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← CBS 60 Minutes - Christopher Hitchens

CBS 60 Minutes - Christopher Hitchens - Comments

M D Aresteanu's Avatar Comment 1 by M D Aresteanu

Hitch, still honest.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:15:45 UTC | #601140

Matt B's Avatar Comment 2 by Matt B

One of his biggest fears when faced with cancer was losing his ability to write. I find that touching, and very revealing of his character. My hat is off to you, sir.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:26:42 UTC | #601143

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

How many men can say they were spanked on the rump by Margret Thatcher and called a naughty boy! ( let us hope not too many! )

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:39:58 UTC | #601146

DELETED_ACCOUNT_1ST_AMENDEMENT_TRUMPS_ALL's Avatar Comment 4 by DELETED_ACCOUNT_1ST_AMENDEMENT_TRUMPS_ALL

Much too important a voice to lose prematurely.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:59:06 UTC | #601149

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 5 by HappyPrimate

Good to see the Hitch on TV. Pretty good interview too. Just pre-ordered the book The Quotable Hitchens.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:31:39 UTC | #601159

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 6 by aquilacane

outrageous observations

I can't say I can recall the Hitch making an outrageous observation. Am I reading it wrong? Is what he is observing outrageous or is his evaluation of the observation outrageous? I suppose it depends on the interviewer's concept of outrageous.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:45:33 UTC | #601197

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 7 by Alternative Carpark

More Hitchens; less "New Ragu".

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:55:48 UTC | #601199

Austin K's Avatar Comment 8 by Austin K

Why did I watch the same add twice before this video?

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 05:11:50 UTC | #601221

silverwolf7's Avatar Comment 9 by silverwolf7

Nice to see Hitch again. As usual, a principled and intelligent man. Even on issues I disagree with him about- Iraq, for example- he always makes a strong, well-reasoned, and sincere argument, something many of his ideological comrades (right and left) tend not to do.

When he said that his worst fear was losing the ability to write, it really was a touching moment; as it was easy to tell he was being honest. Plenty of people might say such a thing about their cause or their art and not really mean it, but Hitch seems very sincere, and with that it's a greatly commendable statement.

PS- Just read on DailyHitchens that he cancelled one of his recent speaking engagements; I hope he's alright.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 06:31:01 UTC | #601235

andersemil's Avatar Comment 10 by andersemil

Video link doesn't work for me, but here it is on CBS' youtube channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkAMOrnyy30

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 08:10:33 UTC | #601247

SkyWilliam's Avatar Comment 11 by SkyWilliam

Although I'm great admirer of Hitchens, I didn't succeed in watching this video, because I wasn't courageous enough to plow through Ragu I, then a pompous presentation (as if we were about to witness a circus act) and finally Ragu II. Too much. I fled.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 09:04:24 UTC | #601265

ridelo's Avatar Comment 12 by ridelo

Nice to see and hear Hitch again. Let's hope that will be possible for a long, long time. Sorry still that I didn't hear about him before I was "developing atheism".

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 09:45:42 UTC | #601283

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 13 by Hellboy2

Hitchens, Still one of the best. Really hope there is still a lot of life in him yet..

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:08:11 UTC | #601332

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 14 by Marc Country

"I can't say I can recall the Hitch making an outrageous observation."

Hitchens vehemently supported the disastrous US invasion of Iraq before it happened, and continued to do so even after the sad fact of it had occured.

Most people in the world could see it for the inexcusable disaster it was and would be before it was launched, and many more people came to understand what a disaster it was when it was already too late.

Hitchens, as far as I've seen, still thinks the illegal invasion by the US was "the right thing to do". It appears that he holds the views due to a personal relationship with a particular population of Kurds.

Be that as it may, the observation that the unilateral US invasion and destruction of Iraq was a "good" and not a "bad" thing is plainly outrageous, and will likely prove to be Hitchens' biggest blunder.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 14:32:59 UTC | #601425

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 15 by Marc Country

Don't get me wrong: I love Hitchens, and I'm sure that's not what his American interviewer had in mind when he discusses "outrageous" observations... he's probably thinking of Hitchens' remarks on Mother Theresa, which do "outrage" many people, hence, are "outrageous".

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 14:37:49 UTC | #601427

ptdc's Avatar Comment 16 by ptdc

God worship, the foundation of all dictatorship.

Maybe said in the context that world dictators, without exemption, acquire godly attributes, i.e., tyrannical, whimsical, power crazy.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:07:22 UTC | #601517

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 17 by huzonfurst

I finally attended a debate with Hitchens recently, partnering with Sam Harris against a couple of Rabbis. The Rabbis were introduced to polite applause, Harris got a rousing welcome, and when Hitch walked on stage the joint exploded! It was an emotional moment for everyone in the room, including Hitch despite his telling the host to "make them stop."

Please get well, sir, we need you more than ever.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 18:41:45 UTC | #601570

Charisma's Avatar Comment 18 by Charisma

At 11:20 they mentioned an interiew they did with him last month (where he had a beard! lol) anyone know where I can find that?

