Hitchens died last night of pneumonia, a complication of his esophageal cancer. He was 62.
Update: Over at Pharyngula, PZ Myers writes the best headline for his Hitchens tribute: “Hitch is not in heaven.”
From his article….
I do not say farewell to Hitch. I do not say “rest in peace”. I definitely do not say that he has gone to a better place. I actually find myself already bracing myself for the next sign of deep disrespect that is destined to appear soon: the hackneyed political cartoon that draws him standing at the pearly gates.
Hitch is dead. We are a diminished people for the loss. There can be and should be no consolation, no soft words that encourage an illusion of heavenly rescue, no balm of lies. We should feel as we do with every death, that a part of us has been ripped from our hearts, and suffer pain and grief — and we are reminded that this is the fate we all face, that someday we too will die, and that we are all “living dyingly”, as Hitch put it so well.
A few more of my favourite Hitchens clips after the jump, including Hitchens singing Eric Idle’s “Drinking Philosophers Song”.