R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens ist gestern im Alter von nur 62 Jahren an den Folgen seines Speiseröhrenkrebses gestorben. Fuck.

Hitchens war neben Richard Dawkins der berühmteste Vertreter des Atheismus und sein radikaler Anti-Theismus entspricht meinem in seiner soziokulturellen Argumentation sogar noch mehr als der evolutionär und neurowissenschaftlich argumentierte von Dawkins. Ich hatte mir seine Bücher „God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything“ und „The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer“ vor ein paar Jahren gekauft, als wir hier die ersten male ausführliche Diskussionen um Religion hatten und mir der Mann empfohlen wurde. Ich teile seine Argumentation (Religion basiert komplett auf Wunschdenken, Ängsten und Indoktrination) praktisch komplett, ziehe allerdings andere Konsequenzen als er (Hitchens war für den Irak-Krieg und kritisierte Bush bereits vor dem 11. September für seine „non-interventionist“ Außenpolitik).

Der Mann bezeichnete Mutter Theresa als „Ghul“, war für die Legalisierung von Marijuana, ein „bisschen“ zu kriegsverliebt, bekennender Polemiker, Säufer und Kettenraucher. Ich bezeichne ihn als den Bukowski des Atheismus. Aus dem Nachruf seines Kumpels Christopher Buckley: „'It’s the fags that’ll get me in the end, I know it,' he said once, at one of our lunches, tossing his pack of Rothmans onto the table with an air of contempt. This was back when you could smoke at a restaurant.“

 Youtube Direkthitchslap

I always knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle... I decided to take it because it helped my concentration, it stopped me being bored — it stopped other people being boring. It would make me want to prolong the conversation and enhance the moment. If you ask: would I do it again? I would probably say yes. But I would have quit earlier hoping to get away with the whole thing. I decided all of life is a wager and I'm going to wager on this bit... In a strange way I don't regret it. It's just impossible for me to picture life without wine, and other things, fueling the company, keeping me reading, energising me. It worked for me. It really did.

Aus einem kurz vor seinem Tod veröffentlichten Auszug eines Interviews mit ihm von Richard Dawkins:

I have one consistency, which is [being] against the totalitarian - on the left and on the right. The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy - the one that's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes. And the origins of that are theocratic, obviously. The beginning of that is the idea that there is a supreme leader, or infallible pope, or a chief rabbi, or whatever, who can ventriloquise the divine and tell us what to do.

Vanity Fair: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011, sein letzter Artikel dort für die Januar 2012-Ausgabe: Trial of the Will
Reuters: Polemical journalist and atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62

Nach dem Klick ein dreistündiges Interview mit Book TV und der IQ2-Talk „Stephen Fry & friends on the life, loves and hates of Christopher Hitchens“.

Stephen Fry & friends on the life, loves and hates of Christopher Hitchens
(Youtube Direkthitch)

In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, iconoclast and debater. Fry was joined on stage at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall by Richard Dawkins and the two discussed Hitch's unflinching commitment to the truth. Hollywood actor Sean Penn was beamed in from LA by Google+ and, between cigarette puffs, read from Hitch's acclaimed work, The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Five friends of Hitch spoke via satellite in New York: satirist Christopher Buckley and editor Lewis Lapham mused on Hitch's prowess as a journalist. 'Like a pot of gold', said Lapham. Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and James Fenton delighted the audience with stories of Hitchens as a young man. Rushdie drew roars of laughter when he recounted a word game invented by Amis and Hitchens where the word 'love' is replaced with 'hysterical sex'. Particular favourites included Hysterical Sex in the Time of Cholera and Hysterical Sex Is All You Need.


Christopher Hitchens In Depth
(Youtube Direktslap)

(via Open Culture, Dangerous Minds)