Tag Archives: Christopher Hitchens

The Compulsion to Write (pt. 2)

In his essay, “Why I Write,” George Orwell identifies the following: 1. Sheer Egoism (“desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc”), 2. Aesthetic enthusiasm (“perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their arrangement”) 3. Historical impulse (“desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity”), and 4. Political purpose (“desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people’s idea of the kind of society that they should strive after”). Knowing that I would be writing this essay, I tried to improve upon this list, but to no success. There is only one conceivable addition, approaching the matter as a male heterosexual writer: 5. To bed women. Continue reading

Just Say No To The War On Drugs

On November 2, California voters will be given an opportunity to vote upon Proposition 19, the “Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010,” thereby rendering a verdict upon legalization of the possession and consumption of marijuana, under certain conditions and restrictions. Proposition 19 may well fail, and the legalization of marijuana may be years or even decades away, but the era of drug legalization is coming. There is nothing — nothing — one can do to prevent that inevitable day from arriving. The reason is simple: the “war on drugs” is at best a stupid and expensive failure, and at worst a piece of dangerous propaganda, used to justify American military actions in Latin America and elsewhere. Every day, more of us enter the coalition of the knowing. The cause of drug legalization is so plainly correct, and so rational, that it appeals across the political spectrum: among its many advocates have been Tommy Chong, Christopher Hitchens (both during and after his Socialist International days), David Frum, and William F. Buckley. Continue reading