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Tony Grist

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Peter Hitchens, Snow, Holiday Reading [Dec. 17th, 2011|12:55 pm]
Tony Grist
Christopher Hitchens died and by a process of lateral thinking I found myself spending much of the afternoon on his brother's website. Peter Hitchens wants it to be the 1950s or the 1900s or the Middle Ages or any time at all except the present. He thinks the bombing of civilians is an atrocious crime (even when we Brits do it) and he detests David Cameron. Christopher characterised him as a good, buff-coated Cromwellian soldier- and I think that fits him admirably. You don't have to agree with a person to find them congenial.

It snowed overnight- and I walked to our local Tesco through slush. I bought oatcakes. I would like it to snow some more. Let's have a day or two of proper Breughelian winter.

The holidays are upon us and I've been downloading holiday reading onto my e-reader. My seasonal choices are Charlotte Bronte's Villette (the only Bronte novel I've ever read is Wuthering Heights), Conan Doyle's two books about Brigadier Gerard and Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2011-12-17 01:58 pm (UTC)
I'm meh about Christopher Hitchens. He just strikes me as a man given every privilege possible by society who availed himself unthinkingly of all those given privileges, including that of being able to leave his pregnant wife for a younger woman due to handsomeness, status and male reproductive endurance, who then sets himself up as a left-wing rebel. A bit like Dawkins's constant Oxford in-jokes. I think it's a bit special pleading of privileged rich men to decry belief systems that have provided comfort for the poor. Not saying I'm happy he's dead or that he doesn't have things worth saying, it's just that the tired old maxim "check your privilege" really does apply here IMO.

Edited at 2011-12-17 01:59 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2011-12-17 02:00 pm (UTC)
Good god, did I say "privileged" enough in that comment or what ;)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-12-17 03:01 pm (UTC)
I largely agree.

I don't think he was that wonderful a writer either- and certainly not an original thinker.

I like his brother better.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2011-12-17 03:07 pm (UTC)
I have God Is Not Great in my bookshelf. It seemed a sustained rant against some daddy figure who had let him down. I wonder if men are more into his style than women. We don't have to overthrow Daddy, so we're not interested.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-12-17 06:01 pm (UTC)
Perhaps. Hitchens seemed like a very blokey guy. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have liked him in person.

I used to have Daddy issues. And they got all mixed up with my feelings about God and Christianity. These days I don't care nearly so much about any of that stuff.
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