When I learnt that Christopher Hitchens had cancer I was not surprised since he spent a vast chunk of his life to date imbibing and inhaling with gusto but I still fell to a metaphorical knee on the happenstance that his light might be extinguished. When I first discovered the writer and luminary Christopher Hitchens I was searching for some truth in life, a light in the darkness of ignorance and found the well considered writings of this brilliant, brilliant man. I am not ready to accept the obituary of Christopher Hitchens, he must capitalise upon his hard work and success and reap the benefits of each word put to paper and every thought uttered.
Like Hitch I spent formative years in and around the dismal island of Portsmouth on the otherwise pleasant south coast of England, like Hitchens I have moved countries and I feel a synergy for the stranger in a strange land. I feel it appropriate to add that I have lost many people in my life to cancer, notably my mother, grandparents and favourite aunt amongst others and as such I am acutely aware of the challenge facing Hitch today, the behemoth of cancer, epic in its scale and consequences but I am confident that the medical staff attending him will be amongst the best in the world, no expense spared, no poison left untested. Hitchens has always been a fighter, fighting the dawn, fighting the oppression of Bronze Age cults and medieval publishers, fighting for the sake of it to keep his polymath mind agile and ready for attack. If there is anyone that can beat cancer it is this man assisted through the liberal application of radiation and sheer stubbornness.
I want to believe that Hitchens free-thinking autodidactic journey is not over, that the cancer is a stumbling block that will further strengthen his resolve. I wanted to hear Hitch speak at the Opera House on his recent visit to Sydney but a brutal storm that night coupled with the opposing pleasures of a boozy party with friends meant that I was unwilling to take a chance that a ticket tout might grant me access. I had already viewed the presentation accompanying his book launch via youtube and was confident that the content would not vary a great deal, however I will not take this chance again and when Hitch is next in Sydney I will spare no effort to be in the audience to hear him speak and to stand and applaud his efforts and life’s work.
If you have not read any of Hitchens work then I implore you to do so, his honesty and courage in standing up against religious and political tyranny affords him the hard fought position of a cultural revolutionary and I firmly believe that if Christopher Hitchens survives cancer he will go on to light a fire that will burn for a hundred years. Gushing words and appalling punctuation aside, I need, we all need, this man to live.
Nick C. Sydney. AustraliaShareThis