December 17, 2011

The typical opening line of a Christopher Hitchens tribute

From Slate, a representative example from this insiders' orgy of name-dropping and one-upmanship:
I first met Christopher on the set of the Charlie Rose show at a low point early in my career of provocation. 

In other words, did I mention I was on the Charlie Rose show? With Christopher? (As we Charlie Rose show regulars / close friends know, only his first name is necessary.) Did I point out how provocative I am? And did you notice that my fabulous career is no longer at a low point? And did I make clear that even at that low point, I was still getting on the Charlie Rose show? 

83 comments:

jack strocchi said...

Hitchens was NOT a contrarian. His support for Bush's Mesopotamian adventure was in line with majority of elite and popular opinion, in the US at least. Atheism is not exactly a career ending move.

He was a bit sexist on occasion, which seemed to be sailing close to the wind. But this was simply applying the neg tactic to a whole roomfull of women. Pretty effective too, since there was no shortage of feminists ready to drape themselves around him.

Whats contrarian is race-realism and religious apologetics. And maybe a mild bit of homophobia. In short HBD.

But what are the odds of Steve Sailer being celebrated as a gadfly of the "Establishment"?

Anonymous said...

The Last of the Mohitchens.

Anonymous said...

Compared to most public intellectuals, Hitchens still comes off better. I prefer Buruma to Hitchens though. Buruma is more skeptical of power. When intellectuals take sides in power politics, they fail to become as sharp as intellectuals.

Anonymous said...

"Hitchens was NOT a contrarian. His support for Bush's Mesopotamian adventure was in line with majority of elite and popular opinion, in the US at least."

Partly true but unlike the real Bush whores, Hitchens did criticize the administration when it botched things and remained critical. Hitchens supported the invasion but didn't cheer every decision like Hannity and that group of morons.

Anonymous said...

At the very least, Hitchens was trying to be somewhat consistent... unlike the left that bitched about how Iraqis were starving but then said sanctions should continue and keep starving Iraqis just to avoid a war.

Anonymous said...

Jealous much, Stevie?

"But what are the odds of Steve Sailer being celebrated as a gadfly of the 'Establishment'?"

Yes, that's exactly what this whole envy-fest is about, isn't it, Sailer?

Anonymous said...

"Jealous much, Stevie?"

The correct word is 'envious'.
One is envious of someone else's talents, success, etc.
Jealousy involves a third party. For example, you're jealous of the person who has the affection of someone you like.

Whiskey said...

Somewhat OT, Steve have you seen this from the guy calling himself "Ulsterman?" I don't believe the guys "Insider" reports which sound like the Nixonian "secret honor" fantasies, but the Vale-Gerard connection makes sense.

Obama sending US troops to oust the Lord's Resistance Army to benefit cronies in the Union movement, which now basically controls Vale, and likely some corrupt bargain with Lula's successor in Brazil (Dina whatsername?) Well that makes sense. As does Libya (which Obama crony is benefiting?)

Anonymous said...

Btw, I think MANY pundits and journalists are envious of Hitchens. They are trying to hide their envy with profuse praise. I think, in a way, there's also a sense of relief cuz there's one less hard-nosed intellectual who will call out on them. Hitchens was dangerous cuz (1) he was well-known and (2) struck at both right and left. So, neither side could fully rely on him to go easy on their side. So, both sides praise him but both sides are relieved he's gone.

Whiskey said...

Re Hitchen's Atheism, that may have been a fashion that's past. David Cameron, not exactly a man of courage, gave a speech ... defending Britain as a Christian Nation and Christianity (and explicitly rebuking Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury).

Cameron defended Christianity, and Britain as a Christian nation. Yes. He did. In fact he went further stating that Christianity (and the King James Bible) are the fundamental building blocks of English speaking culture. [Shakespeare probably read the Geneva Bible, I wish I could get a decent modern, not fuzzy repro copy.]

Anonymous said...

Better jealous than zealous.

Anonymous said...

"But what are the odds of Steve Sailer being celebrated as a gadfly of the 'Establishment'?"

"Yes, that's exactly what this whole envy-fest is about, isn't it, Sailer?"

