The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Heretofore Unmentioned #26


Christopher Hitchens

11 comments :

estiv said...

The way you can tell that he didn't grow up in this country (besides his accent) is that he wants to be taken seriously as a political commentator while making zero apologies for being openly alcoholic.

Vanwall said...

Could've left it unmentionable, 'sfar's I'm concerned.

Robert Fiore said...

I'm assuming that this wasn't the Before of a Before and After because the After would have been too disturbing for sensitive viewers.

Henry Bemis said...

Was the "Madmen.." category full?

rodger eburt said...

Hitchens is masterful at being Hitchens -- he elicits unbridled, undisguised anger and rejection from Charlie Parker's otherwise tolerant, charming crowd.

God Bless Christopher Hitchens. . . .

Vanwall said...

"Like pearls before swine, eh?"

"Hey, youse better watch it, pal - we ain't no poils!"

Tom Sutpen said...

I suppose I should disclose that . . . despite his horribly misguided and flat out unclean support for the Iraq was and every other related matter . . . my admiration for Hitchens as a writer and polemicist is undimmed. Yeah, he was better when he was a Socialist, but he still writes just as well, even when defending the indefensible.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Bestill my heart. I love the guy.

Kreisler said...

Top man - anointed by Gore Vidal as his successor. Cherishable if only for his devotion to smoking.

Tom Sutpen said...

Hear hear! (and I say that as a lifelong non-smoker).

Although I understand Vidal has withdrawn the honor he bestowed upon Hitchens, due to Hitchens' wholehearted embrace of the neocon ethos (or what passes for one with that crowd). I have a feeling Hitchens will eventually take a stand that will piss off the right people again, and he'll be restored to his former status among fellow leftos. God knows the Left can use writers of his caliber; we shouldn't cut him loose quite so hastily.

harkin said...

Gotta love Hitch, people who he would slaughter in an argument always fall back and decry his drinking. The fact that he would best them just as well after 5 drinks just makes it funnier.

Don't always agree with him but I listen regardless and would never use his drinking as a slur as it doesnt matter.