Christopher Hitchens

The Boston Marathon Bombing and The Faith Privilege

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on April 23, 2013.  You can read the follow up there now: “A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism.” The Boston Marathon bombing provoked enactment of what has emerged, since 9/11, as a ritual of political theater refined even beyond its long history of performance. Even while law [...]

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You Think That’s Funny? That’s Not Funny

December 17, 2012

. We’re having an entertaining and enlightening discussion, me and the Snoop, over in the comments section (which is, after all, what it’s for) and the subject of Bill Maher keeps coming up. Actually, Snoop keeps bringing it up, but why split hairs? Maher enjoys not the highest estimation in the Snoop’s regard. I think [...]

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Alexander Cockburn: Remembering the Dead

July 25, 2012

Cross posted at the Algemeiner. It really is the ultimate sentimentality. That concern with how we will be remembered, or how those for whom we care will be treated in the minds of others, or who is saying what about whom now gone. It is too obvious to say we will never know the reputations [...]

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The Matter of Glenn Greenwald

January 24, 2012

. Let a hundred blogs bloom: let a hundred schools of condign retribution contend. Something like that. Mao was so ahead of his time in so many ways. In this blooming bloggery, stars arise, tall stalks that reach for the sky. Lesser plants, leaning toward the light, bend in their direction. They lean toward Glenn Greenwald. [...]

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Bile as Argument

January 23, 2012

. Several days ago, a late reader of my post “Christopher Hitchens, Glenn Greenwald, and the War of Ideas” sent me an insulting private email. Since this is a blog with a public commenting apparatus, I am always struck when people choose to insult me privately rather than offer counter-arguments and insult in the public [...]

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In Their Own Words: Glenn Greenwald, Armatya Sen, John Gray

January 3, 2012

. Glenn Greenwald, considering Christopher Hitchens and George Packer and aiming the gun at his own head. Is it really “a sign of decency” to refuse to view any political ideas as not merely wrong in some abstract intellectual sense, but as a reflection of the person’s character? Obviously, there are many political disagreements — most — [...]

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Christopher Hitchens, Glenn Greenwald, and the War of Ideas

December 21, 2011

John Cook of Gawker writes of Christopher Hitchens that he “loathed sentiment, welcomed combat, and delighted in inflicting hard truths.” Cook undoubtedly means “sentimentality,” which masquerades everywhere as sentiment, in which case he is indisputably right about Hitchens, who would have begrudged those now attacking him only the regrettable spectacle (he surely would have believed) [...]

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The Hitchens Post

December 16, 2011

. In the end, no one will be remembered, a monumental few for a very long time. Others, favored by fortune still, and the riches of their own beings – big, big people – leave a hole when they depart. The air is sucked out of the room, which subsides into a banal kind of [...]

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Slaying the Tyrant

October 24, 2011

. Qaddafi is dead. Now there is the period of questioning and examination, of the circumstances and of ourselves, and self-examination is always a good thing. There are areas of our social and political life – whole political parties – in which smug certitude reigns and the death of even the hapless is cheered. In [...]

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9/11/11: Chomsky Nation

September 16, 2011

. (Eleventh in a series) On October 18, 2001, five weeks after the 9/11 attack, Noam Chomsky gave a talk at MIT, still available on the web in video and transcript form, entitled “The New War against Terror.” He employed the same slippery rhetorical constructs and argumentative ploys as were on display in his half-hearted [...]

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Little Sympathy to Squander: the American Left & 9/11

September 15, 2011

. (Tenth in a series) The antipathy to the U.S. voiced in the Guardian, on Question Time, from Baudrillard and Zizek – not merely despite 9/11, but in political sympathy with it, if not advocacy of it – found voice in the U.S. too. No small amount of it emanated from The Nation, perhaps the [...]

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The Tea Party Bolsheviks & the National Debt

July 28, 2011

An important point to remember about Bolshevism is that it was not an ideology, but a method. The ideology was Marxism. Adjusted to circumstance and extended as Leninism, it was Marxist-Leninism. Bolshevism was about how they pursued the revolution and how they ruled after it. The name itself, which means “majority,” contrasted with the minority [...]

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Darkness at Noon, Today

February 7, 2011

The challenges to Enlightenment Humanism come from all sides. In the U.S., on the Right, a fundamentalist rejection of modernity has led to an increasing, unreasoned disbelief in the scientific method and the process of rational inference from its results. It rejects any conception of the human without GOD, even as it rationalizes varied forms [...]

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Good God. Or Not.

December 3, 2010

Image by Andrew Rusk via Flickr Last Friday in Toronto Christopher Hitchens debated Tony Blair on religion. That was bound to be an entertainment. Whether it turned out, in fact, to be so I do not know. You can find out by shelling out your $2.99 (it was $4.99 for the live stream) to the [...]

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People Give Themselves Away

October 6, 2010

They do. They really do. Once they cross a certain psychological border of irrational – but always rationalized – bias in their thinking about a subject, and it thus emerges as a kind of fetish, they give themselves away. They can’t help themselves. Often, the clues are subtle, though hardly hidden, and they are frequently [...]

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Ten Questions for Monday

August 9, 2010

All right, move it along. The weekend is over. Get back to work. What do you think of the plans by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the NRA to hold a “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington and “I Have a Dream” [...]

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