Probably not very original or pithy of me to refer to Christopher Hitchens’s “Unfairenheit 9/11” attack on Michael Moore as such, but in this case both words do seem highly appropriate, and anyway, you started it with the clumsy, smartarse titles Chris. For some reason I ended up flicking through Hitchens’s “Love, Poverty and War” (a pompous book title if I ever heard one) the other day, upon which I noticed the following two passages, in two separate essays. First, regarding Michael Moore and Farenheit 9/11:
“We are introduced to
And in a later essay on the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of
“…Local people are getting used to the sight of professional young American women, white and black and Hispanic, effectively on patrol… I ran into civilian advisors who were supervising voter registration and a census, rebuilding the electrical generators that now run at close to melting-point, reopening the long-closed Iraqi National Museum and irrigating the parched and drained habitat of the southern marshes, dried out and burned by Saddam Hussein in an ecocidal attempt to punish the stubborn resistance to his awful will… driving through Baghdad one day I was amazed to come upon a demonstration against pollution sponsored by the local Green Party. Perhaps
Well we all know now, don’t we Chris?
The sad truth is that Hitchens, who has in the past produced some thoroughly entertaining and often painfully accurate, bombastic journalism – for example his devastating Trial of Henry Kissinger, or on a lighter note the hilarious kicking he dished out regarding all the sentimental bullshit surrounding Princess Diana’s death – has disappeared up his own arse and fallen into the same trap as Irving. Michael Moore too undoubtedly, but at least he still has a sense of humour, whereas these days Hitchens, who snipes at
The result of all this hubris is that this once fine polemicist exposes himself to humiliation by rabble rousers like the ubiquitous George Galloway, a tawdry attention seeker with only a fraction of Hitchens’s intellect and integrity, who can, now that Hitchens has become such a lugubrious, bloated beast, out-smart him in public debates by playing to the gallery. How the mighty fall. I don’t doubt Hitchens’s sincerity or even his fundamental decency, but he has, as the quotes above show, succumbed to lazy hypocrisy. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, Chris. Wake up, grow up, and say it loud: Sorry!