Richard Seymour has a new book out: Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens. It is reviewed in In These Times: Christopher Hitchens Stands Trial
That said, Hitchens’ later years and the enormous celebrity he enjoyed during that period are a case study of just how handsome the rewards are for those willing and able to serve as attack dogs for the dominant powers of their place and time. Hitchens’ main service to the American elite was to employ a combination of innuendo and character assassination to cast aspersion on virtually every high-profile figure critical of American foreign policy after 9/11—a roster that includes Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky, George Galloway, Michael Moore, Harold Pinter, Edward Said, Cindy Sheehan, Oliver Stone and Gore Vidal.[more inside]
A Charlie Rose discussion about the life and work of author Christopher Hitchens with his friends and fellow authors: Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, James Fenton & Ian McEwan. Also featuring past Hitchens appearances on the show. (1 hr SLVideo)
‘Whatever you do—hang on to your childhood!’ He was true to this in his fashion, both in ways that delight me and in ways that do not. He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it. It would help me to forgive, perhaps just a little, the man who helped generate the Hallmark birthday industry and who, with some of his less imposing and more moistly sentimental prose scenes in A Christmas Carol, took the Greatest Birthday Ever Told and helped make it into the near Ramadan of protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers. - Christopher Hitchens writes about Charles Dickens in his last Vanity Fair column
Trial of the Will. "Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: 'Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.' Oh, really? Take the case of the philosopher to whom that line is usually attributed, Friedrich Nietzsche, who lost his mind to what was probably syphilis. Or America’s homegrown philosopher Sidney Hook, who survived a stroke and wished he hadn’t. Or, indeed, the author, viciously weakened by the very medicine that is keeping him alive." [Via]
"In other words, Judah Maccabee, his father, and his brothers, are like the heroes of every Mel Gibson movie."
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
The Crimes of Col. Qaddafi An original essay by Christopher Hitchens, that starts: In George Orwell's 1939 novel, Coming Up for Air, his narrator, George Bowling, broods on the special horrors of the new totalitarianism and notices "the colored shirts, the barbed wire, the rubber truncheons," but also, less obviously perhaps, "the processions and the posters with enormous faces, and the crowds of a million people all cheering for the Leader till they deafen themselves into thinking that they really worship him, and all the time, underneath, they hate him so that they want to puke."
"A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it “relevant” is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare." -Christopher Hitchens stands up for the King James Bible
What to do about Pakistan? The Economist urges the west to focus on the Kashmir issue in order to help stabilize the region. Christopher Hitches urges the US to stand more firmly behind India.
Christopher Hitchens reviews the letters of Rosa Luxemburg, the Polish-born German political radical, intellectual, and author.
"For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one." -Christopher Hitchens tries to come to terms with the loss of his voice. [more inside]
Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris Debate Rabbis David Wolpe and Shavit Artson on the existence of an afterlife (video) [more inside]
How to make a decent cup of tea. by Christopher Hitchens. Single Link Slate Post. But it's all true, dammit.
Atheist Camille Paglia slams atheist Christopher Hitchens for not doing his research and suggests we should value the bible like literature.
In tonight's semi-annual Munk Debate in Toronto, Tony Blair and Christoper Hitchens square off over the topic "Is religion a force for good in the world?" For those who couldn't get tickets, you can watch a live webstream (PPV, $5) of the debate this evening, starting at 7pm EST.
Topic of Cancer. "One fine June day, the author is launching his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22. The next, he’s throwing up backstage at The Daily Show, in a brief bout of denial, before entering the unfamiliar country—with its egalitarian spirit, martial metaphors, and hard bargains of people who have cancer." Christopher Hitchens writes about his cancer. [Via]
"Given the number of sins we've committed over the course of 20 centuries, reference to them must be rather summary"
Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world? Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry debate the question with Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Anne Widdencombe. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5
In other news: prominent Iraq war supporter and atheist writer Christopher Hitchens caught in street brawl with Syrian nazis in Beirut, Lebanon, after defacing the group's poster with "No, no, Fuck You". The assault occurred on the eve of a lecture held by Mr. Hitchens at the American University of Beirut, on the subject of "Who are the revolutionaries in today's Middle East".
You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.Christopher Hitchens, Iraq War supporter, militant atheist, and now volunteer subject of waterboarding. With video.
The Four Horsemen: Just in time for holidays, enjoy a pleasant chat between the world's most famous atheists - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett.
On the Limits of Self-Improvement, wherein Christopher Hitchens delves into "an entire micro-economy based on the pursuit of betterment."
Christopher Hitchens reviews Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. nyt, via their book review podcast.
AtheistFilter: Excerpts from Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Excerpt two: "Was Muhammad Epileptic?" Three: "Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion" (via)
The Vietnam Syndrome. "In the 1960s, the United States blanketed the Mekong River delta with Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant more devastating than napalm. Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the poisoned legacy lives on in the children whose deformities it is said to have caused." Photo essay by James Nachtwey, written essay by Christopher Hitchens. [Previously discussed here and here, via C&L.]
Debate Site Grapple in the Apple! Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway argue live, now, about the Iraq War. Sorry about the minimal FPP, but it's all about the
boxing match debate.
A War to Be Proud Of. Christopher Hitchens in the Weekly Standard.
Drinking with Christopher Hitchens and the Iraqis Blogger Michael J. Totten recounts a night out with several angry Iraqis and one famous polemicist.
Victor Serge is one of the missing links in 20th-century history; in at the beginning of the Soviet Union, he saw before almost anyone what a nightmare it was going to be, wrote some prescient books, may have invented the word "totalitarian," knew everybody who was anybody, and was forgotten. Christopher Hitchens tries to remind us (quote and acknowledgment inside).
“. . . just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.” Even the soon-to-be St. Theresa had moments of atheism; although this essay is too devotional for me (and doesn't even mention Hitchens's take) it does humanize the calcutta nun's experience for me. via aldaily.
The God Squad Christopher Hitchens gives (another) one to organized religion, and reminds us of the important role that the Islamic world played in preserving Western Civilization.
Why Are Left-Wing Brits Like Hitchens, Amis And Rushdie Supporting President Bush? In this terrific article, The New Statesman's John Lloyd dares to pose the question. To which I would add my own: so far as the campaign against terrorism is concerned, isn't the standard Right/Left dichotomy becoming an increasingly American thang? [Please look inside Ty Webb's "Axis of Evil" post for an interesting discussion on the Hitchens/Bush (dis)connection]
Guess what, the bombing worked like a charm. Chris Hitchens weighs in with "I told you so" in 1000 words or less. Now if only we had a Chomsky response.
"I have no hesitation in describing this mentality, carefully and without heat, as soft on crime and soft on fascism. No political coalition is possible with such people and, I’m thankful to say, no political coalition with them is now necessary. It no longer matters what they think." Christopher Hitchens says that intellectuals of the left who seek to understand the new enemy are no friends of peace, democracy or human life. Two different versions of the same article here and here. Along the same lines, a piece from The Economist arguing that "Whatever its mistakes, the idea that America brought the onslaught upon itself is absurd."