Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P.

My own, er, tribute, recorded for Radio Derb, which just went to tape & will be up after lunch.

Christopher Hitchens has died, much too young.

I can’t say I was a fan, am not in fact sure I ever read to the end of anything he wrote. Hitch was a court jester for the liberal elites. He took care never to violate their most sacred taboos. Like Stephen Jay Gould, who also died too young, also of cancer, Hitch carried the banner of soft Marxism forward into the post-Soviet era.

I’m sorry if I sound lukewarm. I’m an opinion journalist, like Hitch, and I am fully aware, as he was, that it is a low kind of trade — “the vituperative arts,” as Auberon Waugh said. Hitch was superbly good at it, far better than I could ever hope to be, and miraculously productive to the end. Is that a bit better?

I’ll add this: Hitch was often fun to watch, quick at thinking on his feet, and something like a genius at not suffering fools gladly.

There now; it didn’t come out so bad. I even think the subject might have applauded it. Goodnight, Hitch.

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