Hitchens on intimacy

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Feb 28 23:30:33 PST 1999

At 20:27 28/02/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Peter Kilander quoted Christopher Hitchens:
>>Need he have reminded me of the time
>>when I could dash off a mocking letter to the likes of himself, and had not
>>reached the state of decrepitude when only women would even consider going
>>to bed with me?
>Can someone parse that for me?

I generally agree with the range of issues Rob has mentioned on the different national and class uses of irony.

I too got lost reading the Hitchen's retort and the sentence Doug quotes made me stop too. I think the grammar though can, slowly, be parsed.

I think the irony is probably a deliberate smokescreen of camp hinting at bisexuality without *necessarily* implying anything that could be pinned down about homosexuality or homophobia.

I skimmed on and did not re-read. My impression, and I am likely to be even more critical of a fellow countryman who like me, likes irony, is that he is a narcissist selling his pen in the name of a higher moral virtue, made bearable by wit. I could not detect anything marxist in his approach.

The question is whether his political stance merits gaze, male or female.

The politics of substance is about off-the-record briefings by governments to the press. This may involve exploiting friendships and emotional intimacies. Hitchens presents himself as a brightly winking star in what is a much larger political constellation, which we should not lose sight of.

Chris Burford


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