Letters From a Young Contrarian

U. S.Correspondent IAugust 18, 2009

* The word "Contrarian" used in this article is a homage to Christopher Hitchens' use of it in his book. It is not the standard "being contrarian for the sake of it" but rather the intellectual questioning until you find the basic truth behind each concept. Its etymology is quite different from the literary definition of the word and more like a friendly intellectual cross examination/Socratic dialogue device.

Christopher Hitchens. He has been called the Whittaker Chambers of our time. He has been called the best columnist and/or literary critic and/or literary provocateur of the past 30 years. He is the author of the first ever polemic polemicist movement.

Whether you agree or disagree with his Iraq War supporting, Mother Teresa hating, Whiskey breathing, Priest/Rabbi/Imam debate rearkicking views, he is just, without any trepidation, the most badass public intellectual in the world.

I was introduced to his writing at age 13 in 2001, when my grandpa sent me his just released book Letters to a Young Contrarian. With a note "He's brilliant, but dont call Mother Teresa "a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud in the Missionary position" in public. Ok?". Well, I didnt turn out to be that extreme, but I understood his message. Contrarianism has gotten us every major advance in intellectual history.

When people said human flying will never be achieved, contrarians said "Why (the f) not?".

When people said the sun revolves around the earth, contrarions said "How (the f) do you know?".

When people considered the Oracle at Delphi to be the end all of all knowledge, contrarians said, "Hey kids, dont listen to (these a**holes.) these ideas, because they arent true."

Socrates', (please disregard the historical context that he engaged in the greek tradition of sleeping with young boys, you know as they say "Then a Philosopher, Today a Pervert"), trial and death for corrupting minds forecasted a metaphor of the treatment contrarians receive in the short term.

But since "taking the piss out of you" does not have a death penalty nowadays, what contrarions face is angry dismissal at first and angry snubs when they turn out to be right.

And since fat, beergutted,rifle carrying, redneck, psycho right wing nutjobs (is that too negative) have come to be involved in the political debate, this young contrarian has turned his attention to a far more intellectually rigorous examination of rational thought.

NFL Football. U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.

So here are bullet points from a young contrarian on this season of football predictions.

  • Jay Cutler is a fraud and he is going to be exposed like a startled deer in a woodland graze.
  • Ben Roethlisberger had a P.R. killing off-field issue in the summer, after the Steelers won the Superbowl. Wait. Is this 2006? Doesnt matter, the Steelers arent winning a championship with that O-line again.
  • The Packers are the best team in the NFC outside of the Giants and they are going to kill their schedule.
  • Mike Singletary did this. I think that's a perfectly sufficient reason why the 49ers are making the playoffs
  • The Broncos, Seahawks, Jets, Chiefs (Good New Coaches, New Schemes) will stack wins they shouldnt, before December, before teams figure them out.
  • Josh Mcdaniels is the next great coach in the NFL. Imagine what it takes to run out a probowl qb your first year. Yes. Titanium. Balls. 
  • Don't believe the hype about LT
  • Michael Vick will help whichever team signs him by doing what they say but will be involved in another off-field incident, which may or may not get him banned for life.
  • Hey Brett "VD" Favre (just when you think it's gone... Simmons), here's why the Packers didnt want you back and why Vikings arent going to win squat. link

Of course, the objective of this intellectual exercise, is to invite disagreement. But the fundamental step required to complete it is to know exactly why you disagree and to make sure they have indelible intellectual merit and can withstand the questioning of a contrarian.