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   RIP, Hitch...  

12/16/2011 15:23
Posted By:  - SCHAUMBURG, IL  
Date Posted: 12/16/2011 15:23
   The world lost a treasure yesterday. Christopher Hitchens, one of the most brilliant writers of our time lost his battled with cancer yesterday in Huston. Millions of his readers and those of us who share his passion for writing know that his death is a blow to the literary world. With his ravenous and implacable intellect he challenged and intrigued everyone from the casual reader to the elite of the literati.

In my opinion (and I certainly don't fall in the latter category), Hitch was a genius. He was one of the most prolific writers of our time; few could read his work and argue otherwise. Of course, men with such vision aren't always the easiest to get along with; Nathan Whitlock said of Hitch, "
he suffers from conflict fetishism and an allergy to boredom." He certainly held some controversial views and he was uncompromising on some subjects (such as religion being a farce). Even a fellow essayist and idealistic, bleeding heart liberal atheist (or antitheist, as Hitch would say) like myself found topics in which we did not see eye to eye. In fact, I couldn't believe it when he threw in with the Bush-Cheney bunch on the issue of WMD and the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. If anyone could have convinced me that invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein was both justified and a good idea, it was Hitch. He never made the case as far as I was concerned. As an aside, if you're interested, you can find a collection of his papers titled A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq along with transcripts of his debates with Chomsky, Ritter, and Galloway in his memoir Hitch 22.

One topic in which Hitch and I saw eye to eye was religion. The only notion more ridiculous than the concept of an omnipresent being who controls the entire universe taking an interest in my sex life is someone else trying to impose their ludicrous beliefs on children, and on the uneducated, and the ignorant.

Rather than add a clever, if not ingenious, quote by Hitch here, let me post one of his most memorable and most recent moments of debate. After all, in addition to being an extraordinary writer, Hitch was, without any doubt, a preeminent debater. In this clip from August of this year, Hitch is debating Tony Blair (yes, that Tony Blair, the former PM of the UK). Hitch is still as brilliant as ever despite battling cancer and in all likelihood taking high doses of narcotic pain medication. Watch as he lays waste to the concept of religion and religion's ludicrous practices without losing his sense of humor.

au revoir, Hitch. You will be greatly missed.


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