Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

This week Christopher Hitchens lost his fight with cancer, and the world seems a poorer place. An essayist and commentator on a great number of political and social issues, in recent years he has become known as one of the "Four Horsemen of the New Athiests", vigorously debating all comers against the belief in God. While I disagree with his conclusions, and would love to have debated him, I will miss his mastery of language, his biting wit, and his gracious manner of dealing with his opponents, even while viciously attacking their ideas. As a little private memorial I listened yesterday to an mp3 of his 2008 debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. I highly recommend listening or watching some of his countless debates, many of which can be found on YouTube or through iTunes. I was hoping to find some LEGO tie in, but the only thing I could find was a 2006 piece republished in his book Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens in which he was urging his readers to join him in a demonstration outside the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC (this during the whole Danish Muhammad cartoons controversy). He wrote: "Danish flags are good, or posters reading "Stand By Denmark" and any variation of this theme ("Buy Carlsberg/Havarti/Lego").

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