Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hitchens Takes Down Mamet

Another for the love him or hate him group, Christopher Hitchens is, in my view, a more complicated figure than people think. I lifted an article from Conversational Reading, a fantastic blog, though its author was surprised that The Hitch cares about global warming. Why wouldn’t he? Yes, he’s turned to the right in recent years, but his opposition to radical Islam made him foolishly back the post 9/11 wars and say some utterly ridiculous things (notably, that we never really ended Desert Storm, thus the current war in Iraq is not pre-emptive). Nevertheless, Hitchens allowed himself to be (mildly) waterboarded and declared it torture, and he backed Obama against McCain, decried Sarah Palin, and eviscerated Anne Coulter, not the sort of stuff blindly obedient conservatives get up to.

That being said, Hitchens can venture into the land of the nutjob. His deep hatred for all things religious has informed his political position, which seems backwards to me. (Why would an anti-theist go the right?) To be sure, Hitch seems to be backing off the republican bit somewhat, though he’ll never admit it. His real love seems to be in disagreeing, and if he is a contrarian, well, he’s one of the funnier ones. To be sure, it is always fun to read Hitchens, even if he is talking utter crap. Here, while reviewing David Mamet’s new screed against liberals, Hitch is fantastic.