Monday, January 10, 2011

Notes from "Letters to a Young Contrarian", Letters VII and VIII

Letter VII

Try your hardest to combat atrophy and routine. To question The Obvious and the given is an essential element of the maxim de omnius dubitandum.

Letter VIII

How to ward off atrophy and routine, you ask? [...] Every day, the New York Times carries a motto in a box on its front page. "All the News That's Fit to Print," it says. It's been saying it for decades, day in and day out. [...] I myself check every day to make sure that the bright, smug, pompous, idiotic claim is still there. Then I check to make sure that it still irritates me. If I can still exclaim, under my breath, why do they insult me and what do they take me for and what the hell is it supposed to mean unless it's a obviously complacent and conceited and censorious as it seems to be, then at least I know that I still have a pulse.

The style of the above paragraph is why Hitchens is so delightful to read!

Post a Comment