Filed Under: Journal
I copy the work of others. There are intellectuals without whom I would simply not be capable of elucidating a single thought. So barren and empty would be my understanding that I can scarcely believe I would be even a ghost of the man that I am today. Language is a tool to the masses through which we can express ourselves, and in so doing find some kind of connection with one another. To form a node, however delicate or indelicate, as the case may be, in this thing we call a civilization. You or I wield words with the incoherent but intense intent of a baboon mastering a newly found revolver. We elate or injure each other through sheer will. The image I intend to impress upon you is that of intellectual Neanderthals pounding at our chests for attention, or to express that we're hungry.
Yet, among the noise produced in the bleating tumult there are voices which ring true enough to cut through the cacophony. Signal piercing the noise. The world has just lost one of those rare signals in the static. I have never met Christopher Hitchens, and yet I feel comfortable in saying he has informed my adult understanding of the world around me nearly as much as any single figure could have. It would be a disservice to the man to suggest that I learned so little from him as to adopt his espoused positions, simply indoctrinated, and instead I feel I've come to know more about the process of thought itself. Hitchens had a ravenous hunger for truth regardless of whether that truth was philosophical, or literal, or spiritual truth. He had a immeasurable capacity for expression which tragically, and paradoxically is no longer present to formulate its own description.
There may be no spiritual ether into which the sum of the parts of Christopher Hitchens will pass to reside and educate and entertain its denizens, but as one of many I am certain he soothed my own bleating tangibly and in so doing with us all added materially to the civilization of the world. It is with a heavy heart I fear that no matter how many of my fellow mammals he has touched, the net civilization will still not approximate the loss of his signal in the noise.
It's impossible to crystallize a career of brilliance into a 2 minute clip, but my tiny mind wants to satisfy my urge to try, and so here it is: