Christopher Hitchens died not long ago, after a long painful difference of opinion with The Big C. Not my intention to be disrespectful, but it wouldn’t have mattered to Mr. Hitchens if it was, really. In case you’re not familiar with the brilliant gentleman who managed to piss off just about every body in the entire world during his sojourn here, Christopher Hitchens was what has been referred to as a “Public Intellectual.” To some, that label alone was enough to establish him as persona non-grata. His often just-plain-mean commentary spared not even the most revered icons of our age – the Pope, Disney, Princess Di, The Queen, Mother Theresa. He was a proud, atheistic, hard-drinking curmudgeon…and I loved him.
He made me think. He encouraged me (an admittedly lapsed child of the sixties) to continue questioning authority and to question in general. He pushed my buttons and by doing so got me to take a hard look at exactly what I believe and why I believe it. He was never really nice about it, but he made me admire him. He made me laugh, too. He made me want to be better, and smarter, and more genuine. He was, in fact, one of the truly great thinkers of our age and we need a lot more like him to push and snark us out of our comfort (coma) zones. Because we are getting all too comfortable with things we should not be comfortable with – hypocrisy, mendacity and mediocrity…to name a few.
I miss him already.