Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 7

December 24, 2011 • 5:25 pm

This will be the last collective tribute to Hitch, although there are a few miscellaneous items I’ll post soon, and a special musical tribute tomorrow.  As you might have expected, most of the tributes to the man involved amber restoratives, and I’ve put the remaining ones here.

From Hempenstein, an old college pal of mine, who recommends Mclelland’s Islay as “very smooth and an exceptional value”:

Here’s to you, Hitch, for a life well-lived; your unshakable courage on top of eloquence and wit.  I am proud to be able to say that I met you once briefly and that we shared a few words over a then-recent event of  mutual interest.

From Karl H:

From Karl P.:

From Sigi:

The thing I will miss most about Hitchens is his venerable erudition: the vast intellectual resources that he could instantly draw on, the unabashed confidence with which he formulated his thoughts, and the jaunty way he made it all seem effortless — not to mention his truly admirable mastery of the English language. All of these qualities I greatly admire in people, and what better way to express the passing of such a person than a set of empty bookcases? And an amber restorative, of course; that goes without saying.

Stan sent two photos, the first of Hitch having his famous conversation with Mason Crumpacker at the Texas Freethought C0nvention.

Attached are a couple of pictures from the Texas Freethought Convention.  I attended the convention but didn’t take either of these pics.  They were taken by a member of our local Houston Atheist Meetup group, the largest such group in the country.  When Hitchens came into the dining room where we were all seated, it moved many of us to tears, including me.  He looked frail and walked slowly, but when it came time for him to speak, it was clear that his mental faculties were still razor sharp.  Mason Crumpacker was really something, as you have pointed out already.

From Grania Spingies, who didn’t have any whiskey but did the best she could:

Finally, one that doesn’t involve alcohol, from Ivar Husa:

10 thoughts on “Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 7

  1. I tend to think our pain at CH’s passing will grow not diminish over time. Is there no way we can keep the glory of his intellect and his artistry alive?

    His life was that of a super nova so brillant for this moment in our lives only to now fade. He belongs to the ages and our grief, no matter what we wish, will also pass!

    1. Did anyone keep some of the hair that fell out? If we can clone a mammoth (IF ; I know ; we can’t. Yet. Let me get to the punchline!)
      … If we can clone a mammoth, then surely we’re nearly ready to clone a mammoth intellect like Hitch.
      I can live without the drumroll and cymbal crashes, thanks.
      It does strike me … in an SF universe where we could clone someone with all their memories up to the point of extraction of the sample … then what state of mind would the clone be in when they wake up, with the knowledge of certain impending death, followed by the realisation of having escaped. It would be pretty freaky, and I speak as someone who’s seriously thought “OhShitOhShitOhShit This Time I’m REALLY going To Die!” on more occasions than most people.

    1. JS is right; I’m all done now and warming up by a nice wood fire. Hope you got what you were hoping for, but if not just contact Customer Service when they re-open on the second day of Coynezaa.

  2. I’ve more sad news. Those who know AronRa, please visit his YouTube site to hear directly from him. His granddaughter, died Dec. 19. AronRa is an atheist/anti-theist par excellence, whom I also met at the Houston TFA/AAA, this year, where those pictures of Hitch bald, above, were taken. In fact, he also spoke, there. His granddaughter, only about two, fought a hard battle with cancer only somewhat longer than Hitch’s. I offer my deepest condolences to both families. My heart breaks especially for little Sydney.

  3. Interesting man, I shall have to check out some of his writings as I have yet to do so. I saw a glimpse of an interview with him and I have to say, what a shit way to die. I realize it is challenging, but when the hell will we find a good treatment for cancers? Even today breast cancer treatments have been found to be questionable. I wonder If drug companies have a foot in not emphasizing prevention enough.

    No one should suffer this way.

    1. Part of the problem with finding “a” solution to cancer is that hardly any two cancers are the same. Esophageal cancer, as a group, is not at all like osteosarcoma, as a group. What lumps cancers together is their unrestricted growth, ability to metastasize (spread to other tissues and organs), and the ability to evade one’s immune system while hiding in plain sight.

      Each is caused by damaged nuclear material. Different damages yield different results in different tissues/organs. In training, I had a patient with esophageal cancer — multiple primary cancer lesions in multiple locations along his esophagus, each with a different DNA damage pattern. He, too, had been a smoker and drinker, and he’d already survived lung cancer and bladder cancer within the previous ten years. Esophageal cancer was his final. and there simply was no battle for him, then.

      1. One of the latest trends in cancer research is finding a way to make one’s immune system recognize one’s cancer as “other”, to seek and destroy it and prevent any occult metastases from developing into new sites of tumor growth. It’s very new, but I believe Hitch was aware and might even have been trying this, knowing the science was too young to hold great hope. The catch is to fine tune the immune targeting to the cancer, only, and not to normal tissues of same egg-sperm origin and similar features. It’s a thin line of distinction, which is exactly why cancers which come into clinical view have gotten away with such growth right under the immune system’s nose, as it were. Cancers more distinguishable from “self” are wiped out by our immune systems without our ever knowing.

Leave a Reply