22 February 2017

Peter Bradshaw puts Milo through Hitchens test

Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw whittles down to size Bill Maher's... um-what's-that-you-say? comparison of the anti-Carlin to Christopher Hitchens in his musing I put Milo Yiannopoulos through the Christopher Hitchens test. He failed. How would Maher ever think to associate the one with the other? The label of provocateur by which I associate, then separate, MY with GC? Perhaps. However, I think my conflation/deconflation is more apropos since GC used his provocations as both means to earn a living (as does MY) as well as to make well-reasoned points (MY? Hmmm...). For CH, the role of provocateur is a side-effect of his pursuits, although I won't deny that he used the notoriety to advance his career and amplify his celebrity, but it's fundamentally different.  CH is more like Patrick Buchanan, willing to bloody his knuckles for what he believes in, and if get gets a rep, so much the better. MY is like someone who wants to go down in history for delivering the best The Aristocrats joke.

Maher's association of MY and CH may have been hinted at by an unintended consequence of what I perceive to be a trend toward "narrative journalism" in favor of traditional reportage in the front lines of the press. Whereas we know the issues associated with the story becoming more important than the facts (cf. George Packer's The New Yorker takedown of Rolling Stone), there seems to be a blurring of what's op-ed, what's genuine analysis, what's gumshoe reporting, and what's just saying whatever to make a buck. If you can no longer tell just by looking at the headline, then it's all one and MY is just as much a "journalist" as CH, George Packer (op cit), Dexter Filkins, David Halberstam, Sy Hersh, and HL f'in Mencken.

Compare Hitchens to Mencken and Milo to Bob Saget, but the men associated by "to" should not be in the same category as the men from which they are separated by "and". I won't link, just google Saget Aristocrats. 

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