I felt like I lost a trusted mentor when Christopher Hitchens died.
Of course I didn't know him ... I'm a one-man intellectual and literary cul-de-sac that he would never have guessed existed ... but it would have been fun to be in his presence just once.
I ***do*** know him through many videos I've watched on-line, through ten or twenty articles in Vanity Fair that I've read, and through many TV appearances back when the Iraq War was just spooling up. I hated - HATED him back then ... he was an obnoxious arrogant, neo-con - or so I thought. It wasn't until I learned that he was one of the "Four Horsemen" of atheism that I paid attention to him for more than his views on Iraq ... and I realized that he could speak and write wonderfully, and he could explain why he felt the way he did.
He's dead. He will never write again. Never speak again, never debate again.
His words live on ... and for that, I thank you, Christopher Hitchens.