Conan sidekick Max Weinberg turns 58 today. Actor Paul Sorvino is turning 70. Writer Christopher Hitchens is turning 60. Caroline Rhea is 45. Chef Bill Telepan is 43. Hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin turns 52. Times music critic Anthony Tommasini is turning 61. Kyle Howard, the TV actor and boyfriend of Lauren Conrad, is 31. Knicks star Quentin Richardson is 29. Al Green turns 63. And Rick Schroder, the actor whose career peaked when he played "Ricky" on Silver Spoons, is 39.
After his chat tonight with Bill O'Reilly, Christopher Hitchens asked for a second date: "We've barely got our trousers off," he said. The hawkish former Trotskyite had certainly pushed O'Reilly's buttons.
"Chris, you can call me Joan, I've had dinner at your house." This is an amazing, squirmy exchange between drunk contrarian Christopher Hitchens and liberal Salon lady Joan Walsh. They are arguing about Hillary Clinton and Marc Rich and stuff, but they are actually arguing about what a prick Chris Hitchens is, especially to ladies. Joan calls Chris "ridiculous" a good half-dozen times. Please enjoy. And don't mention the child. [Vid credit: Intern Daniel Caron]
Noted Bush-supporting former Trotskyite Christopher Hitchens has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president! In Slate today, the beloved British alcoholic raves about how Obama isn't a sad old man, like McCain, or an offensive joke, like Sarah Palin. Hitch, like a Nader voter, declares that there are no substantial differences between the candidates, but McCain's temperament is too unstable, and Obama's is much more reassuring. This is basically the argument of a number of noted conservative intellectuals who have, in recent weeks, either endorsed Obama, resigned themselves to an Obama presidency, or simply unendorsed McCain. As the intellectual conservatives abandoned Bush, now they find themselves abandoning the GOP. Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan was once a very prominent, very influential conservative. As recently as last year, even as he largely abandoned Bush, he was still complimenting McCain. Now, not so much. Times columnist David Brooks scarcely deserves to be called an intellectual, but as we're using that term strictly to mean "East Coast elitists who write about politics professionally" he'll have to do. This "I'm disappointed in McCain but he'll be a good president" column was but a prelude to Brooks' statement during an interview that Obama was a perceptive intellectual surrounded by impressive people and Sarah Palin is a cancer. Christopher Buckley was hardly a doctrinaire conservative. As a satirical novelist and a smart-ass, one imagines he's not too pleased with the rise of creationist rubes in his beloved GOP (his dad made that fucking bed, obvs, but that's neither here nor there). And Chris claims he wrote in George H.W. Bush in 2004 rather than vote for the son. But that's far different from explicitly endorsing a Democrat, as he did last week. Once again: Obama's temperament and obvious intelligence sealed the deal. Charles Krauthammer is basically a reliable party hack, always willing to subvert his own intelligence for the good of the party. But the once-influential psychiatrist can't help but see that his movement is not served by the buffoonery of the McCain campaign. He wrote this mild quasi-endorsement of Obama this month:
Admit it. You've been wondering what John McCain eats for breakfast. The answer? Coffee, cereal, and fruit. (No, not babies.) Barack Obama gobbles down four to six eggs, potatoes, and wheat toast, and occasionally adds fruit, bacon, and oatmeal to the menu. (How does he stay so thin?) We certainly didn't see this one coming, but Tom Brokaw says he's a granola and yogurt kind-of-guy. Maureen Dowd? "I don't eat breakfast. Just coffee." A few other breakfast choices of media and political types after the jump.
Today Chris Hitchens's Slate column praises Barack Obama. This is notable because the Hitch would seem to rather have his nuts waxed for a story and/or get waterboarded for a story than be caught praising any politician less unlikely than former Former Undersecretary Of Hobbesean Experimentation/Torture In The Iraq Doug Feith for a story. So over the past year Hitch has generally stuck to dissing Obama for tolerating supposed champions of the oppressed who live in fancy houses like Jeremiah Wright and Al Sharpton, for marrying someone who was not a good writer in college, for taking that fancy tour of Europe and for resorting to "tiresome demagoguery" in knocking John McCain for purporting to champion the oppressed while living in all those fancy houses,Today though, The Hitch decided to praise Obama's foreign policy. Is O polling so bad that to say nice things about him qualifies as sufficiently pathologically contrarian for Mr. Sarah Palin could be a secret genius? Or maybe Hitch counterintuitively decided to watch Obama on O'Reilly the other day and liked the fancy BBC presenter way Obama pronounces "Pakistan." Actually come to think of it that is probably what happened.
