Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Joe Sobran on Susan Sontag

I'm never quite sure what to make of Joe Sobran. He's usually very critical of something or other, in biting prose that's fun to read. He's also usually provocative. Witness his thoughts on the passing of Susan Sontag:

Miss Sontag had a beauty all her own: arresting dark eyes, perfect mouth, flowing hair. Even when she aged, her looks remained absolutely distinctive. ... I dwell on her looks because I think they were the real reason people -- men, for instance -- paid attention to her. And I think she knew it. She had a feminine knack for getting noticed and saying provocative things. In her seemingly abstruse writing, I always sensed an element of flirtation. As with many lovely women, you listened in fascination even when she made no sense at all. Was she talking nonsense, or deepening her mystery?

Roger Kimball of The New Criterion, in a testy obituary, quotes her early essay in praise of Communist Cuba. She urged her American readers to "love the Cuban revolution." American culture, she said, was "inorganic, dead, coercive, authoritarian." Whereas "the Cubans know a lot about spontaneity, gaiety, sensuality, and freaking out. They are not linear, dessicated creatures of print culture." To which the only rational reply is: Say what? ...

I may as well say it: I'm tired of intellectuals, Left and Right. Every week I buy a handful of highbrow magazines from New York and London, and after reading them I plunge into depression. I hardly know what they're talking about.

Susan Sontag was a feast for the eye, if not for the mind. That's more than you can say of most intellectuals.

Ann Coulter, anyone?


Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

I fail to understand why Ann Coulter has any charm for anyone, so my guess is that you're right. I'm tired of ungrounded intellectuals too.

11:27 AM, January 18, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Seems to me Ann Coulter gets more attention than she deserves for the same reason Susan Sontag did...visuals.

11:31 AM, January 18, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

I agree that many women use their looks as just one more tool in their arsenal, for some women it's their only one. It's just a shame that many men can't see beyond the outer layer to the truth within. That's why so many men complain about getting used, the little brain over rides the big brain and WHAM, the poor sucker winds up losing the house and half his $$$. Getting by on your looks is fine for a model or maybe an actress, but the rest of us have to use our mind and hope the fact that we have a brain as well as boobs or a pretty face gets noticed, too.

12:57 PM, January 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why I don't show my face or my whole body on my blog--I want people to concentrate on my WORDS! ;^)


9:48 PM, January 18, 2005  
Blogger invadesoda said...

I haven't read him in a while, but I definitely agree with the assessment that Joseph Sobran writes "biting prose that's fun to read." (Which is why I read Ann Coulter as well.)

My favorite Joseph Sobran line is this (referring to chess eccentric Bobby Fischer): "They broke the mold when they made this guy, and they were acting on a sound instinct." That's the quote as I remember it, anyway.

11:15 PM, January 18, 2005  
Blogger Zelda said...

I like Ann Coulter. She's hillarious.

10:45 AM, January 19, 2005  

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