Last week Slate presented a nice little article from the clever and snotty pen of Christopher Hitchens — surprise!
No, wait! This time Hitchens isn’t grousing merrily about knuckleheads in politics or the philosophical abuses of religion — he’s grousing merrily about How to Make a Decent Cup of Tea.
Like any experienced ex-patriate, Hitchens loves to complain about his adopted country (the U.S.A.) and how it just can’t get things right — you know, the way they are in the country he decided not to live in.
But it’s a delightful piece, in the same way it’s delightful to hear your old dad/uncle/grampaw gripe about how in the old days Coke bottles were made from solid gold and still only cost a nickel (which, back then, was made from pure silver). And so on. It’s like the male version of “when I grow old, I shall wear purple” — only it’s “when I grow old I shall bitch and moan about whatever I damn well please.”
My favorite part: “Finally, a decent cylindrical mug will preserve the needful heat and flavor for longer than will a shallow and wide-mouthed–how often those attributes seem to go together–teacup.”
The whole piece is awfully trivial, but I don’t begrudge Hitchens getting paychecks for being clever.