Tuesday, March 09, 2010

In stark contrast

In the wake of an Amis come Hitchenses. Both Hitchens boys are busy doing the rounds (are they ever not?). Chris is promoting a memoir and Peter has a God book attacking his own brother’s anti-theism. Oddly, or possibly not, I’m with Peter on this one, despite my own deficiency in Faith.

Anyway, you can read an extract from Peter’s new book in the Daily Mail here. One line in particular amused me:

Christopher and I are separate people who, like many siblings, have lived entirely different lives since our childhood.

Oh, absolutely. Whereas Christopher has made a living based on provocative columns, books and public speaking from an idiosyncratic but broadly left-wing position, Peter has made a living based on provocative columns, books and public speaking from an idiosyncratic but broadly right-wing position. Entirely different.

This reminds of me of an excellent gag by, funnily enough, Martin Amis in (I think, but can’t check as the book is somewhere in the attic) Success, which goes something like: Gregory was throwing up in the upstairs bathroom. Terry, in stark contrast, was throwing up in the downstairs bathroom.

This gag has been in my head for years and I keep meaning but forgetting to steal the format. However, I hereby pledge that I will get round to nicking it soon – any reader who spots the usage and points it out in the comments will receive a prize of some sort.


Willard said...

The fact PH that he has to say it suggests that, deep down, he knows otherwise.

Gaw said...

Don't forget PH was a Trot in his younger days. I suspect he was driven to switch to the right wing as otherwise the left side of the field would have become overly clogged with Hitchenses.

Interestingly, you can still discern in PH's mode of argument and worldview his initial Trotty déformation intellectuelle.

Anonymous said...

P Hitch is one of my favourite reads, i especially love his huge eyebrowed visage staring menacingly at the reader from his column. It's interesting, to me, to reflect that i like him because i detest the illusion of progress, the overturning of tradition, the idea that anything English is evil and ridiculous at the same time, but if he was in a position of power he would hang people like me.

However, we dislike some of the same things, and that's what really matters. Up the Hitch!

ps isn't it time someone started a TV show called "The Two Hitchens" in which they argue incessantly till the producer kills the camera.

David said...

Now, something could really be done with the idea that we're not drawn together by our common likes but by our common dislikes.

Whenever I need to make nice with a Marxist, I just start up a conversation about how much we both hate liberals.

wv: nedshole, which, ewww.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Isn't that usage from the long-running 1970's TV series Upstairs, Downstairs? I claim my prize.

To quote (approximately) from Nick Holby's High Fidelity: "It's not what you're like but what you like that matters".