Hitchens and Vegan Vixens

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was over catching up on recent posting by the good Dr. Burgess-Jackson. Dr. Burgess-Jackson writes an excellent blog and your Maximum Leader commends it to you. But, your Maximum Leader must take issue with two recent postings. In this post the good Doctor is sad to see that Christopher Hitchens is engaging in name-calling and innuendo. Your Maximum Leader loves reading Hitchens’ stuff, and really enjoys seeing him on the telly. (And thanks to the Poet Laureate, even owns one of Hitchens’ books.) But really… Hitchens has always been in the name-calling business. He does quite a bit of name-calling in “Missionary Position,” his book on Mother Teresa. And he is not above calling people names in interviews.

The thing about Christopher Hitchens is that he tells you exactly what he thinks about something. Which is refreshing and aggrevating. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t always agree with Hitchens, but he always finds Hitchens engaging. If your Maximum Leader and Hitchens were introduced, your Maximum Leader would buy dinner and drinks and have a great time. Hitchens is the rare journalist/commenator who believes that you are listening to him because you want to hear about what he knows, and what he thinks about something. He has a point of view, and vigourously defends it. There is no feigned objectivity. Hitchens is great at what he does. But what he does often involves name-calling.

The next item on the good Doctor’s blog that interested your Maximum Leader was this. Your Maximum Leader will quote in full:

Joanna Lucas brought this site to my attention. I had never heard of the Vegan Vixens. I’m wondering what scantily clad women have to do with sparing animals pain, suffering, deprivation, confinement, and death. I’m not saying the women in question were coerced into participating, but aren’t they being objectified–aren’t their bodies being used–to make a point, and isn’t that objectionable? Does the end of liberating animals justify sexist means? Would it justify racist or anti-Semitic means? Shouldn’t one argue for liberation rather than appeal to people’s emotions?

Now to remind you, in case you’ve forgotten. Your Maximum Leader is not a vegan, or a vegetarian. He eats (and enjoys) meat, fish, and poultry. But your Maximum Leader is concerned about excessive pain, suffering, and privation inflicted on animals. Having reminded you of this, allow your Maximum Leader to state that what he wanted to comment upon was objectifing women.

As the good Doctor said, these women are all willing participants in this site. They have all chosen to be scantily clad on the internet. Is it possible to objectify yourself through your own free will? Frankly, in American society, using an attractive body to “pitch” or “sell” and idea is an effective tactic. We run (as anyone who has traveled to Europe knows) a little on the Puritanical side when it comes to sex. So long as it s voluntary, is it really objectionable? If seeing these attractive women cause me to think, even for a moment, about the cause for which they speak; isn’t that a good thing? Perhaps there is something in the good Doctor’s comments (or underlying the good Doctor’s comments) that upsets your Maximum Leader. There is a free will element to the women’s participation (and frankly any woman’s participation) in showing off their bodies for a cause (or just for money). If a woman freely decides to wear a revealing swimsuit, or be naked, or have intercourse, or do other things to advance a cause or get a paycheck is she really doing something objectionable? The woman is free to choose another course.

It is something to think about further.

And in case your mind started to wander… Your Maximum Leader has said before, he is troubled by pornography. (The site in question, by the way, is not a porn site and is work safe - provided you can look at attractive (scantily clad) women at work.) He would like to see pornography on the internet segregated into a “virtual red light district” so to speak. Give all porn sites extensions like “.xxx” or “.sex.” This change of extension would give people who do not want to see (or prevent minors for whom they are responsible from seeing) porn an easy way of blocking those sites. This is not a censorship issue. It is a means of assuring that unwilling, or unwitting, individuals don’t accidentially visit sites that they really don’t want to see. 

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Dr. Burgess-Jackson has written a short post on your Maximum Leader giving him a little hell on Christopher Hitchens and scantily clad women. Your Maximum Leader agrees that smart people shouldn’t have to resort to name-calling. But that is part of Hitchens’ schtick. He has created a persona, and lives up to it. Your Maximum Leader is quite sure that if Hitchens were allowed to smoke in his television interviews he would. That would add to the effect of the persona.

Thanks to Dr. Burgess-Jackson, who really is one of your Maximum Leader’s favourite bloggers, for the “Analphilospher-lanche.” And if you are visiting this space for the first time, your Maximum Leader appreciates the opportunity to indoctrinate you.

Carry on.

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