Hitchens died of complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 62, reported Gawker, calling him a "Clinton-loathing, religion-mocking, Kurd-loving, war-mongering, ball-waxing British drunk who contained multitudes and seemed to be insulting you somehow even when you agreed with him."
|Christopher Hitchens, smoking, as he led his life, down to the nub. (Photo: jeffsingerphotography.com)|
Remember when Hitchens wrote this "provocation" in the pages of Vanity Fair?:
Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny? Please do not pretend not to know what I am talking about. All right—try it the other way (as the bishop said to the barmaid). Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women? Well, for one thing, they had damn well better be. The chief task in life that a man has to perform is that of impressing the opposite sex, and Mother Nature (as we laughingly call her) is not so kind to men. In fact, she equips many fellows with very little armament for the struggle. An average man has just one, outside chance: he had better be able to make the lady laugh. Making them laugh has been one of the crucial preoccupations of my life.
In writing this, I just went back to that Vanity Fair article, and I dreaded having to re-read it because I remember how viscerally annoyed I got the first time I read the piece. To my surprise, Hitchens' elegantly argued thesis actually started to convince me...and then I got to thinking, "Wait, is he right? Are women not funny? Maybe he's got a point." How maddening!
Then again, Christopher Hitchens was a genius of the abrupt statement that makes people laugh in spite of themselves. For example, he managed to find a way to criticize Mother Teresa, claiming that she was more interested in glorifying God than in helping the poor.
Daily Hitchens, which bills itself as an unofficial Christopher Hitchens site, notes that the author's memoir, "Mortality," will be published early next year.