Monday, November 06, 2006

Silly Season

[posted by Callimachus]

Feeling like the whole country has gone batshit through the magnetic influence of a full moon and a looming election? You're not the only one. Christopher Hitchens had a weird week. This is just part of it:

Asked by Chris Matthews on his Hardball TV show why many liberals think that Republicans are dumb, I try to explain that it goes back to John Stuart Mill describing the Tories as 'the stupid party'. I add that the Tories used ironically to borrow this description of themselves, as indeed they did the word 'Tory', which was originally an insult. Warming to my theme, I list the other slanders that have been reversed by their original targets - from 'Impressionist' to 'suffragette'.

I also mention a famous rude word for black people that begins with 'N' but has been annexed back by its victims. Suddenly, there is a break and the studio fills with grim-faced executives who tell me that I'm cut from the rest of the show. I say I want it in writing. From discussing a non-story to becoming a non-story of my own is a short step.