Pop Culture
Dec 20, 2011, 05:21AM

Christopher Hitchens Will Not Be Disrespected

Not even by certain other Splice writers.

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The reports in the past week of Christopher Hitchens’ death were, defying normal standards of grace, were mixed. Apparently, a lot of people were waiting for this moment; the time when they could pretend their balls finally dropped enough to talk smack about a man who did more for reason and rationale than all of them put together. Most of the people trashing Hitchens feel safe since Hitchens cannot come back from the grave to Hitchslap them into the gutters from which they crawled.

Many, including C.T. May on this website, are charging that Hitchens was a Snowball for the Bush Administration’s ill-conceived Iraq invasion because he wanted to see a fascist dictator ousted. The idiocy is that they imply that the words of an atheist so moved people into supporting the war, or gave Bush justification, that many people forgot that Colin Powell, Bush and Dick Cheney justified the war by claiming that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMD’s. It’s like the critics want to rewrite history. Next thing you know, they’ll all agree Keyboard Cat died a patriot. A lot of us supported the war on principle (WMDs), wanted to see Saddam ousted, and had the decency to admit we were wrong. That is the benefit of revision: to be able to change one’s stance as new information surfaces. Hitchens, a supporter of the war, didn’t change his view, and made no apologies for it. That’s called debate.

There are those who’d call Hitchens a bully because he used his brains instead of physical force or intimidation. Because he argued so strongly? Because he used logic and reason to convince a room of people that Christianity is not a force for good in the world? Because he made people aware of questionable actions of large organizations and individuals? It’s likely some waited for the news of Hitchens’ passing so that they could poke at Hitchens’ corpse. Hey, they’re anti-Hitchens hipsters.

So let’s try and blame the Iraq war on a man who supported it for no religious reasons, instead of George Bush, who thought it’d make his father proud to know that snipers were “shooting up them Johnny Jihads while reading a bible verse.” It’s way too soon to pigeonhole Hitchens as the newest fall guy for yet another Vietnam, because the memory of events is still fresh enough in the minds of people to provide some cognitive dissonance. Whatever the case, haters gonna hate.

  • I called Hitchens a bully because his chosen tactic was to sneer people into submission. And I didn't imply that it was Hitchens who persuaded the country to go to war on Iraq. No, that was George Bush and the rest, just as you say. Hitchens just did his best to help. Find anything in my article that implies otherwise. As to why Hitchens' critics are speaking up now, it's for the same reason that his admirers are speaking up. He just died, which makes him a topic of pressing general interest. Finally, it's "Snowball," not "snowball." Capitalized. You'll find out why if you ever read George Orwell.

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  • Looks like C.T. just sneered you into submission. What a bully.

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  • There's just one sneer in my reply, at the end. The rest is a brief tour thru the facts.

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  • Sounds like CT September is surrendering the moral high ground again. Could be because he's jelly. Green eyed jelly.

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  • How am I surrendering the moral high ground and when did I do it before? And how would surrendering the moral high ground amount to being jelly?

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  • "CT September"? Are you joking? You think Hitchens would want to be defended with a pitiful jibe like that? For heaven's sake, beg, borrow, or steal better material. Sheesh.

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  • Are you kidding me? You're telling me that the man who harshly criticized a fucking comedian deserves respect? As an agnostic person, I say: Fuck you. "There are those who’d call Hitchens a bully because he used his brains instead of physical force or intimidation." No, a great deal of us criticize him because he was retarded. "That's called debate" Yes, but opposing his totalitarian views is also debate, although maybe you don't consider those valid. Funny how you accuse people of being "anti-Hitchens hipsters" when Hitchens was the embodiment of the worst of hipsters. He wasn't just a contrarian, he wanted to contradict anything widely accepted even if it meant pulling stuff out of his ass. Screw your contradicting political correctness, I think Hitchens' final notes on cancer are unintentional comedy gold, which would be the most intelligent things he ever wrote.

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  • Hitchens was a "hipster"? I think you have your generations mixed up!

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  • I think Hitchens would be happy to see he's stirring up strong emotions 4 years after his death. He'd be less happy with the quality of the dialogue, but he was used to duking it out with all kinds. The truth is that Hitchens was a brilliant, complex, paradoxical person, not someone who could be pigeonholed by a particular act or set of actions. I disagreed with him on many things, but I always respected his intelligence and passion. As I noted on the day he died: "The man was an uncompromising hardass but he asked the questions that others were afraid to ask. The world lost a partisan for humanity.""

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