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 19:53:46 UTC | #601612

Sarmatae's Avatar Comment 19 by Sarmatae

I hate 60 minutes. That aside. At the 12:35 mark the interviewer asks in relation to Hitchens placing his faith in science and medicine, not in god"

Is there something that could change your mind, in your weakened state?

I had a life long friend who was in the catholic diocese here in Boston. He died back in 88. For the most part we had a wonderful life long relationship. Akin to being brothers except you can't choose your family. So he was my brother by choice rather than by blood. From time to time in our discussions, though it wasn't the predominant subject, we would discuss his belief in god or my atheism. All in all it was very smooth and relaxed.

But being religiously minded he had a few pretty annoying habits. I found myself cringing in flashback when the interviewer asked Hitchens that question. My friend used to do that to me all the time when some tragedy would hit me or my family. He would swoop in and ask that same type of question. "How about now, now have you changed your mind about faith in Christ?" "My friend" I would say, actually I would say his name. "We've been discussing this subject for decades. What makes you think that I would suddenly change my mind at this moment?" "Well" He'd respond "I've found that it is at times like these when people need Christ the most". I'd reply something along the lines of "Well hold on one second here. Now... Now I need Christ. Why this particular moment?" "Because now you are at your weakest...". That's! why this struck some sort of flashback for me. Those words. "Now you are at your weakest".

I've oft wondered over the decades what exactly he meant by weakest. I never asked specifically that I recall. I'd simply reply "Your friendship is enough for me, I need nothing more" and that was the end of it usually. Did my friend mean, now that I was at my weakest emotionally? Physically? As once I was in an very bad accident that he asked. I think, and I'm not absolutely sure about this. I think it means weakest psychologically. In times of crisis we are prone to less rational thought thus making us psychologically weakened. I know what some of you might say. That he might of meant about being at my weakest therefore in most need of help. But I wonder, he might have some subjective reasoning that puts his actions in the best possible light for his own benefit but what is the objective difference? It's still the same logistically.

It's an annoying habit of the religious that they do come swooping in during peoples times of "weakness". With their subjective interpretation of help. It's not the type of selfless help you might expect of one representing of a loving caring creator either. It's akin to vulturism, a rapaciousness. Taking advantage of a perceived window of opportunity. I've seen this behavior in supposed religious "charity" over my entire life. "We can help you, we will hand the starving this food. But... First... Let's just hear you recite the lords prayer once. It's not asking much to thank the provider is it?"

That's the impression I got from that one question in this interview. If perhaps Hitchens were to switch his piety from science and medicine to god perhaps god will help. Or in reality since Hitchins doesn't believe in god then at least he may resort to grasping at straws. I mean, does anyone else find that pulling this type of psychological blackmail on a person who is suffering fundamentally sick? And there he is. Some popular mainstream personality doing just that to some other well known person right in front of millions. And that's not considered at all rude, condescending or awkward at all? As if to say "Now that I can perceive there could be a possibility of a weakened state. Could I use that against you just now to get you to repudiate everything you have stood for your entire life". Never mind Hitchens making "outrageous observations" Not only is that question one of the most outrageous things I have observed in the interview. That's sick, really sick and insulting. But par for the course for the theistic mindset.

EDIT: And just for the record the whole framing of the question about Hitchens placing his "faith". It's not faith that he's placing in science and medicine or belief. We don't have faith or belief in those things. But this is getting too long already and I'll have to let that go for tonight.

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 07:47:54 UTC | #601852

Sample's Avatar Comment 20 by Sample

It's an annoying habit of the religious that they do come swooping in during peoples times of "weakness". (Sarmatae)

Very. And the habit isn't new:

James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Mike

P.S. There is something about the towers of books that I like in Hitchens' apartment.

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 08:35:04 UTC | #601859

JETrue's Avatar Comment 21 by JETrue

All I can say is, ALL HAIL CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS!! MY HERO!! Even in the face of death the man shows us how to live. This is how someone truly lives forever!

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 14:03:40 UTC | #601963

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 22 by aquilacane

Comment 14 by Marc Country

Hitchens vehemently supported the disastrous US invasion of Iraq before it happened, and continued to do so even after the sad fact of it had occured.

Yes,I recall. I am opposite to Hitch in this regard but I can't say I found the comment unexpected. I still think Madman Husein needed five to eye, though. Perhaps not the entire country.

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 19:56:38 UTC | #602072

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 23 by Steve Zara

Be that as it may, the observation that the unilateral US invasion and destruction of Iraq was a "good" and not a "bad" thing is plainly outrageous, and will likely prove to be Hitchens' biggest blunder.

Hitchens is a deeply honest and thoughtful man, and that is one reason amongst so many why he deserves to be admired.

I find a useful sign of an honest and thoughtful person is that their views aren't off-the-shelf. They are prepared to put research into every subject on which they are prepared to express an opinion. Of course, some views do tend to have a natural connection. But so very, very often I see the same dull, cliched set of opinions: I am able to predict most of someone's political views just be hearing one or two of them.

I long to encounter people who won't follow the herd. I want to see an atheist Republican, a Tory who supports gay marriage, a liberal who supported the Iraq war. Just to see a glimmer of independent thinking.

