The English language does not contain nearly enough adjectives in the positive for a man that mastered it. Christopher Hitchens owned the English language in such a way that mastery is an unfitting term. Not only did he always point his intellectual compass toward truth and his morals toward the improvement of the human condition, he conveyed his ideas in such a way as to inspire us to greatness. The man may have died, but the ideas, the writings, and the spoken words will live long after.
A polemicist like no other, he hated the consensus. He taught us to challenge strongly held beliefs and ideals. He made us cherish the human race and the solidarity that binds us together, E Pluribus Unum. He fought against evil and never backed down from a challenge. He slaughtered sacred cows in the presence of their owners. He looked death in the face and was never afraid even without the comforts of religion. He told us that religion poisons everything. His ideas are an antidote that we should prescribe to a society that cherishes the poison that he lamented.”The Hitch” gave us so many remarkable quotes:
“That can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
“Princess Diana is the perfect metaphor for a land mine: easily laid, difficult and expensive to get rid of.” -out of context
“If he was given an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox.” -About Jerry Falwell’s death
“Don’t go loving my enemies, go love your own. My enemies are the theocratic fascists and I want them destroyed.”
These are a few favorites among a volume that could fill a bookshelf. He made a living by thinking up the contrary. In most cases the “Au Contraire” opinion was the one better reasoned. He made the religious and the credulous his enemy and befriended those who fought for reason, science, and better life. He never cared whether offense was taken, as taking offense is not an argument. When Christopher Hitchens had an argument with you, you were made to look a fool. Let us pour a glass of Johnnie Walker Black (accept no substitutes) and toast a man that represents the best of human thinking. People may die, but ideas live on. Especially the best of them.