Friday, December 16, 2011

Like, it seems, everyone...

...I've read this morning, I have a Christopher Hitchens story. I met him at the Democratic National Convention in 1992, in a corridor behind the seating area for the Washington State delegation, where he was hanging out with Dick Cavett and offering a running commentary on the proceedings that far surpassed anything I saw on the networks that week.

I didn't see Cavett again that week, but Hitchens hung out nearly every day, never disappointing the line of delegates who approached in hope of a handshake and a quip, who he greeted with a level of charm and patience that belied his legendarily acid wit and formidable wrath. I later got the chance to chat with him for the best part of an hour at a party hosted by The Nation and he was, if anything, even more charming in that setting.

Sure, he went a bit nuts after 9//11, but weighing the totality of his life and work in the balance, that's just a few feathers on the scale. He was wrong about the Iraq war, but many were. He was also one of the finest writers, most eloquent oraters and sharpest wits of our time and he'll be missed.


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Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

Unlike Shaun, I never got to meet Christopher Hitchens; but after reading his book, "God Is Not Great," felt as if I had. It is one of maybe the best - haven't read 'em all - treatises on comparative religion, from a personal perspective, I've ever read. While Mr. Hitchens was a self-admitted aetheist, his book is one the Jesuits who taught me to think for myself, down at Bellarmine Prep, would likely have recommended.

I hope he and his old pal, Alexander Cockburn were able to bury the proverbial hatchet, before he passed on. His commentary, in the coming election year, will be missed by many of us.

8:59 PM  

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