Saturday, December 17, 2011
I imagine with amusement Christopher Hitchens’ amazement on finding himself still there, just outside the Pearly Gates, after cancer took him away December 15 at the relatively young age of 62. But, of course, the arrival of such a figure over there must have attracted a crowd of those still interested in our doings in the lower realms. It’s not every day that a prominent, witty New Atheist experiences the unveiling. And seeing those smiling crowds assembled and St. Peter opening the gate undoubtedly energized Christopher at once. He liked nothing else quite so much as an audience. And no doubt, minutes after entry—and of course he went right in—he was already saying utterly clever things, his audience much entertained. He went right in, I here assert, because he was, down here, and remains still, up there, a wonder-child, a precocious, likeable, and ultimately innocent young thing. His very quick wits, of course, already saw the new approach to pearly fame—up there too. His new theme, rapidly unfolding, is the curse of atheism and how, cleverly, he’d managed to overcome it, down here, by pretending to embrace it with sufficiently wild exaggerations to make it sound ridiculous.