Author Topic: Christopher Hitchens  (Read 506 times)

Christopher Hitchens
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:12:38 AM »
Man, Christopher Hitchens was so brilliant!


Offline SGOS

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 11:39:49 AM »
I remember the first time I saw Hitchens on TV.  I remember being unusually impressed.  I can't remember what year it was, but it was late 60s or sometime in the 70s.  I was young at the time.  He just stood out as no talking head had before, someone who was unusually thoughtful.  I knew nothing about his religious beliefs, politics, or philosophy.  But I took notice, never realizing he would become a lasting influence on society.

Offline trdsf

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 12:31:10 PM »
My first encounter with Hitch was through his then-regular column in The Nation in the 1980s and 90s, falling in love with his prose even when I disagreed with the ends to which it was deployed.  I stand by my assessment of his skill as a writer: in the span of one sentence, you could go from wanting to buy him a drink to wanting to punch him in the nose and back to wanting to buy him a drink again, all before reaching the period.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Online Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 12:48:51 PM »
Didn't know of him until late in his life.  Definitely worth listening to.  Reminds me of William F Buckley ... every show you would expand your vocabulary.
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Online Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 05:50:30 PM »
Two of the best, early Hitchens vs Buckley ... two very articulate guys, for fans of either, from 1984 ... Hitchens enters at 5 mins.



another from 1990



People forget that young Hitchens was a liberal, and got more conservative as he ages.  Something I am personally aware of in myself.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 06:42:34 PM by Baruch »
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Offline SGOS

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 06:47:41 PM »
I remember William F Buckley Buckley, but for many years, I lived without a TV.  Jr. Buckley is news to me.

Online Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 07:21:57 PM »
My political discourse, if not my ideology, grew up on Buckley Jr.  I was neither Catholic (at that time), nor Conservative (at that time).  I am much more religious now.  Notice also, from the first take, that Young Hitchens is the spitting image of our Shirnau ... but old Hitchens (not shown here) was much more like pr126 ... at least in regards to Muslims.
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Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 08:42:49 PM »
[quote author=Baruch link=topic=12204.msg1201386#msg1201386 date=1513378230



People forget that young Hitchens was a liberal, and got more conservative as he ages.  Something I am personally aware of in myself.
[/quote]
Interesting.  I find that I did the opposite.  I entered college sort of like a conservative liberal.  I was for the Vietnam War, for example.  And looked down on welfare of any kind--stuff like that.  As I have aged I have become more and more liberal. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 09:06:07 PM »
Interesting.  I find that I did the opposite.  I entered college sort of like a conservative liberal.  I was for the Vietnam War, for example.  And looked down on welfare of any kind--stuff like that.  As I have aged I have become more and more liberal. 
I've become more liberal too.  I was born to Republicans, so like religion, I identified myself according to what my parents were.  By the time I decided to vote, I started considering the issues, and identified with the Democrats, well, at least with the rhetoric.  I never supported the Vietnam War, although at first I assumed it was a necessary thing, but eventually came to see it as a grave mistake and a pointless loss of life and money.  Since my identification with the Democratic party, I've moved somewhat to the left of the party leadership, but most Democrats I know seem much to the left of the party leadership, partly because the party seems to have abandoned the base and become more willing to cater to the needs of the wealthy where the big money and power is.

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 09:41:12 AM »
Much like you, through HS and into college, I pretty much reflected my parents views on most things.  They voted Demo, but had more conservative views that the typical demo.  I remember my dad did support the war in Nam and supported Reagan when he fired all the striking air traffic controllers.  Part of it was he was an ammo inspector for the Dept. of Army.  When I left home for college and then the Army, I started looking at the issues with my own eyes.  Irony abounds--while in the Army I came to realize what a total cluster-fuck Nam was and was totally against it.  My dad, as an Ammo inspector, had to do a year in Nam--when he came back, he was not for the war, but did not want to talk about it much.  His conservative side started to erode.  By the end of his life, he and I were pretty much on the same page.  And even now, I find I am much more liberal or progressive than I was last year or the year before. 

I am so progressive that I think the guaranteed income  would be wildly successful.  :great:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Online Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 11:05:30 AM »
[quote author=Baruch link=topic=12204.msg1201386#msg1201386 date=1513378230



People forget that young Hitchens was a liberal, and got more conservative as he ages.  Something I am personally aware of in myself.

Interesting.  I find that I did the opposite.  I entered college sort of like a conservative liberal.  I was for the Vietnam War, for example.  And looked down on welfare of any kind--stuff like that.  As I have aged I have become more and more liberal.

That is because you still sleep in gravity boots ;-)

I wasn't ever liberal or conservative.  Pragmatic not ideological.  But socially, I didn't see any downside to progressivism as it existed in 1975 (hence registered Democrat).  Subsequently I can see the problem with anything, is letting humans be involved with it.

Hitchens is like Wittgenstein (philosopher) ... the early version and the later version, which makes consistency across time, impossible.
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Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 12:38:24 PM »
That is because you still sleep in gravity boots ;-)

I wasn't ever liberal or conservative.  Pragmatic not ideological.  But socially, I didn't see any downside to progressivism as it existed in 1975 (hence registered Democrat).  Subsequently I can see the problem with anything, is letting humans be involved with it.

Hitchens is like Wittgenstein (philosopher) ... the early version and the later version, which makes consistency across time, impossible.
Lost me in all of that--except, gravity boots.  How'd you know that????
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Online Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 01:36:43 PM »
Lost me in all of that--except, gravity boots.  How'd you know that????

People of our generation, who think upside-down ... would know that ;-)

Comparison to Wittgenstein is apt on several levels ...



I agree with early Wittgenstein.  And pictures in your head don't mean much, if they are not empirical.  So I take early Wittgenstein with a pinch of empirical salt.  Also many people will be concerned if the picture also seems to be somehow irrational.

The later Wittgenstein matches the methods (if not the intent) of Hitler.  Language as a game (of manipulation).  Hitler and Wittgenstein went to the same Austrian grammar school, at nearly the same time.  And Wittgenstein was Jewish .. Hitler may have realized this at a young age.  Wittgenstein's father was one of the richest men in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He wanted this son to be more "ordinary" ... have a human touch.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 01:42:12 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 02:43:08 PM »
I confess I haven't read any of Hitchens' books.

My political beliefs haven't changed much over the years. What wavers is whether taking political action is a waste of my time.

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 03:16:04 PM »
I confess I haven't read any of Hitchens' books.

My political beliefs haven't changed much over the years. What wavers is whether taking political action is a waste of my time.
Taking action is never a waste of time.  Trying to convince shills and crazy people to do the right thing may or may not be.