Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hitchens watch

Some in Consumerland don't approve of Hitchens' recent ethics schtick:

""When Christopher Hitchens gets into his Devil's Advocate role, it is only natural for all right-thinking non-contrarians to leap at the chance to play Fedei Defensor. And so for the sake of all our souls, I'll give it quick go. With all the hullabaloo about the Pope covering up child molesting, the fact is that Benny has done far more to protect children from abuse than Hitchens ever has and contributed far less to allowing child abuse to be perpetrated than Hitch ever has.

Benny is against the culture of war that Hitch pimps for and which casually takes the lives, limbs, virginity and childhoods of countless children. Just compare the stances of the two dudes on, say, the Iraqi genocide or the impending attack on Iran.

More's to the point, Benny is genuinely against child sexual abuse under any circumstances. As for Hitch, what evidence is there that he's against it on principle, rather than only when he can use it as an issue to beat the Catholics or the Muslims with? Where does he stand on the Franklin scandal? What's his stance on mob-controlled child prostitution in the US?
..... ......

So, Hitchens is calling for the Pope to be arrested over the latest sex scandal. Fine. I hope it works out for him better than his previous calls for justice to befall Clinton and Kissinger. By the same token, the same principles of justice, one could quite reasonably call for Christopher to have his eyes put out, tongue cut out, ears deafened, arms and legs amputated, and then have the still living trunk dumped into a cesspit. That punishment, shown worldwide on prime time TV, might go some way to restoring a bit of justice on account of the evils Hitchens has enabled vis-a-vis the Iraq War. Not being a fan of barbaric punishment, I couldn't advocate it myself, but I can certainly see the merits of it as a deterrent for others who might want to vent their personal frustrations over errectile disfunction and/or pick up a few extra bucks by warmongering."""

Heh heh. Which is to say, once a pundit has touched the RealPolitik body (as Hitchens most assuredly has--i.e. supporting Bush in 2004), he doesn't then return to a quasi-Kantian do-gooder pose, and the pundit who does attempt that return becomes a bad joke (as Hitchens, sort of a cyber-age Iago quaffing gin and tonics, has become--).

Hitchens, it should be remembered is a journalist, not an academic of any sort. No shit you say--that would include about any and all loudmouths on TV, radio, or online belching out infantile rage, 24/7. For people who don't know the categorical imperative from their crack pipe, that doesn't matter. Dozens of poorly-educated but somewhat articulate pundits routinely pass themselves off as intellectuals. Dr. Oprah, Dr. Leno, Dr. Couric, Dr. Limbaugh, Dr. Beck, Dr. Hitchens etc. The media demands rhetoric, sophisticated or not, which appears to be something like argument or debate, but isn't. Actors and comedians, performers stand in for philosophers or scientists--anything but Reason. The corporate media does not want any dull Galbraith or Chomsky-like egghead ruining the par-tay.

The Pundit's a type of product--the Oprah product. Merely her appearance, and her voice will suffice as a type of authority; it doesn't matter what she says, or really what any of them says. Hitchens is an Oprah, just one who made it through the cliffsnotes to the british empiricists and Orwell.


CharleyCarp said...

No, no, no, no, no.

1. I strongly doubt that Jay Leno thinks of himself as, much less passes himself as, an intellectual. He's an entertainer who collects cars.

2. Of course it's no excuse for the Pope that this that or the other critic has fallen off this that or the other wagon.

J said...


Hitchens Watch has been skewering CH for some time, and while I don't always agree with his approach, his "compare and contrast" of CH vs Benny should be considered.

I agree there has been some nasty business in the RC church. Yet, the present cases go back to the 80s. In regard to the US cases, the dioceses are actually responsible--as was the case in LA with the few abuse cases. The lawsuits go against the particular diocese, or parish, not the Church itself. And there are all sorts of loose ends.

For that matter, we weren't there--the V-word an issue (ie verification). Newspapers are just anecdotal evidence (not even admissable, right). And in a sense, a denial of Due Process.

We certainly should not take the NYTimes' word for it (who started it along with euro. papers); for that matter, the pro-war, pro-AIPAC, corporate media like the NYTimes has no love for catholics. Both popes opposed the IWE. The previous pope called for war crimes tribunals, etc. Benny himself denounced BushCo.

Could it be just coincidence that the MSM now digs up old dirt, and attacks the Church, and after the health care bill, which most bishops supported??? (and many conservative WASPS and jews did not).

For that matter Benny approved of a bishop who questioned some of the "official" counts of WWII concentration camps--another thing which pissed off AIPACco. I don't generally agree with the WWII revisionists, but...they have a right to publish their studies.

And...the parents involved could have taken it to..cops and courts, which they chose not to. The church is not the cops, or CIA--tho' many neo-con types assume as much.

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