Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wolf Lays Down With the Sheep

Naomi Wolf often comes across as a real-life version of Maude Lebowski. Flighty, strangely arch and humorless, and entirely too self-important, she seems destined to deplete any intellectual capitol she might have left over from The Beauty Myth. Of course, that book had serious flaws itself, specifically the claim that 150,000 American women die each year of anorexia, when the actual number is more like 50: a difference of 3,000% But, at least there, you had some idea that she had really been to Yale.

Since then, though, Wolf has written a series of increasingly silly books seemingly dedicated to proving that the Rhodes Scholarship people made a big mistake. Promiscuities dealt with female adolescent sexuality. Misconceptions was about pregnancy, specifically Wolf's own pregnancy, and how it's still really hard for a rich woman to have a baby, for God's sake. The Treehouse was about her father and advice he gave her. The books have come, more and more, in fact, to relate to nothing so much as the experiences of Naomi Wolf, and the publicizing of her weird upper-class banalities. As such, she's generally taken most seriously by herself and... well, just herself really.

Aside from the books, she has advised Al Gore to dress like "an alpha male" to win the election, unfortunately not telling him to turn it off after having lost the election. Then she slandered Harold Bloom for having put his hand on her knee while she was at Yale, realizing that she wasn't interested, apologizing and then leaving. If one wonders how this event could have been as traumatic and crippling as she claims it was, she reminds the reader that Bloom was, like, really, really fat.

Now, she's been slammed by Germaine Greer on the radio and responded that this and her divorce don't bother her because she's met Jesus during hypnosis. Yep, just sat right down and had a chat with the big fellow. Wolf claims: “I don’t mean that in a kind of culty way. I’m here on the planet to make change and to help people in the best way that I can. I know what I have to do and if, in the course of doing that, some people get upset, or make fun of me, or attack me, that is not really important in the larger scheme of things.” One can almost hear Dana Carvey asking "Well, isn't that special?"

“I wasn’t myself in this visual experience,” she continues. “I was a 13-year-old boy sitting next to him [Jesus] and feeling feelings I’d never felt in my lifetime, of a 13-year-old boy being with an older male who he really loves and admires and loves to be in the presence of. It was probably the most profound experience of my life. I haven’t talked about it publicly.”

Spokespeople for Jesus have denied that the meeting ever took place.

She confesses she still feels awkward speaking about it. “It’s very embarrassing. We’re intellectuals, we’re on the left, we’re not supposed to talk like that,” she says later .

(One might be tempted to ask 'What do you mean we, paleface?') She goes on to claim that she is going to be very careful not to get co-opted by the churches. “I don’t want to be co-opted as the poster child for any religion or any agenda,” she adds quite self-importantly. No doubt, the Moral Majority is dying to claim some bat-shit crazy yuppie as their 'poster child' anyway, right?

So, is she perhaps taking herself too seriously here? “ Let’s put it this way. When there’s a subject I’m supposed to share with my readers, and this is why I believe in divine providence, I will start getting knocks on the door from the universe. People will start crossing my path saying, ‘I’m really struggling with anorexia, I’m struggling with motherhood, I’m struggling with my sexuality.’ In the next few weeks if I hear the call that this is something I should bring forward, then I’ll bring it forward more. But I’ve just taken a huge step, so give me credit. Let me get over that.”

Sort of like the Lone Ranger of narcissistic feminism. Don't worry- if you need Naomi Wolf, Universe, she'll be there. Whenever a child is alone with Jesus, or has an eating disorder, or is struggling with their own sexuality, Naomi Wolf will be there. Whenever a mother is crying, or a baby is wondering what Naomi Wolf's father said to her as a child, she'll be there! Now, in this vision, she saw herself as the boy and not as Jesus, right? I mean, exactly how arrogant do you have to be to see your own books as having been engendered by divine providence?

I'm willing to bet that she will, indeed, get a book out of this. One that captures the hearts, and markets, of born-again Christians. But, then she will alienate them with her next book, entitled "Dammit, pay attention to me!" in which she comes out as a lesbian. After that, there is always the Alien Abduction memoir, if those are ever trendy again, the "Hey, I've Just Discovered that there are Poor People!" journalistic investigation, and finally, when all else has failed: "Witches!: How I Discovered that the Left is Trying to Destroy Your Children." After that, she'll be yet another reformed leftist turned hard right-winger. David Horowitz, eat your heart out.

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