“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” *
As loyal Vanity Fair readers and journalists, the Cafe Phenomenon would like to offer our condolences to Christopher Hitchens’ family and friends. He was a brilliant man, a talented journalist, and most of all, a free thinker who was never afraid to express exactly what it was he believed in, and to do so with great eloquence and great passion. Although he was often called too critical or too brash, the always quotable Hitchens would never back down. In his articles and in his life’s works, there is much to be learned from and admired.
“Every day, the New York Times carries a motto in a box on its front page. “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” it says. It’s been saying it for decades, day in and day out. I imagine most readers of the canonical sheet have long ceased to notice this bannered and flaunted symbol of its mental furniture. I myself check every day to make sure that the bright, smug, pompous, idiotic claim is still there. Then I check to make sure that it still irritates me. If I can still exclaim, under my breath, why do they insult me and what do they take me for and what the hell is it supposed to mean unless it’s as obviously complacent and conceited and censorious as it seems to be, then at least I know I still have a pulse. You may wish to choose a more rigorous mental workout but I credit this daily infusion of annoyance with extending my lifespan.” – Christopher Hitchens, * from Letters to a Young Contrarian (2011).