Thursday, June 26, 2003

Is it just me, or has Christopher Hitchens, regardless of his politics, simply forgotten how to write well? Every piece of his -- at least the ones on Slate -- has that same wandering, pointless quality, with entire paragraphs of paranthetical non-sequitors. Take this lead story on John Kerry's purported gullibility because he actually believed the president about WMB. After a funny opening paragraph in which he suggests Kerry made his campaign slogan "Duped by a Dope," he goes off on a tangent about that manages to cram Ho Chin Min, Thomas Jefferson, Saddam Hussein, LBJ, JFK, FDR and Stalin all into two sentences. He then comes back to the "point" with, "Returning to the banality of Kerry and the simplistic yes/no argument about weaponry..."

Earlier this month, in a piece on the pernicious mispronunciation of Wolfowitz (which I have to admit, I never quite knew how to say) Hitch actually ends with "Coming back to where I began..." which for my money is almost as bad -- no, worse -- than Thomas Friedman's starting a paragraph with "Let me explain." Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Soon he'll be inserting belches and "Where was I? Oh yeah..."

As for the content of that John Kerry piece, I actually find it rather appaling in its implications. "Stupid fool. Smart people knew the weapons stuff was just for the punters." If Hitchens thinks it so pointless having a public discussion about whether, why and when we should have gone to war, why does he even bother writing?

I found the reader comments at the bottom much more interesting.


Post a Comment

<< Home