The news that the assertively atheistic and self-styled contrarian Christopher Hitchens (pictured) has oesophageal cancer will especially sadden all who admire his insight, wit, and courageous, well-founded contempt for criminals and hypocrites however powerful or admired by the gullible. It can come as no surprise that there are those calling themselves ‘religious’ who see in his illness as a punishment from God. Some of the stench of their pus can be smelled here.
Luckily, for relief from such trash we have the secular press. There will be no irrelevant, tendentious comment there. A report in the Guardian has this to say:
‘The author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens yesterday announced he was cutting short a promotional book tour in order to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
There were reports that the the British-born writer, who was a heavy smoker until giving up several years ago, had been diagnosed with cancer.’
Or there’s this.
Get the picture? Good old ‘Hitch’. Great guy, brave, erudite are just not the words. He’d wipe the floor with most of us (in his day) in any argument, or in any smoking and drinking contest. But there’s just that little flaw in his nature you see that made him, for all his gifts, just that little bit, well, ‘smaller’ , somehow less grown-up, than the rest of us who look can at least look after ourselves a bit better. Oh, of course, there are many causes of cancer but when it’s as obvious as this eh? It’s sad of course but what’s sadder is that he kept ‘hurting’ himself all those years when he knew better. It’s tough but it’s no surprise is it? I’ll bet you Hitch himself would be the first to admit...
Those of us who are not heavy smokers and drinkers can rest a little easier now because there’s another message there for us if we want it, isn’t there? Bad things don’t happen to people who are ‘good’. Hardly ever. And there’s one more – we’ve got him now. Finally we can talk down to him.