Saturday, April 02, 2005

Actor's Studio

An interesting essay, affecting in places, entitled "The Heart of Terri Schiavo", by Michael Moriarity. Who? know, the actor. Former asst. DA on Law and Order. I'm not kidding.

And in an equally heartfelt entry, Christopher Hitchens pukes all over the Pope in the latter's last days. One assertion: And it has been conclusively established that the Vatican itself—including his holiness—was a part of the coverup and obstruction of justice that allowed the child-rape scandal to continue for so long.

Hitchens doesn't recite the evidence, but then he probably considers his infallibility on these matters "conclusively established." And some continue to admire this man for what particular reason?

I couldn't get past the opening lines of Hitchens' vitriol. Still too sick to have any tolerance for that kind of poison. Still, I find the subtle poisons of some others to be more dangerous - those who express their fervent desire that the next Pope somehow u-turn the Church away from eternal truth and into the revisions that suit their collective fancies - the misguided 'equality' of a female priesthood, the false compassion of allowing abortion and euthanasia, etc. all in the name of 'being pastoral', of course.I should probably take my medication and go back to bed. It is cold and raining here and the day suits my mood. Where is the Easter joy to be found? Is it, like love, to be found in the exercise of the will rather than the heart?
Posted by alicia email at April 2, 2005 10:17 AM

hitchens gets off on controversy and blowing chunks is his form of blowing smoke up his readers''s done for the shock factor. i refuse to even read him because he makes me want to lose my lunch and he and his feeble opinions are sooo not worth it. i'd much rather read something worthwhile, say apologia.
Posted by smockmomma email at April 2, 2005 10:19 AM

Hitchens has a special animosity to dead or dying Catholics. For example Mother Teresa and Bob Hope. It says a lot about someone who can level such hatred towards those two.
Posted by Jeff Miller email at April 2, 2005 12:26 PM

Yes, Hitchens definitely has a problem. Too bad he has to make negative comments about the Pope today, of all days. Maybe we should pray for him too.
Posted by Lynn email at April 2, 2005 01:42 PM

Hope you feel better Alicia.
Micki, I feel that way about Apologia too. Sometimes.
Jeff, it seems that Saddam Hussein and the Pope occupy the same circle in Hitchens' hell.
Lynn, you pray for him. I'll just write nasty things about him, returning insult for insult. Your way, of course, is the superior way - the way of this Pope.
Posted by William Luse email at April 2, 2005 02:52 PM

I just wanted to say thanks. A LOT. I have been reading the Terri Schiavo's story (I am from the other side of the Atlantic) and the words that Marlon Brando mutters in Apocalypse Now kept coming into my head: The Horror... The Horror...
But one must not give in. One must fight madness, despair, darkness.
Thanks once again. May God have mercy on us all.
Posted by grodr email at April 2, 2005 07:08 PM

And thanks to you, sir.
Posted by William Luse email at April 2, 2005 08:19 PM

Interesting how subtly, with serpentine skill, Hitchens manages to mention anti-Catholic bigotry in such a way as to both discredit it AND justify it.
Wow. I wonder what he'd say if he wasn't pretending to be enlightened?
Posted by J. S. Kern email at April 2, 2005 11:37 PM

When it comes to religion, he'll always be pretending.
Posted by William Luse email at April 2, 2005 11:48 PM

The admiration of many so-called conservatives for Hitchens is a solid demonstration of how profoundly they have lost their way. Yes Hitchens is a bigot and a prominent example of that peculiar modern fanatic the atheist, but he supported the Iraq War, so he's a-okay . . .
Posted by Paul Cella email at April 3, 2005 12:12 AM

As usual you've nailed it, Paul.
Posted by William Luse email at April 3, 2005 12:36 AM

Not to rain on everyone's parade, but like the Pope, and unlike Hitchens, I didn't support shock and awe "liberation" of the Iraqi people. Shouldn't HItchen's support of the Iraq war given people the jitters? Shouldn't Buchanan's lack of support given Catholics pause?
Guess not.
Anyway, I don't admire Hitchens, but I like him in a Shakesperean way. He is the defender of his city (Antheist, Trotskyite) whatever. He is a damned fine liar.
He, like most of the editorial board of the Weekly Standard (for which he now occasionaly writes), considers actual middle americans to be a pathology, or worse the enemy. Max Boot, also Weekly Standard, complains about the war on Terror not being bloody enough, most of the pro-Terri blogs were baying for bombs over Baghdad. Yippee!
When conservatives decided that cluster bombs mixed with arab civilian blood equaled conservatism they invited revolutionaries like Hitchens into their Jacobin tent. If this is conservatism, I'm crossing out the word from Kirk's book and replacing it in every instance with Reactionary.
Posted by Michael Brendan Doughety email at April 3, 2005 11:30 AM

So, by association, those of us who support the war lust for the blood of Arab civilians - an expectorate as vile as that heaped by Hitchens on the Pope, in defense of whom, as he lay in his agony, you lavish not one word. So long, Michael, and don't come back.
Posted by William Luse email at April 4, 2005 01:55 PM

