February 02, 2005

Who Needs Hair Plugs When You Have 9/11?

Here’s Goon’s First Rule of Political Analysis: whenever something of fairly large-scale horribleness happens in the world and you’re wondering whose fault it is, you can settle on one conclusion pretty quickly: the relevant perpetrator will be
(1) between the ages of eighteen and fifty, and
(2) endowed with a penis.
The events of 9/11 provide us with much empirical support for the this venerable principle. What could be a more distinctively male desire than the urge to blow up a bunch of shit with a big ol’ plane?

After the attacks sensible women everywhere, and the occasional girly-man like yours truly, were content to express themselves in conventional tones of lamentation. The thought that we had was this – such horrors are as old as time, and there is thus a certain rather vile presumptuousness involved in trying to draw attention to oneself in the belief that one has something terribly novel or clever to say about them.

With these thoughts in mind, let us turn to the recent behavior of Christopher Hitchens. And Dennis Miller and Noam Chomsky too, but let’s for the time being focus upon the most repulsively eloquent member of this emetic little trio. The Hitch began his public life as a Trotskyite – a lively and controversial advocate for the huddled, underfed masses of the developed world. But since 9/11 he’s taken the proverbial icepick to this persona. No longer does he want us to be horrified by the prospect of greedheads in the Bush administration doing everything they can to increase the income gap. No longer should we worry about the fates of members of the working classes who join the military to pay their phone bills and find themselves the targets of mortar shells lobbed by gibbering loonies in Fallujah. Having reached his fortieth birthday, C.H. has apparently discovered that it gets a bit boring, sitting around waiting for The Revolution to go down. And as his clothing budget has skyrocketed, one can’t help but think he might have also noticed that the poor are, after all, just a wee bit grubby.

So now, our manifest destiny as a civilized nation turns out to be quite a different sort of thing. We must, it seems, drive the U.S. economy to ruin and put a lot of poor folk into harm’s way so that we can kill the asses of a bunch of foreigners. Hands up, all those diligent students of history who have heard this kind of song before.

The Goon, you will be pleased to hear, has his own mid-life crisis thoroughly planned out. Bright red sports cars will be involved, as will expensive liquor, a membership at the gym and as many loose housewives as can be seduced by the ineluctable charms of his rhetoric. He therefore offers this advice to the Hitch, from one leftist rabble-rouser to another: the old ways are the best ways, friend. Shut your vain, frivolous mouth and get some hair plugs, for God’s sake.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vain, perhaps, but frivolous? If you're aiming that one at Hitchens, I think you hit the wood panelling. Frivolous is Chris Matthew or Frank Rich or the rest of the pundit class bitching endlessly about what amount to tiny differences in wonkery, like shifting taxes on wool mittens up or down a few percentage points. Hitchens has his failings but frivolity doesn't seem to be one of them. (Indeed he's deadly earnest most of the time.)

12:48 AM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger LordGoon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:15 PM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger LordGoon said...

Frivolity is a many-splendored thing, comrade. Consider Hitchens' previous little journalistic basket-weaving projects: throwing fistfuls of rhetorical poop at Mother Theresa and Henry Kissinger. Should these really be the first faces we put up in our shooting gallery in a world gone feckless?

If one could avoid the charge of frivolity just by writing about deeply serious and troubling issues of international politics, regardless of what one's monomaniacal tacit agenda might turn out to be, think of all the holocaust deniers we'd have to start taking seriously.

3:19 PM, February 05, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He writes obsessively, but not frivolously--and I challenge you to link to an indisputably frivolous piece. Frivolous is Ana Marie Cox or (as you mention) Dennis Miller, people who don't even take the concept of political debate seriously (it would make them seem less hip to their teenaged fans).

There are many perjoratives you could throw at Hitchens, this one seems rather random. And it's completely silly to say he's on the same level as Miller, who is just a comedian with a weak act. Good invective requires precision.

I'll grant his rhetoric is frequently excessive (also not the same as frivolous), but what's new? It always has been, it's a common trait among British writers.

6:01 PM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger LordGoon said...

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with "excessive" rhetoric (you slobbering, baboonish pederast). But The Goon is a firm believer in brainesse oblige. What would seem non-frivolous coming out of the mouths of semi-educated Yank journalists or bowtie-sporting faux-wits like Miller in fact represents the height of flippancy when it issues from a man with the intellectual resources that Hitchens clearly commands.

6:47 PM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger LordGoon said...

..and by the way, the title of this very blog entry links to an eminently frivolous defense by Hitch of the right of civilians to advocate foreign wars. Check out the passage wherein the Great Socialist starts talking about America's "volunteer army."

6:50 PM, February 05, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I can grant you that. He does sometimes appear to be slumming (e.g. writing a column for Slate).

10:25 AM, February 07, 2005  

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