17 December 2011

The Hitchens Method #nlpoli #cdnpoli

There are plenty of people out there who pat themselves on the back for telling it like it is, for calling it as they see it.

You know they do it because they relentlessly point it out to you.

They are brave.

They are fearless in delivering their opinions.

They cannot stop telling you that.

You all know them.

Closer examination invariably reveals they are full of shite.

Not so Christopher Hitchens, as Paul Wells makes plain in his obituary for a man so wonderfully described during his lifetime as a public intellectual:

His method was simple:

1. Read everything.

2. Draw your own conclusions.

Expanding the range of his inquiry, digging deeper, engaging with the minds he admired most. Hitchens spent much of his life offering everyone his answers on any subject, but they would not have mattered so much if he had not also been such a ravenous asker of questions.

And the world would have been so much duller a place if Hitchens had not told us what he found out in so eloquent a way.

- srbp -