Sunday, February 22, 2004

On the Fence, On the Road

It's NADbank study time -- the Canadian print equivalent of TV's Sweep week-- so in an effort to push up my hit count, On the Fence will be going on the road this week.

Tomorrow evening, I'll be hopping a plane to Dublin, Ireland, from where On the Fence will be published for a week. In one highly-anticipated entry, guest blogger Ed the Sock will report about his experiences throwing potatoes at the spectators at a hurling match between Dublin and Galway. (Hurling is the Gaelic version of hockey; I wonder if this hurler Humphrey Kelleher is a relative of mine?)

It's my second trip to Ireland. The first, eight years ago, was with my grandmother Kay Kelleher Nestruck, who was born at Glenbeg near Castletownbere in County Cork. We spent most of the time in the Southern counties, so this will be my first time in Dublin.

Stay tuned!

Post-script

Speaking of the land of Leopold Bloom, another Bloom -- pleonastic literary scholar Harold Bloom -- is about to plunge into a nice puddle of hot media-frenzy water. [I agree... that was the worst segue ever.] As reported by Rachel Donadio in this week's New York Observer, feminist critic Naomi Wolf will claim that Bloom sexually harassed her while she was an undergraduate at Yale University 20 years ago in a New York magazine article slated to come out this week. [via About Last Night.]

Are you ready to rumble? Much as I relish a potential Bloom take-down, I suspect that the anti-Wolf backlash will be stronger. You must read the Observer article, if only for a particularly fun opening slap from contrarian feminist Camille Paglia:
"I just feel it’s indecent that if Naomi Wolf did not have the courage to pursue the matter at the time, or in the 1990’s, and put her own reputation on the line, then to bring all of this down on a man who is in his 70’s and has health problems—who has become a culture hero to readers in the humanities around the world—to drag him into a ‘he said/she said’ scenario so late in the game, to me demonstrates a lack of proportion and a basic sense of fair play," said Ms. Paglia, who is professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she said she helped institute that university’s sexual-harassment policies in the 1980s.

"At the beginning of the 90’s, people said, ‘Oh, Naomi Wolf, this great thinker,’" said Ms. Paglia. "But what she’s managed to do in 10 years is marginalize herself as a chronicler of teenage angst. She doesn’t want to leave that magic island when she was the ripening teenager. How many times do we have to relive Naomi Wolf’s growing up? How many books, how many articles, Naomi, are you going to impose on us so we have to be dragged back to your teenage-heartbreak years? This is regressive! It’s childish! Move on! Move on! Get on to menopause next!"
Bam! Up next, Andrea Dworkin!

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