Christopher Hitchens on why flying on commercial airlines just got a little bit even more shitty…
Why do we fail to detect or defeat the guilty, and why do we do so well at collective punishment of the innocent? The answer to the first question is: Because we can't — or won't. The answer to the second question is: Because we can. The fault here is not just with our endlessly incompetent security services, who give the benefit of the doubt to people who should have been arrested long ago or at least had their visas and travel rights revoked. It is also with a public opinion that sheepishly bleats to be made to "feel safe." The demand to satisfy that sad illusion can be met with relative ease if you pay enough people to stand around and stare significantly at the citizens' toothpaste…
What nobody in authority thinks us grown-up enough to be told is this: We had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked theocratic ideology. These people will kill themselves to attack hotels, weddings, buses, subways, cinemas, and trains. They consider Jews, Christians, Hindus, women, homosexuals, and dissident Muslims (to give only the main instances) to be divinely mandated slaughter victims. Our civil aviation is only the most psychologically frightening symbol of a plethora of potential targets.
Anyone out there think the average American is grown-up enough to be told any of that?
Tags: Christopher Hitchens, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Also, he's too intellective to find Stephen Colbert riotous and too cerebral to find Al Franken jocuse.
But I'm apparently too dumb to claw my way through the byzantine* logic behind his conclusions…
If you chance to like this sort of thing, then this is undoubtedly the sort of thing you will like. It certainly works very well with audiences who laugh not because they find something to be funny, but to confirm that they are — and who can doubt it? — cool enough to "get" the joke.
What you will not find, in any of this output, is anything remotely "satirical" about the pulpit of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, or any straight-faced, eyebrow-raising (and studio-audience-thigh-slap-triggering) mention of, say, The New York Times's routine practice of captioning Al Sharpton as "the civil rights activist." Baudelaire wrote that the devil's greatest achievement was to have persuaded so many people that he doesn’t exist: liberal platitudinousness must be a bit like that to those who suffer from it without quite acknowledging that there is such a syndrome to begin with.
Fair enough. Fair enough. Just, I'd be a little more convinced if any of that made sense. Or if it was at all clear that he had ever watched more than two episodes of The Daily Show with which to reference. Or took into account that creating "satire" does not preclude one from having a world view or political bent.
In general, I'm a fan of Christopher Hitchens. But I prefer the Hitchens who knows from whence he speaks to the Hitchens that just decides to vamp on an unpopular theme for a dozen or so paragraphs to keep his reputation as a contrarian before calling it a day and hitting the liquor cabinet. (Remember his "Look at me!" treatise against vagina-bearing comedians?)
Now, I don't wanna give the impression that there's no room for criticizing Stewart, Colbert or Franken. (Actually, I have a lot of problems with Franken and his party-line Democrat attitude.) But this article, to me, comes off as shallow, uninformed and silly.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go throw poop** at a poster of Dick Cheney.
* I have no idea what that word means. I just mashed my palm onto the keyboard and that came out.
** Don't worry. It's not my poop.
Tags: Al Franken, Christopher Hitchens, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert
Christopher Hitchens — writing for Slate — approaches Iran's make-believe election from last week with the amount of not-make-believe bitchiness we've all come to expect…
Iran and its citizens are considered by the Shiite theocracy to be the private property of the anointed mullahs. This totalitarian idea was originally based on a piece of religious quackery promulgated by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and known as velayat-e faqui. Under the terms of this edict — which originally placed the clerics in charge of the lives and property of orphans, the indigent, and the insane — the entire population is now declared to be a childlike ward of the black-robed state.
Thus any voting exercise is, by definition, over before it has begun, because the all-powerful Islamic Guardian Council determines well in advance who may or may not "run." Any newspaper referring to the subsequent proceedings as an election, sometimes complete with rallies, polls, counts, and all the rest of it, is the cause of helpless laughter among the ayatollahs. ("They fell for it? But it's too easy!")
Shame on all those media outlets that have been complicit in this dirty lie all last week. And shame also on our pathetic secretary of state, who said that she hoped that "the genuine will and desire" of the people of Iran would be reflected in the outcome. Surely she knows that any such contingency was deliberately forestalled to begin with.
For a minute there, I didn't think he'd be able to sneak in a dig at Hillary Clinton.
I don't know what I was thinking.
Tags: Christopher Hitchens, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Here's a pretty decent uncut video interview of Christopher Hitchens — one of the only who actually makes me come close to rethinking my long-held and disgustingly-liberal views on the war in Iraq – in which he…
* Accuses President Obama of being a fellow atheist who's too cowardly to admit it publicly
* Expresses his deep pride for initially and continually supportinghe U.S.'s invasion and occupation of Iraq
* Explains why he sought out people who would waterboard him, and how it's disingenuous to call it "simulated" drowning
* Admits that quitting smoking was even more unpleasant than getting waterboarded
Try as I might, I just can't seem to figure out why Hitchens would doubt Barack Obama's much-professed Christian faith which just so happened to coincide nearly perfectly with the beginning of his political career.
Why would he be so jaded as that?
Tags: Afghanistan, Atheists, Barack Obama, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, Constitution, George W. Bush, Iraq, Religion, Torture