Joshing your head off.

Cancer isn’t very funny, but this is the best thing I’ve read all day.  Christopher Hitchens, if you don’t know, is a devout atheist and has terminal cancer.  I’ve always enjoyed reading the stuff he’s written.

What I’ve liked is his penchant for taking a second look at “things we can all agree on” – Mother Teresa’s saintliness, for example – and saying, “No, actually these mandatory thoughts and emotions are draining the life from us a bit.”  In Miss Manners and the Big C, he speaks of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, colorfully imploring that the end of life need not be met with clichés and sentimentality.  (Although I have to say, it’s rather amusing to imagine Mr. Hitchens bounding from the podium to entertain his audience with one-handed push-ups.)

If you’re new to Hitchens a sampling of is writing is here, here, and here.

And here’s YouTube Hitchens in rare form, talking about the “War on Christmas”:

And here’s Hitchens on the death of Jerry Falwell:

My own thoughts have not always been as independent as I’d like.  At times I find myself buying into the deadening emotional clichés of our culture.  A thinker who breaks through these empty rituals of thought is a rare thing.

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One Response to Joshing your head off.

  1. I love Hitchen’s too – such a courageous and independent thinker, and a great writer too. “One almost develops a kind of elitism about the uniqueness of one’s own personal disorder.” – that’s priceless.

    I think of him as today’s H. L. Mencken

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