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Old 16th Dec 2011, 14:06   #1
Noumenon
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Default Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Christopher Hitchens died yesterday from pneumonia, arising from a complication of oesophageal cancer. Sixty-two years was too short a time, and the fact that I only knew about him for less than the last decade of that seems a great pity to me. He has not been the most influential writer in my life (perhaps apart from over the last few years, being the only journalist this non-newspaper-reader would regularly seek out) but as a public speaker, in support of rationalism or against oppression, he has been far and away the most powerful and impacting - even if I only ever witnessed him through the medium of Youtube. Seeing his physical deterioration over the last year or so was made tolerable only by how little his illness affected his mind.

It's a loss, but even knowing that this day was inevitably coming, and for a stranger no less, I'm still surprised by how much I feel it. For all the people who placed him somewhere on the scale from annoying to hateful, and there are no doubt many, there are others who found him to be fiercely intelligent, brutally frank, passionate, witty and wise, and I'm with them.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 15:02   #2
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Default Re: Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Well said, Nou. Been watching a lot of stuff from him on YouTube today. It has never been less than entertaining!
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 1:01   #3
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Default Re: Christopher Hitchens, RIP

When I first learned of Hitchens, back when his book on Mother Teresa came out, I didn't like him, or rather assumed I didn't like him. The truth turned out to be that I didn't always agree with him, which isn't the same thing. For any stance he would furiously hold that made me angry, he would take another, just as furiously, and with just as much intellectual rigor, that would make me want to stand up and applaud. He will be missed.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 19:18   #4
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Default Re: Christopher Hitchens, RIP

As Bill said, it was impossible to agree with Hitchens on everything but I would never in a million years want to debate him on anything. I've been following the progress of his illness ever since it was announced but his uncanny ability to produce excellent pieces until the very end somehow lulled me into thinking his death wouldn't come. The world is now a less interesting and intelligent place.
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