Monday, October 04, 2004

Last on Hitchens, I Promise

This is really the last time I'll post about Hitchens until I get around to my "The Two Hitchens: A Description In The Style of David Brooks". Go read this . Neatly summarized, it says, "It's not that he's switched sides that bugs me, it's that his writing's gone to pot, and his thinking has gotten really sloppy." Completely worth the read.

Can I add that Hitchens is a perfect illustration of the folly of Single Issue Voting?

Can I also add that hippies and unthinking peaceniks get on my effin' nerves too? (Dave G and Jo Momma, ya'll don't count as either). You want this country to go to war, that's fine, but there better be a good effin' reason. When Gulf War I broke out, I was of age to go into the military, and, even though it was pretty damn unlikely, my folks and I discussed the possibility of a draft. When my mom said, "You could claim objector..." I cut her off with, "No way. I would have fought in WWII, and if the Russians really WERE coming, you'd bet I'd be shooting at them." I offer this as further proof that you can be both "far left" and a total patriot at the same time. Then, and now, I was convinced that but for his slave-owning(a glaring bloody pollyp, never mind a blemish), in his ideals(which are his legacy) Jefferson was really a Bakunanist and that the glory of America was it's promise to ever expand democracy and stand "against tyranny over the minds of men", and to that end was worth defending with your own two hands. (I still feel that way. Being on "the left" doesn't mean you believe in "America The Evil", it means you are severely uncomfortable with the fact that the leaders that keep getting elected poison our promise with their actions). I digress.

The point, as with anything of any grave seriousness, is not being for or against it on general principle, but how you've reasoned for or against it. I quote Hitchens in this regard when he talks about Orwell: "It's not what you think, but how you think it." I thought the whole point of this statement was to ward off against reflexive behavior. But it's exactly reflexive behavior Hitchens insists on engaging in. I don't know what he does on his trips abroad, but I know him through his artefacts - his written works - and he's predictable, dull, and reading him does not offer me any insight.

Anyway, I'm quite happy Hitchens isn't on the left, and I wouldn't want him "home", not in the state he's in. The stuff he's writing now is as bad as Horowitz, and about as well thought out. He reads like he's getting paid by the talking point. When an economist is writing more incsisive commentary than you are, it might be time to hang up your pen.
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