Naomi Wolf, by castigating Katy Perry for her “shameless” Marine music video, shows that you can be the smartest person in the room and still be stupid.

Two people sent me a link to stories about Naomi Wolf castigating singer Katy Perry for making a “shameless” piece of video “propaganda” celebrating the U.S. Marines.  One sent me the link because he knows that, I went to school with Naomi.  The other sent me the link because he knows that I like the Marines.  Before I got to my opinion about this, both as someone who celebrates the Marines and who doesn’t celebrate Naomi, a little background about this story.  Let’s start with Katy’s video:

Me, personally?  I think it’s nice.  Perry’s not a major talent by any means, but she’s a rock-solid pop singer.  This is a catchy, generic pop song, presented as a genuinely respectful look at Marines and their training.  It’s good for the Marines to have this out there. My only complaint is that Katy turns the Marines into the American version of the French Foreign Legion.  (For those who find this reference obscure, the French Foreign Legion used to be known as a place for men who were either escaping from a shady past or a broken heart.)  I hate to see the Marines painted as a sort of Lonely Hearts Club.

And now the Naomi Wolf interlude:

Feminist Naomi Wolf, author of “The Beauty Myth,” is calling Katy Perry’s new video a propaganda piece for the Marine Corps and has suggested her fans boycott the singer.

More specifically, Naomi said:

It’s a total piece of propaganda for the Marines . . . I really want to find out if she was paid by them for making it . . . it is truly shameful.  I would suggest a boycott of this singer whom I really liked — if you are as offended at this glorification of violence as I am.

(As an aside, Naomi’s writing is execrable.  She seems to have abandoned entirely the basic grammar we learned with such effort in high school.  Our English teachers, who were quite good back in the day, would be horrified.)

Before I dive too deeply into this, you have to know that I’m not personally fond of Naomi.  At school, she hung with the “artsy intellectual” crowd and made a point of letting people know that she functioned on a higher intellectual plane than they did. I’ve since learned, from her own writing in fact, that she was a deeply unhappy young woman.  With hindsight, I realize that, typically for an unhappy person, she was trying to make herself feel better by spreading her unhappiness around.  I can now view her with some degree of compassion, but it doesn’t make me like her any better.

Okay, that was my full disclosure.  Back to more substantive issues.

Naomi’s statement about Katy Perry’s video shows that you can be the smartest person in the room (and Naomi is undoubtedly intelligent on the IQ scale) and still be stupid.  Katy Perry is a private citizen and is free to make any type of video she wants, including one that praises the U.S. Marines.  There’s no doubt that the Marines supported Perry’s effort — they did, after all, give her access to Camp Pendleton and forty of the women who live and train there — but there’s no indication whatsoever that they paid for Perry’s services.  Absent that proof, to call a private citizen’s homage to the United States Marine’s a piece of “shameless” “propaganda” is just embittered foolishness.

Wolf’s manifest hostility to the Marines (a hostility that exists despite her later attempts to say that she really admires them for being pathetic cannon fodder) demonstrates how divorced Naomi is from reality.  Naomi enjoys her fame, wealth, and free speech platform because of Marines, men and women both, who are willing to do the dirty work.

In war after war, the United States Marines have willingly, and at great cost, protected America’s national security.  Without the Marines, we might be living in a world with a powerful Bushido Japan controlling the Pacific.  Alternatively, Japan’s control over the Pacific might have been displaced by the Chinese Communists who would have overrun the Pacific Rim in the 1950s and 1960s.  Today, by engaging the Islamists in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Marines (and, of course, America’s other military forces) have kept the battle on the battlefield and away from the home front.

For Naomi to pitch a hissy-fit because an American pop singer lauds an America institution (one that pre-dates America itself) is just so . . . Naomi:  arrogant, foolish, and deeply unhappy, with the kind of unhappiness that just has to spread itself around.

(As another aside, I find it amusing that Perry did this video, because I seem to recall that her soon-to-be ex-husband Russell Brand was famed for spouting anti-American nonsense. To the extent that this is a highly patriotic video, I wonder if it isn’t meant as a slap at him.)

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Comments

  1. says

    Before I dive too deeply into this, you have to know that I’m not personally fond of Naomi.

    My… you don’t say. You know, I actually remember most of your negative comments about her, although you never directly said so much until…. now that is. Yes, I do remember the 2 or 3 times in the past 5 or 6 years that you’ve mentioned Naomi Wolf.

    Compassion? What are you talking about, Book, She is Still Doing It! She’s not in HS any more.

     You people might want to wonder who pays Naomi’s bills, just FYI. Feminism has so many corrupt back deals going on and paid for propaganda programs that… you’d have to know to believe it.

  2. says

    Ymarsakar:  You’re killing me here!  I’m really, honestly, trying to be gracious, so that I can’t be accused of letting my biases interfere with my judgment.  If I don’t say marginally nice things about her, no one will take me seriously as a political and social commentator.  Oh, wait.  I actually don’t know if anyone does take me seriously.

