Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: As Annoying When Talking about Music as Everything Else


As to the synthetic Stones-Beatles debate, he states:  “I later vastly preferred Mick Jagger’s ‘Street Fighting Man,’ which had been written for my then-friend Tariq Ali, to the Beatles’ more conciliatory ‘You Say You Want a Revolution’ . . .“ Well, in so stating, Hitchens makes two tangible errors:  “Street Fighting Man” is unequivocally not a Mick Jagger song—conceding the point that he wrote its lyrics—and the Beatles’ song to which he refers is rather entitled “Revolution 1”.  Mick Jagger just is not equivalent to the Rolling Stones.  Ask Keith Richards, for instance, on this point.  And, what of Lennon’s unabashedly atheistic song “Imagine”?

The fundamental line must be drawn here:  Christopher Hitchens appreciates music but is reluctant in so doing because of music’s historical and literary nexus with the sacred and godly, as in Milton.  Moreover, such reluctance betrays itself in his several factual miscues apropos of music, and, in particular, music he claims to value.