Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 December 16, 2011

My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass. — Christopher Hitchens

Critic, essayist and compulsive contrarian Christopher Hitchens has died. I didn’t agree with Hitchens often before 9/11, and agreed with him even less after that, but the man was very rarely dull. He made the world a more interesting place.

“Rest in peace,” we usually say. And that’s what I’m thinking now. But I’ll refrain from saying it because I think it would tick him off. And because resting in peace was never something Hitchens seemed comfortable doing.

For a lot of people, their first love is what they’ll always remember. For me it’s always been the first hate, and I think that hatred, though it provides often rather junky energy, is a terrific way of getting you out of bed in the morning and keeping you going. If you don’t let it get out of hand, it can be canalized into writing. In this country where people love to be nonjudgmental when they can be, which translates as, on the whole, lenient, there are an awful lot of bubble reputations floating around that one wouldn’t be doing one’s job if one didn’t itch to prick. — Christopher Hitchens

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