Two very lovely posts honouring Christopher Hitchens, from two of my favourite bloggers: "Decline and fall" by Rosie Bell and Noga on Hitchens' "Vocabular Cornucopia".

Also: Alan A: Gilad Atzmon: Honorary Raelian Priest; Jim D: Morning Star’s “fellow feeling” with Cameron on EU; Ben Six: Multicultural muddles.


bob said…
Weird. I scheduled this post the other day and have been sequestered at work the last several days, so these links pre-date the man's death. Am very sad. I will miss him.
Rosie said…
So will I! It was a red letter day, if I could read an essay of his at The Atlantic or Vanity Fair.
Fuck that bloodthirsty maniac. Yeah, he wrote some good stuff up until the mid-90s or so. Then he wrote shit like this:

"[On the use of cluster bombs by the US in Afghanistan] If you’re actually certain that you’re hitting only a concentration of enemy troops…then it’s pretty good because those steel pellets will go straight through somebody and out the other side and through somebody else. And if they’re bearing a Koran over their heart, it’ll go straight through that, too. So they won’t be able to say, “Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.” No way, ’cause it’ll go straight through that as well. They’ll be dead, in other words."
bob said…
Not his finest moment perhaps. (That's from an interview ca.2002 with Adam Schatz, by the way, rather than from a published piece.)

Although if we're talking "bloodthirsty maniacs" then I think the Taliban'd give him quite a run for his money (even if Edward Said would paraphrase me saying that as "go hit the wogs").
modernity said…
Hitchens brains seem to leave him when it came to David Irving.
bob said…
Mod, I agree. He could possibly be forgiven in 1996 if he was ignorant of Irving's real nature, but he stuck stubornly to his guns, much as Chomksy has stuck to his over Faurrison. In fact more so, because he continues to insist Irving is a legitimate historian. That is, he goes slightly beyond Chomsky's bullshit "free speech" defence (also used by Spiked in relation to Irving) to endorse him as a scholar (much as Chomsky did originally, although he's shrunk from that). Interestingly, not many anti-Hitchensites have made too much of this mistake in their anti-hagiographies, possibly because most of them are also Chomskyites and therefore have weak moral high ground.
modernity said…

Even in *1994* knew about Irving's views.

He wrote about them in 1994.

Hitchens wined and dined Irving several times, paying the bill.

He lied about Irving's views (Charles Taylor show the linkages here, )

He gave Irving a "last chance" in 2000.

Still, in 2006 Hitchens was in denial about Irving's views.

There is no excuse. None.

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