Some days I just deeply miss Christopher Hitchens. Of the so-called “New Atheists” he was by far my favorite. Unlike the rest of the Four Horsemen, to which he was lumped in with, he was the only true polymath. Richard Dawkins was the science expert, Sam Harris was the rhetorician, Daniel C. Dennett was the philosopher, but none of them could hold a candle to Hitchens and his brilliance, his eloquence, and his charming roguishness.
There are many reasons I loved “The Hitch.” I loved his contrarian attitude, I loved how he dominated a discourse and would talk over talking heads to stress a point. I love the fact that he never backed down from his position in a discussion. I loved how he had the British way of taking the piss out of our American sentiments, and I loved that he could do it with bravado and with great tenacity.
Like the whiskey he so loved, Christopher Hitchens was extremely charismatic and always went down smooth. But many couldn’t handle him and found, just like the liquor, he burned too much to be palatable. But I for one grew to prefer Hitchens to all the rest of the atheist orators and debaters and his domineering presence and boldness added to his particular appeal.
I don’t think he’ll likely be ever be replaced. At least not in my lifetime. I doubt anyone will be able to match his appeal, but at least we are lucky enough to live in an age where his videos and writing can be easily accessible.
Although I didn’t agree with Hitchens on every point he ever made, I really liked the way he spoke and the way he phrased things. I felt that, more than once, he really articulated what I was thinking or feeling in such a way that made me want to repeat it to everyone because I knew I could never say it better than he did.
Perhaps my favorite Christopher Hitchens moment was when he dropped the “F” bomb during a live interview on a Christian radio show. I forget the name of the show, but during a discussion on morality they had asked him a personal question about his sex life, something along the lines of whether or not he’d ever cheated on his wife, and he flat out said, “That’s none of your fucking business.”
His sudden use of the word, on a family Christian radio show, left the host speechless. After an awkward silence, the host fumbled for what to say next as he simultaneously tried to change the subject while apologizing to his listeners.
It was awesome.
And the thing was…Christopher Hitchens was right. It was none of their fucking business.
Ever since that moment, I knew Hitchens and I were kindred spirits.
Do you have a favorite Christopher Hitchens moment? If so, feel free to share it in the comments section below. Cheers!