There goes on of my heroes.
Clearly I didn’t know Christopher Hitchens however it seemed that I was (is it was?) on a similar wavelength, maybe not intellectually but I certainly understood and identified with his candour and humour. Terms such as “intellectual honesty” and “an extraordinary polemicist” were recently used to describe his character. He was also considered a contrarian of the highest kind but one with great morals. He loved two things that are truly dear to me; scotch and conversation (well maybe more scotch than conversation). I think those vices among his fierce need to make trouble are what attracted me to his writing.
I think what solidified the “hero status” for me was the debate where he parlayed religion in with Tony Blair here in Toronto. He won, hands down (depending on which side of the bench you were on, I suppose). He demonstrated his intellect with considerable style and true to nature with a great deal of wit and sarcasm. It was inspiring to watch. I wanted to cheer. I was honored to have attended this event.
I don’t think any of us will ever truly understand the depth of Mr. Hitchens intelligence and wit. He poured out his soul in his writing with spectacular style and in a way that seems he was simply writing to each of us individually. We are fortunate to be left with his commentary to help guide and inspire us as we carry on.
“I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies.”
Christopher Eric Hitchens, 1949-2011
The Foo Fighters (video link) sum it up best. The ultimate irony for you will be your surprise as you experience the afterlife whatever that may be.
I wish you all the best on your next journey Mr. Hitchens.