We’re still reeling from the loss of brilliant writer Christopher Hitchens because he fearlessly verbalized the things many people hesitate to say. His common sense, his intellect, and his way with words made him a hero. He had fierce opinions on many subjects and managed to make anyone he debated look foolish and pushed everyone to THINK more. What a great world this would be if his book “god is not great: How Religion Poisons Everything” were required reading in all schools. The U.K. born Hitchens treasured the freedom of speech amendment and loved America so much that when he died, he died an American citizen. Fortunately many of Hitchens best debate moments are available on Youtube.

Posted by Janet on December 17, 2011

There are 47 Comments.  TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!

47 Comments so far

  1. By Denise
    On December 17, 2011 at

    Get real Janet. Though I agree he was a brilliant man, Christopher Hitchens will never be required reading in school. He was an atheist, and God knows we can’t have freedom of religion, including the freedom to have no religion, taught in our schools.

    College courses, maybe. He was a frequent guest on Bill Maher’s Real Time (HBO), and he was endlesslessly engaging.

    And before I hear/read a snarky comment, I do believe in God, I also believe that others may believe, or not, as they see fit.

  2. By Denise
    On December 17, 2011 at

    Oops, too much Chardonnay with dinner: endlessly.

  3. By Diva
    On December 17, 2011 at

    He was an outstanding writer and very bright

  4. By Pippa Martins-St. Onge
    On December 17, 2011 at

    He was a polarizing figure that’s for sure. He was also half Jewish.

  5. By Chicagoland
    On December 17, 2011 at

    …And a staunch supporter of the zionist state, who never let his professed opposition to Apartheid South Africa stand in the way of his unwavering devotion to Apartheid Israel.

    He was prolific, and had a lot to say—most of which echoed the Imperialist neocon line. Not surprising that he found plenty of places to sell his schtick in North America.

  6. By Muffie!!
    On December 17, 2011 at

    Brilliance requires open mindedness, intelligence and a little dash of humility for good measure. This man seems like a Islamophobic hatemonger, and does not exhibit any of these qualities. Brilliant my ass!

  7. By Giles Fortescue Smythe-Jones
    On December 17, 2011 at

    He used ‘big words’ to impress naive Americans. In reality the man was a Scotch guzzling buffoon.

  8. By Reta
    On December 17, 2011 at

    Haven’t heard of him before but that but sounds like good reading. I would have loved to have seen and heard him battle/discuss with Bill Mahar, but I don’t get his show because I don’t get HBO. Unfortunately. I LOVED his movie tho.
    And yes, people, I’m back, missed ya!

  9. By E
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Reta, great to see you! I am glad I dropped into this site tonight. How are you doing after all the crap you were going through? I hope that you are doing well.

  10. By Strom
    On December 18, 2011 at

    He was a gadfly and always on the tube for his ability to express his point, however wrong. The point about being half yiddish and a violent opponent of the Palestenians shows he was not so open minded when it came to breaking with Israel.

  11. By Strom
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Once more Hitchens proven wrong. Johnson outlasted and is much more famous than Hitchens:

  12. By Edith's Designer Head
    On December 18, 2011 at

    What a horrid name for a book. God is indeed great. I feel sad for him that he passed without feeling God’s love in his heart.

  13. By Cheryl
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Great?! God is great!! Me thinks he is in a very hot, dark, place right now, with absolute separation from God…wishing he had made a better choice.

  14. By Muffie!!
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Hey Reta, good to see you back!

  15. By chris
    On December 18, 2011 at

    What a sad man. I will pray for his soul.

  16. By Village
    On December 18, 2011 at

    He was a conservative bigot. Every time a Republican dies, an angel gets her wings. RIP.

  17. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Welcome home.

  18. By Strom
    On December 18, 2011 at

    A terrible attitude on his him or not.

  19. By enchantedbunny
    On December 18, 2011 at

    @patrick…REta? what are your fingers sooo fat that you hit 2 letters at a time. I’m sure you can buy a fat finger keybaord somewhere that has generous spacing between letters, unless of course it’s a genetic defect that you suffer from and then you’re fukt. chew on that starfish.

