Saturday, October 28, 2006

Arguing and insisting and asserting into the night...

I'm back now, but still somewhat in need of recovery from time spent in the often interesting (though always seriously tiring...and, despite years of economic growth, still inexplicably dingy) city of London.

What I've just run across, though, is a well-worth-reading interview with the often seriously brilliant (though, occasionally, seriously misguided) Christopher Hitchens. His arguments in favour of the invasion of Iraq were some of the few worth taking seriously, even if, in the end, I found them unconvincing. Nonetheless, his views on most other topics still tend to be spot-on, and his writing style and productivity remain awe inspiring.

Moreover, his openness to debate and single-minded determination, I think, is not to be underrated.

No debating opponent is too inconsequential to escape his efforts. At a debate on the war in New York the week we met, he responded one by one to a mainly hostile audience, then followed them outside to continue the conversation. He stayed glued o the sidewalk, deep in argument, until only a handful remained. Forty-five minutes later, the number outside the debating hall had shrunk to five, not including me: a janitor who seemed about to lock up, three students and Hitchens - enshrouded in cigarette smoke, arguing and insisting and asserting into the night.

There are, after all, worse ways to be described....

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