It’s December 1st. How we are back in December again so soon I have no idea, but here we are. To mark the occasion The Guardian is producing an interactive “Heroes and Villians” advent calendar where every day a different writer or personality presents the case for their hero and villain of the year. First up today is Richard Dawkins who nominates The Hitch:
Eloquent, witty, literate, intelligent, knowledgeable, brave, erudite, hard-working, honest (who could forget his clean-through skewering of Mother Teresa’s hypocrisy?), arguably the most formidable debater alive today yet at the same time the most gentlemanly, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage. A lesser man would have seized the excuse of a mortal illness to duck responsibility and take it easy. Not this soldier. He will not go gentle into that good night; but instead of a futile raging against the dying of the light he rages, with redoubled energy (and concentrated power in his vibrant, Richard Burton tones) against the same obscurantist, vicious or just plain silly targets as have long engaged him. But he never rants. His is a controlled, disciplined rage, and don’t get on the wrong side of it.
I couldn’t agree more. I am nearing the end of his memoirs, Hitch-22 , and it’s a fabulous read. On every page there is some brilliant anecdote or witticism or insight. The odds of Hitch beating his cancer are very low – about 5% – so the sad fact is we may soon be living in a world without him being around to comment on it. It’s a depressing thought, the prospect that we will be robbed of Hitchens, yet the likes of Richard Littlejohn or Glen Beck or Sean Hannity or any other number of buffoons will continue to be paid handsome sums for their pig ignorant views.
If ever you wanted a sound argument against the existence of a loving god, there’s a good one.