July 11, 2014

Christopher Hitchens - You can't ventriloquise the dead

[UPDATE - see more thoughts on Tumblr here]

Christopher Hitchens said:
"Michael Korda, who has just done an excellent book on president Grant, General Grant, said you mustn’t ever write a biography in which you say, at this point he or she must have thought or he or she must have felt or must have… You’re not entitled and you’ll lose your integrity as a biographer and you can’t know it and you shouldn’t do it. And I thought how right that is. I’ve nodded at that so many times."
Ezra Klein said:
"Anyone who confidently claims they know how the Founding Fathers would feel about today’s political problems is a liar. It’s likely that Alexander Hamilton would have some questions about airplanes and African-American presidents before he’d render an opinion on congressional productivity."
Norm MacDonald said:

"I think if Abraham Lincoln were alive today he would look around,scream, and desperately claw at the inside of his coffin."

My previous posts on Hitchens on Northern Ireland here, on segregated schools here and on the "parasitic class" here. On Albert Camus and "the rats" here. On Northern Ireland's "barbaric, sectarian leaders" here. His comment that anti-semites are "mentally and morally unwell" here. On Vaclav Havel here. On the US First Amendment here, on the US as an empire and class-based society here, and on how to succeed here. On women and poverty here. On the US Declaration of Independence here. Christopher Hitchens explained that he left the UK in part because of the libel laws, see here. Christopher Hitchens spoke here about the authority of bloggers and online writers (7m30s) (original video in full here). Hitchens on "being bored" as the worst sin here. On why Hitchens is such a compelling writer here. On cliché here. On socialism here. On Iran's "Baby Boomerang", here. On the need to defend the principles of the Enlightenment here. On thought crimes here. On the "encouraging signs of polarisation" here. On feeling "envious of someone who is young and active and starting out" here. Christopher Hitchens on the anti-Columbus movement. On opinion polls here. On the term "political spectrum"here. On Obama's Nobel Peace Prize here. Hitchens on how writing is hard, here. Hitchens on how a writer can never really stop, here. Hitchens explains why he is no longer a socialist, here. On the "some Christians fell into error" excuse here. On mass surveillance here.

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