And You Thought Bloggers Were the Unprofessional Ones

Leon Neyfakh: “Chuck Shelton, the editor of the publishing trade publication Kirkus, came over to the table to say hello to Mr. Karp. Mr. Shelton greeted Mr. Hitchens, whom he said he knew from cocktail parties. Shortly thereafter, according to Mr. Shelton, he was inexplicably touching Mr. Hitchens’ penis and rubbing his balls.”

Whether Mr. Shelton paid for the privilege is unknown. I can only presume that this was merely an unprofessional gesture.

Abs Are Not Great: How Working Out Poisons Everything?

Huffington Post: “That brings the reader to the second page, where Hitchens is photographed both smoking in the shower as he soaps up and smoking while he shaves. Only towards the end of page two does Hitchens begin writing. By page three of four he gets shipped to a Four Seasons in Santa Barbara where he is massaged with hot stones and given facials, all while drifting in and out of a slumber. More pictures of Hitchens smoking at the gym and drinking scotch during a body wrap.”

Banging the Tin Drum Harshly

Christopher Hitchens tears Gunter Grass a new one: “‘Let those who want to judge, pass judgment,’ Grass said last week in a typically sententious utterance. Very well, then, mein lieber Herr. The first judgment is that you kept quiet about your past until you could win the Nobel Prize for literature. The second judgment is that you are not as important to German or to literary history as you think you are. The third judgment is that you will be remembered neither as a war criminal nor as an anti-Nazi hero, but more as a bit of a bloody fool.”

Hitch Goes After Keillor

Slate: “Yellow-dog Democrats like Keillor spend a lot of time whining about how America’s standing in the world has declined of late, but this is how he treats a guest who spends half his time combating anti-Americanism in France. Simply because [Bernard-Henri Levy] mentions a fact that has actually caught other eyes (the tendency of Americans to become riotously fat) he is addressed like this: ‘Thanks pal. … Thanks for coming. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. For your next book, tell us about those riots in France, the cars burning in the suburbs of Paris. What was all that about? Were fat people involved?’ One moans for shame that such a vulgar jerk is thought of, and even known overseas, as some kind of national entertainer.”

Needlessly Snarky (Due Possibly to Being Subjected to Fourteen Listens of “The 12 Days of Xmas” Over the Past 72 Hours) Roundup

The Twin East Coast Monthly

For all of The Atlantic‘s candor, it still doesn’t explain why the current double issue would include not one, but two takes on high-profile translations (the former a swell introspective look on Don Quixote, the latter another smug collection of Christopher Hitchens intonations), while saving the remaining lengthy slot for Dr. Laura’s new book. While influential polemicists certainly do warrant a serious look, we can’t help but wonder if The Atlantic is preaching to the converted or contemplate why The Atlantic would dwell upon a polemicist that has, it would seem to us, had her day. Despite the long, long, long (did we mention long?), blustery essays on Iraq, one involving hawkish apologia, both of which hurt our heads to varying degrees, we believe The Atlantic‘s readers are not likely to find solace in a hateful crank. Nor do we believe that hi/lo dichotomies are necessarily the order of the day. The current object, it would seem to us, is guided more by mitosis. To the point where it has us now using that dreaded first person plural, which use we reserve only when drunk, half-awake, or otherwise devoid of our ten senses.