sure to listen through to the end, which is when she starts talking–breathlessly–about George Lucas’ artistic virtuosity!

    • #5
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:03 am
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  6. Member

    Great podcast! When the podcast first started, I thought “wow that doesn’t sound like Paglia” – I used to think she talked quite quickly because of her illimitable mental energy. However, as the podcast progressed, I became convinced it was her.

    • #6
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:32 am
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  7. Inactive

    Wow, con brio all the way through! So many interesting, interlocking thoughts – excellent podcast.

    • #7
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:33 am
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  8. Inactive

    I LOVE the idea behind this podcast. I find Paglia to be a daring art critic, but jees is she full of herself. I also challenge anyone to take a shot every time she says “OK.” Still, I wasn’t bored, and that’s good. 

    The idea that the Star Wars prequels represent high art is nuts. I suggest people look at the John Podhoretz review.

    • #8
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:34 am
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  9. Inactive

    From Lieutenant Frank Drebin:

    “Camille, I’d like to fight you someday.”

    • #9
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:38 am
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  10. Inactive

    Paglia has always been interesting and often right on. Her characterizations of Dawkins and Hitchens is the best I’ve heard. These kinds of atheists are spiritually and emotionally vacuous and typically working out deep seated authority issues.

    I was, however, surprised at her naivete about art. Art is, essentially an industry, and is just as subject to institutional entropy as any other. Impressionism, for example, was given credence by the Royal Academy because the camera was proving to be too competitive in rendering portraits, the bread and butter of painters.

    Artists will seek to produce what non-artists can’t, and as technology gives non-artists more tools, artists push to the boundaries to lay claim to some unique value. They do realize that when everyone is an artist, no one is, so they have to keep moving the bar (downhill if necessary).

    • #10
    • October 12, 2012 at 1:39 am
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  11. Member

    I don’t doubt that Paglia has done her research, but what I hope she did when writing her book was to make art, immerse herself in a medium. I suggest painting. For me, it’s impossible for the painting process not to be spiritual. It is for many artists and always has been. She’s spent too much time in musuems and galleries and too little in artist studios. But that’s the conceit of many critics of visual art, they’ve never really tried to make it themselves, so there’s always a certain vacuity. I wonder if she’s ever read What Painting Is by James Elkins. I look forward to reading her book, though. 

    • #11
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:01 am
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  12. Inactive

    Lucas is a fraud. He’s been trading off this idea of himself as some artist with a grand vision for Star Wars and creator of mythology for a couple of decades now. It’s an idea he largely made up that he repeated enough that people bought it. Micheal Kaminski’s The Secret History of Star Wars pretty much exploded Lucas’ myths using Lucas’ own interviews and script drafts. The guy that made THX 1138 and Star Wars was a rising artist. The guy cranking out generic crap trading on his franchise’s name or the 50th revision of his old movies is crassly living off his reputation and fabricated legend.

    • #12
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:29 am
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  13. Member

    I will certainly buy her book. I keep beating my head against the wall. I really feel like I should be the type of person who gets and appreciates art, but I always end up not.

    I am in NYC a bunch coming up so I will try and give the Met another go.

    • #13
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:33 am
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  14. Inactive

    Damn! Camille is fun to listen to!

    • #14
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:34 am
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  15. Member

    It’s gonna be a hard act to follow, that’s fer sure!

    • #15
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:44 am
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  16. Inactive
    Chriscojo: Camille, slow down, it’s hard for me to keep my thinking up with your words per minute. · 1 hour ago

    Whew. Yeah Camille, take a breath!

    • #16
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:46 am
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  17. Inactive

    Many of our friends are artists. I observe them firsthand. The dominant affliction is an adolescent faddish uniformity (of which their leftist politics is only the most obvious manifestation) and an almost complete ignornance of their own cultural inheritance. (Artisitic explorations of other cultures turned out almost always to be shallow opportunistic trivialities.) Even the technically proficient ones (and they are few) know little about the art of 20 years ago, much less 200 years ago or 2000 years ago. It’s “who knows” and “anything goes,” so long as it satisfies the present requirements of faddish uniformity. So much art produced nowadays is purposeless nonsense. Good work is made, but it’s nearly impossible for an ordinary viewer to appreciate it among the visual cacophony, thus the alienation of the larger society from contemporary art.

    Paglia’s suggestion that, after the failure of secular humanism, art can replace the function of sacred texts forgets how art depends upon the long pre-existence and present power of sacred stories. It’s not enough that “these are cuttings from the growths from sacred tradition” because the cuttings won’t survive unless firmly rooted. Art and religion are almost synonymous.

