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Christopher Hitchens Quotes
- Page 7
Littera scripta manet - 'The written word will remain'. That's true, but it won't be that much comfort to me.
Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long.
The fact is: It's true what they say about the United States. It is a land of opportunity. It is too various to get bored with it.
The people who tend to raise antiwar slogans will do so generally when it's American or British interests involved.
You notice how liberals keep saying, 'If only Islam would have a Reformation' - it can't have one. It says it can't. It's extremely dangerous in that way.
The secular argument, or the liberal argument, is to as much as possible remove taboos so things do not become unmentionable; to let some air into the discussion.
It's not at all good when your cancer is 'palpable' from the outside. Especially when, as at this stage, they didn't even know where the primary source was. Carcinoma works cunningly from the inside out. Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly, from the outside in.
Just as the humble, unassuming, assenting 'O.K.' has deposed the more affirmative 'Yes,' so the little cringe and hesitation and approximation of 'like' are a help to young people who are struggling to negotiate the shoals and rapids of ethnic identity, the street, and general correctness.
The advice I've been giving to people all my life - that you may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you; you can't give up politics, it won't give you up - was the advice I should have been taking myself.
It's considered acceptable in our culture to approach perfect strangers, as often or not who may be in extremis, and evangelise. I don't see why that's considered a normal thing.
A lot of people, because of my contempt for the false consolations of religion, think of me as a symbolic public opponent of that in extremis. And sometimes that makes me feel a bit alarmed, to be the repository of other people's hope.
And when I was young, my family was perfectly nice. I write a lot about it, as you noticed. But it was rather limited. I think, I don't think anyone in my family would really feel I'd done them an injustice by saying that. We didn't see many people. There were many books. It was as if I wanted to get away from home.
I mean, what would I be doing if I couldn't write? But that fortunately hasn't proved to be the case and I can read any day. I still read a lot, and I can write any day, but much more slowly and fewer words.
I vote and I do jury duty.
Nothing could make me forget what the Reagan years had actually been like.
I wanted to write.
I'd always somehow felt slightly as if I'd been born in the wrong country.
I'm not a conservative of any kind.
I've been to Uganda and to North Korea and to Eritrea, countless horror spots around the world.
Religion is compulsory in English schools, you know.
The penalty for getting mugged in an American city and losing your ID is that you can't fly home.
When I look back on what I did for the Left, I'm in a small way quite proud of some of it - I only wish I'd done more.
People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger, which I think, without flattering myself, I did, but I think I certainly have, as George Orwell says people do after a certain age, the face they deserve.
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