A Mighty Mind Passes On
I doubt that Christopher Hitchens ever saw the inside of a gym, and if he did I very much doubt it was anything like my beloved Darkside. But there is more to being Mighty than mere muscles and strength. Christopher Hitchens had one of the mightiest minds I’ve ever come across.
In the obituaries I’ve seen Hitch has been called many things, from author to contrarian but I prefer to think of him as a great thinker. Even those who disagreed with him, and I doubt there were many who didn’t disagree with him at some time, had to concede what a great thinker he was.
I first came across Hitchens work when I read his biography of the US President Thomas Jefferson. I realise that many of you in the States grew up knowing all about your third President; but I’m a Brit with a fascination with US history, and all I knew was what I had read on Wikipedia. Well not quite all; I had heard of the “rumour” that Jefferson had had a relationship with one of his slaves (Sally Hemmings), which produced several children. I had the impression that polite society didn’t speak of such things but Hitch did; and these days this info can also be read on Wikipedia.
Since then I have read many of Hitch’s books and seen many of his TV appearances and debates on YouTube; I wholeheartedly recommend that you check these out, even if you’re uninterested in the subject matter, the way Hitchens formulates his arguments is a thing of beauty.
Here are a couple of my favourites.
This clip shows Hitch giving his opinion on the death of Jerry Falwell, the American preacher; I doubt anyone else would have the balls to say this –
And here Hitch appears on the BBCs flagship political discussion programme “Question Time”, where he takes on poor Shirley Williams, and the audience who are all put in their place in no uncertain way –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEVA4EAP_S0 (you don’t need to watch the whole clip, up to 4 minutes will suffice)
Probably the only time you’ll see a smoker on these pages!
I am thankful that we have such a wealth of material from this great man; there are thousands of hours of viewing on YouTube, you’d go blind before you’d watched it all. But he has died before his time. I feel saddened that there will be many charlatans and hucksters (as he would call them) who now need not worry about being called out on their BS by this fearless genius of a man.