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Published only a few days before he did eventually die. Heart breaking and harrowing in retrospect.
is just unutterably, endlessly sad. Cancer is so indiscriminate and cruel. I just hope he didn't suffer too much right at the very end. Still, a man as prolific in his output as Hitchens never really dies, I take comfort in that his words about Shakespeare's immortality echo in his own works - I've spent most of the evening reading his vanity fair articles and watching youtube clips, faintly happy in the knowledge that his wit and charm can never be extinguished
...I'd quite of liked to have seen Hitchens take on 'the narrative of Cancer' in an article actually. I mean we always see cancer as this, as you put it, indiscriminate disease, the one most worthy of our collective sympathy... and yet we know that it is heavily linked to lifestyle choices. There are three things that significantly increase your statistical likelihood of having cancer. They are:
1. Being overweight
2. Being a smoker
3. Being a heavy drinker.
Hitchens, for example, was all of these things. So to attribute his demise to something which is indiscriminate and cruel, when he is statistically likely to have been the main protagonist in his own downfall, gets him off a rather large hook.
Cancer can be horribly indiscriminate and horribly cruel. But I do find the endless analysis of cancer as being the worst of all of the diseases, and the one which deserves the most sympathetic reverence, to be really quite odd...