Why I am an atheist – Heather Dalgleish »« Outing Thunderf00t

Hitch isn’t done yet

Christopher Hitchens was granted the Richard Dawkins Award tonight at the Texas Freethought Convention. He was looking frail and thin, his voice was husky, but he was amazingly strong. He gave a wonderful, fiery, eloquent acceptance speech, and then he took questions for almost an hour — and he was willing to go on longer and seemed grateful for an opportunity to talk to the public again. He was fierce, courageous, and well-spoken as always, and kept the audience awed and inspired the whole time.

I’m actually optimistic that we’ll see him again in Melbourne for the Global Atheist Convention. I’ll put his talk up as soon as I see it appear on youtube, as I’m sure it will soon enough.

Comments

  1. DLC says

    Good to hear! I like Hitch, even if I don’t always agree with him. He’s a good bloke.

  2. Jack LesCamela says

    Great news, PZ! I look forward to watching the video. Three cheers for Hitch!

  3. Jason says

    I pity the fool who picks a fight with the Hitch… yeah I’m talking to YOU cancer!

    One of my favourite men on Earth is Christopher Hitchens.

    I am looking forward to seeing the speech.

    Thanks for the update PZ.

  4. San Ban says

    This is excellent news! I know it doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods, but I’m really glad to hear he’s back in fighting form again. Looking forward to the video. Thanks.

  5. sick_of_baboons says

    Your hypocrisy simply has no limits does it? You are the very *antithesis* of Hitchens – an unprinciple, expedient, self-serving prostitute that’s for sale to whatever pop cause will generate traffic for you. And you want to praise Hitch so soon after pissing all over Dawkins? Only you are capable of this PZ. Only you.

  6. says

    And you want to praise Hitch so soon after pissing all over Dawkins?

    Are you trying to break some kind of non sequitur record here, asshole ?

  7. Der Zed says

    I’ll gets them atheists a’fightin’ amongst themselves with some of that clever provocatin’ I done heard tell of.

  8. says

    I read about this elsewhere too. I really found it amazing that he took 15 minutes to tell that little girl what to read and what a lovely reading list he gave her too! Especially Dickens’ A tale of two cities.

  9. elronxenu says

    I’m very pleased to hear Hitch is well enough to travel, after his inability to speak at the Think Inc conference, even though via video link.

    I hope he can get to the 2012 Global Atheist Convention too, but Victoria’s a lot further away than Texas and I understand he may not be up to the long flight(s).

  10. Paul Havlak says

    I don’t think Hitch is actually well enough to travel. He said something about receiving treatment here in Houston, and that he was very happy to attend, having been unable to fulfill many other speaking engagements recently.

    Hitchins was amazingly powerful and moving. I won’t hold high hopes that he will get better… but still, I’ll hope.

  11. says

    @13

    I’m guessing that he’s referring to PZ and Dawkins’ differing responses to the elevatorgate thing.

    Mature people, like Dawkins, PZ and S J Gould are capable of having differences of opinion about one area of discussion, like non-overlapping magesteria, Iraq, and elevatorgate, while at the same time continuing to respect and admire the strengths of the other in other areas of life.

    Having said that I have yet to see any strengths in the character or wisdom of the writer of post 12, and hence see nothing to change my initial view if him (or her) as a total dickhead.

  12. says

    Hitch didn’t create an empire, he doesn’t have billions of dollars and more crucially he doesn’t believe in alternative medicine. Oh, and Hitch is still alive! No offense to Jobs, but there is a bit of irony here… Anyway, fuck cancer.

  13. Michael Kingsford Gray says

    This is extremely GOOD news!
    Mainly for Christopher, but also for me…

  14. Cowalker says

    Mike B:

    Mature people, like Dawkins, PZ and S J Gould are capable of having differences of opinion about one area of discussion, like non-overlapping magesteria, Iraq, and elevatorgate, while at the same time continuing to respect and admire the strengths of the other in other areas of life.

    How dare you malign Dawkins by suggesting that he doesn’t initiate a blood feud when publicly disputed by a fellow scientist over a social and cultural issue? Gould would have done the same if he were alive! It’s the only manly thing to do! It’s the best possible way forward for non-believers.

    /sarcasm

  15. Tim DeLaney says

    Here’s hoping that Hitch remains alive and lucid for another day, and another, and another …

  16. Badland, delurking for a bit says

    I see the lovely Franc Hoggle (#12) has dropped by to bedazzle us with his wit. Those with strong stomachs should drop by his website for the latest litany of hatewanks, the guy has gone from creepy to obsessive, and all because a woman said she wasn’t comfortable being hit on in an elevator

  17. Ian Scott says

    @21 Michel, what the fuck are you on about? Presumably the only reason you’re comparing Jobs to Hitchens is because Jobs HAPPENED to die recently. But what the hell does that have to do with anything, and what’s with the comparison?

    If you could point out the “irony”, I’m sure we’d all be interested.

    Your post, as well as being completely moronic and insensitive, isn’t even really correct in its point. [idiocy]95% of pancreatic cancer sufferers are dead within 5 years of diagnosis, and Jobs made it to 7. So “nyah nyah”![/idiocy]

  18. says

    If I wanted to send something to Christopher Hitchens, like a teddy bear or something, to give him a feel better/you’re awesome/keep going you’re so strong and I’m really really in awe of you present would that be possible at some sort of PO box? I remember my dad having cancer, and giving him a squeezable teddy bear to help with the muscles in his hands (he used to squeeze it to help strengthen the muscles in it so he’d get fewer cramps in them due to the medication he took). Also it’s a teddy bear. It’s cute and fluffy and nice to get one.

    Anyone know where I could get a PO box for him? Cause I think he’s really awesome, and completely deserves to get something cool like a teddy bear in the mail.

    Maybe I’m being stupid, but… It just seems like the right thing to do you know?

  19. ryangeiler says

    I was going to write something more eloquent but really—Fuck you cancer. Good to see Hitchens about.

  20. Kevin says

    Hitchens is doing remarkably well for someone with Stage IV esophageal cancer.

    But I fear that Australia is not in his future. Just the travel alone would be much too stressful. Not safe.

    Video feed will probably have to do.

    MD Anderson is one of the premiere cancer facilities in the world — too bad it’s in Houston (which is as big a shithole otherwise than has ever been invented).

  21. says

    I don’t always agree with Hitch but I admire him greatly. News like this always makes me happy, ever since he got sick.
    Hitch makes me want to read more, read BETTER books, be more intelligent, and not back down. Keep going, Hitch!

  22. Flea says

    Yes, you may disagree with the Hitch, but nobody can deny he is a force of nature.

    Is the link of the vid going to be posted here, or in a new post?

  23. says

    Don’t get too optimistic –

    http://blog.chron.com/partisangridlock/2011/10/christopher-hitchens-makes-first-public-appearance-in-months/

    Hitchens’ speech did not disappoint. He talked about his illness and noted that over the last year, he’d been coming to Houston regularly for treatment, presumably at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was emphatic that though his “time” is rapidly approaching, he wouldn’t stop doing his best to shed light on the fraudulent claims made by religion, a line that brought the crowd to its feet.

  24. B. J. Price says

    He recommended books to an 8 year old girl. I can’t help smiling and betting Dawkins latest book was one of them.

  25. PLJ says

    Yay for Hitch! He’s the one speaker that keeps me listening, even tho I already heard his talk 10 times. I love that man.

    @28 … take a deep breath, hold it … now slowly exhale …

    Now you’re a little calmed down, re-read his post (21) and notice that altho you might have an issue with his comment, it isnt all that hard to get the gist of it, as he explains it perfectly fine.

    So before calling people an idiot .. breathe and read better. Then either find it tasteless and ignore it, or find it tasteless and adress it, but STFU with talking on my behalf by telling others that the people here need an explanation to see the irony he mentioned. It’s what they call a joke. Even if you dont happen to find it funny ;)

  26. ChasCPeterson says

    Hitchens’ list of books and authors: Dawkins’ Magic of Reality, Greek and Roman myths, particularly those compiled by Robert Graves, anything satirical by Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author of Infidel and Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations), PG Wodehouse (“for fun”), David Hume, and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

  27. says

    Prostitutes and pissing? Oh, dear. Poor Franc was probably masturbating while he pecked that one out. At least he’s getting some relief.

