Thursday, March 31, 2005

Why I heart the Paglia.

I just stared Camille Paglia's collection of poetry crit, Break, Blow, Burn. I can't resist the lure of La Paglia, especially when she gives you moments like this (from the introduction):
Burned into my memory, for example, is a late-1950s TV commercial for M&M's chocolate candies. A sultry peanut, sunbathing on a chaise lounge, said in a twanging Southern drawl: "I'm an M&M peanut / Toasted golden brown / Dipped in creamy milk chocolate / And covered in a thin shell!" Illustrating each line, she prettily dove into a swimming pool of melted chocolate and popped out on the other side to strike a pose and be instantly toweled in her monogrammed candy wrap. I felt then, and still do, that the M&M peanut's jingle was a vivacious poem and that the creative team who produced that ad were folk artists, anonymous as the artisans of medieval cathedrals.

(For some context, that passage came right after she ripped post-structuralists a new a-hole and right before she writes of her love for Donne and Dickinson and Billy Shakes.)
It reminds me of last year's interview with Salon, where she compared Sean Hannity's radio ads for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse to an Irish tenor singing an aria from a pop-opera. So best.
Does anyway else think the M&M poem kind of... lacking? Vivacious? Really? Maybe you had to be there. I think it's especially weak when compared to the perfect minimalism of Heinz's classic "Shake and shake the ketchup bottle / None will come / Then a lot'll."


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