It is with a sad and heavy heart that I am discussing the departure of Christopher Hitchens from this plane of existence. Short of a death in my Family, or that of a friend - and just behind my cat - the death of the incomparable Mr. Hitchens is the saddest and hardest thing I could have experienced at this stage in my life. This man gave a voice to that which was without audible volume dwelling inside me, he made me fully feel that it was ok to not believe, and even propelled me to take the daunting and advantageous positions I now take.
During the past few years I had been imbibing every inscription made by this intelligent man. I was drawn to him because of his beautiful grasp of polemics and I fawned over his numerous criticisms of religion. While the latter is certainly what he is known for currently, Thursday night after I learned about his passing, I was watching hours of 30 year-old C-Span interviews featuring a younger Christopher Hitchens. He was analyzing the situation in Grenada and providing commentary and comparison regarding the freedom of the press in the United State and the United Kingdom as well as the current state of journalistic affairs in the world. Most notable about the interview - save his usual charisma with the host and camera - was his chain smoking that easily rivaled any industrial revolution smoke stack. Sadly while this was the signature Hitch, this would ultimately contribute to his fatal development of esophageal cancer.
His most recent book titled 'Arguably' is an 800 page compilation of essays and reports he wrote during his 40+ year long career as an essayist. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. He may be gone and the fresh stories may have ceased, but his writings will live on forever. The wit, clarity, and relevance of his writings are immortal even though the mortality of the author has been revoked.
I never got to meet him, but I was able to leave a message on his answering machine in Washington D.C. and occasionally flood his inbox with my emails. Now I can only review, reexamine, and continue to study his epic writings. At Oxford he earned their PPE degree which incorporated Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. I am majoring in the first, but am swapping in Religion and International Area Studies for the latter two. I hope one day to meet the height of his level of influence. My goal is not to be the next Christopher Hitchens, but to be the best Nolan Kraszkiewicz I can be, and use the great works of the incomparable Hitch to continue to spark my engine of ingenuity, interest, and scholarship. I will miss this man I never met, to an extent which few will ever know. This may be the death of my inspiration in the physical sense, but thanks to Christopher this is just the beginning of my ascendancy to a level I can see - currently positioned on this side of my furthest horizon.
|Christopher Eric Hitchens, 13 April 1949 - 15 December 2011|
[Now I'm off to CANADA!!!]