Write me:
skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Wednesday, 09 April
I Might As Well Say Up Front That This Is An Angry Rant

I'm just so pissed off I can't stand it.

Slate has a piece out today by Christopher Hitchens that's a real peach called "Giving Peace A Chance" that I had the massive misfortune (or overriding idiocy) to read. It's a real bummer, actually, because I used to like Hitchens, particularly his crit stuff; but since he's started beating the war drum, he's become intolerable, churning out hectoring poison pen letters to the anti-war faction, calling anyone not hopping in line to pave Iraq a bunch of fucking gumboheads either too stupid or too cowardly to toe the line. I appreciate that there are many points of view in this world, but malicious bullshit like this is really not the way to win people over to one's side, not that he fucking cares, I don't suspect. I think he just wants to score points.

Case in point with this piece of tripe. Hitchens has a good time in the first paragraph taking bits of typical leftie sloganeering and then turning them inside out to make his overall point that rah rah! it looks like we're winning the war. Let me repeat that: he spends his time making fun of the slogans. Yes, Mr. Hitchens, it is dumb and disingenuously reductive to scream "No blood for oil." What's your point? Just because it's dumb doesn't automatically make your arguments right. Never mind. Even if people think that it's a fun thing to say, what Hitchens says is worse: " 'No Blood for Oil,' they cried, and the oil wealth of Iraq has been duly rescued from attempted sabotage with scarcely a drop spilled."

Ha. Ha. Ha. To be honest, I can't tell if he's seriously claiming that not a lot of blood has been spilled, which would be incredible, or if he's turning it on his ear to make a funny--"we rescued all the oil, don't worry!"--which is kind of a reprehensible joke to be making in light of the corpses lying around.

He goes on for a little while longer taking easy potshots at the predictions that did or didn't come true, as if hindsight were a talent unique to himself, while conveniently omitting any number of stupid-ass things that the pro-war faction claimed in the prelude to the invasion; or would he have it that nobody on the right ever said anything stupid or less than oracular prior to the war? But to stress again, he's not really interested in making any cogent points with this piss-dribbling; he's just being a prick.

And the end is worth discussing, as he heroically takes on another leftie rallying cry, "Not in my name." It's worth quoting in full:

But these are mere quibbles. We should celebrate our common ground as well as the gorgeous mosaic of our diversity. The next mass mobilization called by International ANSWER and the stop-the-war coalition is only a few days away. I already have my calendar ringed for the date. This time, I am really going to be there. It is not a time to keep silent. Let our voices be heard. All of this has been done in my name, and I feel like bearing witness.

No smarm here. Can't you just take a bath in the radiant goodwill he exudes here? Don't you just want to buy him a new puppy? Really, the only good response here is "fuck you." Yes, it has all been done just for you, Mr. Hitchens, the whole goddamn thing. They are still doing it just for you, and we as a nation think it's important that you take your victory lap, because that's what's crucial: not that you were necessarily right or correct in your beliefs (and maybe you were, I don't know everything), but that everyone appreciates that you certainly think you were. What an achievement of self-satisfaction! And to top it all off, you got to spend a little free time pointlessly belittling your opponents. Take a bow, it's been quite a performance.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Jesus. I feel like I just spat up a dead mouse or something (and I'm sure a lot of others are going to agree that that's exactly what I did). Anyway.

I'll try to be funnier tomorrow. Right now, I've got to go watch the Mariners be terrible.

Comment number: 002763   Posted by: Skot on April 9, 2003 08:52 PM from IP:

I think you were too easy on him. Seriously.

Comment number: 002764   Posted by: anapestic on April 10, 2003 08:22 AM from IP:

Cheer up, Skot. At least he didn't work in any references to his status as the 21st century Orwell in this one.

Comment number: 002765   Posted by: Steve on April 10, 2003 11:27 AM from IP:

Thanks for writing this.

Comment number: 002766   Posted by: Beerzie Boy on April 10, 2003 12:45 PM from IP:

May all the military come home in t-shirts that say "I did it for Chris"

Comment number: 002767   Posted by: dayment on April 10, 2003 02:28 PM from IP:

I dunno what it is with conservative online commentators -- and some point they all seem to take a sudden and alarming turn toward self-satisfaction and never come back. I used to read Andrew Sullivan until 9/11, at which point he magically lost the capacity for self-doubt. Mickey Kaus is a little better, but one days he decided to declare jihad (can we say "declared jihad' anymore?0 on the NY Times and hasn't looked back. I hope we haven't completely lost Hitchens to the Land Of Cantbewrong because, until yesterday, I did enjoy reading his stuff.

Comment number: 002768   Posted by: Matthew Baldwin on April 10, 2003 04:22 PM from IP:

I'm just so pissed off I can't stand it.

This is where I was at after the beginning of the second paragraph. Holy crap. But I couldn't make it any further -- I decided to listen to the DJ on the local hard-rock radio station for my deep political insights, instead.

Comment number: 002769   Posted by: pfattmeff on April 10, 2003 08:16 PM from IP:

Well, not only is it smug, it's totally
premature (except in the we-clobbered-'em
angle). I'll believe Iraq has been liberated
for the people when they can run two
incredibly boring candidates for president
and the League of Iraqui Women Voters sponsors
debates that put the whole country to sleep.
Then we'll know they have a democracy.

Today Donald Rumsfeld said that news people
were paying too much attention to the looting,
saying that you could see this in "any city
in the United States" --- I was getting excited
at the prospect, and then as an afterthought
he added, "in a riot." Oh.

Comment number: 002770   Posted by: Vic Perry on April 11, 2003 08:31 PM from IP:

Post a comment