There's prolly some of that, BUT I think Sailer's pride rests in the fact that the Establishment suppresses him. Hitchens, for some reason, was useful to the powers-that-be, first to the left and then to the neocon right.
But Sailer isn't useful to the powers-that-be, and this makes Sailer believe in himself.

I wonder though... suppose Sailer whored himself out to PC. Do you suppose he'd be as famous as Gladwell?

slumber_j said...

Katie Roiphe seldom fails to deliver in this way. I'm sort of fascinated by shamelessness, and she's a major exponent of it.

Anonymous said...

With his supposed bi-sexuality and all, maybe Hitch was partly channeling T.E. Lawrence.
Both got involved in the Middle East and had rather weird loyalties that made him respected, feared, and despised by all sides.

Remember the movie ALEXANDER? Alexander was such a visionary madman that his men were relieved to see him die. Of course, he was greatly honored in death, but it's because people preferred Alexander as myth than as man. Myth you can control, Man you cannot.

Not that Hitchens was in the same league as Alex, but he did have balls. And while he was alive, no one could entirely claim him cuz he was so unpredicable. But in death--as he can no longer talk back--, anyone can own him and put words into his mouth.
From Hitchens the man to Hitchology the myth.

anony-mouse said...

We'll see how well anyone here writes a week before their death.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a need to have some kind of standard-bearer. It simplifies things or gives us a compass or a center around which public debate revolves. A kind of centrifugal force. Such figure or object is usually the creation of both hype and genuine value. For example, Mona Lisa as standard bearer of painting. CITIZEN KANE for movies. SGT PEPPER for rock. Pauline Kael for film criticism(though other critics were just as good or even better; for some reason, she had the personality and magnetism to be THE critic).
Hitchens, as result of media hype(plus self-promotion) and genuine intelligence/integrity(relatively speaking), attracted that kind of attention as a the center of intellectual ideological zeitgeist of the 21st century. He found himself at the center of things.

Some will say his ideological shifts was a sign of opportunism: that he took up with seemingly unstoppable neocons after 9/11. Some will say it was proof of his integrity: that he chose truth over partisanship. Some will say he lost his mind, enraged with the left and the third world.

But the thing is, he became the center of debate because he was more than his ideas. He life became a part of his ideas. He was like a method thinker(akin to method actor). He dove into the center of things. He LIVED his ideas. His brother Peter praised his courage, and I do see what he means. Hitchens did go to danger spots and confront problems head on. He went to Pakistan, he went to North Korea, he went to Africa. Sometimes he wrote with a combo of elegant brilliance and brutal truth.
He saw things up front.
He was to ideas/opinions what Hemingway was to fiction. Their life stories were part of the story. It wasn't just that Hemingway wrote books but he hunted and ventured and lived the adventures in his books. And Hitchens didn't just comment on the world but physically clashed with it.

Anonymous said...

I think in a way, Hitchen's contradictions and inner-conflict were emblematic of the post-ideological globalized world where nothing was really certain anymore.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Hitchen's pictures from his college days and more recent pictures (pre-cancer). Shocking just how much his looks degenerated. Drinking and smoking take their toll.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Hitchens going quasi-con(not quite neocon) was akin to Dylan going electric. Dylan was supposed to be leftist leader of folkie movement but at Newport he said 'no more of that'. Leftists simply couldn't believe it. Here was the guy, the most brilliant musical talent of his generation, and he wouldn't go with the program. They had all placed their bets on Dylan but Dylan went astray. But the left, angry as it was, never fully let go of Dylan. Liberals saw him as a kind of prodigal son who would return to the fold one day; he mattered too much to their lives. And Dylan went from one thing to another and, in time, came to be admired by both Christian Right and Jewish liberals and the left as well as distrusted by all sides.

Hitchens prior to 9/11 was supposed to be the heir of Gore Vidal, the superstar of leftism. Many young people got their leftism from reading him. He had the style, the wit, the flair, etc. He was the golden boy of the left. It was one thing for the left to lose David Horowitz, who was a funny looking geek without charisma. But losing Hitchens was a big deal. It's like a conservative guy having his daughter marry a Negro. It was shocking.
It was newsworthy! Though Hitch was still ideologically more on the left than the right, the right couldn't believe its luck. Here was the golden boy of the left, the heir apparent of Vidal, supporting Bush's war in Iraq and waving the flag for Israel!