    • #17
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:51 am
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  18. Member

    Great fun…looking forward to listening, Emily!

    • #18
    • October 12, 2012 at 2:58 am
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  19. Thatcher

    I’m looking forward to listening too. I read Camille’s articles back when she was linked by Drudge. Then she went on sabbatical/walkabout/extended mope and I got out of the habit. I didn’t always agree with her, but even when she was full of it, she was charmingly, entertainingly full of it.

    • #19
    • October 12, 2012 at 3:40 am
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  20. Inactive

    What a treat! I just read the (somewhat similar) Salon article last night but I’ve never heard her voice. Wow — I’m told I talk fast but she actually remembers where her point was going…

    If she’s not a member, will she get to see these comments? Maybe she is too busy with all the promotions she’s got ahead of her, but I bet she’d like it here :)


    • #20
    • October 12, 2012 at 3:41 am
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  21. Inactive

    I love Ricochet’s podcasts!

    • #21
    • October 12, 2012 at 4:23 am
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  22. Inactive

    Emily, perhaps you already know but in mid-November Philadelphia will be the scene of the first Republican Theater Festival (an oxymoron, I know, especially in Philly) – maybe the instigator, Cara Blouin, would be a good interview for Acculturated-Ricochet. The website is http://www.forearmedproductions.com/.

    • #22
    • October 12, 2012 at 4:46 am
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  23. Member

    always amusing to listen to a liberal who is having contrary thoughts.

    • #23
    • October 12, 2012 at 4:57 am
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  24. Inactive
    Guruforhire: . . . . . . I should be the type of person who gets and appreciates art, but I always end up not.

     . . . I will try and give the Met another go.

    Paglia’s book will help get juices flowing.

    A practical suggestion for a good museum day.

    Instead of trying to see everything, wandering through rooms nodding your head at a hundred pieces, find one room with a few things that attract your interest (in a room where you can sit down!). Spend the better part of your visit in that one room, looking at each piece for a while, several times. Look up close and from a distance, from one side and another. Sit down, a lot! If the museum allows sketching (some provide free sketching materials), try sketching some pieces. Even if you can’t sketch, the effort will help you see the art better. Consciously take note of the obvious. It’s green and big. It’s smooth and soft. The line is thin, thick. Etc. Try to see what you are looking at. Imagine how it was painted or constructed. Trust your observations. After you do all that, then look at the whole piece a while without thinking.

    • #24
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:05 am
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  25. Inactive
    kylez: always amusing to listen to a liberal who is having contrary thoughts.

    Paglia is sui generis, consistent with herself only, but amazingly consistent in that regard.

    • #25
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:14 am
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  26. Member

    Paglia is a really interesting character. She is an atheist but she is one of those atheists who recognize that without the Catholic Church there would be no Western Civilization. I remember she was going crazy in a good way when Pope John Paul II died not because she hated him but his death would provide the world an opportunity to see in the funeral at St. Peter’s and the conclave at the Sistine Chapel the full glory of Western Art.

    • #26
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:15 am
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  27. Member

    I probably should have used this as the closing song: 

    • #27
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:25 am
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  28. Inactive
    Emily Esfahani Smith Post author
    grotiushug: Now that we have a pop-culture podcast, and we please have a high-culture podcast? · 11 hours ago

    What would you want covered in the high-culture podcast? 

    • #28
    • October 12, 2012 at 8:40 am
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  29. Inactive
    Emily Esfahani Smith
    grotiushug: Now that we have a pop-culture podcast, and we please have a high-culture podcast? ·

    What would you want covered in the high-culture podcast? 

    “Pop-culture” is a something of an oxymoron, isn’t it? However, high-culture, as such, is not specific to any particular culture, but is by its nature trans-cultural. Thus, we can almost learn more about our own culture, and others, by examining the pop varieties than from examining the high variety, especially in this democratic age of mass production and mass consumption. Paglia’s attempts to bridge the high culture and the low (pop) culture are admirable, good and useful, even if mostly ineffectual. We can learn much about culture, both high and low, by thinking about her observations.

    Long ago, in another life, I wrote something very strange about how the America’s “diversity culture,” which ostensibly seeks to celebrate and preserve diverse cultures, is actually itself a “culture” that mummifies and entombs those cultures.

    • #29
    • October 12, 2012 at 9:03 am
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  30. Inactive

    Now that we have a pop-culture podcast, and we please have a high-culture podcast? 

    • #30
    • October 12, 2012 at 9:24 am
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