Monday, December 19, 2011

800 Words: Hitch and Me Part 4

Hitch: I was a member of the antitotalitarian left, a member so extreme in my anti-authoritarianism that I would endure the hardships of war to obliterate the hardships of peace.

Evan: I’m not even going to begin to unpack that.

Hitch: You don’t have to. Fuck the ones who can’t understand it.

Evan: I’m not sure I can.

Hitch: You can, you just don’t want to.

Evan: I can’t afford to have standards that high.

Hitch: Are we talking about sex now?

Evan: Maybe.

Hitch: Not my problem.

Evan: Indeed. So you believe that there are things more odious about peace than about war?

Hitch: If it’s forged from the blood of innocents, it is a spurious peace.

Evan: Well what if there’s demonstrable proof that less innocent people are killed through one option than another?

Hitch: Tell that to the slaughtered innocents.

Evan: Can’t we all forget about the blood of innocents a for just a minute or two a day?

Hitch: Their families haven’t forgotten.

Evan: I’m pretty sure their families would be very grateful for your devotion and then be incredibly glad to close the door when you leave.

Hitch: How could you tell such a mendacious lie? I’m beloved by those I champion.

Evan: You also love everything until the minute you decide you hate it.

Hitch: This from the guy who’d never heard of Ween until he hated Ween before he loved them before he hated them more than ever?

Evan: I can’t even remember a song by Ween right now.

Hitch: A sure sign you cared.

Evan: And you remember everything you ever fulminated about?

Hitch: I always operated on drunk memory.

Evan: Oh yeah. That really does work. I barely remember a word of any foreign language until I have a few drinks.

Hitch: Some would argue you still can’t when you have a few drinks.

Evan: They’re probably right.

Hitch: I’m not so sure about that. Alcohol’s a memory juice.

Evan: Except when it isn’t.

Hitch: I wouldn’t know.

Evan: But you romanticized drinking. Most of us get drunk because we want to fit in at a party or we wanted to forget about the ex we just saw out with our worst enemy.

Hitch: I went to Balliol College, Oxford in the late 60’s, a place and era when being a well-travelled man of letters and mystery was a simple career option. You got a 3.4 GPA at a third-rate university and have no particularly useful family or school connections. The only people of your station who will attain my level of eminence are those who do exactly as more fortunate people tell them every day until they reach senility.

Evan: How cheerful.

Hitch: You sound as though you’re not enthused by that.

Evan: Should I be?

Hitch: We’re the only chance you have. It’s people like me that are fighting for a better life for you.

Evan: So encouraging....When should we see the results?

Hitch: When people start listening to us.

Evan: That’s less encouraging.

Hitch: So why did you stop listening?

Evan: I didn’t stop listening. I just got exhausted and decided I needed some brakes.

Hitch: Tyranny allows no breaks.

Evan: Neither do you.

Hitch: This is getting unpleasant.

Evan: Indeed.

Hitch: Well, let’s get back to the original point. I was a member of the antitotalitarian left, a member so extreme in my anti-authoritarianism that I would endure the hardships of war to obliterate the hardships of peace.

Evan: It’s almost like you rehearse all these quotes in the mirror.

Hitch: Every day for five hours.

Evan: So what hardships are there in peace?

Hitch: The fact that all peace is, in some sense, a false peace so long as war exists somewhere else.

Evan: So...I’m going to cut two more hours of noodling to say that the end of all this is that you would wage perpetual war until peace is won for all time?

Hitch: More or less...

Evan: More or less??? That’s a pretty big point to be inexact about.

Hitch: So long as people are suffering, others have an obbligation to help in any way they can.

Evan: So after all this drumbanging about freedom, you’re still the same militant who rages against woolly liberals the way all socialists and conservatives do. And you'd wage all the hard-won instruments of peace and freedom to make war against tyranny with all the same manicheanism that any fascist or communist would employ, simply because not everybody is free?....

Hitch: Sounds like a fair bargain to me.

Evan: You realize that that’s insane. Right?

Hitch: I don’t aspire to sanity. I aspire to end suffering.

Evan: That’s insane.

Hitch: It’s a lifestyle. I’m dead so I can admit that now.

Evan: Well, lifestyle or not, you’ve annoyed a lot of people for no good reason.

Hitch: There was a good reason. It might have been a lifestyle, but I mostly fought for the right causes and I think I helped them.

Evan: Well, I certainly think they were almost all the right causes so I can’t argue there.

Hitch: For better or worse, my name is secure for posterity. I was the great non-fiction writer of the last generation of an exclusively British civilisation. My comrades and I proposed that Britain and therefore the world had sustained a civilisation open to a precious few and built on the blood and toil of less fortunate men. The time has arrived to tear it down like indolent flesh so the privileges open only to people like me for so long may be enjoyed by many more.

Evan: Well, I can’t help agreeing with most of that, but in the process you threw out quite a bit more in some areas and not enough in others.

Hitchens: Would you care to give some examples?

Evan: Hell no. I still have to go to sleep.

Hitchens: Suit yourself. Until next time comrade.

Evan: ..Wait!’s coming over the wire that Kim Jong-Il just died.

Hitch: I should know. Havel and I called in a few favors.

Evan: Wait, so there is a God and you got him to kill Kim Jong-Il?

Hitch: Not as such. Existence is in fact an parliamentary semi-republic in which the venal heavenly ministers make bargains with corrupt olympian businessmen and thuggish celestial soldiers of fortune. The new Prime Minister is a particularly criminal sort. He’s a giant aviary being whose every nerve is visible through his exoskeleton.

Evan: So God’s a flying spaghetti monster after all?

Hitch: I suppose he is. On that note however I have to go. I have a meeting in an hour with the managing editor of Kingdom of Chaos magazine. I think he’s going to make an offer.

Evan: Well it’s good to know that eternity has room for the Hitch.

Hitch: See you in fifty-two years, five months, thirteen days.

Evan: My death date?

Hitch: No, just the date you’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Evan: Oh.

Hitch: I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other more often after that. But I’ll see you well before then. We still have many more of these to do. Cheers.

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