But Hitchens never felt comfortable on the right--indeed much less than Whittaker Chambers in the 50s. So, gradually he regained his leftist credentials by criticizing the GOP, supporting Obama, writing a big book attacking not just Islam but Christianity too(all things to do with God). So, the prodigal son half-way came home, and with the total demise of Bush legacy, the left thought maybe Hitch would come to his senses. They also enjoyed seeing hitch get his comeuppance by making himself foolish as a supporter of Bush the dummy.

So, when Hitch died, he was both nowhere and everywhere. Good thing for publicity.

Anonymous said...

You teach me to read between the lines, for that I thank you sir!!!

Anonymous said...

You see Hitchens quite Brave and quite the contrarian. He hated people like Pat Buchanan, the PLO, Jerry Falwell, and Sadaam.

He married a Jewish woman and raised their daughter as a Jew.

He was everything the US Press hates.

He was fearless.

Ray Sawhill said...

Am I the only person in this crowd who never cared much this way or that about Christopher Hitchens?

Anonymous said...

Will someone please post some links giving examples of what made him so brilliant, controversial and witty. I looked on twitter and all I see is some dopey quote about champaign, lobster, picnics and yuck. Please tell me what his claim to fame is.

Anonymous said...

Celine: poor, hated, censored, lucky not to be executed...to this day you'd better know who you're talking to before you mention him.
Sobran: wrote what he thought with barely a hint of anger...censored, hated, abandoned... What did he do?
Jared Taylor: Speaking events have to occur at secret hiding spots...the news blames him for Gifford being shot..if you read this, your phone is now tapped and there is a drone over your house...do you think he'll every get invited to FOX to set the record straight?
Sailer: wonderful writer...a very broad range of interest...has to beg for donations.
Hitchens: When has he ever been denied a pulpit? Controversial? Who's WATCH LIST is he on?

ben tillman said...

Jealous much, Stevie?

"But what are the odds of Steve Sailer being celebrated as a gadfly of the 'Establishment'?"

Yes, that's exactly what this whole envy-fest is about, isn't it, Sailer?


All of us could sell our souls to the devil, but some of us reject the temptation to do evil in exchange for short-term personal gain.

Your perspective seems a bit misanthropic.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I will repeat: I am fucking tired of so many anonymous commenters here.

I first met Hitchens at a drunken Balliol bash in honor of Bucky Fuller...

Oh. Well it must have been some other intellectual bloke, then.

Peter H. said...

Am I the only person in this crowd who never cared much this way or that about Christopher Hitchens?


No.

Chris said...

Even the secondary title "Hitchens taught me that provocation isn’t exhausting. It’s fun." says "once I figured out that being a celebrity was just about being seen and not about changing minds, I stopped stressing about it"

Anonymous said...

Asst. Village Idiot,
I will remain anonymous as long as anyone can infer that I in any way sympathize with Steve's point of view. My multinational corporation may google my name some day. I can't risk an erroneous leak of my identity because he is so controversial.
A guy's gotta eat.
When I find a reason to praise Hitchens, I will post my name in Bold Print.
I am unfamiliar with this whole process of posting and anonymous seems to be the best way to go.

Dennis Dale said...

Who the f--- is Katy Roiphe? No, seriously.

Anonymous said...

Jealous projection, so obvious it's embarrassing.

I also find this giddiness in the wake of Hitchens' death distasteful.

Nanonymous said...

He was to ideas/opinions what Hemingway was to fiction.

Your outlandish hyperbole notwithstanding, let's just remember that there is a big, very big difference between having ideas and having opinions. Hitch was good at presenting opinions in style but the evidence of him having original ideas is very slim.

edgy gurl said...

"Am I the only person in this crowd who never cared much this way or that about Christopher Hitchens?"

I can't take anyone seriously who's an avowed atheist. Hard to consider the guy any kind of intellectual when he believed human reason could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt there is no God. I might read some of his stuff if I happen to stumble across it; but, so far, everyone's more interested in hyping his verbal acumen than quoting him.

Was Hitchen's all that quotable?

Barry Wood said...

The secret to being a successful contrarian is not to upset anyone.

Ross said...

I'd never heard of Katie Roiphe before, but she seems to be the opposite of provocative.

