Friday, 16 December 2011

The Passing of the Hitch

I write this commemoration to the life of Christopher Hitchens, and his influence on my life, with an immense sense of absence and debt to fully articulate its importance, beyond any selfish grief. This post will therefore probably be somewhat meandering. I was never able to meet or directly communicate him, but some degree of procrastination may contribute to this on my part. In this mind there permeates the typical sense of regret.


I am still young. Literally, not patronizing myself, I recognize my general absence of constant experience. But genuinely  no matter what occurs to me from now in whatever timespan, one of the defining contributions to the paths and ambitions I take are in Hitchens's writings and lectures, which I have spent many hours over years watching and taking notes from on YouTube. I think it's easy to sense an obvious imitation of these styles from anyone familiar.


I have often expressed my interest in writing and journalism to have derived from two novels: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. No doubt the individual greatness of these two authors, but Hitchens's immense literary criticism and elaboration of sociopolitical poignancy defines what lead me to them. 


Bigotry, prejudice, totalitarianism, anti-intellectualism, mediocrity: he revolted against them. No matter what obvious disagreements a person could hold with him, he pioneered some of civilization's most idealistic and sacrosanctly timeless values. In that how we appreciate life itself. God is not Great. He made this clear more than any of the "New Atheists", in truly as the Voltaire of his age. "Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience". The oppressive cancer of all those humanistic values. The facility of those somehow celebrating his death are clear in their own never-ending, infantile, religious idiocy.


If anything, we mourn the loss of a human being who dedicated themselves to intellect, culture and humanity. This is the least any of should aspire to, and due to my own lack of capability to fully realize his greatness, I call on anyone unfamiliar to make themselves accustomed.







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