I find it oddly appropriate that Saddam's approach to his trial is to refuse to recognize its authority to try him, and to claim still to be President of Iraq. This is, of course, in essence the approach taken by Charles Stuart, that other Man of Blood, and we all know how well that worked out for him.
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I was distinctly freaked the other night by watching part of an episode of Brideshead Revisited, and was slightly surprised how much I wanted a bunch of child soldiers armed with anachronistic AK47s to burst in and blow Charles, Sebastian and the rest of them away. When did I replace my vague tenderness for that sort of Oxford homoerotic blathering with a deep angst and hatred? I really am not sure.
Certainly, when I went there in 68, I was only too aware of the extent to which the book had hideously deformed some of the people around me. There was a whole queer subculture of the posh and aspirant posh that sat around drinking and spending money they had not got and most of them were ravingly right-wing. As someone with a northern accent, no money, and a lot of sexual complexities to sort out - and I was already spending a lot of time in Manchester with the trans hustler crowd there - I really could not be doing with them, though oddly Duncan Fallowell, who was part of that whole thing, became a friend of sorts in later life.
It was that whole world in which Hitchens did some of his sexual slumming, which is part of the reason, the other being vicious homophobia, why sections of the Left were hostile to him.
And now he is number 5 Public Intellectual in the world, allegedly. I think they mean loud.