Metaphors and other Hitchensian Treasures Hidden in Internet

This metaphor comes to us via The Chorus and Cassandra, a 1985 essay by Christopher Hitchens in defense of Noam Chomsky. At the time, Chomsky was taking a lot of flak from those on the right regarding his views on Vietnam, Cambodia and other forays of American foreign policy. Hitchens, as we’ve come deliciously to expect, takes issue with Chomsky’s foes’ lack of intellectual rigor and their blindness to historical nuance.

The piece was written by Geoffrey Sampson, an academic nonentity who made various other incautious allegations and who later, while engaged in an exchange with my friend Alexander Cockburn, strolled into the propellers and was distributed into such fine particles that he has never been heard from again.

Here’s another Hitchensian undressing I found while hanging with Internet. This time the target is John Updike and the book he came out with after 9/11, Terrorist. Hitchens, long-time blower of the beware of radical Islam trumpet, has two goals in this review: to defend 9/11 from aesthetic bastardization and to retrieve the novel from under the pens of its lazier practitioners. I love this review (even though I will admit to liking Updike’s Rabbit novels and especially his essay on Ted Williams’ final game) because it represents a kind of apotheosis of Hitchens’ life-project. He’s here on this planet both to implore us all to write (and describe and think) well and to rescue morality from God-fearing, religion-mongers. He ends his review with a stomp:

Given some admittedly stiff competition, Updike has produced one of the worst pieces of writing from any grown-up source since the events he has so unwisely tried to draw upon.

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This entry was posted in a life trainer for extraordinary circumstances, metaphors, random, US and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Metaphors and other Hitchensian Treasures Hidden in Internet

  1. While Hitchens is clearly a gargantuan intellect, his opinions often get lost on those who they should most importantly be directed towards because of his thinly veiled ad hominem as well as the fact that he quite often appears to be hammered whenever discussing relevant issues. The former seems to be a pattern amongst celebrit-atheists who seem to have become so frustrated trying to defend evolution and the rules of logic in the pre-internet years that they now resort to what ultimately boils down to looking like bitter old men.

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