I’ve been remiss in not linking to my most recent Fortnight article (this one dating back to December 15). One of my big influences both politically and intellectually in the last few years has been Christopher Hitchens. Modeled after his Letters to a Young Contrarian, “Letters to Hitch” is my attempt to express the spirit he represents – one that I fear may be emblematic of a dying breed. An excerpt:
Dear Mr. Hitchens,
You must be reading far too much correspondence these days from people from whom you have never heard or of whom you have never thought. I imagine a terminal diagnosis is somewhat like being a lottery winner in that respect–a reverse lottery. Pardon the dark humor. I hope I’m not breaching the new etiquette of cancer you’re composing on a daily basis; it is lines like: “In whatever kind of a ‘race’ life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist” that give me confidence in your undiminished wit.
To that end, I won’t even bother asking how you are (your answer, I assume, would continue to be “I seem to have cancer today”).
Forgive my fawning; I have spared nuance to save time. Allow me this moment to express my admiration for the evolution of your writing and political thought. This is not just because your path tracks with my own, but because your work represents a devoted iconoclasm I fear my generation will not reproduce.
You can read the rest here.