Can anyone point to anything she's written which would earn her the slightest disapproval at a New York cocktail party?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:24- you seem like a smart guy- your new name is smartguy924.....it's not that hard. Your multi-national corporation will be none the wiser.

If you're posting as anonymous it's hard to refer back to criticize or praise earlier comments.

Steve nails this one again.

I do remember Hitchens on Maher's show. He was funny and told the audience to go to hell- not bad. Is there a more smug prick that needs an ass-kicking than Bill Maher? Maybe Olbermann but he's disappeared.

I will credit Hitchens for putting himself in dangerous places such as Pakistan and North Korea. That takes guts.

But he did f*ck a dude.

We'll call it a wash.

Dan in Dc

syon said...

Anonymous:"Asst. Village Idiot,
I will remain anonymous as long as anyone can infer that I in any way sympathize with Steve's point of view. My multinational corporation may google my name some day. I can't risk an erroneous leak of my identity because he is so controversial.
A guy's gotta eat.
When I find a reason to praise Hitchens, I will post my name in Bold Print.
I am unfamiliar with this whole process of posting and anonymous seems to be the best way to go."

Use a pseudonym.Sign your posts Jack Cade or Hedy Lamarr, or Colt Steele, etc.

syon said...

Anonymous:"Asst. Village Idiot,
I will remain anonymous as long as anyone can infer that I in any way sympathize with Steve's point of view. My multinational corporation may google my name some day. I can't risk an erroneous leak of my identity because he is so controversial.
A guy's gotta eat.
When I find a reason to praise Hitchens, I will post my name in Bold Print.
I am unfamiliar with this whole process of posting and anonymous seems to be the best way to go."

Use a pseudonym.Sign your posts Jack Cade or Hedy Lamarr, or Colt Steele, etc.

Anonymous said...

"I also find this giddiness in the wake of Hitchens' death distasteful."

The issue is not his death. It's the brouhaha surrounding his death.
It's funny that Mr. Atheist is now St. Christopher according to the big media.

Anonymous said...

I'll be damned. Vanity Fair sang a song called 'Hitchin a Ride'. Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair. He sure hitched a ride on history after 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Instead of 'Ride, Ride, Ride, Hitchin a Ride', 'Write, Write, Write, Hitches Writes.'
And everyone is hitchin a ride on Hitchnes now that he's a myth.

To be sure, there was a good deal of attention surrounding the recent death of Tony Judt too.

DJF said...

“””Hitchens, for some reason, was useful to the powers-that-be, first to the left and then to the neocon right.””

Wish people would stop calling them the Neo-con right, they are the Trotskyites who have just changed their number one enemy from Stalin to Mohammed. They are internationalists who instead of using the Soviet Union as the base for their world revolution use the USA. Instead of using Communist rhetoric they use Capitalist rhetoric but its all about them having power not about economic ideology. They want a world without borders with the Trotskyites calling it the International while the Neo-cons call it Globalism. For both Nationalism is their enemy though they will use some nationalistic rhetoric to get the masses on their side.

So Hitchens did not change sides at all, he just went to a new form of Trotskyism with slightly different paymasters and slogans.

Anonymous said...

If this woman were a real contrarian, wouldn't she instead be writing something like, "Hitchens was totally wrong about Iraq, Mother Theresa, and God, and it was only the quality of his writing that obscured how his positions changed to mirror whatever the mainstream DC opinion was feeling at the time?"

ben tillman said...

I will remain anonymous as long as anyone can infer that I in any way sympathize with Steve's point of view. My multinational corporation may google my name some day.

A pseudonym is a name. Pick one, and use it.

Anonymous said...

Hitchens, some of you may recall, was among the leaders of the attack on The Bell Curve and its authors.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Kaitie Roiphe came on the scene - maybe 15 or so years ago. IIRC, her mother was a well known/published feminist and Katie made a splash by writing a book sort pointing out the hysteria surrounding one of feminism's most cherished myths - the campus date-rape epidemic (read: evil white guys!). She's obviously a twit, but she should be praised for taking aim at this particular beast. Sean68

Anonymous said...

can't take anyone seriously who's an avowed atheist. Hard to consider the guy any kind of intellectual when he believed human reason could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt there is no God.

edgy gurl, maybe you need to first learn what "atheist" means. It means "without god". Simple as that. No sane atheist ever claimed any proof of nonexistence of any god.

