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Old 12-16-2011, 04:46 AM   #1
MikeWaters
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Default Hitchens will soon be gone

he hasn't written his slate column in 2 weeks.

A Vanity Fair article now reflects on his weakening, and implies a nearing death.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/20...itchens-201201

Maybe he will go into remission and gain strength, don't know enough about his situation.

I imagine he must wonder which column will be last, and did he do justice to that which he wishes to communicate?

I think he wants to be seen as being honest, stoic, yet vulnerable. With something fresh to say about death, standing in front of the void.

No, he is not suddenly going to believe in God. I don't think that will happen.

I wonder what kinds of posts I will make on CG before my death. Probably something awful and small. But maybe not. Everyone gets lucky with some wisdom from time to time.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:05 PM   #2
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I wrote the above at or around the time that Hitchens actually died, I am finding out this morning.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...le_Lifestyle_5

Perhaps the universe was communicating to me. But the facts were simple--he was obviously near death.

I'm going to miss Hitchens. In some ways you could argue that he stood against things that many of us believe in--he was a fierce, and I think unfair, critic of Mormonism. He was also one of the leading atheists in the country. But he was entertaining and provoking, and his passion for drawing bright lines made one think about things.

Right now Hitchens is either second-thinking his atheism or fully endorsing it in the null. We'll all soon find the same bargain.

Adieu, Mr. Hitchens.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:42 AM   #3
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I've been cruising around the net today reading about Hitchens here and there. I find it interesting--the frequency with which people who were acquaintances, or slightly more, feel compelled to share an email from him, or mention their last correspondence. The reasons are multifactorial, I am sure. For one, his correspondence was valued, even if somewhat perfunctory in those instances. It's like my old mission buddy said, when a hot girl tells you a joke, it's a lot more funny than when the ugly girl says it.

These emails also announce the existence of a relationship. Proof. "There were times when he was focused on me and thinking of me. See?"

Third, the man had a way with words that made people marvel. And when you were in his rhetorical embrace, it must have felt damn good.

I get the impression that Hitchens knew about everyone that can be known. He must have opened his inbox every morning to 500 emails from some of the most influential people in the world. Maybe that's underestimating. It must have taken a lot of energy to be Christopher Hitchens, always at the ready to be the axis on which it all must spin.

It's no doubt unnecessary (and inconsequential), but I feel like I ought to write some reflections on Hitchens' life...I don't have the time in the next few days. But sometime after.

Writing on CG is a lot like writing on a blog where there are no comments. I really have no idea if anyone reads what I write. Sure I know there are visitors and page hits, but not many, and I don't know who they are, and I don't actually know that they read anything, much less feel like it is worthwhile. So it becomes a little bit like writing in a public journal, for the occasional theoretical public consumption, with the nagging feeling that nothing good can come of it, and many things bad.

Hitchens at this moment, has me reflecting on what it is that one ought to do with one's gifts. One's life. So maybe that's what I will write about.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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Will Hitches go to hell, according to mainstream Christian theology? The New York Times doesn't know.

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/201...hens-and-hell/
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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I like Douthat a lot.

Let's agree for the sake of argument that Hitchens was a man who at his core thirsted for truth and justice, and argued vociferously for them--wouldn't God have a use for him?

Isn't that the story of Paul? A man with great talent and potential, who was turned in a different direction?

Perhaps Hitches never had a visitation on the Road to Damascus, maybe the whisperings of the spiritual heart were never made to him, and based on what he had in his possession, there never was a good reason to be a believer.

A lot of maybes.

My old friend George, crusty old guy that lived in a boat basin, he would tell me that when he died, he hoped that he would be sitting at a table with Twain, Shakespeare, and the like. Wherever they are, that's where he wants to be. Presumably he is there or somewhere else now, he is long dead my friend George.

But he reminds me of this case of Hitchens. Sure would be nice to sit around the table with him at least once. And of course, it not be an irony unappreciated if the ghost of Hitchens were to stalk us once in a while
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