The eulogies continue for Christopher Hitchens, celebrated for being a thorougly egotistical and objectionable polemicist. He wrote (aptly) for Vanity Fair until he decided to take on God. Last week, God won. Yet Saturday's Irish Times was awash with testimonials and today, I read a 'farewell fond friend' piece by Ian McEwan in the Guardian. I met Hitchens once, many years ago. I was far from impr...essed. As he lurched further and further to the right in the vulgar diatribes he passed off as journalism, I dismissed him. Yet others bought into his cultuvated image as an intellectual voice. When he started glorying in the death of Iraqui citizens, I was certain he would be expose himself but the accolades continued even beyond the grave. I was relieved however to come across the following which is an honest appraisal of a life lived in the limelight: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/17/christohper_hitchens_and_the_protocol_for_public_figure_deaths/See More
Christopher Hitchens and the protocol for public figure deaths
Etiquette-based prohibitions on speaking ill of the dead should apply to private individuals, not public figures
Don McGurgan, Kevin Connelly and Peter Ganley like this.
Peter Ganley Funny you should mention that, I was going through a lot of his material at the weekend and kinda came to the same conclusion. It looks like he gave up on writing anything he truly believed in a long time ago and simply courted controversy where ever he could instead to stay relevant. It doesn't take someone of terrific intellect to name call and holy shit did he like to spit venom haphazardly.
Henry McDonald Darach you are SO wrong about Christopher. And God is not Great...he doesnt exist.
Darach MacDonald Whatever about your theological certainties, Henry, Christopher Hitchens does not deserve canonisation. I believe he was a mediocre columnist at best who came up with some witty – and many more cruel – one-liners in a relentless pursuit of attention. If he ever had intellerctual integrity, he had shed it by the time I met him. After that, of course, he became a star in America because of his patrician persona and plummy accent.
Alan Bruce I'm sorry, but I am with Darach on this. Hitchens became a cheap and vulgar caricature as time went by. He never seriously engaged with socialism and, to me, played the role of dilettante and poser far more effectively than that of social transformer. The attack on theism (as he had re-defined it, in typically simplistic fashion) was an assault on a very soft target. When you compare this oh-so-dated 19th century pseudo-radicalism to the subtleties of approaches to the origins of religious belief found in Terry Eagleton or Slavoj Zizek, you are not surprised at Hitchens' trajectory on towards reactionary elitism. Like Renan and Nietzsche before him, his tilting at 'pseudo-god' masked deeper tendencies that hovered close to racism at so many levels. The personal animosities, name-dropping, bourgeois cavorting with the war criminals and paparazzi is a universe away from the committed self-sacrifice of those who hunger for justice, engage with struggle and actually work for a more egalitarian world.