Anonymous White Male said...

I have always thought Hitchens' vanity is what appealed to the many posers that consider him brilliant. And the soapboxes that he appeared on were usually so devoid of any truly brilliant people that he could appear more intelligent than he actually was. His atheist posturing provided him with “rebel chic” and endeared him to the left “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God." I don’t believe that atheists believe there is no God. They just say that to piss God off because they are mad at him. Anyone that has spent any time in the presence of a tree knows that such a thing could never occure by chance. Hitchens obviously had some major problems he was repressing. Alcoholics are trying desperately to escape from their reality. Hitchens just fatuolsly viewed his alcoholic personna as some kind of Hemingwayish badge of honor, as if only real men and real intellectuals are capable of handling the wisdom that being a drunkard provides one with.

MQ said...

Hitchens was overrated -- a touch of Oxbridge debating society flair is all that's needed to earn a reputation as a "genius" in the U.S.

Katie Roiphe earned her notoriety in the 90s being a young, reasonably cute Ivy grad willing to say that the sexual harassment/rape on campus stuff was overdone. Got the publicity you can get by being a woman going against feminist pieties. (Conservatives will never admit it but there are definite publicity/money benefits to going against liberal PC in just the right way).

Anonymous said...

Hitchens wasn't brave. He was a pudgy little Englishman, a bi-sexual, who liked to sit around & smoke cigarettes, drink, and talk.

Its kinda pathetic that smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey marks you as a Macho man.

Anonymous said...

"Katie Roiphe earned her notoriety in the 90s being a young, reasonably cute"

Reasonably cute? You is blind, bro.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are a great writer but this sniping is beneath you. Face it, the guy could write like he was turning on a faucet (even when sozzled) and for some reason it's bugging you. Either come clean about your beef or let it go.

Anonymous said...

Face it, the guy could write like he was turning on a faucet (even when sozzled) and for some reason it's bugging you. Either come clean about your beef or let it go.

I can't write, period, but if I were Steve, it would certainly bug me and the reason, I think, is perfectly natural: it is pretty sad when an empty blowhard whose only asset is being a great stylist is more valued by the society than a plain prose original and honest thinker. Style over substance, form over content - done consistently, it is unproductive and should be discouraged.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, you are a great writer but this sniping is beneath you."

He doesn't snipe enough. Nice guys don't win.

Anonymous said...

I do think that, as calculated and ultimately phony as Hitchens was, he showed real balls in defending David Irving.

In way, that's more of a leap -- in the Kosher Kulture sense -- than being a race-realist.

Ultimately, Hitchens gave in and stopped associating with Irving -- his Trotskyite fellow-travelers likely wrote up the ridiculous story vis a vis Irving and Hitchens' daughter -- yet I think showed as much or more spine on Jewish supremacy and hypocrisy as Steve ever has.

In fact, Steve ignores many hard-truths, or talks around them, when it comes to The Tribe.

Hitchens was all-in on the neocon forever war platform, but in a way that's more honest, and is another example of Steve's careful dissembling: in an earlier post he said that many neos hold on to their Trotskyite viewpoints; but this is almost pure sophistry as the neocons, for those old enough or with the right heritage, are simply Trotskyites with a new brand-name.

Snakes sloughing off old skin. But the plan remains. That Sailer refuses to deal with this actually makes him more cowardly than Hitchens was, let alone someone like Kevin Macdonald.

That Hitchens, an agitator for Trotsky's view of "Forever Revolution", would embrace the neocon polemical stance and all of its ugly consequences, is as natural as a 17th century Puritan ending up in new England.

To act as if this was Hitchens either "selling out" or not turning away from a purer ideological stance, is to either be a fool or simply mendacious. Likewise and further, Hitchens was upfront about his Trotskyite worldview and how it connected to his neocon pals; the only people "confused" by this are the uninformed or those who don't want to make too many connections between a certain ethnic group and destructive post-Marx ideologies.

Ironically, Steve Sailer would seem to be one of those people.

