Friday, December 16, 2011

Godspeed

As I am writing this, it's 12:21am, and I have just found out that Christopher Hitchens died tonight. I'm kinda devastated, and actually quite surprised at my reaction. He has been sick for a while, and I suppose that this is nothing more than then inevitable. I didn't know him, I've never met him...damn, I've never even been in the same building as him.

Also, on a fair number of points, I have always disagreed with him.

He was, however, always my hero. The first time I heard the name Christopher Hitchens, it was on an episode of Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit!' He was clearly drunk on what I assumed was either wine or scotch, and he was bitching about Mother Theresa...and he just didn't give a shit about what you thought.

I have since watched him debate opponent after opponent, and that same brash, condescending tone was present throughout, and I loved him for it. On points that I agreed with, I marveled at his ability to construct an argument. On points that I disagreed with...I marveled at his ability to construct an argument.

Hitchens is one of a number of people that I have tried to emulate in my life. Like him, or hate him, you have to admit that he was better than anyone in the world at doing what he did. I admire excellence in any form. William Lane Craig is a great debater, Dinesh D'sousa is a fantastic nut job, and Christopher Hitchens was the world's most correct asshole.

And I loved him for it.

I loved him for this:
          "And not scorning the three delightful children who result— who are everything to me and who are my   only chance of even a glimpse of a second life, let alone an immortal one, and I’ll tell you something: if I was told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said, “Yes, I’ll gut my kid to show my love of God,” I’d say, No, fuck you!"
Christopher Hitchens (April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011)

You will be missed.
-Paul Wittmeyer

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