Skip to main content

Buy the Print Edition of Radical Second Things!

More On "Unhitched"

When I went on a trip to the used bookstore with a friend, I took a look at Unhitched again. I couldn't help myself - Hitchens is really critical to the way I think, my outlook and the way I form opinions. I'm nowhere near on the page he was on when he died but I did adopt his dialectical thinking. It's very easy for me to adopt views that might seem diametrically opposed if I think they both are valid on their own, something he did alot. I have no doubt that if I had read someone like, say, C.S. Lewis in my formative years, I'd have a harder time doing that.

I read a couple portions and unsurprisingly, it was all stuff I already knew about him. However, the way Richard Seymour put together Hitchens' various triangular thinking is very damning. As Seymour notes, Hitch wasn't an ex-leftist, he continued on with Palestinian solidarity and his anti-Vietnam war past as he became an apologist for the Iraq war. However, even if he really believed that the Kurds and other oppressed groups of Iraq were being liberated by the invasion of Iraq, the way that he campaigned for the war - doing various special debates with the like of George Galloway in support of it - and being in serious denial of what was actually happening in Iraq and not in his theoretical brain was so damning. Hitchens was believing his own checking account and wanted to be George Orwell, an advocate for wars of democracy (Orwell was in favor of more than a few wars and even fought in Spain against Franco, as I learned from Hitchens' book Why Orwell Matters).

In his own brain, Hitchens' various positions may have made sense but, as I said when I posted previously, the end result was a very sloppy writer who was reporting more on his ego than on the world around him. god is not Great was a sloppy book and it seemed sloppy when I read it in 2007, despite being pretty sympathetic with the subject matter at the time. There were no footnotes in his book and the arguments made little sense. It became clear in debates, like this clip about how religion lies to children, that he was driven emotionally (possibly by the suicide of his mother) on the subject and was not looking at it rationally:

It is hard to seem that angry not to think that he is thinking about his late mother. I can certainly sympathize but I would think it'd be a mistake to damn entire systems of belief based on my own individual loss. The most analogous institution to what religion was to Hitchens would be drugs - I lost a fiance to opiods and went through hell from psych meds. Nevertheless, I understand that it's not that simple and to throw out something that improves lives as much as it harms them is immature and foolish. Hitchens was smart enough to know that but a title like "Religion Poisons Everything" is much spicier than "When Religion Goes Wrong."

Even if I don't agree with much of what he wrote at this point, Hitchens is still very important. I have alot of books on my plate and I may have to wait until they're through to do a very thorough review of Unhitched but I think I may be unable to resist.


Popular posts from this blog

"Life is Much More Than Bratwurst:" A Chat With Rummelsnuff

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.

Rummelsnuff is awesome. If you don't know, he is Roger Baptist - a bodybuilding German singer who has toured abundantly in support of his music - an unusual composite of German industrial, drinking songs and electronica. Roger was nice enough to do an interview with me and took the time to answer in English, not his first language. Thanks so much, Roger!

First off, you have quite the physique? Can you tell us about your diet, your regimen, etc.?

Maybe I am lucky to like exactly the stuff, which is good for mu…

Eagles of Death Metal Go Alt Right

Hey all - remember writing is not free! If you want to see more of this, be sure to donate.

Back in 2010, I, along with my friend Alex Knepper, wrote about the prospective rise of the Alternative Right movement – a political organization of well dressed and well presented white supremacist who bring all of the hate, free of swastikas, shaved heads or all the usual turn offs of that ideology.
Alex’s article is up still at Frum Forum, a website of former Bush advisor David Frum. As one friend told me, I not only was right but more right than I thought I’d be about all of this. The world is changing very fast and it would take a profound change in human nature for the response to that change not to include a bit of reaction.
It’s much worse that I thought it would ever be. The forthcoming nominee of the Republican party blatantly flirts with white nationalists on his Twitter account, retweeting their material with abandon and refusing to condemn when pressed on it. Jesse Hughes, the lead …

"Proud Boys" and the Alt Right in the Bay Area

Now that NBC News picked up the Proud Boys story, here is something I wrote for a local Bay Area newspaper about them earlier in the fall. The newspaper was hesitant to write about the subject, as seems to happen when I want to write about the Alt Right. I interviewed Paul Bazille, a member of the Proud Boys group and everything. If the headline on the story seems different than this link, that's because I've changed it from what the newspaper wanted to one more appropriate for the story. Writing about this is frustrating - I'm torn between wanting to accurately portray the source, who put trust in me, and not wanting to seem sympathetic to the Alt Right, which I am certainly not. What that frustration turns in to is just not writing about it at all. The picture I took is from an anti-Alt Right protest in Berkeley.

Could a replay of Charlottesville occur here? The Bay Area has many of its own icons of a racist past that may be ripe for removal. UC Berkeley’s Barrows Hall, …

RST on Facebook

About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

© 2017 Radical Second Things