Hitch's inner child?














































































































An Open Letter to Seth MacFarlane

Hey, "Family Guy" guy. Can we borrow Stewie to dump on religion?

By John D. Spalding

Dear Seth,

I'm writing to offer you a unique voice-over opportunity. You may be aware of the NYT bestselling book, "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," by Christopher Hitchens. And you're probably familiar with Hitch--the always controversial, always entertaining Anglo-American man of letters. He's the only regular on the cable news talk show circuit who sounds like he got loaded and fell out of an Evelyn Waugh novel.

Anyway, I read "God Is Not Great" recently, and in every line I heard a familiar voice--Stewie Griffin's. For example, take the passage in which Hitch recalls a schoolboy encounter with the Bible:

"The headmaster, who led the daily services and prayers and held the Book, and was a bit of a sadist and a closeted homosexual (and whom I have long since forgiven because he ignited my interest in history and lent me my first copy of P.G. Wodehouse), was giving a no-nonsense talk to some of us one evening. 'You may not see the point of all this faith now,' he said. 'But you will one day, when you start to lose loved ones.'

"Again, I experienced a stab of sheer indignation as well as disbelief. Why, that would be as much as saying that religion might not be true, but never mind that, since it can be relied upon for comfort. How contemptible. I was then nearing thirteen, and becoming quite the insufferable little intellectual. I had never heard of Sigmund Freud--though he would have been very useful to me in understanding the headmaster--but I had just been given a glimpse of his essay, 'The Future of an Illusion.'"

See what I mean? Stewie Griffin! Now, no disrespect to Hitchens. I agree with much of what he says, just as I agree with much of what Stewie says. I simply have trouble distinguishing between the two.

Which brings me to my proposal: Would you be willing to read a couple of paragraphs from "God Is Not Great" (the aforementioned lines would be fine) in the voice of Stewie for an audio file I'd post at SoMA? I'm pretty good at impressions, and I tried reading in the voice of Peter Griffin's precocious toddler myself. But it's a much harder voice to master than I thought. That's when I realized there's only one person who can do this right.

Unfortunately, I can't compensate you, especially at your rate. Rather, I'm hoping you will see the merit--nay, the necessity--of Stewie reading from Hitch's book. Plus, how long would it take you to read two paragraphs?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

John D. Spalding


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John D. Spalding is the editor of SoMAreview.com. His last piece was The Video Messiah.


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