Happy Birthday Hitch (1949-2011)

One of the most formational influences on my worldview...

If it’s the 13th of April when you read this then Christopher Hitchens would have turned 75 today…

Many of you have probably seen the classic ‘hitch-slap’ videos which do the rounds on youtube, and for many more, if you’re anything like me, it is from Hitch that you’ve probably imbibed much of the language you have at your disposal for both religion and atheism.

But Hitch was so much more than his youtube legacy suggests. Read (or even better listen) to Hitch-22 - Christopher Hitchens memoir and you’ll get a sense for a lifelong journalist who only fell into the religious debate in the final innings.

Hitch has been cutting shapes as a phenom ever since his early days at Oxford. I won’t attempt to rehash a timeline of his life here, but if you’re only a little bit interested in him, consume Hitch-22. It is one of my favourite biographies - a subject I have given a lot of attention to.

But Hitch was without a doubt one of the greatest speakers and presenters in the English language that has been captured for eternity by video and audio. He was a master talker, effortlessly mouthing perfectly crisp ideas and responses, elevating regular conversation with rhythm, lyrics and erudition the envy of anyone who fancies themselves a presenter.

He’s been dead 13 years and would have had at least 10 more good ones in him from today were it not for the cancer which pinched his wick.

And if you appreciate his style as much as me, you will agree it is one of the greatest losses that we don’t have Hitchens on the podcast circuit, twitter and widely distributed tv to be here to comment on the hysterics and bottom feeding commentary and coverage in an age of Trump, the manosphere, Jordan Peterson, Biden, wars, wokeness and all the rest.

Just imagine the ironic takes. The knife smooth into the heart of the issue. Just how good it would be…

Hitchens thrived in his time no doubt, but to me it feels like he was made the current media landscape we now inhabit.

This is the final appearance on Charlie Rose Hitchens made… his opening response to finessing the Yates line between choosing a profession or a life is the type of talking that makes Hitch everything I’ve tried imbibe both above and below.

Here are a couple things I’ve produced on Hitch…

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