  20. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Bunny, since you prefer fists, fat fingers should be of minor concern.

  21. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    You fat one, you.

  22. By Beth
    On December 18, 2011 at

    While he was, no doubt, and intelligent and articulate man, his darkness and anger were just as obvious. My heart breaks that he never seemed to find peace. I prayed for him today. It is sad that he never allowed the light of Christ into his life.

  23. By Denise
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Reta, welcome back! Hope you are doing well.

  24. By enchantedbunny
    On December 18, 2011 at

    ha ha starfish i’m a skinny mini. you on the other hand are probably a middle aged, over weight, beer guzzling hack with a dead end job and you try to overcompensate by continually posting your petty ramblings hoping someone will respond. newsflash… not everyone cares about you. ha ha

  25. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    See ya, Bunny.

  26. By enchantedbunny
    On December 18, 2011 at

    ‘sup gwai-lo

  27. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    No way!!
    Somebody gonna get a hurt!
    Reeeally BAD!

  28. By Woody McBreairty
    On December 18, 2011 at

    The literary world has too few Hitchens. In fact he was in a class by himself. Too many writers (& commentators) try to be tactful, subtle, considerate, beat around the bush and hope you get it. Hitchens cut no corners with words, he was provocative & bold. Many if not all of those who said they ignored him were the ones who paid the closest attention, he took them outside their comfort zone and threatened many a set & narrow minded belief. Not believe in God? How could you?? No one can explain the concept of God as a being except through very brain washed & cultist propaganda. Christopher was always the most colorful guest at the party, the dancer thought insane by those who could not hear the music. Earlier this year Hitchens said “The time is coming for all of us..we will be tapped on the shoulder and told, not that the party is over, that the party will go on, but we have to leave.” Unfortunately, there are no other guests at the party who can keep it going like he did. It’s not like someone else will step into Christopher’s shoes – they are like Cinderella’s glass slippers, they only fit one person.

  29. By Mel Zipskin
    On December 18, 2011 at

    He was a drunk pompous asshole. I could give a fcuk about god and religion but he was insufferable, a true prick.

  30. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Janet, fyi, enchantedbunny has been my partner at work pranking me all along.
    I don’t think I’m safe here anymore.

  31. By enchantedbunny
    On December 18, 2011 at


  32. By Nina
    On December 18, 2011 at

    I heartily agree with Edith’s Designer Head and Cheryl. It’s a shame that this man went through his whole life without knowing the joy and peace a relationship with Jesus Christ would have given him. I hope he likes hot weather, because he’s smack in the middle of the hottest place ever right about now. And before anybody bashes me, that is my opinion, based on the Bible.

  33. By Denise
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Patrick? Are you kidding?

  34. By Muffie!!
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Denise, can you make sense of what’s going on with Patrick & enchantedbunny?

  35. By Muffie!!
    On December 18, 2011 at

    And what does ” ‘sup gwai-lo” mean??

  36. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    I have been pranked by my colleagues. enchantedbunny is my friend. They’ve set me up here and have been pissing themselves behind my back while I respond to their posts as enchantedbunny.
    Sup Gweilo= what’s up “white foreigner.”
    Our office slang. When they dropped the bomb on me that I was being played.

  37. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Gweilo is a word we gleaned from the series Deadwood.

  38. By Muffie!!
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Patrick, that’s kind of cool but also a little bit creepy. And who the heck watches Deadwood? Just kidding

  39. By Ricardo Nunez Jr.
    On December 18, 2011 at

    unlettered Canadians, Gweilo means “foreign devil, or ghost man” etc. in Cantonese.

    Is it all just Don Cherrie, hockey and drunkin indians up there ? Do any of you actually travel ? attend university ?, consider hockey a trivial pursuit …

  40. By forrest gump
    On December 18, 2011 at

    so we must be glad there are enough jehova witness’ in the united states?

  41. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Creepy nah,
    Demented, and very funny from our side,
    Sorry about being off topic.
    I’m with Reta, I’ve never heard of this guy and after listening to some youtube of him my impression is. Dry, self important, wordy and head up ass.

  42. By Ricardo Nunez Jr.
    On December 18, 2011 at

    from the Guardian

    The place where Christopher Hitchens spent his last few weeks was hardly bookish, but he made it his own. Close to downtown Houston, Texas is the medical centre, a cluster of high-rises like La Défense of Paris, or the City of London, a financial district of a sort, where the common currency is illness. This complex is one of the world’s great concentrations of medical expertise and technology. Its highest building, 40 or 50 storeys up, denies the possibility of a benevolent god – a neon sign proclaims from its roof a cancer hospital for children. This “clean-sliced cliff”, as Larkin puts it in his poem about a tower-block hospital, was right across the way from Christopher’s place – which was not quite as high, and adults only.

    No man was ever as easy to visit in hospital. He didn’t want flowers and grapes, he wanted conversation, and presence. All silences were useful. He liked to find you still there when he woke from his frequent morphine-induced dozes. He wasn’t interested in being ill, the way most ill people are. He didn’t want to talk about it.

    When I arrived from the airport on my last visit, he saw sticking out of my luggage a small book. He held out his hand for it – Peter Ackroyd’s London Under, a subterranean history of the city. Then we began a 10-minute celebration of its author. We had never spoken of him before, and Christopher seemed to have read everything. Only then did we say hello. He wanted the Ackroyd, he said, because it was small and didn’t hurt his wrist to hold. But soon he was making pencilled notes in its margins. By that evening he’d finished it.

    He could have written a review, but he was due to turn in a long piece on Chesterton. And so this was how it would go: talk about books and politics, then he dozed while I read or wrote, then more talk, then we both read. The intensive care unit room was crammed with flickering machines and sustaining tubes, but they seemed almost decorative. Books, journalism, the ideas behind both, conquered the sterile space, or warmed it, they raised it to the condition of a good university library. And they protected us from the bleak high-rise view through the plate glass windows, of that world, in Larkin’s lines, whose loves and chances “are beyond the stretch/Of any hand from here!”

    In the afternoon I was helping him out of bed, the idea being that he was to take a shuffle round the nurses’ station to exercise his legs. As he leaned his trembling, diminished weight on me, I said, only because I knew he was thinking it, “Take my arm old toad …” He gave me that shifty sideways grin I remembered so well from healthy days. It was the smile of recognition, or one that anticipates in late afternoon an “evening of shame” – that is to say, pleasure, or, one of his favourite terms, “sodality”.

    That must be how I came to be reading The Whitsun Weddings aloud to him two hours later. Christopher asked me to set the poem in context for his son Alexander – a lovely presence in that room for weeks on end – and for his wife Carol Blue, a tigress for his medical cause. She had tangled so ferociously with some slow element of the hospital’s bureaucracy that security guards had been called to throw her out the building. Fortunately, she charmed and disarmed them.

    I set the poem up and read it, and when I reached that celebrated end, “A sense of falling, like an arrow shower/Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain,” Christopher murmured from his bed, “That’s so dark, so horribly dark.” I disagreed, and not out of any wish to lighten his mood. Surely, the train journey comes to an end, the recently married couples are dispatched towards their separate fates. He wouldn’t have it, and a week later, when I was back in London, we were still exchanging emails on the subject. One of his began: “Dearest Ian, Well, indeed – no rain, no gain – but it still depends on how much anthropomorphising Larkin is doing with his unconscious … I’d provisionally surmise that ‘somewhere becoming rain’ is unpromising.”

    And this was a man in constant pain. Denied drinking or eating, he sucked on tiny ice chips. Where others might have beguiled themselves with thoughts of divine purpose (why me?) and dreams of an afterlife, Christopher had all of literature. Over the three days of my final visit I took a note of his subjects. Not long after he stole my Ackroyd, he was talking to me of a Slovakian novelist; whether Dreiser in his novels about finance was a guide to the current crisis; Chesterton’s Catholicism; Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese, which I had brought for him on a previous visit; Mann’s The Magic Mountain – he’d reread it for reflections on German imperial ambitions towards Turkey; and because we had started to talk about old times in Manhattan, he wanted to quote and celebrate James Fenton’s A German Requiem: “How comforting it is, once or twice a year,/To get together and forget the old times.”

    While I was with him another celebration took place in faraway London, with Stephen Fry as host in the Festival Hall to reflect on the life and times of Christopher Hitchens. We helped him out of bed and into a chair and set my laptop in front of him. Alexander delved into the internet with special passwords to get us linked to the event. He also plugged in his own portable stereo speakers. We had the sound connection well before the vision and what we heard was astounding, and for Christopher, uplifting. It was the noise of two thousand voices small-talking before the event. Then we had a view from the stage of the audience, packed into their rows.

    They all looked so young. I would have guessed that nearly all of them would have opposed Christopher strongly over Iraq. But here they were, and in cinemas all over the country, turning out for him. Christopher grinned and raised a thin arm in salute. Close family and friends may be in the room with you, but dying is lonely, the confinement is total. He could see for himself that the life outside this small room had not forgotten him. For a moment, pace Larkin, it was by way of the internet that the world stretched a hand towards him.

    The next morning, at Christopher’s request, Alexander and I set up a desk for him under a window. We helped him and his pole with its feed-lines across the room, arranged pillows on his chair, adjusted the height of his laptop. Talking and dozing were all very well, but Christopher had only a few days to produce 3,000 words on Ian Ker’s biography of Chesterton. Whenever people talk of Christopher’s journalism, I will always think of this moment.

    Consider the mix. Chronic pain, weak as a kitten, morphine dragging him down, then the tangle of Reformation theology and politics, Chesterton’s romantic, imagined England suffused with the kind of Catholicism that mediated his brush with fascism, and his taste for paradox, which Christopher wanted to debunk. At intervals, his head would droop, his eyes close, then with superhuman effort he would drag himself awake to type another line. His long memory served him well, for he didn’t have the usual books on hand for this kind of thing. When it’s available, read the review.

    His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned “with this hard gem-like flame”. Right to the end.

  43. By Ricardo Nunez Jr.
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Patrick, you pathetic cubicle bully, read the above.

  44. By Patrick
    On December 18, 2011 at

    Hi Ricardo. Sorry for your friend Sincerely.
    Thank you for googling Gweilo and enlightening the readers on the Websters definition. Great word, huh! Notice I said HUH and not EH! Not an English word, Gweilo and I guess some people might consider it politically incorrect. Isn’t that great!
    You spelled Canada correctly but Don Cherry wrong. You also spelled drunkin indians incorrectly. The correct terminology is “you can fuck my wife but don’t wipe your dink on my curtains.” Say it through your clamped teeth for desired effect.
    Never traveled down from the hill. Set a university on fire once and never heard of you called it? Nope.

  45. By Muffie!!
    On December 19, 2011 at

    Holy F%#K!

    Yes “Ricardo Nunez Jr.” weirdoo,

    All us Canadian Indians care about is Don Cherry, Hockey and getting drunk. University? What the hell is that? Trivial Pursuit? Never heard of it. We don’t travel, except by horseback when we go trade our furs and pick up more booze. Then we just stay in our teepees and drink alllll day looong!

    You are the one that needs to get out and travel and “broaden your horizons” so to speak. That’s a nice way of saying……

    You are a moron and really need to get out once in awhile, instead of lying around reading Louis Lamour paperbacks all day long!

  46. By Muffie!!
    On December 19, 2011 at

    Shame on you Patrick! Unless of course, you were talking about your personal relationship with YOUR wife and YOUR curtains. If so, please ignore this comment.

    Each to their own, right?

  47. By Patrick
    On December 19, 2011 at

    Just reinforcing/mocking Ricardo’s stereotype, Muffie.


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