17 December 2011

I admire all public atheists.

This is pretty funny too
A friend of theirs once took Christopher Hitchens and his wife Carol Blue to dinner at Palm Beach’s Everglades Club, notorious for its exclusion of Jews.

“You will behave, won’t you?” Carol anxiously asked Christopher on the way into the club.

No dice. When the headwaiter approached, Christopher demanded: “Do you have a kosher menu?”


Christopher was never a man to back away from a confrontation on behalf of what he considered basic decency. Yet it would be wrong to remember only the confrontational side.

Christopher was also a man of exquisite sensitivity and courtesy, dispensed without regard to age or station. On one of the last occasions I saw him, my wife and I came to drop some food –- lamb tagine -– to sustain a family with more on its mind than cooking. Christopher, though weary and sick, insisted on painfully lifting himself from his chair to perform the rites of hospitality. He might have cancer, but we were still guests -– and as guests, we must have champagne.

Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair:

He was a man of insatiable appetites — for cigarettes, for scotch, for company, for great writing, and, above all, for conversation. That he had an output to equal what he took in was the miracle in the man. You’d be hard-pressed to find a writer who could match the volume of exquisitely crafted columns, essays, articles, and books he produced over the past four decades. ...

Christopher was the beau ideal of the public intellectual. You felt as though he was writing to you and to you alone. And as a result many readers felt they knew him. Walking with him down the street in New York or through an airplane terminal was like escorting a movie star through the throngs.

This from LA times. I never actually read CH as far as I know.