Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Hitch and America

A new piece written today to commemorate the death of Christopher Hitchens and what he might have thought about the sad spectacle of the Zadroga Act in the US.

I suppose because I've been writing more serious pieces than comedy this year, my tendency to pick up Hitchens' writings has been more pronounced. I've always loved his work and have done so since I realised that he has good tastes . Yet until Hitchens made his move to the right in politics, I was always doubtful about him as I am about ideologues of any kind. It was important for me that he changed his mind about a great many things and, if we're honest about this, at the expense of much ridicule. The willingness to adapt his thinking to new information was stronger than any of his arguments, even those where I found myself in agreement. I suppose he followed in the footsteps of his great hero, Orwell, another great English essayist who died too early from his addiction to tobacco.

Speaking of Orwell, I foolishly had a thought the other day and wondered how much a complete set of Orwell would cost. I thought, perhaps less than £50. Now I've done my research I realise that the complete set runs to 20 volumes and a single hardback volume costs £50. That's £1000 for the complete writings of a man who spoke most eloquently about inequality and the British poor. Such a grim irony about that.

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