He was, I think, more so a man who despised –as in George Orwell’s book, 1984 too, that there would ever be “The Party” run by the Big Brothers of the world, that would tell men and women what to think, when to think it and when to unthink it, or else.
Christopher thereby took out after various cultural tropes he thought to be ‘my way or the highway’ fascists in the making… or religious institutions that seemed to him to insist all people think alike, or else… and other groups and individuals whom he thought were already brain eaten and unable any longer to think for themselves… and wanted all others to submit to being brain sucked into a watery homogeneity… or else.
Christopher, I think, strived to act as Smith did in the book… one who was supposed to submit to O’brien and The Party by rewriting old newspapers to reflect the current ‘accepted truths”… that is, to push the propaganda Big Brother fascist power was using to try to control the population… but instead Smith kept dreaming truth and freedom.
Hitchens often wrote like a drunken brute, and also with a fervor, a raging love for the nuances and interstices of the English language that none except perhaps ‘Shakespeare cum William F Buckley’ could approach.
Did he know he was writing like an open firehose into endless marching walls of flames sent in wave after wave attempting to burn down human beings’ abilities to think for themselves? I think he did, and it made him all the more fervent to throw, even recklessly, everything he had at those flaming walls to save… to save… what? I think the mind. The mind that can think for itself, a mind that sieves out both the pablum and the ‘eat this it’s good for you’ poisons perpetrated by daft cultures and greed-starched dictators.
Many would disagree with many of Hitchen’s writings, in part, for they were not always mannered. That may be a grotesque understatement. But I think it would be an error to say he was writing. I think, instead, he was attempting to be the last man standing on the fire line, trying to bring in some measure, in a Hitchensesque way, remedies for abject submission to mindlessness. Some may not like the way he said it/did it. But I think no one can contest that he wished for souls to wake up and to be truly free and powerful, instead of repeating cap pistols filled daily at the hands of prevaricators.
And just this in addition to ‘Rest in Peace Christopher’: May whatever place you travel to next, be one that never dares to bore you.
Christopher Hitchens, Author, Writer for Vanity Fair died today of complications from cancer. He was 62 years old.