Thursday, July 01, 2010

Putting up, one hopes, a good fight

Oh, no.

The news that Christopher Hitchens has cancer is...well, depressing. I've not always agreed with him (especially in recent years), but I've always been an admirer of his writing ('always' in my case means since the period I became more-or-less politically aware, i.e., the late 80s).

Even when I've disagreed with his point, he's made me confront and think more clearly about the reasons why. And there was a brief period in the late 90s when we got to be on a first-name basis, and a friend and I enjoyed a memorable evening of warm hospitality at his home in Washington, DC.

Ever since, I've looked askance at those personal attacks that have dismissed him as a washed-up drunk.

No doubt, there'll be more than a little Schadenfreude among the Hitch-haters out there.

But I wish him (and his family) well.

2 comments:

headbang8 said...

It won't take long for the loonies to suggest that this is god striking him down for heresy.

A lifetime of cigarettes and prodigious drinking may, rather, have had a little to do with it.

For a drinking man, Hitch maintains a powerful memory. In interviews, he stuns me with his command of vast areas of knowledge.

Indeed, even his opponents should wish him well, if they are as charitable as their faith commands of them.

John Carter Wood said...

Indeed, even his opponents should wish him well, if they are as charitable as their faith commands of them.

You're right, of course, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

And somehow, the almost inevitable statements that they'll be 'praying for him' will sound insulting.

That memory-and-erudition trick is amazing, even more so in person.

The cigarettes and booze were, yes, likely factors (presumably...very few details having so far come through).

I keep thinking, though, of a close friend and mentor of mine who is battling lung cancer despite being a non-smoking health fanatic.

That's particularly unfair.

Fucking cancer.