Today, Christopher Hitchens died.
Pneumonia was the culprit, though cancer laid the groundwork and set him up for his final fall. Most famous for his vehement anti-religious stance (something that arose to prominence after the last two decades, much like Sam Harris’ and my own), he was aside from that a prolific and excellent author, debater, and a true research journalist.
Although I will admit to not sharing common opinion on every topic of his, most of the substantial ones I agreed with. He was a dedicate of the principle of science, that when evidence confounds your opinion, it is your opinion that must change, and not the world. The most famous of that was his own personal experiment with waterboarding – he submitted himself to be waterboarded [correcting an omission: he was doing it to prove that it was not torture], and immediately and unequivocally admitted “It’s torture.”
I’ve always admired his talent for being direct and not couching his disagreements in worthless platitude. When he thought someone was an idiot, he made sure they knew it. This took on the colloquial nickname, the “Hitchslap.”
So if you’re of the mind, raise a glass of Johnnie Walker Black in his honor.
As usual, someone else is able to say it better:
Even though I never met him, I wish I could have said farewell.