Vidal Loco? Hitchens to appear in new documentary about Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

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Photo from NY Post. Credit: Reuters

Thanks to one of the readers of this blog for pointing out this tidbit from the New York Post.  The documentary, “Best of Enemies”  follows the often nasty rivalry between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.  Hitchens is included in the preview clip:

NY Post Article and video clip

The relationship between Hitch and Gore Vidal was somewhat strained.  It all had to do with a difference of opinion about whether Vidal asked Hitch to be his heir apparent (or his ‘dauphin’) or, as according to Vidal, Christopher wanted the title.  Christopher’s version makes sense, especially as Vidal seems to have become  generally more bitter in his latter days (I base this on seeing the film Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia). Christopher, apparently, lost respect for Vidal after hearing his consipiricy theories about the 911 attacks. In a Vanity Fair piece called “Vidal Loco” (which is also included in “Arguably“), he says:

“He  [Vidal] openly says that the Bush administration was ‘probably’ in on the 9/11 attacks, a criminal complicity that would ‘certainly fit them to a T’; that Timothy McVeigh was ‘a noble boy’, no more murderous than generals Patton and Eisenhower; and that ‘Roosevelt saw to it that we got that war’ by inciting the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor,”

He calls Vidal a crack-pot and refers to his post -911 attack writings as  “a small anthology of half-argued and half-written shock pieces [which] either insinuated or asserted that the administration had known in advance of the attacks”.

This is not the first time Hitchens has appeared in a film about Gore Vidal.  In Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, there is a scene where Christopher tries  to get a book autographed by the author, but is denied by an assistant.

Comic Relief. Hitchens fails the Ten Commandments game

If you want to laugh, and simultaneously see a demonstration of Christopher Hitchens’ wit, you have to watch this fourteen minute video.   A Christian radio show host (a Mr. Todd Friel) sets up a highly ridiculous premise for a game show called  “What If?”. The game entails the said Christian radio show host pretending his beliefs are facts, and asking Hitch what he would do in particularly absurd circumstances.  The amusing part is that Christopher treats each question as if it’s being asked by a legitimate journalist, and answers it wryly and sharply.  He does not get caught in any of the silly traps set by Mr. Friel.

The funniest exchange happens toward the end of the interview:

Friel: Sir, is it possible that the reason you rage so much against God is because you just want to live your own autonomous way, living anyway that you want to, any lifestyle that you prefer, without being accountable to your creator?

Hitchens: I think that’s highly probable, yes.