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The Hitch is dead. Long live the … what?

19/12/2011

I read that Christopher Hitchens belonged to a circle of writers – Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Salman Rushdie – who were fiercely protective of him. I never read any works by Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie. These wankers are simply too smug, too pretentious, too precious for my liking.

Let’s not ever forget that Hitchens supported the invasion of Iraq by betraying his principles, so it is claimed. I have no idea what these principles were. All I know is that anyone who supported the invasion must be warped, twisted, grotesque. Out of his mind, in fact! There is no other possible explanation.

It is time that ‘Respondeat superior’ is applied to those responsible for the invasion of Iraq and the casualties of that conflict. Of course, supporters and propagandists are equally responsibly.

Yet this was a man with a ferocious intellect, contempt for cant, a disdain for religion, a huge memory, and a capacity to entertain and enthral the intelligentsia with his writings – books, articles, interviews on TV. These outpourings are questionable in the light of his conventional approach to his illness. He turned to the mechanistic medical model. How could a man of such stature do that? I don’t know what killed him: cancer, medical intervention, and that’s beside the point.

Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. It was another Iraq! He betrayed his principles again when he realised that he too pisses, shits, fucks, and does not want to die any more than us mere dumb-arse mortals. He conventionally and cowardly handed over his living body to an oncologist to experiment with as he so willed aided by the deadly products of big pharma. Yet, ultimately for all his knowledge, intelligence he reacted like the most poorly informed among us do. He did not shine. He did not live his life in an exemplary manner rather it was lived in some insignificant crass intellectual bubble. I doubt that Hitchens leaves a worthwhile legacy such as A. C. Grayling’s The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.

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