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Preminuo Christopher Hitchens

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Jučer je u Houstonu, Texas, preminuo pisac i novinar Christopher Hitchens, poznat po svojim oštrim stavovima i britkoj kritici svega s čim se nije slagao, posebno s religijama i njihovim organizacijama. U nastavku prenosimo tekst koji je prigodom njegove smrti objavio The Telegraph.

Mr Hitchens, who wrote and spoke often about his illness, was a prolific author, essayist and critic of ideologies, literature and politicians.

He was outspoken, particularly on matters of religion, and was a famous atheist. Among his most well-known works are God Is Not Great and his 2010 memoirs Hitch-22.

Mr Hitchens, who was born in Portsmouth and became a US citizen in 2007, was diagnosed with cancer last year. He agreed to trial a new method of treating cancer through genome sequencing and was able to receive medication for a genetic mutation.

Earlier this year, he said he was “an experiment.”

“At least it spares me some of the boredom of being a cancer patient because what I’m going through is very absorbing and positively inspiring. But if it doesn’t work, I don’t know what they could try next,” he said.

Often described as a contrarian who enjoyed drinking and smoking, Mr Hitchens courted controversy over the terrorist attacks of September 11.

He attacked both the extremists and those on the Left, who he saw as apologists. He resigned from The Nation and supported the war in Iraq.

Referring to Islamic fundamentalism, he said: “An ideology of that sort has shown itself incapable of running even as low-level a society as Afghanistan.

“They deny themselves the talents of half the population. They believe that things like diseases and earthquakes are punishments. They have no self-criticism, so when things go wrong they have to look for the source in a Jewish-Crusader conspiracy, which is why they export their surplus young people to take their violence elsewhere.

“That’s why they’re an immediate menace to us. Their state won’t just fail on its own; they have to share their failure. Once you’ve established that, they can’t possibly win, our victory is a sure thing.”

Mr Hitchens was fearless in challenging people as well as ideas, finding enemies in Henry Kissinger and Mother Teresa, who he described as “a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf”.

He also had a high-profile fall-out with his brother, the Christian conservative writer Peter Hitchens, but the two had lately reconciled.

But even after his diagnosis, he continued writing his acerbic columns in which he railed against the Royal Family and celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden.

Writing on the Prince of Wales’s speech on Galileo’s focus on “the material aspect of reality”, he said: “We have known for a long time that Prince Charles’s empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and cant.

“He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post. He was bowled over by the charms of homoeopathic medicine. He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way.

“But this latest departure promotes him from an advocate of harmless nonsense to positively sinister nonsense.”

A contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Mr Hitchens counted authors Martin Amis and Ian McEwan among his friends after meeting them at Oxford.

The writer Salman Rushdie paid tribute to Mr Hitchens via his Twitter account: “Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops. Christopher Hitchens, April 13, 1949-December 15, 2011.”

In September, a collection of his essays entitled Arguably, was published. He said he was also planning a “book-length meditation on malady and mortality.”

Vanity Fair publisher Condé Nast announced Mr Hitchens’s death in Houston, Texas.

Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, was reported to have said there would “never be another like Christopher”.

Mr Carter described Mr Hitchens as someone “of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar”.

“Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls,” he said.

In May 2010, he completed the Proust Questionnaire for Vanity Fair, answering a survey completed by many famous and public faces.

In it, he said his vision of earthly bliss was “to be vindicated in my own lifetime” while his ideal way to die was “fully conscious, and either fighting or reciting (or fooling around).”

He died with friends at his bedside at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston.

He is survived by his second wife, author Carol Blue, and his three children, Alexander, Sophia and Anthonia.

Prigodni pozdrav današnjim je stripom dao Rob iz ekipe stripa Cyanide and Happiness:

Počast mu je odao i Zach Weiner sa SMBC-a:

In memoriam, Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Što god netko o njemu mislio, jedno mu svi moraju priznati: govorio je iskreno, bez uvijanja. Ako i ne lošije, njegovom je smrću Svijet svakako postao siromašnije mjesto.

Written by Charon l'Cypher

16. 12. 2011. at 11:00

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Richard Dawkins: “Uhitit ću papu Benedicta XVI”

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Times Online javlja o novoj inicijativi R. Dawkinsa i C. Hitchensa:

Richard Dawkins, ateistički aktivist, planira pravne radnje koje bi dovele do hapšenja Pape tijekom njegovog posjeta Britaniji, “zbog zločina protiv čovječnosti”.

