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RIP Christopher Hitchens
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
RIP Christopher Hitchens  Reply with quote  

I know he was a divisive figure but he was passionate, articulate and always offered well thought out arguments even if you disagreed with them.

There are dozens and dozens of youtube clips of him merking fools but I read this when he was diagnosed with cancer and it kicked me in the balls.


Quote:


In one way, I suppose, I have been “in denial” for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. But for precisely that reason, I can’t see myself smiting my brow with shock or hear myself whining about how it’s all so unfair: I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason. Instead, I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity. To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?

The bargaining stage, though. Maybe there’s a loophole here. The oncology bargain is that, in return for at least the chance of a few more useful years, you agree to submit to chemotherapy and then, if you are lucky with that, to radiation or even surgery. So here’s the wager: you stick around for a bit, but in return we are going to need some things from you. These things may include your taste buds, your ability to concentrate, your ability to digest, and the hair on your head. This certainly appears to be a reasonable trade. Unfortunately, it also involves confronting one of the most appealing clichés in our language. You’ve heard it all right. People don’t have cancer: they are reported to be battling cancer. No well-wisher omits the combative image: You can beat this. It’s even in obituaries for cancer losers, as if one might reasonably say of someone that they died after a long and brave struggle with mortality. You don’t hear it about long-term sufferers from heart disease or kidney failure.

Myself, I love the imagery of struggle. I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient. Allow me to inform you, though, that when you sit in a room with a set of other finalists, and kindly people bring a huge transparent bag of poison and plug it into your arm, and you either read or don’t read a book while the venom sack gradually empties itself into your system, the image of the ardent soldier or revolutionary is the very last one that will occur to you. You feel swamped with passivity and impotence: dissolving in powerlessness like a sugar lump in water.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:46 am
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Z-0



Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 700
Location: Sydney
 Reply with quote  

though i've very briefly commented on soles site in relation to this i'll add my RIP here too. the world of political and social commentary is diminished by his passing.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:27 am
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 5698
 Reply with quote  

Rest in Peace...

This is still my favorite Christopher Hitchens performance... it really might be the greatest debate i've ever seen.

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Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:47 am
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name



Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 955
 Reply with quote  

i am deeply saddened by this.

For me this is the greatest loss to society since Carl Sagan.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:47 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11288
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 Reply with quote  

Yeah, this is as depressing as a "celebrity" death gets to me. This guy was writing brilliant, thought-provoking stuff to the end. We really are at a loss without him. I can think of few authors, particularly those who wrote during my lifetime, that influenced me, both in style and substance, more than Hitchens. RIP.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:54 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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 Reply with quote  

And even when he was wrong, he was usually wrong in the best way possible, the most stylish and the smartest way possible. Usually (other times he was simply reacting to perceived personal slights). But, say on the Iraq War: he was wrong, I'd say. Fantastically wrong. But still a better read on the topic and more thought-provoking than the vast majority of those with whom I ostensibly agreed with.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:05 am
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Disharmony



Joined: 01 Jun 2003
Posts: 3006
Location: Buried in Minnesota dirt.
 Reply with quote  

Damn. I don't know a lot about him, but I've watch a lot of youtube videos of him dropping knowledge. I am definitely a fan.

Can someone recommend some of his best written material for me to check out?
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:20 am
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
 Reply with quote  


it's a quick read, i think a good introduction to hicthens.

this article sums up hitchens better than any i've seen so far:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/6a9b5a94-e449-11e0-b4e9-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1YrvbkWP1
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:35 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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 Reply with quote  

crash wrote:

it's a quick read, i think a good introduction to hicthens.

this article sums up hitchens better than any i've seen so far:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/6a9b5a94-e449-11e0-b4e9-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1YrvbkWP1


I've recommended that book on here for years. It's great. Definitely a good intro to his style.

Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:38 am
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Limbs



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
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 Reply with quote  

Damn. RIP.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:01 am
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Jesse Custer



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 1257
Location: London
 Reply with quote  

Is he always as smug as he is in Missionary Position?

I picked it up becaue I thought it would be a good introduction, being nice and short, and I couldn't finish it.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:27 am
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2211
Location: Las Vegas
 Reply with quote  

Yeah I loved his writing and just his commitment to the way he thought. I'd love to read his memoirs because I always wanted to follow his train of thought from Marxist to where he ended up.

I can't really think of anyone who would step in to fill the void that his death leaves.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:35 am
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
 Reply with quote  

Yes, he was always that smug. His nonstop attacks against Christianity and public espousal of atheism also played a huge role in the confidence of a much younger me to reveal my atheism to several people that I would have liked to never have had to hide it from to begin with.

I'll miss him.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:36 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21529
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I love Christopher Hitchens. Sincerely saddened by this loss. He gave us a lot to think about. And he gave me some hard laughs. RIP to a true G.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:49 pm
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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http://www.theonion.com/articles/fumbling-inarticulate-obituary-writer-somehow-losi,26890/

edit: that debate reminds me of just how much of a dipshit galloway is. did he disappear or something? i haven't seen anything from him recently.
Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:07 pm
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