[Found in a dumpster behind the University of Michigan College of Liberal Arts: the first draft of Professor Juan Cole's latest cri de coeur]
Christopher Hitchens owes me a big apology. And a free two liter bottle of Pepsi®.
I belong to a private email discussion group called The MySpace Center for Global Strategic IM Chat Leadership. It has academics, journalists and many of the top popular policy makers on it. We abide by a strict guideline: “the first rule of Chat Club is, there is no Chat Club.” It is run, edited and moderated by former National Security Council staffer for Carter and Reagan, Gary Sick, along with Page Bennett, who is totally like one of the coolest sophomores at Glenbrook North. Participants talk about a wide range of controversial matters, from geopolitics to hairstyles to whether the new legwarmers at Claires are bogus, without worrying about being in trouble or looking like a total dorkwad. It is a rough, rough draft.
Hitchens somehow hacked into the site, or joined and lurked, or had a crony pass him things. Page suspects he was helped by Jeremy Levitz, who is this really creepy guy who is always staring at her during 6th period geometry. However he accomplished it, he has now made my private email messages the subject of an attack on me in Slate. (I am not linking to the article because it is highly unethical, and totally totally uncool). Moreover, he did not even have the decency to quote the many sarcastic emoticons.
Why does he owe me Pepsi? Because I believe Hitchens has also somehow hacked into my private Kroger Fresh Values card. I recently received an e-coupon notification from Kroger that I would receive a free bottle of Pepsi® product on my next purchase, and that this included my choice of Pepsi®, Diet Pepsi®, Sierra Mist®, Mountain Dew® or Mountain Dew Code Red™. Imagine the Orwellian chill I experienced when the checkout woman informed me that my e-coupon “has already been redeemed.” Where is your shame, Hitchins? Where is my Pepsi®?
I'd like to take this opportunity to complain about the profoundly dishonest character of "attack journalism." Journalists are supposed to interview the subjects about which they write, not hound them endlessly, anonymously, in their chat rooms and checkout lanes. Mr. Hitchens never contacted me about this piece. He never sought clarification of anything. He never asked permission to quote my private mail. Worse, he continues to taunt me from his secret hiding place in 5th floor bathroom air vents.
Major journalists have a privileged position. Not just anyone can be published in Slate. Most academics could not get a gig there (I've never been asked to write for it, and seriously, what’s up with that shit?). Hitchens is paid to publish there because he is a prominent journalist. But then he should behave like a journalist, not like a hired gun for the far Right, smearing hapless targets of his ire, and by hapless I don’t mean me because I am totally not hapless, and have an advance degree, and serve on many important committees.
That isn't journalism. For some reason it drives the Right absolutely crazy that I keep this little web log, and so they keep trotting out these clowns in amateurish sniping attacks. It is rather sad, to look out one’s office window and see the teeming throngs of deranged rightwing crazy people, and their attack journalism sniper clowns. It is even more sad when the Dean will not approve my request for bullet proof office glass to protect me from the armies of menacing Zionist attack clowns.
The reason for Hitchens' theft and publication of my private IM chat is that I object to the characterization of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as having "threatened to wipe Israel off the map." I object to this translation of what he said on two grounds. First, it gives the impression that he wants to play Hitler to Israel's Poland, mobilizing an armored corps to move in and kill people. Second, even if it were true, Hitchens acts like that’s bad or something.
Since Mr. Hitchens wants to splash my private IMs all over the internet against my will, just like the local Korean agents of the Bush cabal who put secret monitoring devices in my dry cleaning bags, I'm glad to share the message stream from the chat room.
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2006 15:34:18 -0400
Ahmad_as_hell: fokkin jewz they gonna get teh nukez!!!!!!!!!!!!
PageGNHS08: lol!!! i no what u mean
PageGNHS08: the jews at GNHS totally blow up grade curve
Ahmad_as_hell: no serius i hate jewz & gt nukez yall!!
Ahmad_as_hell: I m enrichin u rannium bizitchz
Ahmad_as_hell: u r so totlly nuked jews!!!!!
PageGNHS08: whoa dude thts hardcore maybe u shld see ur school counselor
Juan_in_a_millyun: don’t be a narc page hez jst kiddin
Ahmad_as_hell: no way dude those jewz are fokkn ded forilla !!!!!
PageGNHS08: ur creepin me out we saw movie at GNHS abt columbine
PageGNHS08: im jst sayn
Juan_in_a_millyun: shutup page hez jst doin his a mad persian rhyme flow
Juan_in_a_millyun: if u narc u r totally not going to UM or nicks prom party
Maddie_Albrt: hi page!!!! Wow ur pic is so cute!!! my frnd Bill totally wants to meet u
Maddie_Albrt: he used 2 b prez of US heres his pic
Hitchens is like, “you said that Khomeini never called for wiping Israel from the face of the map,” and I’m like, “dude I never said anything at all about Khomeini,” and he’s like “whatever.” Hitchens should please quote me on Khomeini and Israel and stop talking like he knows what I’m about, because I’m me, and he’s totally not.
But you know what? I’m totally like, whatever. I bet Hitchins is just jealous of the cool kids because we have tenure and get the best campus parking places. It’s totally sad and pathetic, because I don’t think it’s any big secret that he used to hang out with the cool kids until he got drunk at the Modern Language Association kegger and totally booted all over the lobby at the Hyatt. It was totally gross, and Edward Said said that Susan Sontag told him that she heard he also totally peed his pants later by the pool. After that he started hanging out in the RPG rooms with the retarded neocon Bush warmonger dweebs, and now you can also totally tell he uses zit cream.
But you know what, “Piss-to-pher?” I’ll tell you what.
ONE TWO THREE FOUR!!!! WE DON’T WANT YOUR STUPID WAR!
FIVE EIGHT SIX TWO!!! GIVE US BACK OUR MOUNTAIN DEW®!!!!
NINE ONE NINE THREE!!! WE ALSO WANT THE PEPSI®!!
gtg dude, I have a faculty interview at Yale