Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ceased To Be A Human Being

Please read Robert Farley on Christopher Hitchens.

As you may have heard, Christopher Hitchens wrote an article in Vanity Fair this week ruminating on the fact that a young man, recently killed in Iraq, may have taken one of Hitchens columns as inspiration for joining the US Army. Hitchens response to this event is occasionally moving, and I'm reluctant to trample into what is clearly an emotional situation both for him and for the family of the young soldier.

Utterly splendid and on the money.

By the end, Daily has ceased to be a human being, and instead has become the other side of Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens idolizes Orwell more than any healthy writer should another, but he's never quite been able to take the last step, and actually go to Spain (such as it were) and put himself in physical, as opposed to rhetorical, jeopardy. Now, Daily has done it for him, and "by sending messages from the grave" reaffirms Hitchens courage and sense of purpose.

In other news, Norman Geras hasn't mentioned the Dupe for a long time now. (Or, if he has, it's been on religion rather than Iraq.)


Blogger ejh said...

One recalls that Winston Smith actually invented an heroic soldier for a propaganda piece in the Times.

One also recalls a passage which like much of Orwell is more applicable to the Decents themselves than to the people against whom they quote him:

The very people who for twenty years had sniggered over their own superiority to war hysteria were the ones who rushed straight back into the mental slum of 1915. All the familiar wartime idiocies, spy-hunting, orthodoxy-sniffing (Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Fascist?), the retailing of atrocity stories, came back into vogue as though the intervening years had never happened.

"Orthodoxy-sniffing"....does that remaind anybody of any websites we can think of?

10/08/2007 01:28:00 PM  

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