I suppose it should come as no real surprise that we are all of us, at times, susceptible to the odd bout of silliness. Anyone who hasn’t said or written something stupid in their time, let’s face it, probably hasn’t said or written a whole lot. We all occasionally miss the mark. Some more than others, admittedly, but even the best of us are fallible
So I write this post with that in mind — wondering if, perhaps, we expect a little too much of our fellow human beings and, in particular, if I’m being a little ungenerous when I point out that Mr. Christopher Hitchens has been a prat
Now, I don’t always agree with Old Hitch, but I do admire his bulldozing ways and his intellectual acuity. Even when I disagree with him vehemently, I usually maintain my admiration for him
Not so with this piece of silliness. Now an American citizen, it seems that Christopher (I call him that when he’s been a bad boy) has decided that the best application of his journalistic ability is the silly reinforcement of silly stereotypical representations of the British. There’s no denying, we have and are proud of (to a point) our eccentrics and eccentricities. It’s a reflection of our love of independence and geography. I can accept his leg-pulling in that regard (even though 99.9% of us are far from eccentric.) What I find offensive about this piece (though I must admit, I won’t exactly be losing sleep over it) is the suggestion that we all like animals more than people (and, he implies, children in particular) and the sheer inaccuracy of the general picture he paints.
Silly — and clearly intended as a bit of fun, which I’m not averse to. The fact remains, however, it was lazy, clichéd, and so obviously pandering to American misapprehensions that it does no one any favours
Christopher, they won’t get the joke. They’ll believe it. Shame on you.