Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 3

December 20, 2011 • 3:59 am

Here’s the third installment of the readers’ tributes to the life of Christopher Hitchens.

From Sigmund, who’s also put this one on his Sneer Review:

From Cameron:

“For Hitch. Not great but original and done with love.”

From Rich and Barbara Sammons:

The contagion of your insights, courage, and humor will forever energize us.

From Dermot C.

I attach a photo for your blog’s memorial of photos/drawings; you wouldn’t want a picture of a maudlin Irishman, descended , according to Chris Stringer, from the Neanderthals.  So here’s a metaphorical one instead.

[I’m having trouble seeing this picture on the post; if you can’t, click on the icon in the empty box and it will show up.]

And from Rod C.:

My modest contribution…. me teaching my  grandchildren about day/night, eclipses, summer/winter etc with a globe and a flashlight. I think that Hitch would agree, teaching our kids well is a worthy tribute.

Finally, here’s a link: “A modest proposal,” Stephen Fry’s suggestion, on his website, about a proper memorial for Hitch.

17 thoughts on “Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 3

  1. Sigmund: HAHAHAHA! FTW!

    Cameron: Something about the carefulness of your style keeps drawing me back to the finished portrait, and makes it riveting.

    Dermot: I, too, could think of nothing personally pertinent that would fill the bill, and very nearly contributed an oceanscape myself. I didn’t, thinking I might be the only one thinking along those lines. Nice to know I wasn’t alone.

    Rod C.: I’ve most enjoyed the tributes, such as yours, that include offspring; where else is there such cause for optimism? So many of us are in a position to shape our kids’/grandkids’ lives by simply sharing our passions for science and rationality . . .

    1. If you want it on a T-shirt it’s just a matter of downloading the original jpeg to a usb stick and taking it to a T-shirt printing shop (most shopping malls will have one of these).
      My picture is an attempt at a joke about some of his chosen enemies but some of the other pictures posted here have been fantastic. There are clearly some excellent artists reading WEIT.

          1. Sigmund:
            Bloody brilliant job, hombre!
            Done Mike Buonarroti proud.
            Ever thought of sneaking into the Sistine Chapel and, er, retouching the wall-paint a tiny bit?

  2. Hmmmm. Stephen Fry doesn’t like the idea of renaming the Elgin Marbles the Hitchens Marbles….How about Hitchens Blocks?

  3. Re Stephen Fry’s proposal:
    Mourning must have wrought it:
    Stephen Fry has lost his marbles.

    This is the most ill-advised of Fry’s ideas, ever.
    Titillating Greek nationalism, revelling in the fallacious glory of fake Periclean continuity, at a time when the country must finally come to terms with its recent and present failures, is absolutely harebrained.

    Modern Greece has long suffered from a bad case of surrogate identity, much of it instilled by well-meaning but misguided Western philhellenes.
    As the great musician and poet Αγγελική Ιονάτου, better known in the West as Angélique Ionatos, used to caution at the beginning of her concerts:
    “The Greek national brew is — Turkish coffee. The Greek national dish is — imam bayildi.” The sarcasm was not welcome; neither was it lost.

    Oh, and could the spirit of Christopher Hitchens, who was a consummate journalist, please inform Mr. Fry of the advantage of a little fact-checking in matters classical before posting? It might help his case.

    1. It is highly unlikely to come to pass. Although Fry claims it need not set a precedent, there is simply no way to be sure that surrendering one of the greatest international treasures of the British Museum won’t lead to an avalanche of claims for the return of the rest of its colonial plunder.

      1. I deliberately avoided stirring that wasps nest: the conservation aspect. Colonial or otherwise ill-gotten plunder it may be, but for the time present it’s safer where it is than where it ought to be by rights.
        An officially unpopular view, and certainly politically incorrect, but few archaeologists would disagree — in private. Been there, seen that. Wish circumstances were different. Though, with the Cameron cuts, they may soon be: it won’t matter one hoot whether international art treasures rot and decay in Britain or in their countries of origin (where they stand at least the chance of being stolen on behalf of discerning collectors).

  4. I’m going to disagree with Occam’s razoring at #5.
    Just over a year ago I was holidaying in Greece. I was well aware of the controversy about the Marbles, but also pretty-much undecided on the question.
    We spent a morning going round the Parthenon, then an afternoon recovering from heat-stroke and ozone poisoning inside the New Acropolis Museun (I’m not joking about the ozone – there was a real brown photochemical smog visible in the sunset – the first time I’ve noticed one un-prompted ; and it really explained my sore eyes).
    The Greeks did have a fair point to answer in the past : “you’ve not got a good place to put the Marbles, and they’ll rot under Athen’s pollution”.
    They’ve answered it. To my mind, at least. It’s an appropriately protected location, and frankly a lot more comfortable than sweating under the beady eye of Helios. And the setting (with it’s gaping open wounds for receipt of the marbles) is stunning.
    Some things should be in their original contexts. If the Marbles aren’t returned, then perhaps we should send the Greeks Stonehenge instead?
    As for the question of returning myriads of looted articles to their original contexts … well once the “how are you going to curate them” question (which is a fair question) is adequately answered, then my comment is “Return the stolen property, and smile while you’re doing it!”
    Which of course doesn’t mean disposing of all of our “cultural heritage” : a lot of that was brought for cash on the nail (no small amount was commissioned for cash on the nail, bed and board while it was being made) ; much then went to the state in lieu of unpaid tax. So often the appropriate answer to “Give us back our Reubens (etc)” is “Make us an offer and we’ll consider it. We may then roll around on the floor, helpless with mirth.”
    (I actually made comments about the return of the Marbles a few months ago in a letter to the editor of the Geol.Soc.Lond. newsletter, to see if he was interested in stirring up a few column-inches on the subject. I think the prompt was some piece of geo-archaeological detective work he’d reported on , but I’d have to go through the archive to find the prompting article now.)

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