    Never mind….

  3. says

    That’s not necessary for people who see things as they are. Don’t worry, I haven’t even met her and I agree with you, so it’s not your biases working. But even if it was, only weak people let other people’s biases cloud the truth. In fact, I find it useful when people use their biases to inform their views. It gives me a better read on what’s really going on. It’s like a court room. One guy is biased in favor of 100% guilty, one guy is biased in favor of 100% innocent and somehow you’re supposed to find the truth in between. Except I don’t have to deal with a jury, a judge, and two lawyers to get at the truth.

     People who want “objective truth” funneled intravenously down a tube aren’t very strong if you ask me. They’re demanding somebody be a gatekeeper of information for them.

    http://www.logoi.com/notes/laozi.html

    The moment one names Truth, it no longer exists. To arrive at Truth, one must get closer to it via approximations. Otherwise it escapes.

  4. Michael Adams says

    My late grandmother, born not far from our mutual friend Patrick’s  father’s birthplace, used to say,”You just can’t be nice to some people.”  This is a good general purpose dismissal. It’s useful if a recipient is ungracious, or even when there’s something as simple as someone not getting a note or gift that you sent. Or, it can be a case like this, trying to say something nice about Naomi, and getting no where. BTW, I suspect that she is beyond bitter neurosis. She has claimed to have been stalked, by unnamed, if not unseen people. I think she’s bat-s**t crazy.  Bless her heart.

  5. says

    That’s it, Michael Adams!  That’s what I should have said.  “Bless her heart.”  I’m shocked that I lived in Texas and forgot that this expression is the perfect way to gain absolution for any insult offered in the sentence immediately preceding use of the phrase “Bless her/his heart.”

  6. SADIE says

    Never heard of her, so I did a little search. If you cannot think clearly – how can you possibly write clearly. Her writing is as conflicted as she.

    Sample below:

    “The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I traveled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women’s appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channeling – toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home.”

  7. Mike Devx says

    Great ‘Sample’ of Wolf in #10, Sadie.

    I am struck by how much deference Ms. Wolf gives these Muslim women.  You might even call it gullibility.  Or to be nice, you could call it incredibly naive. Did Ms. Wolf even ask herself the question: “How much freedom do these women have to speak openly and honestly to a Western stranger?  Might they be punished if they expressed negative opinions while living inside a brutal theocracy?”

    Perhaps Ms. Wolf did find a small group of women who genuinely are comfortable living under the veil.  But these women also have no choice in the matter.  Within the West, women fought for the freedom to make such choices, and that freedom is something Ms. Wolf would celebrate.  But she is utterly oblivious to that lack of choice when it comes to women not of the West.

    So you examine her blind deference to religious sensibilities of Muslims within a culture largely Islamic…  and then examine her bitter, rancid hostility toward genuinely Christian women within our own largely Christian culture.

    I tend to totally dismiss people who carry in their heads such glaringly obvious double standards.
     

  8. MikeL10 says

    A couple of thoughts from TEXAS:
    I appreciate your support of the military and especially the Marines. We need all we can get. I recall how in many of the yards of homes outside Camp LeJeune (1963) had signs in them that said, “Dogs and Marines Stay Off the Grass! You can of course imagine what response that sign elicited:)
    The Marines have always been bold in marketing the brand and are not queasy about using pop culture to reach their targeted audience.
    Having shared a desk with Janis Joplin in a mechanical arts class as well as some libation I understand how Naomi may think she has some special insights about what is “right” and what is “wrong.”
    And finally “Bless that young lady’s heart”…she knows not what she says or does!
    Semper Fi!

  9. Spartacus says

    One of the best ways I have found to maintain a properly gracious attitude toward such people is to say to myself, “Self, if you think it’s frustrating just dealing with her, just imagine what it’s like being her.”
     
    Such methods notwithstanding, I still fail toward some of them… bless their hearts.  ;)

  10. Charles Martel says

    Mike Devx, your comment about holding egregious double standards reminds me of Orwell’s doublethink, the ability to hold two entirely contradictory beliefs as true without any mental or emotional conflict. Noonan truly is a useful idiot.

  11. says

    Actually, Martel, holding two thoughts at once requires IQ. But it uses up so much thinking capacity that it makes people who do it look like they are idiots.

    A true genius, however, could hold 12 different statements, all contradictory, in their head all at once and believe them all to be true. A true genius, Martel. In that light, Saddam’s propaganda minister in 2003 was one such person. Noonan isn’t even in the same ball park. 

  12. says

    If the Middle East hadn’t spent their IQ resources on dealing with the internal contradictions between 1. Islam is great and 2. West kicks them in economy and military power, they would have even more Phds than the Jews.

  13. says

     
    I guess my problem with the video is that it proposes that females can become (are?) Marines in combat.
     
    A terrible idea, that if accepted, indicates that Western Civilization has fallen.
     
    Other than that, what’s the big deal with the video, Naomi?

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