Hitchens On His Gay Side, His “Conservative Marxism”, And His Money Motive

Hitchens On His Gay Side, His “Conservative Marxism”, And His Money Motive June 6, 2010

Promoting his new book,Hitch-22: A Memoir, last weekend Christopher Hitchens provided frequently witty replies to frequently dimwitted questions from the New York Times’s Deborah Solomon. Here are a few provocative highlights:

What did you mean to suggest by including the detail about your long-ago flings with two men who became part of Margaret Thatcher’s administration?

There are still people who want to criminalize homosexuality one way or another, and I thought it might be useful if more heterosexual men admitted that they are a little bit gay, as is everyone, and that homosexuality is a form of love and not just sex.

Not everyone is “a little bit gay,” as you say. Do you think your basic sexual confusion underlies your political confusions?

No, I wouldn’t call it confusion. I’d call it a punctuated consistency. I argue in the book that my principles were the same throughout.

You’re a Washington-based polemicist who has written in support of the Iraq war but who was previously a self-described socialist with a column in The Nation. Why do you see yourself as consistent?

I still think like a Marxist in many ways. I think the materialist conception of history is valid. I consider myself a very conservative Marxist.

Did you write the book for money?

Of course, I do everything for money. Dr. Johnson is correct when he says that only a fool writes for anything but money. It would be useful to keep a diary, but I don’t like writing unpaid. I don’t like writing checks without getting paid.

I trust you answer the e-mail of your friends at no charge.

I haven’t got to the point yet where phone calls and e-mails are billable, but I am working on it. That would be happiness defined for me. What I’m hoping is to get a 900 number, so I can tell all my friends, “Call me back on my 900 number: 1-900-HITCH22.” I can talk for a long time.

But who would want to listen?
That would be the 900-number test.

I am such a fool.

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