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Dancing on Christopher Hitchens's Grave

Several years ago I skimmed Hitchens's God is Not Great. Disappointment, rather than disagreement, was the book's main effect on me. It is sophomoric for a modern intellectual to pose as Voltaire or Thomas Paine and rail against traditional religions. Why don't they show some real guts by taking on the conventional belief systems of the intelligentsia itself? These are well known, but seldom acknowledged and never criticized, by conventional intellectuals who want to stay popular within their own coteries. (They have to make a living after all, so they don't want to be on the receiving end of the subtle blacklisting that a Marxist or Green apostate would receive from an editor in the publishing industry or a reviewer at the New York Times.)  

None of the obituaries that I've read about Hitchens really inspires me to read any of his books. But the threshold is far lower for magazine-length articles. A fair number of them are free and accessible at Indeed, it was refreshing to read him railing against the Liberal-Left's darling, Michael Moore, of whom he says: "It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery."

So far I've only scratched the surface. Hitchens might be the kind of writer that does me a bit of good as long as I agree to disagree with him 80% of the time.


TomInBellaVista said…
C-Span has 100 or more video interviews of Hitchins. His last, with Brian Lamb, pretty much knowing that the end is in sight, might be worth your time watching
Thanks for the heads-up, 39beetle. At the end of the month I will look at a few video clips if I'm safely under my 5 Gigabytes limit.
Anonymous said…
Read some of his books before writing something so worthless as what youve produced "Several years ago i skimmed" ... "Several years ago you should have taken time out from jerking off to actually read a book"
Anonymous said…
What a small world you live in. I have read all of the man's books and he in fact did wield an mighty intellect rivaling that of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Paine and many others of the Enlightenment (let it be said that he himself never made this comparison), though he had a flourish with words that most thinkers of that era would die to have. How someone like you with your own pathetic little modicum of cyberspace from which to shout out your insipid, half-constructed thoughts can even claim to have a grasp on such an intellectual–let alone mock him without actually reading his work–is frustrating enough.

What's worse, is that you go a step further and claim that the man went soft for not pursuing the "real" controversial belief systems, ignoring the fact that he only wrote one book near the tail end of his career devoted to the topic of atheism. Furthermore, I assume by "Intelligentsia" you're referring to experts in their respective academic fields. Yes, right, I suppose physicists have become a little too complacent with the theory of gravity–after all it is just a theory.

It is a shame that the internet has democritized publishing, because it has given you the delusion that your opinion is worthy of it. Instead, why don't you continue puttering through the rest of your days in retirement that my generation will be paying for and take a break from transcribing your thoughts. You won't just be doing yourself a favor, but the whole web as well.
Anonymous said…
good lord ,, I skimmed ?? for the love of god read him .. If all humans were as evolved as this kind gentle articulate man . Relegion would finally rest in piece and we could start solving the real problem oh the humanity like living in Zeus times !! And u can't get thru the dear leader in the sky is v naughty roman invention
Colin said…
Christopher Hitchens was without a doubt, one of the greatest intellects of our time. He was brave, courageous and spoke out with great eloquence and passion against tyranny, bullies, despots and ignorant religious fundamentalists. He enlightened many minds and will be remembered as a man who brought our species closer to enlightenment than any so called person of god will ever do! Your remarks are petty, stupid and you are proof of why this world needs people like Christopher so, fuck off!