The City Pages, the arts and entertainment newsweekly in Minneapolis, had an article on the best artists of the year. One of the entries is jarring in its strange conclusions, the award to Christopher Hitchens:
Fueled by cigarettes, alcohol, ego, and, most importantly, intellect, Hitchens employs his excoriating eye in his Vanity Fair column, television appearances, and what’s quickly becoming his very own nonfiction canon. The only thing more surprising than the abundance of his output is his sheer audacity. After alienating pretty much every leftist in the country with his vociferous support for Bush’s invasion of Iraq, he dropped God Is Not Great, the most cogent condemnation of religion in recent memory, onto the number-one slot of the New York Times best-seller list and earned himself a National Book Award nomination in the process. Far from the vitriolic diatribe of a God-hating misanthrope like Richard Dawkins, Hitchens’s work is both appropriately respectful and right.
The City Pages is not a doctrinaire organ for the right or for religion — it’s irreverant (another winner is Stephen Colbert), and atheist-friendly (ditto for Philip Pullman), and this is a positive review of Hitchens. That last sentence, though…the complete mischaracterization of Dawkins took me aback, as did the cockeyed assessment that Hitchens is “appropriately respectful”. Hitchens isn’t respectful of religion at all, and Dawkins certainly isn’t less respectful.
Did Dawkins make a surprise visit to Minneapolis specifically to shoot Emily Condon’s dog or something?