Friday, December 23, 2011

more on Christopher Hitchens

Once in awhile I find myself having done so much research for a blog comment elsewhere, that it seems worth bringing back here for readers. Such a case was on the subject of Christopher Hitchens where in discussing one aspect of his thinking, I came across a lot of interesting links that could have had me reading articles by him or watching YouTubes all day (well right up until my memory allotment was used up from the Dish).

For anyone who enjoys knowing more about Hitchens, as others saw him, there has been a lot in Andrew Sullivan's blog, who was a good personal friend even as they disagreed on some big issues like religion. Since I did some work to get the following links, and they might lead another reader to taking it even farther, the following is my comment that grew into the length of a blog.

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Hitchens called his own shots as to what he saw as totalitarian and that didn't please people who wanted him to have theirs. Thus he and even one of my favorites, Andrew Sullivan did favor the Iraq war as it began although not once they saw how it was being carried out. For an enjoyable discussion between two genuinely intelligent and informed men try this one to see how he and Sullivan saw it and the Bush administration in I think 2006-- Sullivan and Hitchens.

One of the wonderful things about our era is we can still listen to those who have died through places like YouTube. Whether I always agreed with Hitchens (and I did not always) for me he was always enjoyable to read or to listen to him speak. For a short one and very apropos for our times, if someone isn't familiar with him-- Hitchens on Ayn Rand.

He was a thinker which means equally he offends this or that side. He did his vivisections with his use of logic and in that cool manner which only rarely rose to an emotional level. That likely didn't make him a sweet person per se, but it always made him worth reading for his view of any issue even when he went after the Kennedy mystique or took on in his writings the saints many people revere such as [Gandhi]. I suppose Hitchens is what some would call a curmudgeon but for me I'd add beloved to it. His viewpoint will be missed by many-- agree or disagree with him on all issues. I really hoped he would beat the cancer, but he was realistic all the way. Evidently he brought on this early death by his lifestyle but that didn't make his mind any less a loss. He did it his way with no apologies.

2 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

I liked Hitchens and while I didn't always agree with him, I respected him greatly. Thank you for your excellent research!!!

Robert the Skeptic said...

What I like about Hitchens is that he shows that not all Atheists march in lock-step. I totally think the war in Iraq was a big mistake but conducted to secure a significant oil supply for the west.

He was also a dork for smoking; I don't know how to reconcile a mind that has such a disconnect between cause and effect.

Still, I applaud how he nailed the Pope and other religions on multiple occasions, calling them out for what they really are.. bigoted institutions bent on control and power.