Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

We've lost a thinker, one not afraid to say the truth as he saw it. Literate, reasoned, passionate about his causes, never one to shirk from a fight or to back down when principle was at stake. Restless, curious, erudite. His knowledge sometimes seemed encyclopedic, and some of his articles were on topics I knew nothing about--but his writing made it clear, and why it mattered.

I suspect he would have been alternately infuriating and inspiring to have working in the office next to you.

He's been taken from us too soon.


Jimi Hendricks said...

Agreed completely. He was amongst such radical thinkers as Ambrose Bierce and Kurt Vonnegut. While I found contention with quite a few of his points, I never faulted him for the research, logic, or passion behind any of them. A true genius.

KCProgramr said...

Actually, I'd fault his logic occasionally, and his unconditional, enthusiastic defense of the Iraq war long after it'd been revealed as a mess was inexcusable. Among all the hagiography, there's a post at Slate, and Greenwald over at Salon has a column, discussing his failures. When he was right, he was dead right, but when he was wrong, he was disastrously--and just as stubbornly--wrong.

I've also been watching the videos of some of his appearances...and while he was a solid debater, he could also be condescending, vulgar, and a boor. Yes, there were times when he was undoubtedly the smartest person in the TV studio...and he certainly made sure everyone knew it. Hitch's diatribes were a tonic best taken in small doses.