Dawkins i Christopher Hitchens, ateistički pisac, obratili su se odvjetnicima specijaliziranima za ljudska prava, da pripreme materijale za optužbu pape Benedicta XVI. zbog njegovog navodnog zataškavanja seksualnih zlostavljanja u katoličkoj crkvi.

Njih dvojica vjeruju da mogu iskoristiti jednake zakonske principe koji su upotrijebljeni kad je, tijekom svog boravka u Britaniji 1998., uhićen Augusto Pinochet, danas pokojni čileanski diktator.

Oko pape se ovaj tjedan stvorila nova kontroverza vezana uz pismo koje je potpisao, a u kojemu tvrdi da treba brinuti o “dobrobiti univerzalne crkve”, protiveći se tako izbacivanju iz službe američkog svećenika koji je seksualno zlostavljao dva dječaka. Pismo je datirano 1985. dok je današnji papa bio voditelj Kongregacije za nauk vjere, koja se bavila slučajevima seksualnog zlostavljanja. [op. Charon, Više o tom pismu pisao je Teomondo]

Benedict planira posjetiti Britaniju (preciznije: London, Glasgow i Coventry) između 16. i 19. rujna. Tom prilikom trebao bi beatrificirati kardinala Johna Henryja Newmana, teologa iz devetnaestog stoljeća.

Dawkins i Hitchens vjeruju da se papa neće moći pozvati na diplomatski imunitet od uhićenja jer, unatoč tome što se njegov posjet karakterizira kao državnički, on nije poglavar države koju priznaju Ujedinjeni narodi.

Angažirali su baristera (u britanskom pravnom sustavu pravnik koji priprema slučajeve) Geoffreyja Robertsona i litigatora (u britanskom pravnom sustavu pravnik koji izlaže slučaj pred sudom) Marka Stephensa da pripreme temelje pravne akcije.

Odvjetnici vjeruju da imaju tri mogućnosti: zahtjev kraljevskom tužiocu da pokrene kriminalnu istragu protiv pape, pokrenuti vlastitu građansku parnicu ili uputiti slučaj Međunarodnom sudu za zločine.

Dawkins, autor knjige i filma “Iluzija boga”, rekao je: “To je čovjek čiji je prvi instinkt, kad su njegovi svećenici uhvaćeni bez gaća, da sve zataška i osudi žrtve na šutnju.”

Hitchens, autor knjige “Bog nije velik”, rekao je: “Taj čovjek nije niti iznad niti izvan zakona. Institucionalizirano prikrivanje silovanja djece je zločin pred svakim pravnim sustavom i zahtijeva ne privatne ceremonije pokajanja ili crkveno plaćanje odšteta, nego pravdu i kažnjavanje.”

Prošle godine, pro-palestinski aktivisti uvjerili su britanskog suca da izda nalog za uhićenje Tzipiju Livniju, izraelsku političarku, zbog zločina navodno počinjenih za vrijeme konflikta u Gazi 2008-2009. godine. Nalog je povučen nakon što je Livni otkazala planirani posjet Britaniji.

“Svakako postoji mogućnost pravnih radnji protiv pape”, rekao je Stephens. “Geoffrey i ja smo zaključili da Vatikan nije država u smislu međunarodnog prava. UN ih ne priznaje, nemaju granicu s pograničnom policijom, a njihovi odnosi s državama nisu diplomatske prirode.”

Naravno, može se lako reći da Dawkins i Hitchens traže jeftini publicitet. U konačnici, obojica dobro prodaju svoj ateizam (ili, točnije, svoj antiteizam). No, smatram da njihovi motivi ovdje i nisu naročito bitni.

Konačno je netko primijetio i javno rekao da je papa čovjek i da može i treba odgovarati za svoje zločine jednako kao “obični” ljudi. Na žalost, mnogima to nije jasno, što se može vidjeti i iz mnogih komentara ispod prevedenog članka. Ipak, malo-pomalo, nadam se da će ljudi shvatiti da nema smisla nikoga stavljati iznad zakona, a najmanje nekoga čija su jedina obrana od progona samoproglašena moralnost i samoproglašeno predstavljanje entiteta za čije postojanje nema dokaza, nego samo (ne)vjerovanje.

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