Friday, December 16, 2016

"I miss Hitch."

He was the Mencken of my time, and the hero of polemicists everywhere ... except the church, and that's as it should be.

Christopher Hitchens, a Writer's Writer, by Tony Rogers (About/Journalism)

Hitchens was never one for style over substance. His prose flowed from his immense knowledge of history, politics, literature and his bete noire, religion. Indeed, when Hitchens debated clerics as he toured the country for his anti-religous polemic "God is not Great," he often evinced a greater knowledge of Christianity than the Christians themselves. Hitchens did for journalism what Czech author Milan Kundera did for fiction: He poured everything he knew into everything he wrote, and, as is the case with Kundera, I always felt I learned something when I read his work.

It's been five years ...

An Atheist and More: A Tribute to Christopher Hitchens on the 5th Anniversary of His Death, by Race Hochdorf (The Humanist)

Christopher Hitchens, atheist, died at sixty-two. But on the fifth anniversary of his death this eccentric, marvelous, courageous, kick-ass contrarian still lives on, and will continue to live on, in the hearts and minds of present and future writers and travelers all over the world. The burden falls on us to fill, as best we can, the void his passing has wrought.

 ... and with the advent of Trump, I'll be missing him even more.

Missing Hitch, by Sam Harris

It has been five years, my friend.

Five short years since you taught us how to die with wisdom and wit. And five long ones, wherein the world taught us how deeply we would miss you.

Syria. Safe spaces. President Trump.

What would you have made of these horrors?

More times than I can count, strangers have come forward to say, “I miss Hitch.” Their words are always uttered in protest over some new crime against reason or good taste. They are spoken after a bully passes by, smirking and unchallenged, whether on the Left or the Right. They have become a mantra of sorts, intoned without any hope of effect, in the face of dangerous banalities or lies. Often, I hear in them a note of personal reproach. Sometimes it’s intended.

You are not doing your part.

You don’t speak or write clearly enough.

You are wrong and do not know it—and it matters.

There has been so much to say, and no one to say it in your place.

I, too, miss Hitch.

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