Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Paglia, Camille. "Crisis in the American Universities." MIT September 19, 1991.
Thank you, Professor Manning, for that most gracious introduction. And may I say what a pleasure it is to be here, a mere stone's throw from Harvard. I address you tonight after several sex changes and a great deal of ambiguity over sexual orientation over twenty-five years. I am the Sixties come back to haunt the present. Now, speaking here at M.I.T. confronted me with a dilemma. I asked myself, should I try to act like a lady? I can do it. It's hard, it takes a lot out of me, I can do it for a few hours. But then I thought, Naw. These people, both my friends and my enemies who are here, aren't coming to see me act like a lady. So I thought I'd just be myself--which is, you know, abrasive, strident, and obnoxious. So then you can all go outside and say, "What a bitch!" Now, the reason I'm getting so much attention: I think it's pretty obvious that we're in a time where there's a kind of impasse in contemporary thinking. And what I represent is independent thought. What I represent is the essence of the Sixties, which is free thought and free speech. And a lot of people don't like it. A lot of people who are well-meaning on both sides of the political spectrum want to shut down free speech. And my mission is to be absolutely as painful as possible in every situation. . . . Read the rest here: http://gos.sbc.edu/p/paglia.html. (Thanks to Rob Leyson.)