Monday, June 21, 2004

Acting a bizarre charade, while playing the saint

Oh, bully. And I mean that in the very Rooseveltian sense. Christopher Hitchens may be pretty far left, but he's so intellectually honest and rational in comparison to the political left at large that I can really respect his work. Yes, he wrote a hit piece on Reagan two days after the funeral - but he did the same kind of hit piece on Mother Teresa. I can deal with tall-poppy-cropping idiosyncratic behaviour like that as long as we can agree on the important stuff. This is an absolutely brutal takedown of Fahrenheit 9/11 on principles alone - but Hitch also takes the time to dissect every contradicting fabrication he can, and the result is just golden. It's necessary to Read the Whole Thing, as it's said, but I'll indulge myself in quoting one withering sneer of an introductory paragraph: To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery. The Citizen and other papers in the Canwest chain picked up Hitchens' anti-eulogy for President Reagan. Will they do the same for this? (Via Damian Penny.)

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