April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011
NOTE: While debating the existence of God, Christopher Hitchens often asked why someone would worship a supreme being who sends earthquakes and gives kids cancer. In mock bewilderment he wondered about the level of narcissism it would require to demand that you be prayed to on a daily basis.
Maybe if I was more cynical, a lot richer, a bit grumpier and a far more devoted hedonist who really, truly didn't give a shit what anybody thought, I would be just like Hitch. When I heard of his passing I felt a sadness that only happens when you lose someone who made an impact on you. I didn't know him. Never met him. I just thought he was cool.
His barnstorming There-Is-No-God campaign spurred outraged across the religious spectrum. His stuffy British accent and
smug self assured inflection made even snotty comments seem classy. When he said something you completely disagreed with you felt annoyance because he was making so much sense. When I read what he wrote, after a sentence or two I was hooked. I had to read the whole thing. That's the hallmark of a truly great writer. He was and remains both a role model and a cautionary figure. May he rest in peace.