Friday, December 16, 2011

RIP Christopher Hitchens

Today America ended its war in Iraq and Christopher Hitchens passed away.
Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, With Wit 
By WILLIAM GRIMES Published: December 16, 2011 
Christopher Hitchens, a slashing polemicist in the tradition of Thomas Paine and George Orwell who trained his sights on targets as various as Henry Kissinger, the British monarchy and Mother Teresa, wrote a best-seller attacking religious belief, and dismayed his former comrades on the left by enthusiastically supporting the American-led war in Iraq, died Thursday at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was 62. The cause was pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer, said the magazine Vanity Fair, which announced the death. 
In recent days Mr. Hitchens had stopped treatment and entered hospice care at the Houston hospital. He learned he had cancer while on a publicity tour in 2010 for his memoir, “Hitch-22,” and began writing and, on television, speaking about his illness frequently. “In whatever kind of a ‘race’ life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist,” Mr. Hitchens wrote in Vanity Fair, for which he was a contributing editor. 
There is a fluke symmetry there that might tempt some to find a deeper meaning, but there is no deeper meaning.

America's occupation Iraq -- a Neoconservative abomination which should never have happened -- lasted far too long, cost far too much in blood and treasure, and was ended by the conscious actions of sovereign governments.

Hitchens -- who possessed a keen, combustive intellect -- became deranged after 9/11 and thereafter used his keen, combustive intellect to support the Neocon's Iraqi abomination and thus allowed the smirking dregs of American Conservatism the use of the phrase "But even the Liberal Christoper Hitchens..." as an ideological sledgehammer whenever remorseless reality threatened to close in on them.

He held on a long time against a very aggressive form of cancer, and died because that is almost always what happens with very aggressive forms of cancer.

Here is Mr. Hitchens in fine form, letting the air out of the ideology of Ayn Rand

And deforesting the lazy, leafy kudzu of bullshit that had begun to immediately grow over the real and dreadful legacy of Ronald Reagan.


Anonymous said...

As good as a tribute can be...


Bukko Boomeranger said...

How long before some God-bothering fcukwit will claim that Hitchens had a deathbed conversion to belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and other Invisible Sky Wizard fairytalebelievery?

Denny Smith said...

The deathbed conversion? That will happen immediately.
His is the finest mind of my generation, and, as one of the pundits said, if you heard you, you felt as if you knew him.
I did, and I am already missing him greatly.
A sad, sad day for us all.

Unknown said...

Another great mind gone. I'm sipping Jamison's in his memory (he'd understand)

Cirze said...

When I read of his death last night, I cried. He was a fine, caring friend who shared his brilliance with anyone who happened to be within earshot.

I was lucky to have been there several times.

I will miss him daily, his incisive commentary, his over-sparkling wit and his graciousness to all who encounter him in argument.

I could comment on his problems with making too many friends, some of them among the neoCons which served to embarrass him greatly later (not that he would ever mention it), but I won't as everyone has something in his or her past to feel badly about.

I thought he was a good example, an excellent example really, of a really intelligent man who tried too hard to understand the arguments of connivers, but that his perspective gave us even more ground upon which to examine them for the truth.

Thank you, Christopher, you made my life brighter.


P.S. Go read his works!

Beth E. said...

Hitchens own answer to the 'deathbed conversion' bullshit:

StonyPillow said...

Nine years it was thundering
His life's seconds numbering

But it stopped
Never to go again
When the old man died.

Seldom is one tempted to chide you for being too Christian, but I find the irony... ironic.

greatestwirefan said...

A scumbag of the first order who felt 'exhilaration' after 9/11 and continued to be a war-mongering asshole until he died. Sorry, I'll save my sympathy for the innocents who lost their lives in this never-ending 'war on terror'.

Mister Roboto said...

@Beth E: I recall a Sunday-school teacher telling us young'uns that the God of orthodox Christianity doesn't much care for "foxhole Christians" anyway.

Bride of Chucky said...

Hitch's deathbed conversion? The hospital chaplain has resigned, looking forward to a life of reason

Sophist said...

Witnesses reported that his last words were "The Iraq War survives."

Mal said...

One of the great tragedies of the last decade or so was the death of Christopher Hitchens 10 years before he physically died.

Tom Allen said...

Hitchens: "a keen, combustive intellect" & "a very aggressive form of cancer". Appropriate, I suppose. I wonder if that will be my obituary as well. I guess I still have time to change my ways. Sorry, just thinking out loud. :-(

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. Much to despise here.
As someone who is an atheist that is not anti religion (is this akin to Bill Hicks' against the troops/for the war stance?) I never felt his atheist rants were particularly sophisticated. They never rose above gifted high school debater level to me. Actually, sometimes they were worse.

Anonymous said...

I should add it is a given that the war cheerleading is his worst crime. Not too keen on the misogyny either.