What is even worse than the laziness of off-the-shelf views is that they are often accompanied by an unwitting arrogance. This is shown when people insist that Christopher Hitchens' mind is working wonderfully generally, but somehow has switched off when he talks about the Iraq War. It's such an amazing co-incidence that Hitchens happens to have a mental failure when he disagrees with such people! What are the chances of that? It's as if thinking is reduced to the level of polysyllabic grunts: "War bad. Hitchens likes war. Hitchens bad. Hitchens stupid."

Hitchens may be wrong. Of course he may be wrong. But he presents damn good arguments for his case. The situation with the Kurds could well have been genocide, which would justify intervention. I also remember reports from the left-wing UK MP Anne Clwd of the sickening horrors of torture by the Hussein regime, and of plans for a renewed assault on the Kurds.

Things have been a nightmarish mess in Iraq, but perhaps that could have been avoided. I don't know that much about the situation, but my impression is that the Americans did not listen to advice and abolished institutions that could have kept things under control. There might have been a very different situation now.

I don't know what I think. But what I am sure of is that Hitchens has an extraordinary mind, and to talk about "blunders" is facile. Someone can be wrong, but for very, very good reasons. There are also different kinds of "right".

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 20:46:30 UTC | #602082

wcapehart's Avatar Comment 24 by wcapehart

Comment 23 by Steve Zara :

I want to see an atheist Republican, a Tory who supports gay marriage, a liberal who supported the Iraq war. Just to see a glimmer of independent thinking.

Make no mistake. They're out there. They can also be vocal. But they just aren't as plain darned interesting as the Hitch!

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 22:00:54 UTC | #602099

dawkings's Avatar Comment 25 by dawkings

high quality download: http://www.multiupload.com/RGXMZSPTCB

for those that dont like low quality streaming

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 21:15:04 UTC | #602371

erindorothy's Avatar Comment 26 by erindorothy

Wonderful.

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 08:44:57 UTC | #602480

biorays's Avatar Comment 27 by biorays

Comment 19 by Sarmatae :

I hate 60 minutes. That aside. At the 12:35 mark the interviewer asks in relation to Hitchens placing his faith in science and medicine, not in god"

" Is there something that could change your mind, in your weakened state?"

Now... Now I need Christ. Why this particular moment?" "Because now you are at your weakest...". That's! why this struck some sort of flashback for me. Those words. "Now you are at your weakest"..........

I've oft wondered over the decades what exactly he meant by weakest. ........... But I wonder, he might have some subjective reasoning that puts his actions in the best possible light for his own benefit but what is the objective difference? It's still the same logistically.

............... That's the impression I got from that one question in this interview. If perhaps Hitchens were to switch his piety from science and medicine to god perhaps god will help. Or in reality since Hitchins doesn't believe in god then at least he may resort to grasping at straws. I mean, does anyone else find that pulling this type of psychological blackmail on a person who is suffering fundamentally sick? ........ That's sick, really sick and insulting. But par for the course for the theistic mindset.

In my experience I can only suggest a few motives for religions condescending attitudes when faced with sincere and crystal clear reason. It is a range of 'self-image' emotional warfares they wish to wage and win on their own terms. They already pay homage to a fictitious comic book hero who is going to address and redress all of their woes and pains and who also, in their imagination, supports their every thought and feeling in respect of the increasing amounts of time they employ their mind beseeching. They identify with it more than they do themselves. In many it becomes the replacement for who they are but on a grander scale which befits the level of insult they feel when it is challenged or attempted to be made redundant. There are some who identify almost entirely with the virtuous elements of such a character and so feel endless pain when it becomes insulted - almost to the point of themselves being reduced to death and betrayal. But also I have, I very strongly suspect, seen very evil emotions smirked on the faces of the presumptuous - as if they somehow feel they have greater parity with goodness - in spite of their inability to read the hearts of the victims of their dismissive attentions. They are truly without understanding. They are wallowing in the mire of their own narcissism. They are exercising cruelty of thought and considering it virtuous. Their own inflated self image is become part and parcel of who their god is in their own mind.

In this respect, at either extreme and across the whole range of 'self-image or alter-ego' gods it is the over-magnification of their own wishes and woes, their own desires and judgements that their own mind has been educated to role play as and as such cannot be easily communicated with, since when can a fiction ever be challenged on rational terms. To begin to debate it is to enter the imaginary world of theatre and deluded minds in some sincere attempt to get them to see from the other side of the 'looking glass'. And if theirs is an aloof self image one risks being spoken down to, but if a self sacrificing self image causing them incredible angst.

There seems little to admire and lots to despise about the effects on the human of religious indoctrination!

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 03:56:44 UTC | #606083

Mister Anderson's Avatar Comment 28 by Mister Anderson

Sad to see how much the disease "aged" him. Tragedy of human life is recognizing that one day even the most brilliant of minds are reduced to fuel for other organisms eventually.

But at least in the case of minds like Hitchens, his words, and in a manner his mind, will carry on beyond his death.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 22:41:38 UTC | #614710