Christopher Hitchens died last night, you might have heard. There's a lot of good remembrances being posted out there, and the early part of Andrew Sullivan's blog today is largely devoted to favorite quotes, videos, and reader reaction. But I'd like to draw your attention to an essay published on Vanity Fair's website just last week. It's an intense and unflinching look at his cancer and treatment, taking the form of a refutation of the Nietzschean adage, "Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." It's heavy:
I have come to know that feeling all right: the sensation and conviction that the pain will never go away and that the wait for the next fix is unjustly long. Then a sudden fit of breathlessness, followed by some pointless coughing and then—if it’s a lousy day—by more expectoration than I can handle. Pints of old saliva, occasional mucus, and what the hell do I need heartburn for at this exact moment? It’s not as if I have eaten anything: a tube delivers all my nourishment. All of this, and the childish resentment that goes with it, constitutes a weakening.
If that's too much, too soon, than please enjoy this video of Hitchens, railing against the recently departed Jerry Falwell on Anderson Cooper.
Did you hate Christopher Hitchens? Any favorite, infuriating moments? Please share.