Christmas Hathos Alert

Tis the season for forced displays of marital fidelity:

Herman Cain is back, this time with his wife Gloria. The former GOP presidential campaign has just cut a new holiday video featuring families around the nation wishing viewers a Merry Christmas as the couple sit in front of a glowing fireplace, the word "Peace" on the mantle, with Gloria's hand in her husband's. Cain his shown reading the Christmas story from a dog-eared Bible in a family living room. "Peace be with you," says Gloria Cain. "Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season from our family to yours," adds Cain as the two share flirty looks.

One abiding thing that Hitch and I shared was a passionate hatred of the Christmas season. He rightly saw it as a fascistic enterprise to insist that your mood be in sync with everyone else. And that your mood also be happy. Fuck that. I think one reason we got along so easily was our mutual passion about personal freedom, to live our lives as we fucking well choose. That kind of meddling – from right and left – was something up with which he would not put. Here's a classic moment when Hitch devastates the know-nothing Christianism of our time:

Of course, Hitch was not a Puritan in this. He just insisted on pleasure when he chose, not on when some cultural consensus or divine sadist (as he would put it) told him so. And for those who somehow see in his shortened life a salutary lesson about the long-term effects of prodigious functional alcoholism, may I offer Christopher's own retort:

I always knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle… I decided to take it because it helped my concentration, it stopped me being bored — it stopped other people being boring. It would make me want to prolong the conversation and enhance the moment. If you ask: would I do it again? I would probably say yes. But I would have quit earlier hoping to get away with the whole thing. I decided all of life is a wager and I'm going to wager on this bit… In a strange way I don't regret it. It's just impossible for me to picture life without wine, and other things, fueling the company, keeping me reading, energising me. It worked for me. It really did.

And therefore it worked for all of us. God Bless Johnnie Walker Black.