A Hitchens sized hole in my heart.

1949 — 2011

Christopher Hitchens has died of esophageal cancer at the age of 62.  A voracious smoker and hardcore drinker all of his life, he was diagnosed in 2010 with the disease already advanced to stage 4.  When asked about his prognosis he quipped, “Well, there is no stage five…”

I am a long-time fan of the Hitch, whom I first came to admire and then adore on the pages of Vanity Fair magazine.  In 2007 I knew I was hopelessly in love with him when I was only a few pages into God Is Not Great.  Never before had I read such compelling, crystal clear, fiery prose on the evils and absurdities of religion.  His words leapt from the pages and danced an endless Balanchine ballet in my mind.  He could toss out historical facts, arguments from modern and classical philosophy, obscure literary quotes and scientific knowledge as if his skull contained the entire contents of the Library of Congress.  I watched, mesmerized, as he mercilessly slaughtered his opponents in countless recorded debates, and infuriated enemies and admirers alike in dozens of media appearances.  He was deadpan hilarious, and deadly serious.

As thrilling as it was, this was a maddening, devastating love affair, and I knew it was doomed when I heard him (beautifully, eloquently) rail in defense of George W. Bush and the Iraq War, two among the most tragic calamities of my lifetime.  He had a misogynist streak I naturally abhorred, as well as an ugly conservative bent that would rear its head from time to time.  He broke my heart then, as surely as it breaks again now.  But yet I loved him still:  the tempestuous man, the dazzling writer, the fierce orator, the larger-than-life character, the force of nature.

I always will.

This entry was posted in books, godlessness by Iris Vander Pluym. Bookmark the permalink.

About Iris Vander Pluym

Iris Vander Pluym is an artist and activist in NYC (West Village), and an unapologetic, godless, feminist lefty. Raised to believe Nice Girls™ do not discuss politics, sex or religion, it turns out those are pretty much the only topics she ever wants to talk about.

2 thoughts on “A Hitchens sized hole in my heart.

  1. Of course I did. That’s what I get for breaking my “no blogging before coffee rule.” It usually works out much better than when I break my “don’t drink and blog rule,” but apparently not today. I’ve now fixed it, and dropped in a link.

    Many thanks, Graeme. Where would the Palace be without loyal subjects like you? Oops — I meant readers, of course! Readers. Not subjects! Nope.

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