I have at times thought that Hitchens had a deft way with a word...but his modest talent doesn't give him the right to spew his anger driven sick drivel all over the place. He isn't even amusing to watch on the tube anymore. It's no longer fun to watch him make an ass of himself. Now I just sit there thinking, "Dude, get some therapy. Or at least just shut up."
Posted by Ellyn email at April 4, 2005 06:01 PM

Yeah, I once enjoyed his disgust with Bill Clinton, but to visit the same on the Pope indicates an inability to discriminate between targets, which in time sends the disgust full circle - back upon the one who first hurled it.
Posted by William Luse email at April 4, 2005 09:44 PM

Posted by me, your bloghost. Michael Brendan sends the following email:
Dear Mr. Luse,
I left my small tribute to the pope on my own site- using his prayer, more eloquent than I will ever be. (I did so before you chastized me)
I apologize. Many Catholics supported the war in Iraq, like Jeff Culbreath, and I assume, yourself, and were not defending torture, or the bombing of civilians. I was trying to aim my critique at those whom Mr. Cella was also aiming his in the same thread.
However, some Catholics indeed, were calling for the Vatican to be placed on the list of terrorist states:
One example
Furthermore, before posting on your blog I had just read this bit of recollection:
*The War Party was not at all pleased with the Pope's vocal dissent. As "warblogger" Glenn Reynolds, a professor of law at the University of Tennessee, indelicately put it,*
*/"//Before the child of Iraqi freedom was born, the Vatican was ready to kill it/ /."/*
*A sickening and deliberately offensive metaphor, but one that truly displayed the emotional depth of the hatred directed at the Holy Father, emanating – like a bad odor – from certain quarters.*
I am too young, and too quick to the draw. I should have not left my words open to your interpretation which I did not intend to be a possible one.
Here is my serious non-rhetorical question. If one knows that our government will use cluster bombs, and will do so in the neighborhoods of the people we are trying to save, how can they support the war? Having studied our involvement even in wars I have good reason to believe were just, I could not expect our strategy to be proportionate. Considering all this on top of the strong doubts the Holy Father put into my mind about the justice of the war to begin with.
If you still would like me to not comment on your blog, or cut off communication with you, I shall understand.
Best,Michael Brendan Dougherty

And so, as far as I'm concerned, we are at peace. I don't have time to go into his questions about the war, nor about the articles he cites, except to say that I wouldn't be so concerned about the vitriol spilling from "Catholic" demagogues like D'Hippolito (one reason I never visit Front Page Mag). Although his words injure, he is in the end an insignificance. As to proportionality, if it could be shown that it was U.S. government policy (and not that of individuals acting on their own) to wantonly drop cluster bombs in areas thickly populated with civilians, it would indeed vitiate the moral justice of the war.
Michael's website is here.
Posted by William Luse email at April 4, 2005 10:50 PM

Thanks. Wars divide people and ratchet up the rhetoric - its impossible when we are dealing with so much life and death. To war supporters I am "objectively" supporting Saddam Hussien, and am silly to think Iraq was not a threat, and a betrayer of the soldiers for not supporting their efforts.
To antiwar folks an unjust war is mass murder, simple.
Anyway we can all agree that Hitchens, whatever the merits of his pen is a slime bucket. His views on religion are that of a flippant 14 year old. He disguises this by throwing around a few literary facts about the Bible or the history of the Church. "No worries folks I'm an expert on all this hooey".
Anyway, I also take him to task for one of his latest in the Atlantic - and yes I touch on the war, tangentialy.
take care all.
Posted by Michael Brendan Doughety email at April 4, 2005 11:42 PM

Hitchens reminds me of Maureen Dowd: He is perhaps more casually eloquent than she, but Hitch lacks the plain moral gravitas with which Ms. Dowd always speaks when she seeks to provide ethical leadership, and lead us in the paths of fashionable righteousness. However, Hitch is way ahead of other moral authorities such as Paul Begala, or even Jackie Collins for that matter. And after all, one need not be King Turd of S**t-heap to enjoy a measure of respectability among the tootsie-roll heirarchy. Hell, as Hitchens himself proves, one need not even be sober.
Posted by Bubbles email at April 5, 2005 11:59 AM

I've never had the pleasure of reading Dowd, but I get your point. At least Hitchens and I have one thing in common - drink.
Posted by William Luse email at April 6, 2005 01:12 AM

Ah, yes, that is how I like Hitchens, as a sort of absentee drinking buddy. It should probably remain in the absentee stage, because he is the sort of Englischer who brings out my pugnacious side.
The sad thing is that he is a predictable sort of venemous writer. No fun. I can imagine a Chris Hitchens button on my computer that I can press and get exactly the expected vitriol.
I like my vitriolic writers to have a sense of daring, of almost completely losing it. I want to think "oh dear, he really is going to praise Amin this time."
If I am looking for consistancy, it had better come with better logic.
Posted by Erik Keilholtz email at April 6, 2005 04:01 AM

I love the Amin line.
Posted by William Luse email at April 6, 2005 04:59 AM

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