Beaucoup B.S.

May 18, 2011

The DSK case and the silly stereotypes about American and European morals.
By Christopher Hitchens

"Why is that we cannot read any discussion of a political sex scandal, or a sex scandal involving a politician, without pseudo-sophisticated comments about the supposedly different morals of Americans and Europeans? And why is it that this goes double if the politician is French, or if the reactions being quoted are from Gallic sources?"

Read more (Slate)


Anonymous said...

Hitch is careful to find details of Clinton's affair that differ from his own but the sad fact is that Hitch left his wife and children because he bored of them, a moral offense far more serious than a blow job from an eager and willing intern. His obsession also causes him to omit the fact that the vast majority of Americans supported Clinton and did not want him impeached or removed from office, which makes the Clinton example useless to the point he attempts to make. Clinton derangement syndrome.

Unknown said...

Mr. Hitchens,

This article is not without merit. Unfortunately, your timing is off. The case at hand is not a matter infidelity. It's a matter of abuse. Sure, the victim may seem "well-coached," but she does seem to have standing in her claim that she was attacked.

Your article makes a valid point. But again, it does not apply to the case at hand. Too bad you didn't publish this a week ago. Becuase as it stands right now, you get awfully close to excusing the behavior of a VIP who thinks hotel maids are not worthy of respect.

Anonymous said...

A torchon fit for primetime at any grovery store in America & abroad.

Anonymous said...

Hitch is writing a lot lately, it seems.

Is he getting better?

Hope so.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous first commenter: in this Slate piece, Hitchens is pointing out that it was Clinton's lies and abuse of power and not his infidelity that led to his impeachment. His very reason for bringing the Clinton affair is to point out that Clinton's defenders were insisting otherwise; a point that could only be strengthened by mentioning their number.

To aktow2000: you don't seem to have read any of this piece at all. The word "rape" is used in connection with DSK at least twice.

Occam said...

The ad hom from the first anonymous is misguided. Hitchens may have been a cad, but he hasn't lied about it. At least not publicly, and under oath. And he wasn't President of the United States either. If the first anonymous' criticism of Hitchens was limited to "Clinton the man treated his only wife better than Hitchens the man treated his first wife" perhaps there's an argument. Perhaps. But who cares? The issue was, and remains, that the President of the United States lied under oath. A secondary issue is that the circumstances surrounding the lie involved taking advantage of a somewhat naive young woman with low self-confidence, who was nominally his employee. That alone would get most men fired. Lying about it under oath would put them in jail. Hitchens got a divorce. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

'Occam' said it best...

just a minute said...

several things about this case don't add up to me.

one, this is a figure who has a history of using his power and influence to sexualize relationships with women in his immediate circle. this modus operandi suits a fairly common cross-contamination of eros with authority that most worldly but a-psychological men are prone to, particularly ones with unresolved desires for fusion with the mother. its this unresolved fusion anxiety alongside a culturally condoned disowning of emotional life for the sake of career-pursuits that makes shitting where you eat a thrilling gamble and a neurotically satisfying payoff.

the other reason this modus operandi is so common is the expectation of discretion and freedom to keep playing it forward. for whatever reason, the powerful expect the less powerful to keep their inconvenient truths hidden. this expectation of discretion persists in the culture, even though it gets undone and exposed as a house of cards over and again. no matter. men in power still find the women who in some way serve them or are held in sway by their station, knowledge, or authority, as distinctly irresistible, not only for convenience of access, the tonic of shared workplace experiences and the narcissistically-sought glimmer of one's reflected glory in other eyes, but because these men in power expect that their underlings have more to loose and are easier to discredit than they are. i should say at this point, women in power who adopt the male ethos in order to achieve their ambition can behave in the very same manner and often do... its only for the sake of convenience that i speak in a monogender.

what doesn't make sense to me is this: why would a man with a history of indiscretions that speak to an assumption as to risk-calculation and a desire for the safe cloaking and concealment of his underground life, suddenly act like a foolish madman, immune to a thought as to consequence? no man is so powerful that he would compute that a total stranger, someone outside the drama of his purview, would not feel aggrieved by such a spontaneous violation. there is nothing in his record of conduct to think kahn is capable of this kind of reckless gratuity, or so delusional and uncalculating. quite the opposite.

and while his record does indicate track when it comes to coercion, coercion is a tool of power fetishized, its not the MO of a rapist. a rapist takes what he wants as an instantaneous act of selfish outrage against life; a coercive player, by contrast, is a tactical seducer looking to see to what extent his influence and power can wear down any resistance, and how much he can enlarge a scope of action, satisfy a base need to defile those who remind him of his underlying anxiety around his own potency, and his fears of tenderness and vulnerability.

if anything, kahn's libidinous track makes him an easy target for set-up, especially in the court of public opinion where our own sexual and moral and psychological powers of discernment are next to nil and terribly subject to the simplest provocative innuendo. we've also been so overtaken by a crank feminist mother-knows-best political correctness that our first reflex in cases like this is to indemnify the account of a violation in order to compensate for centuries of treating women like shit. since most political maneuvers involve character assassination, we should perhaps be a little more self-conscious of our way of looking at things and how these can be exploited for gain by manipulators of the body sheeple.

hitchens once said one should never be afraid to read arguments against one's position. thusly, i submit... Regime Change at the IMF: The Frame-Up of Dominique Strauss-Kahn? by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky >

Anonymous said...

You're right, it doesn't add up and it shouldn't shock anyone if it's a setup.

As for the Clinton impeachment, it happened because Republicans Shared Hitch's obsessive hatred for Clinton. America didn't want it and Democrats didn't want it. Nobody including the obsessed was concerned about "abuse of power."

just a minute said...

as coda to my comment above, i didn't go into the complex factors that motivate women into these relationships of unequal power, which almost certainly are mostly consensual, out of a desire to keep to point. and i would also allow that a minority of the kind manage to escape dysfunction or exploitation, but clearly too few to be the rule.


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir