The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Monday, January 10, 2005


No doubt, September 11 unhinged Christopher Hitchens. Politics aside, it's obvious that he no longer likes cracking jokes as much as he used to and his literary criticism isn't as confident or interesting as it used to be. (in his Proust review, why do I feel like Hitchens is just re-working Lydia Davis's introduction to her translation? "[Swann] demands to be told, of her possible lesbian encounters, "Il y a combien de temps?" Perhaps to an extent giving away his own proclivities, Scott Moncrieff made this into 'How many times?' instead of 'How long ago?' Even my French would be equal to that, as it would have been on the occasions when Scott Moncrieff, astonishingly, gave actuel as "actual." If only the present and the actual were indeed the same. But what's the occasional faux ami between real friends?") However, he's still up to it. This reply to the earnest interviewer from FrontPage magazine who always addresses the interviewee as Mr. ___ in the first question cheered me up immensely
FP: Words of wisdom Mr. Hitchens, thank you. [You see what I mean about this guy being earnest...]
You include in your essay collection what I thought was one of your best masterpieces: ‘Unfahrenheit 9/11: The Lies of Michael Moore.’ In it you note that to describe his film ‘as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability.’ To be sure, as you demonstrate, Fahrenheit 9/11 is a work of shameless lies and deceit. I think it serves as a perfect reflection of the psyche of the contemporary Left. Hating Bush and America has become an obsessive priority and everything else – including truth – has become expendable.
Tell us a few of your thoughts on Moore and his film and in what ways you think both reflect the psychology of the contemporary Left (if you think they do).
Hitchens: I have to say that I love it when you say "one of my best masterpieces".