The other issue between Hitchens and Sailer is, in the end, their hubristic and reductive outlook on evolution and G-d; rather, it's not so much between, as it is conflated. Hitchens emotionalized the issue, while Sailer uses something like HBD to obviatfe or vitiate the idea of the spiritual. Altogether, neither allows for the simple fact that atheism and Darwin-worship are signs of faith, as there are many questions unanswered as to the nature of reality and how the universe came to be.

Evidently killing G-d is supposed to free humanity. But what really happens is that it creates G-d in dictatorial, earthly regimes, where the only true morality then comes through power.

Anyway, so far as Hitch and his legacy, yes, he was an insider. But it struck me that he was not only protected, but genuinely liked for his bravery, when I went to the aforementioned David Irving's site.

There, like the Salons and Slates, was a note about Irving's sadness over Hitch's death, and how the latter had been a truly brave man.

I'd like to see Steve ever show the balls in standing up to the Tribe and their interests that a philo-Semitic Trotskyite did at one point in his life.

Sam said...

His relgious book said absolutely nothing new; he just copied from other books.

He just shouts people down in the debates on YouTube and is always contradicting himself.

He was only a contrararian within SWPL parameters. He would never leave the in crowd.

He was very skillful at using quotes from famous poeple to make it looke like they would have agreed with him - Jefferson, Spinoza

He was obviously gay and loved the attention of being a celeb.

He was textbook example of projection. He was completely amoral. He was an alcoholic.

His appeal is baffling.

Catperson said...

Hitchens first came to the attention of me and a lot of other folks when he starting brutally attacking the clintons. Hatred of the clintons was a big industry on the right, but to see a man of the left, of such wit, eloquence and education attack the clintons was novel, especially after years of the mainstream media gushing about how brilliant and charismatic Clinton was.

I remember Chris mathews asking hitchens what he would do if Clinton asked to meet him and hitchens shocking the Clinton-worshipping mathews by saying "I'd tell him to get lost. The charm doesn't work on me."

Hitchens wrote a funny and fascinating little book about the clintons called "no one left to lie to: the values of the worst family" (get it? Instead of first family, worst family, for this wanting evidence of hitchen's wit). The book portrayed bill Clinton as everything from a rapist to a racist. After reading this book you would think the clintons were the two most evil people on the planet, everything they did was portrayed in the worst possible light (getting a family photo is described as pimping out their daughter). The book was funny, not just because of hitchen's wit, but because of
how over the top harsh he was.

Glaivester said...

Anonymojus @2:34 PM:

Steve Sailer is a Catholic, not an atheist, as I recall.

On the "gadfly" issue: The more profusely one is praised in one's own time as a gadfly, the less likely that he is an actual gadfly.

Anonymous said...

"but this is almost pure sophistry as the neocons, for those old enough or with the right heritage, are simply Trotskyites with a new brand-name."

They are still Trotskyites in style, not in substance. Ideologically, their brand of permanent revolution is more along the line of Schumpeterian 'creative destruction' than radical Marxist class warfare.
So, Trotskyitism for neocons is more a mental habit than an ideological agenda.

Also, we need to draw a distinction between the older generation neocons who really had been genuine Trotskyites--in both ideology and style--and those who came later who adopted the Trotskyite style but never the ideology(since their parents had dropped Marxism). Irving Kristol was a real Trotskyite who turned away from Marxism but kept the Trotskyite style. His son William grew up without Trotskyite content but only the style.
Hitchens is something of an oddball because he came to Trotskyitism in the 60s and mainly to jump on the radical bandwagon. And even to the end, he didn't ideologically let go of certain tenets of Trotskyitism. But then, I think he was more into the style than the substance of anything. It's no wonder that he got a gig at Vanity Fair, a magazine of cultural fashion. Hitchen's Marxism was about as genuine as Bertolucci's.

What the neocons really are are Tribeskyites.

Anonymous said...

"They are internationalists who instead of using the Soviet Union as the base for their world revolution use the USA. Instead of using Communist rhetoric they use Capitalist rhetoric but its all about them having power not about economic ideology."

Using this logic, British Imperialists and Spanish Conquistadores were Trotskyites too.

Anonymous said...

Where is the real courage in defending Irving on bloodless, universalist, moralising, free speech grounds; knowing you'll get a pass from TPTB for good works past, present and future in service of the cherished cause; and always qualifying your support with the usual ooga-booga rhetoric including the notorious anecdote, in which we are asked to believe that some avuncular, old-fashioned advice proffered to the mother of Hitchen's child had the tough guy dry retching in his corn flakes at the horror, the horror...

