So I was reading an issue of Vanity Fair that happened to drop into my unsuspecting hands. Which led me to read another issue. Then another. And another.
(no, I probably wouldn’t admit that I.R.L.)
And you know what I realized? Out of all this greasy-fingered perusing into the addictive and intrusive details in the lives of celebrities and people who have been deemed as being worth reading about simply because they have a lot of money, I realized that Christopher Hitchens is a stand up guy. I’ve been impressed by his writing for a long time, but I felt like his essays in the magazine were a singular source of brilliance merged between pages of eye candy and fluff. And a good excuse, in case someone caught me reading it (“I swear I just wanted to read Hitch’s article, no I wasn’t looking at the page on Kate Middleton’s parents, you’re gravely mistaken.”)
Whether or not you like his point of view, there is one thing you must admit: Hitch is damn good with the cutting through the crap. He looks at a situation, pares it down to its bare bones, and points out the inconsistencies and moronic assumptions underlying major institutions. How does he do this? The trick is an old one, and he’s got a cleaver much mightier than the pen and the sword. He’s got Occam’s razor and he’s damn good with it. Which I had been intending to talk about here, but I realized that Hitch is so rad he deserves his own post (so we’ll chat about razors and slicing next time). And all this brings up a very important question that we’ve thought about before. But none of you gave me a satisfactory answer, so I ask again, what or who is a philosopher?
Christopher Hitchens almost qualifies as a philosopher. He’s got the credentials… logic, teaching, essays, battling a terminal disease, being ahead of his time… but he’s missing one key component necessary for philosophical immortalization. He’s still alive. Sadly, not for much longer. So lets be mindful of his words while he’s still here, cackle as he slices and dices his next intellectual victim, and hope there is someone waiting in the wings to carry forth the razor.
However, I am pretty sure that Hitch deserves inclusion in the philosopher’s club based on the following photos alone.
What do you think? Is he a philosopher? If not, who qualifies? Does one have to be dead to be regarded as a truly great thinker?
Filed under: existentialism | 9 Comments
Tags: atheism, cancer, chris hitchens, christopher hitchens, death, existentialism, hitch, logic, occam's razor, ockhams' razor, philosopher, philosophy, smoking, vanity fair