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Celebrities, Life

Christopher Hitchens

07.21.10 | 1 Comment

I’ve always thought Christopher Hitchens is a bit of a blowhard. Probably that comes from his writing style. He’s not there to analyse or inform. He’s a polemicist, and he’s there to heap abuse on whoever has aroused his ire. And in his unbound fury he can be funny and entertaining.

I do, however, have a great deal of respect for him. This is they guy who let himself be waterboarded so he could make his own determination of whether in constitutes torture. On a trip to Lebanon he saw a street sign bearing the symbol of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, which bears a resemblence to the Nazi swastika, and wrote on it “No, no, Fuck the SSNP”. For this he very nearly got his ass kicked.

So I’m not a huge fan of his writing, but when it comes to his beliefs he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is, and I respect that.

He recently published a memoir entitled Hitch 22, but on the eve of his book tour he was forced to cancel it, because he’d been diagnosed with esophagal cancer. This is considered a very dangerous form of cancer, because it’s usually no discovered until it’s had time to spread, and in fact it looks as though his lymph nodes are now also affected.

Hitchens is also an athiest, and in fact an opponent of organized religion. Despite this fact, when he announced he was ill there was an outpouring of sympathy, including many who said they’d keep him in their prayers. Some of the athiest community, who can frankly be as dogmatic as the most zealous believer, were offended by this.

I suspected Hitchens himself, who after all is suffering a life-threatening disease, would not turn away the kind wishes even from his political adversaries. And I was right.

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