  28. rickpotthoff says

    Great googly moogly! Christopher Hitchens spoke in Houston last night, & now IT IS RAINING! I spit on Rick Perry & his appeal to the Christian God. Atheists brought us Rain!

  29. R.W. says

    Statistically, Hitchens should have been gone already, except the sky daddy is scared shit over the prospect of having him around His neighborhood.

  30. Blaine says

    Yeah, @12; franc, The League of Obsessed Internet Loonies called, they want their crazy back.

  31. Ichthyic says

    …at the end of that, he took 15 minutes out to speak to an 8 year old girl who asked him what books she should read.

    The mother of that little girl is sending the list to Jerry Coyne.

    just picturing Hitch patiently explaining to an 8 year old which books she might like to add to her list of things to read…

    poignant just doesn’t cover it.

  32. Ichthyic says

    @21 Michel, what the fuck are you on about? Presumably the only reason you’re comparing Jobs to Hitchens is because Jobs HAPPENED to die recently. But what the hell does that have to do with anything, and what’s with the comparison?

    I’m guessing it’s a poke at what is LIKELY to happen.

    since Hitch isn’t rich, or a major political figure, or a movie star, likely the media tributes to him will not be nearly as grand or ubiquitous as they were for Jobs.

    Again, just a guess, but I’d say he was criticizing the media.

  33. James Thompson says

    I was at the conference. I talked with three people who had flown in just to get a book signed and hear his acceptance speech.

    His writings and courage have been an inspiration for many.

  34. Damian Wegner says

    You know what?…I reckon Hitch is going to beat his illness. I think his mental determination and the best science available will get him through this. We need champions like him.

  35. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Hitch’s reply to the little girl was priceless. She asked if there were any famous authors that she should read. He paused momentarily and replied, “Yes, there are.”

    And then he offered to give her a reading list after the horse and pony show. I passed the Kolinahr and I still experienced the atavistic twinge of emotion that I experienced as a young boy.

  36. williambateson says

    You people are daft. It’s too bad that Hitchens is sick and suffering, as it would be for anyone. But he has spent the last decade endorsing the most destructive impulses and activities of the American empire, propounding lies and half truths in support of his views, standing his ground each time they were disconfirmed, being supercilious and pissy toward those who were actually correct about these issues (not negligible ones – war, foreign invasion and occupation, torture, suppression of dissenters). This is scientific? A positive social force?

    The atheism question was settled in intellectual circles at least since the beginning of the 20th century. Not such a courageous stance, though obvious one that attracts cheap adulation among this site’s fanboys and girls.

  37. ACN says

    You know what?…I reckon Hitch is going to beat his illness. I think his mental determination and the best science available will get him through this. We need champions like him.

    The problem with this sentiment is that “beating” cancer isn’t really the same as beating the flu, Randall has a very poignant visual of this:

    http://xkcd.com/931/

    I think there is something true to what you say about his mental determination though. I would bet my car on him beating the 5-year survival figures for his diagnosis.

  38. ACN says

    Anyone know where I could get a PO box for him? Cause I think he’s really awesome, and completely deserves to get something cool like a teddy bear in the mail.

    Maybe I’m being stupid, but… It just seems like the right thing to do you know?

    Seconded. I’d really like to send him a support letter, but I’m not sure how/where to mail it so that he’d get it. The MD Anderson Cancer Facility has a “message a patient” feature:

    https://www2.mdanderson.org/sapp/contact/message/index.cfm

    If we’d like to handwrite a letter, maybe try sending it to:

    Mr. Christopher Hitchens
    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    1515 Holcombe Blvd
    Houston, TX 77030

    Although that seems like it’s the center’s business address and patient mail might get bottlenecked…

  39. claimthehighground says

    If I ever (and don’t hold your breath) run for office and some inane questioner asks, “Who is your hero?” I would surely have to answer, “Christopher Hitchens.” I have followed him for years and respect (but do not always agree with) his enormously well thought out and crisp commentary. I am truly glad to have shared the planet with him. Given enough time, I would surely would have tried to introduce him to the magic of Bourbon in place of his preference for Scotch, but then I’m sure he would have been just as grateful to return the favor. He is one of the giant intellects of our time.