Tis the season to be jolly, so The Knife will avoid speaking particularly ill of the dead, in this instance, Christopher Hitchens.
However, a few comments seem to be in order. It’s actually ironic, given how we are informed that Hitchens was a brutal realist, naturally being utterly opposed to all religious belief, to see just how hagiographic his tributes have been, for example, this hilariously over the top effort.
No doubt he was a clever man, but his attacks on religion/God etc were primarily characterised by inebriate boorish invective rather than argument. Given his capacity for vicious insult I imagine he’d be a bit disappointed by the obituaries so far, which seem to have been written by a select crew of classic metropolitan elitist types, Groucho club wannabes, and a few hangers on. His brother wrote the best one, and Spiked summed it up pretty well. “He was journalism’s John Lennon.” claims one chum. Er…exactly. That was the problem.
Although the details are hazy, it seems that Hitchens stuck to his guns, and managed not to “send for the priest”, leading Dicky to declare that there actually are atheists in foxholes.
All well and good for Hitchens, but where does that leave Dawkins? He looks healthy enough, but you never know. If he ends up with his own terminal diagnosis, in the spotlight, just like Hitchens own keenly anticipated (by his supporters) death was, he’s got to hold the line too.
Hitchens had a gritty sort of resilient air about him, but Dawkins? These fey, effete academic egomaniacs are not exactly renowned for bravery and consistence.
As Shakespeare might ask: “is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts?”