battle of the gin-soaked titans

If you haven’t heard about yet, or if you’ve only read the account in the Independent, or the play-by-play at AntiWar dotcom, you might want to head over to the Democracy Now site and watch last week’s full-speed head-on collision between former left-leaning journalist turned neocon, Christopher Hitchens, and British Member of Parliament, George Galloway. I’m not a particular fan of either Hitchens (at least in his most recent incarnation) or Galloway, so I wasn’t really pulling for either one, but I watched it because I knew it would be a hell of a fight… The two have been very vocal in the recent past concerning their visceral hatred for one another, and, love them or hate them, there’s no denying that they’re both brilliant men who can more than hold their own.

Did Galloway really profit from the UN’s “Oil for Food” program in Iraq, as has been claimed by the Republicans? Can Hitchens’ jump between ideological ships be explained by a desire for greater success? I don’t know… They might both be slimy as hell. Hitchens might have sold his soul to the Devil in order to sell more books, and Galloway might, as Hitchens suggests, be in cahoots with dictators in the Arab world who support the jihad against America. Like I said, I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of either one… All I can tell you is that if you like bare-knuckle boxing, and if you’re up on your current events, you might enjoy this very heated debate moderated by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman. (So, turn off the fucking Emmies and follow that link.)

While I’d like to say that Galloway won hands down (with his talk of how Hitchens had undergone a “backward metamorphosis from a butterfly to a slug,” and his proclamation that the drunken “Popinjay,” Hitchens, was “willing to fight to the last drop of other people’s blood”), I think I’ve got to give the advantage to Hitchens. But, I do so for a completely illogical personal reason — he reminds me of fellow Brit, Patrick McGoohan… McGoohan, for those of you who don’t know is an actor, who is perhaps best known for his role as the creator and star of the British series, The Prisoner.) At one point in the debate, Hitchens even says something to the effect of, “I am the prisoner.” (I guess he wanted to sure that I made the connection.)

The one thing that kind of freaked me out was how, at the end of the debate, Hitchens pointed out to all of those in the audience who had sided with Galloway that they would be sorry, implying that they would be identified from the video taken of the event… Maybe I read too much into the comment… Maybe he just meant that they would be embarrassed by how they had behaved, but it seemed to me as though there was a more sinister implication, like “The government knows about you now.”

(Speaking of McGoohan, have any of your heard of a 1980 “funny remake” of The Prisoner entitled, “The Laughing Prisoner“? If so, can you tell me how I could get a copy?)

And, lastly, while we’re on the subject of good debates, you might also want to check out this classic exchange between candidate for Governor of Virginia, Jerry Kilgore, and journalist Tim Russert (who was moderating a debate between Kilgore and his rival) over the question of whether or not Kilgore would criminalize abortion as Governor. (Russert guts him on the stage leaves him there to die.)

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  1. Teddy Glass
    Posted September 19, 2005 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Crooks and Liars has a highlights reel from the Galloway/Hitchens debate, in case you don’t want to watch all two hours.

  2. Jessica
    Posted September 19, 2005 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    You’re right not to love Galloway.

    Here’s something from Greg Palast

    The ugly truth behind the left’s newest antiwar celebrity-

    During his debate with Salman Rushdie at the recent Edinburgh TV Festival, someone asked George Galloway if television should broadcast an adaptation of Rushdie

  3. chris
    Posted September 19, 2005 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh why must you remind me?!?!?!? I just lost my entire Prisoner series that I had downloaded onto DVR and just recently lost to I don’t know what kind of technological f/u.

    Yeah, but look at Hitchens company: Ron Silver and that SNL reject…Dennis…Dennis…something.

    I will trade the three of them for Powell and McCain anyday.

  4. mark
    Posted September 19, 2005 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, Chris, if you decide to purchase the whole Prisoner collection from Amazon, be sure to do so by way of the handy new link at the side of the page. (If you do, I’ll make a few dollars to pay for hosting the site.)

    And that’s link to the Palast article is a great addition to the thread, Jessica. Thanks.

  5. Posted November 8, 2005 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    In the days of yore it was oppressor-ish , though still presently it is long-lost.
    A mountain opposes me!
    A rainbow searching for a desolate sea is clutching at my rock looming above a misunderstood saint.
    Their thorn of heartache is vicious.

  6. Meta
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Christopher Hitchens has Died.

    He will be missed.

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