The eXiled Takes Down A Dying Christopher Hitchens

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Christopher Hitchens may be dying of throat cancer, but the folks at The eXiled aren’t showing him any mercy. Not that we would expect them to.

eXiled’s Ramon Glazov takes Hitchens apart for a preface he wrote to the new Hunter S. Thompson interview compilation “Ancient Gonzo Wisdom.”

Ancient Gonzo Wisdom should be a perfect book: a collection of all the interviews Hunter S. Thompson ever gave. It begins with a talk Thompson gave on ABC News in 1967, shortly after Hell’s Angels was released. It ends with his last ever interview, a Playboy piece by eXiled contributor Tim Mohr, one of the best in the collection. Mohr had the reasonably good idea of giving Thompson a list of topics (“Violence,” “Nutrition,” “Reading,” “Firearms”) and letting him speak freely about them instead of framing the interview in questions. (After all, Thompson’s already been asked a million variations of “What role do drugs play in your writing?” and “What are your views on objectivity?”.)

I don’t know why Hitchens was selected to write the introduction to Ancient Gonzo Wisdom, since he admits that he was “only twice a visitor to Owl Farm and mustn’t exaggerate the extent of [his] acquaintance with the good Doctor.” In other words, he knew Thompson only slightly better than a nagging autograph hound, and the introduction ought to have been written by Ralph Steadman or Johnny Depp. Even Pat Buchanan would have done a better job. Unfortunately, for some stupid reason, Anita Thompson allowed Hitchens to write a strychnine-soaked introduction smearing her dead husband and then published it. And, as we’ll see, it’s not like Hitchens’ insults are particularly subtle.

Hitchens’ introduction starts in a tone of condescending pity, with some fake chumminess stirred in. He claims that on their first meeting, Thompson “seemed somewhat restless and discontented and — at least to me, who knew the symptoms of boredom so well because they terrified me too — to be confronted with a certain quotient of anomie.” What this means, once you suck out the purple, is: ‘Hunter was a lot like me, but I pity him because I know he wasn’t really happy.’ Hitch, if you’re really Thompson’s long lost twin, then prove it: name one person Thompson stabbed in the back, one situation where Thompson declared someone his friend, mentor or blood-brother, only to change his mind at a later date.