G Pinfold

edgy gurl said...

"edgy gurl, maybe you need to first learn what "atheist" means. It means "without god". Simple as that. No sane atheist ever claimed any proof of nonexistence of any god."

The term generally applied to those who are neutral about god is "agnostic". Atheists tend to proselytize for abandoning all trappings of religion rather than accepting manifestations of a belief in god. That we even know Hitchens is an atheist means he, a non theologian, was shooting his mouth off about the existence of God and claiming that holding a belief in such an existence is harmful.

What happened to Sailer, btw. Did he kick the bucket earlier this year like old Hitch?

Anonymous said...

BTW, what's with all this "G_D" stuff?

What kinda freak doesn't spell the word God? Leaving out the "o" accomplishes what exactly?

This another one of these weird 21st century trends, like female tattoos, that I'm truly puzzled by.

morleysafer said...

Rough change for Vaclav Havel, he gets to be the 3rd wheel between the journo-socialite extraordinaire and the bonkers Nork-in-Chief.

Anonymous said...

Historical and hysterical irony. Havel and Kim Jong Il died on the same day. Anti-communist hero and the most extreme Stalinist scumbag.

Anonymous said...

Kim Jong the witch is dead the wicked witch the wicked witch, Kim Jong the witch is dead today.

Reg Cæsar said...

...and likely some corrupt bargain with Lula's successor in Brazil (Dina whatsername?) --Whiskey

It's Dilma. (And that's pronounced "Jew-ma", so get ready to pounce, guys!) She's Bulgarian, which makes her the second or third Slav to lead Brazil.

You can add Rousseff to the long list of non-Iberian names to rise to the top on the sugar-cone continent:

Kirchner, Aylwin, Bachelet, Pinochet, Menem, Bignone, Galtieri, Lastiri, Frondizi, Lonardi Doucet, Farrell, Rawson, Pellegrini Bevans, Stroessner, Schaerer, Wasmosy, Guggiari, Gill, Fujimori, Lindley, Humala Tasso, Ponce Brousset, Billinghurst, Kubitschek, Goulart, Mahuad Witt, Bucaram, Lusinchi, Herzog, Banzer, Sanguinetti, Bordaberry, Demicheli, Duncan Stewart, and-- my favorite-- Bernardo O'Higgins.

Lists of heads of state will also throw up a large number of Basque and Catalan names-- paging Mrs Andreessen!-- and the odd aboriginal as well.

Reg Cæsar said...

No one has mentioned brother Peter, who I think is better. Even if, in The Abolition of Britain, he was guilty of the Christian sin of despair.

Dylan was... the most brilliant musical talent of his generation... --anonymous

Oh, come on! He wasn't even the most brilliant North American Semite born in 1941. There's Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Cass Elliot, Paul Anka*, Linda McCartney. And not far off in age were Mann & Weil, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Jeff Barry, Andy Kim*, Zal Yanovsky...

If you think Dylan is better than these (OK, I'm kidding about Mrs Macca), go read Auster's blog!

*I said "Semite".

Dennis Dale said...

Face it, the guy could write like he was turning on a faucet (even when sozzled) and for some reason it's bugging you. Either come clean about your beef or let it go.

When Sailer's cooking he throws off the sort of novel ideas weekly that never seem to occur to people like Hitchens in their whole miserable careers.
Hitchens never seemed to be honestly engaging a question, but assigning blame for something or other, always hacking away at someone else's reputation. Always the braying moralist, he even had it in for God.
I know there's plenty to be outraged about at any given time, but what sort of asshole is outraged all the time?

It's worth noting the absence of a lot of quotation from Hitchens' work in all the thumb-suckers out there.

Antioco Dascalon said...

"BTW, what's with all this "G_D" stuff?

What kinda freak doesn't spell the word God? Leaving out the "o" accomplishes what exactly?

This another one of these weird 21st century trends, like female tattoos, that I'm truly puzzled by."

