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Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
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Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins.
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I just need to take a brief moment to talk about Christopher Hitchens. In the coming weeks I’m sure I will be talking about him often. His death is really hitting me hard. I’ve been able to piece together in my mind why but it doesn’t make it any better. Despite the fact that is fairly personal I feel the need to share it with my blog because I don’t know how else to let these emotions out.
I never had the chance to meet Christopher Hitchens face to face but I feel as if he has taught me more than nearly anyone in my life. He’s opened me up to new information and ideas and theories I had never heard of or considered. He encouraged me to learn, he made me want to learn, he made me want to think. He opened my eyes to so many things, it’s impossible to express how strong of an impact he had on me. Christopher Hitchens became more than just a man I admired, more than a man that I looked up to, he became almost like a father figure.
I honestly wish that I could be as well spoken and intelligent as Christopher Hitchens. Indeed I have styled many of the things I’ve written similar to his writting style, even though I couldn’t currently hope to match his vocabulary. He sincerely loved his family. He sincerely loved humanity and the world. He wanted better for the world. That view may not of always been perfectly clear because of his silver tongue and razor whit. Many people simply had to dismiss him when they refused, or where unable, to really understand him. As goofy as it sounds I really feel as if I understood Christopher and I really feel as if he would of understood me. He has inspired me to become a more responsible and more active person.
I will never have the opportunity to tell Christopher how much he really meant to me. Perhaps I’m only realizing the full extent of my appreciation for him now. It is certain that I will never forget him and the amazing impact that he had on my life. I only hope it will encourage me even more to do anything I can to make up for the loss the world experienced when they lost Christopher Hitchens.
PS, it is always Christopher, never Chris. Paraphrasing a quote from him “I promised my mother, no circumcision of my name.”
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To Hitch - truly one of the greatest minds of our time. This tribute nearly made me tear up a bit.
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The rich world likes and wishes to believe that someone, somewhere, is doing something for the Third World. For this reason, it does not inquire too closely into the motives or practices of anyone who fulfills, however vicariously, this mandate. The great white hope meets the the great black hole; the mission to the heathen blends with the comforting myth of Florence Nightingale. As ever, the true address of the missionary is to the self-satisfaction of the sponsor and the donor, and not the needs of the downtrodden. Helpless infants, abandoned derelicts, lepers and the terminally ill are the raw material for demonstrations of compassion. They are in no position to complain, and their passivity and abjection is considered a sterling trait. It is time to recognize that the world’s leading exponent of this false consolation is herself a demagogue, an obscurantist and servant of earthly powers.
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Just realized today is his 62nd birthday. I doubt I’ll be lucky enough to have Hitchens see this message himself but I wanted to put it out there. Christopher is such an inspiration. Here’s to hoping we have you around for a few more. There is no one quite like Christopher Hitchens.
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How dispiriting to see, once again, the footage of theocratic rage in Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif. The same old dreary formula: self-righteous frenzy married to a neurotic need to take offense; the easy resort to indiscriminate violence and cruelty; the promulgation of makeshift fatwas by mullahs on the make; those writhing mustaches framing crude slogans of piety and hatred, and yelling for death as if on first-name terms with the Almighty. The spilling of blood and the spoliation of property—all for nothing, and ostensibly “provoked” by the corny, brainless antics of a devout American nonentity, notice of whose mere existence is beneath the dignity of any thinking person.
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