Christopher Hitchens As Proto-Culture Warrior/Proto-Intellectual Dark Webber?

sadmanbarty

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The Hitchslap as a precursor to ‘Ben Shapiro DESTROYS’.

Antitheism as a precursor to shifting emphasis from political and economic issues to cultural ones .

One of the first internet public intellectuals in a way- amassing audiences on YouTube and that (obviously he had a huge one before too).

That slight edge of being almost a self-help role model. A Hitchens fan would want to drink and swear like him. They’d want to emulate him in a way that Buckley/Chomsky/Gore Vidal, etc. fans wouldn’t do them. You get that with Jordan Peterson fans I think.

The Sam Harris connection.

I don’t know if he did any singling out Islam as uniquely bad relative to other religions.
 

suspended

Well-known member
Good thread. It really is incredible how quickly the New Atheism dream died out. In some sense they won, secularism seems more or less inevitable, the only difference is how soon. But that classical liberal vision of the open, dialogic, democratic, rational symposium of the web—gone.
 

suspended

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I think what happened was those guys were on top, their Cold War intellectual precursors had won a kind of liberal consensus (or inherited one post-war, pick your spin). Steve Pinker was hanging with Bill Clinton and Jeff Epstein, drinking mai thais. Then history started back up and they cast the libs out. Girardian stuff, and also the Pinker narrative just stopped feeling resonant, even if recent events haven't especially challenged its thesis (it's not like we've had a massive surge of violence, but the world doesn't feel holistically better than 15 years ago).
 

luka

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Performing body slams on irritating people (students, women, do-gooders, anyone that wants to spoil your fun)

That's what people want to see. Arguments aren't won by argument they're won by displays of dominance. Greater verbal facility, greater composure, greater speed of thought, greater recall and command of 'facts'.

Hitchens does this 'with elan'. With Peterson it takes on a demented quality, the speed of delivery goes haywire and the voice cracks. The imperative is, take up the space, fill it with words.

I think Chomsky does fit into this though as he can also be seen 'destroying' people and it's satisfying to watch.
 

luka

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Champion, one who fights in behalf of another. During the Middle Ages a feature of Anglo-Norman law was trial by battle, a procedure in which guilt or innocence was decided by a test of arms. Clergy, children, women, and persons disabled by age or infirmity had the right to nominate champions to fight by proxy.
 

luka

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Hitchslap clips get divorced from their context and circulate in a Pokemon economy
 

luka

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As epsilons none of us are equipped with the information or intelligence to enact these arguments for ourselves so instead we trade the representations as Pokemon cards
 

luka

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Ideas don't exist and nor do ideals. All that exists are the Pokemon.
 

luka

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Very much so. It's an image of manhood which seems to many young people to be worthy of aspiration.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It's a lot of fun reading critical 'takedowns' of books/films/records. And writing them, too.
 
And old boss used to say when he can't decide he thinks "what would malcolm tucker or hitchens do?" he was a cunt. its people caught in the teenage thing of intelligence being about punishing stupidity
 

luka

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And old boss used to say when he can't decide he thinks "what would malcolm tucker or hitchens do?" he was a cunt. its people caught in the teenage thing of intelligence being about punishing stupidity
As a means of social dominance plain and simple
 

luka

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There are various ways to 'win' these encounters and I'm not convinced any of them have much to do with the bone of contention.
 

luka

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If you put the Chomsky Pokemon against the Hitchens Pokemon I think you can see how what Jack calls Chomsky's anti-charisma works to undercut the Hitchens bombast. Styles make fights.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
But you would never get an agreement over who "won", ofc, because their respective fanbases want different things.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
There are various ways to 'win' these encounters and I'm not convinced any of them have much to do with the bone of contention.
Don't people learn how to argue without conviction at debate clubs and so on?

In a sense it matters as much who is "rightest" in these debates as who is "nicer" in a UFC fight.
 
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