In a piece ostensibly about how terrible Damien Hirst is (breaking!), New Republic literary editor and noted crank Leon Wieseltier declares that there is no such thing as "rock bottom," that there is never a point at which things can't get worse, and offers as proof of this maxim the existence of Christopher Hitchens. Allow him to explain:
In the August issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens gets waterboarded and comes away deciding that, yup, it's torture. You can read his piece about the experience ("You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it "simulates" the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning...") or watch video of him, black-hooded and fettered in what looks like a suburban garage, undergo the procedure. Creepiest of all may be the New Age soundtrack the trained Special Forces agents play in the background while instructing the Hitch that his safety word is "red." The look on his face after it's done could also suggest that Henry Kissinger tried to pour him a glass of wine while quoting the Bible.
Oh boy. Christopher Hitchens, known for his calm, restrained and unfailingly polite style of argument (those Brits!) comments on the supposed "temper" of old man John McCain in Slate today. The piece is largely an excuse for Hitch to use every synonym for "crazy" that he knows. It's time, he says, that we "wonder whether the Republican nominee has his tray table in the fully locked and upright position, whether he lives happily or unhappily in his own ZIP code, whether there are kittens in his granary or bats in his belfry, and whether his elevator goes all the way to the top." And so on from there.
If you've been harboring fantasies of sleeping with portly British provocateur Christopher Hitchens, hold on just a minute: he snores. It's hardly his biggest personal flaw (educated guess), but he does manage to crank out thousands of words on his snoring affliction for Men's Vogue, as part of his ongoing quest to pre-empt any and all criticisms of himself so that he can continue to talk bad about whatever he likes in peace. Here, his long-suffering (educated guess, again) wife describes the experience of a Hitchens family slumber:
The great fun of Christopher Hitchens is that the commentator so often says things in formal settings you'd expect to hear around the dinner table after many hours of wine and whisky. The Vanity Fair columnist usually pulls this off, in part because a ribald manner is now expected of him, but there's always the risk of pushing it too far, as in the following clip from MSNBC's Tim Russert. Just after Hitchens jokes with pundit Andrew Sullivan to get on with his point and "don't be such a lesbian," he takes a regretful look toward his navel, apparently realizing he may have just put his foot in it. Ah, Hitch, your public expects nothing less. If MSNBC gives you a hard time, the first ten rounds are on us. Video and transcript (via Media Matters) after the jump.
Author and noted critic-slugger Stanley Crouch, on Hillary Clinton: "On TV, Clinton seems by turns icy, contrived, hysterical, sentimental, bitter, manipulative and self-righteous." Play along at home: which of those adjectives also describe Stanley Crouch? Hint: we don't know or care if he's sentimental, and "icy" is only an insult to ladies. (We read a day-old Crouch column because Drudge decided it and a day-old Hitchens column were important enough to be highlighted this morning. Fun fact: both columns call Hillary "hysterical"!) [NYDN]
So last night, I finished God Is Not Great, and thought to myself, Goddamn, booze-soaked former Trotskyite popinjay Christopher Hitchens has done it again. Forget about thousands of years of myth creation, God has no place in our society. But as is often the case with Hitch, I wanted more. And there he was again, on Slate, informing me that today's political discourse is cliché-ridden. Breaking! At this point, I was so high on Christopher Hitchens, I just couldn't stop reading him. So I went to Vanity Fair and read about how women aren't funny at all. Then I started coming down, big time. This guy is so hubristic and self-righteous. But every google search about hating Christopher Hitchens just led me to more Christopher Hitchens writing. I was totally freaking out. But now, finally, there's one-stop shop on the internet where everyone can just hate on Christopher Hitchens. (No, not John Dickerson's Slate column.) Vanity Fair has introduced Hitch Bitch, a place solely dedicated to bitching about Christopher Hitchens. Because that guy just doesn't get enough attention. [Portfolio]
When angry British drunk Christopher Hitchens wrote his seminal "Why Women Aren't Funny" article in Vanity Fair last year, lots of people got upset. Mostly girls. Milking the manufactured outrage like the publishing geniuses they are, the magazine has finally had a woman take a full shot at refuting the thesis [VF]. Unfortunately, they picked Alessandra Stanley, who proves (not for the first time) that she has not one single drop of humor diluting the estrogen and errors that flow through her veins. So on the second day of the cooing and hubbub over the new Girl Power piece (it took us an extra day just to get through it, ha), it's worth pointing out the unspoken truth in all this catfighting: women will never be as funny as men to men. And men run everything.
As has been bemoaned by dozens of bloggers eager to write dirty words, many obituaries for the late former Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz politely elided the reason he was forced to quit. Butz said, in public: "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit." (A portion of that quote is also the name of a quite decent late-period Alex Chilton album, whose title was, of course, altered in its American release. Prudes!) Of course, most obits leave out the nastier sides of their subjects, but when a person is famous only for that nasty side, or one specific incident of nastiness, it's shitty, cunty, cocksucking journalism to not mention it.