Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

I didn't agree with a lot of things he said--sometimes he downright infuriated me with his tireless defense of Bush and his destructive policies--but I think in Christopher Hitchens we've lost something we can't afford to lose. There are too many people dying who are unafraid to say what they think, and to be able to defend those thoughts with intelligence. Hitchens was never a man I expected to find screaming his unmeasured opinion on television. So even when I disagreed with him, I never heard a man who was toeing a party line or simply shouting down those who held contrary opinions. It's rare to see someone you disagree who can actually defend their opinions instead of falling back on the old trope of "But it's what I believe."

Here is a piece in the new Vanity Fair, in which Hitchens questions many of the things said about death, particularly Nietzsche's maxim that "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." It's a fascinating read just a day after the author's death.


sanford said...

A sad day indeed. I also read his Vanity Fair column before I had heard of his death. I probably agreed with him more than you did. I could never figure out why he backed Bush on the war though.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

He always made me think and challenged my intellect in a way that few public figures ever had.