Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

One of the great intellectual lights of our age has been extinguished.

A prolific author and regular columnist with Vanity Fair, Hitch was an intelligent and articulate voice of reason in a world where the marketplace of ideas seems increasingly dominated by the voices of irrationality. And though I seldom agreed with his politics (he was a classical conservative in the vein of William F. Buckley, not to be confused with the know-nothings of the current radical Right), his arguments were always persuasive and compelling.

As one of the "Four Horseman" of the New Atheists movement, he was a lightning rod of criticism, which he always countered with grace and aplomb, leaving those who dared debate him quivering in a tangle of their own illogic.

The Onion nailed his essence so well with a simple headline:

Fumbling, Inarticulate Obituary Writer Somehow Losing Debate To Christopher Hitchens