The Un-Hitch

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Will Smith as Hitch was adept at endearing himself to the chicas. Alfred Hitchcock as Hitch preferred blondes. Christopher Hitchens as Hitch prefers . . . the company of men, I suppose. But then, as the great Homer Simpson once said, who doesn’t?

Hitchens does have a point, though. I mean, really, when was the last time Queen Elizabeth said something funny? Genuinely funny. You know, funny enough to make men in bars elbow each other and say, “She’s hot.”

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6 Responses to “The Un-Hitch”

  1. Sandi Says:

    I assume this was intended to get a response from me. I have not read the article, just a summary of it, nor do I intend to read it. As I’ve said in this forum before, I’m not a fan of Hitchens. More often than not he says things with the intent to offend rather than enlighten, which I find unconstructive and immature. The few times I agree with him on the merits of an issue, I feel kind of icky about it. Humor is inherently subjective, and if men as a group don’t tend to get women’s senses of humor as a group, then that’s their loss as far as I’m concerned. Personally, the funniest people I have ever known (including Jeneen Metz, easily the funniest person ever to be in my life) were all women. My view is that Hitchens was just stirring s**t with this rather than trying to contribute anything of value to the cultural dialogue.

  2. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I assume this was intended to get a response from me.

    Why? Have I given you reason to think I wish to needle you?

    My view is that Hitchens was just stirring s**t with this rather than trying to contribute anything of value to the cultural dialogue.

    I don’t care for Hitchens, either, and generally for the same reason. However, in this case, it was declared up-front that bombast was all the article was. The name of the column, after all, is “Provocation.” That gives Hitchens’ usual bumptiousness more of a self-mocking tone, if that’s not an oxymoron.

    In that context, I thought it was rather funny in places, in a distinctly British way. I would’ve thought my comments on it made it abundantly clear I didn’t take it to be a serious argument. (Though I think there are some keen observations in it — e.g., Fran Lebowitz’s that being funny is the male equivalent of being pretty; and Hitchens’ elaboration thereof, that men have to be funny: it’s our only entree into women’s society.)

  3. Sandi Says:

    I didn’t mean it in a bad way, JU! I thought people liked getting reactions from me! 🙂 I also didn’t think you took the argument seriously, well, necessarily. The use of Queen Elizabeth as an example of all women was the giveaway there. I was just being my cranky self in my response — not directed at anyone in particular. (It’s my way of being funny … again showing how subjective humor is).

    In seriousness, though, I wonder whether even self-conscious provocation has much redeeming value. When I was in college, I had a boyfriend who would take the side of an argument that he didn’t even believe in (i.e., women provoke men to rape them) just to see how I would react. It was a waste of time to engage since there was no mind to change with an argument. And the whole dynamic reeked a bit of lording one’s superior social position over a less powerful person in order to get off on it. Like making me defend women (because how could I not, otherwise I would be devaluing myself) was entertainment. He was basically a very good, sensitive guy, but I think some part of him felt threatened nonetheless. I get the same sense from Hitchens, a privileged person if there ever was one. Sort of a pulling pigtails thing with a side of hostility.

  4. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Pretty much everything I’ve ever heard Hitchens say on any subject has had a distinctly hostile undertone. It’s a shame, too, because he’s a bright guy, and obscenely well read.

    I wonder whether even self-conscious provocation has much redeeming value.

    I think it does, though not when used as a means of emotional manipulation, as your ex did. All satire is self-conscious provocation, after all. And sometimes provocation serves to generate interesting discussion.

    Which why I posted Hitchens’ article here.

  5. Whitney Says:

    JU,
    We had a distinctly female party on Friday night–a cookie exchange with decorated boxes & everything. Full-on competition. (Joe said the only competition the guys would’ve had is who used the biggest chocoate chips.)

    Anyway, I brought up this article (which I thought was funny) and all the girls just said that women are, in fact, funnier, men just don’t get it. 🙂

    I do tend to laugh harder with my female friends than with a group of men, but truth be told, Joe is the funniest person I know. Manly-man he is.

    Psychologically, the crux of the article, about men’s humor being their equivalent of women’s beauty/sexuality/etc. was quite interesting. I imagine that is partially true. Back in the dating years, I always noticed when guys were funny, and 90% of the time it made them more attractive. I always found it unfortunate for those guys who were really sly funny–who had that dry humor that I find pretty great–who ended up with women who didn’t get them 1/2 the time. Wouldn’t that be rather boring?

    Anyway, funny article.

    BTW, I crack myself up all the time, but I don’t expect anyone else (usually) to think my jokes are as funny as I think they are. My own little world is a great place to be.

  6. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I’m guessing it’s generally the case that women laugh hardest when they’re with their girlfriends, and men laugh hardest among their guy friends. There’s an extra layer of caution and self-consciousness in mixed company that sort of dampens things.

    I always found it unfortunate for those guys who were really sly funny–who had that dry humor that I find pretty great–who ended up with women who didn’t get them 1/2 the time. Wouldn’t that be rather boring?

    ‘twould. For both, I would think.

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