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I'll Drink to That

Hitchens and Booze

by JACK McCARTHY

Dry drunk Bush’s wet drunk apologist Christopher Hitchens announces startling health discovery in Vanity Fair magazine: Drinking like there’s no tomorrow and smoking until your teeth and fingers turn jaundice yellow is actually good for your health!

But seriously, oh fellow Hitchens hating Counterpunchers everywhere, enjoy a good and healthy laugh –at Hitchens’s expense and read this unintentionally hilarious piece which should have been titled, “Confessions of A Functional Alcoholic.”

If you were amused by Michael Jackson’s rationale for sleeping with little boys, you’ll just love Hitch’s limp attempt to rationalize away his life as a clownish lush who bellows for war–and another drink–all in the same martini/tobacco stained breath.

The article while disguised as a fun loving chaps slap at prudes who are annoyed at Hitchens enjoyment of fine wine, is actually a generic response aimed at his political enemies on the left who have taken note of our boys evolution over the years from erudite intellectual to booze bloated eccentric.

Aimed, indeed, at those of us less than amused that such a bright fellow as this– who once wrote an insightful, scathing essay on how alcohol had turned a one time progressive intellectual named Paul Johnson into a towering reactionary bore–has turned into, well, Paul Johnson.

A reactionary bore who compulsively attacks the left, blusters about our right to Iraq’s oil, and well, the list of nutty behavior is endless.

A booze addled man who enjoys the flattering, undeserved title “IF Stone Scholar”(WC Fields scholar would be more apt. Well the alcohol part anyway, Fields is funny, Hitchens anything but.) but brags in print that he will vote for ex-lush George W Bush in the next presidential election.

Once you read this wanker’s advertisement for his drunken self you can’t help but conclude that the man gives new meaning to the phrase “a drunk in denial.”

As if to demonstrate his tenuous relationship with reality, Hitch desperately grasps on to the much ballyhooed study from the New England Journal of Medicine touting a drink or two a day as a preventive way to ward off heart attacks.

But its only a few graphs into the article that Hitchens turns two to twenty and implies that the much written about NJM article is actually a vindication for fun loving blokes like himself who, he proudly proclaims routinely drink enough to floor a mule. You might well believe a guy with the DT’s wrote it.

The meaning of a “drink or two a day” is quickly forgotten by the booze addled, titular head of “Lush’s For Bush” and suddenly translated to mean drink till you drop.

Hitchens, oblivious to the obvious, proceeds to inform readers that not only does he drink like the proverbial fish and enjoy a healthy heart, but he also has this amazing ability to do lots of work.

He defensively reels off his busy work schedule, books, articles, TV shows, etc which we are to understand means his imbibing has only improved his productivity.

In reality our man Hitch is further confessing that besides being an alcoholic, he’s also a workaholic.

Or in the parlance of A.A., Hitchens is actually revealing that he’s what they call a “Functional Alcoholic.”

On his blogging website Hitchens recently published an angry, paranoid private letter to Nation publisher Victor Navasky.

Here Hitch alleges that Navasky and editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel have conspired to ruin him by running a rather innocuous letter from Studs Terkel. This paranoid tirade evidence is yet another piece of circumstantial evidence that Hitchens’s faculties are out on a three-martini lunch.

In the letter Terkel accuses Hitchens of being vain and unfair to those who disagree with his stand on war with Iraq, and recounts a night in which he and Hitch tied one on during the latter’s visit to Chicago. Terkel’s footnote about the drinking was hardly the point.

But Hitchens’s paranoid obsession with that part of the letter clearly indicated he viewed it as part of a vast conspiracy of his former comrades to label him a drunk.

To which I’d say, based on this self-revealing Vanity Fair piece, the leader of the vast conspiracy is the IF Stone scholar himself.

In fact, I’ll drink to that.

JACK McCARTHY