This is not 21st century. More like 14th century BC. It is done by Orthodox Jews to avoid the name of God being defaced or erased. This is why euphemisms are used instead of the tetragrammaton, such as Adonai and HaShem. See: http://www.quora.com/What-do-Orthodox-Jews-think-when-they-see-the-word-G-d

BTW, this is a pseudonym. Easy, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Best ever analysis of a single sentence.

Anonymous said...

"Hitchens first came to the attention of me and a lot of other folks when he starting brutally attacking the clintons. Hatred of the clintons was a big industry on the right, but to see a man of the left, of such wit, eloquence and education attack the clintons was novel, especially after years of the mainstream media gushing about how brilliant and charismatic Clinton was."


Clinton was a NEW Democrat and all of NATION magazine hated him. I recall NATION bashed him harder than NATIONAL REVIEW.

Anonymous said...

Goofy Gaffy and Kim Jong the witch are dead, but cult of personality and infantilism live on.

Oprah cult


And never forget the Obamessiah cult in 2008.

Worse, the media, which is supposed to be free and critical, gave Obama the Kim Jong Il treatment in 2008 and even now in a way.

But then, we don't have a democratic media but oligarchic media controlled by a certain small elite.

Anonymous said...

"Hitchens was NOT a contrarian. His support for Bush's Mesopotamian adventure was in line with majority of elite and popular opinion, in the US at least. Atheism is not exactly a career ending move."

But he was neocontrarian.

Anonymous said...

alt right has a good take on him>

http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/zeitgeist/the-conventional-contrarian/

The Conventional Contrarian

"He was a “contrarian” who told the cultural elite what they wanted to hear, and dissented within permissible limits. He jumped from the trendy left to the neoconservative right and back, but never into forbidden territory. He mocked the divine, but held equality as unchallengeable and sacred. He hammered leftists for not living up to their own standards, as he understood their ideology better than they did. He blasphemed a dead God but clung desperately to the orthodoxies of the modern world. While his unheralded and more subversive brother writes about "The Abolition of Britain," Hitchens was warning us about Mormons. He was passionate and prolific, but in the end, predictable. "

Anonymous said...

This is not 21st century. More like 14th century BC. It is done by Orthodox Jews to avoid the name of God being defaced or erased.
yeah but Christian zionists do it too, along with their blatant heresy.

MQ said...

Reg Caesar 11:33 -- how could you leave Alberto Fujimori off your list of non-Iberian South American potentates!

Anonymous said...

"Oh, come on! He wasn't even the most brilliant North American Semite born in 1941."

Reg Caesar,
Jews, especially Ashkenazi Jews who form the majority in the U.S., aren't purely Semitic genetically. I know it's probably word-play riffing off of "anti-Semitism" (term coined by a German non-Jew) as a euphemism for the more specific Jew-hatred, but I feel obligated to point out the imprecision.

Reg Cæsar said...

how could you leave Alberto Fujimori off your list of non-Iberian South American potentates!--MQ

I couldn't. And didn't. It's like Where's Waldo: he's in there somewhere.

Jews, especially Ashkenazi Jews who form the majority in the U.S., aren't purely Semitic genetically. --anon

I know that. But 'Semite' allowed me to include a couple of Lebs. Gotta be inclusive!

Anonymous said...

"His talents were considerable and his achievements worthy of note (and I'd give a fair bit to be as able and witty a writer as he was), but the outpouring of tributes this past week struck me as decidedly over-the-top."

David said...

12/18/11 2:34 PM said

>I'd like to see Steve ever show the balls in standing up to the Tribe and their interests that a philo-Semitic Trotskyite did at one point in his life.<

Maybe he isn't as obsessed with the Tribe as you are. By the way, what is this "G-d" you keep referring to?

narcissus said...

" I am unfamiliar with this whole process of posting and anonymous seems to be the best way to go."

oh don't be such a narcissist. Nobody knows anybody anyway, whether there's a handle or not. Unless you give out your actual name and address (they could find you on Facebook maybe), no one will ever know who you are. Attaching a handle make reference easier. One of the pains in a long thread is getting confused over which anonymous said what. I know now why some bloggers forbid the use of "Anonymous."

Call yourself 123 or ABC, but call yourself something.

Udolpho.com said...

"This another one of these weird 21st century trends, like female tattoos, that I'm truly puzzled by."

It's not a recent custom, you're evidently too young and narrowly read to have seen it before.