An afternoon with Hitch.
Many years ago, before celebrities came to /r/IAMA, we went to them for our unique reddit crowdsourced interviews. I was giddy to learn that thanks to some favors from Conde Nast, we secured an interview with Christopher Hitchens, arguably one of the most brilliant rhetoricians of our time. Watch it here: http://blog.reddit.com/2010/01/christopher-hitchens-answers-your.html
He met us at the door with a drink in hand (it was before noon) and warmly welcomed us into his home. We brought sandwiches and a bottle of Johnny Walker Black. After the interview, Christopher impishly asked me and +Erik Martin
if we could keep a secret (of course!) and invited us into another apartment next door that he used as an office.
Both his home and this workspace were covered with books and papers; the former had more bookshelves than furniture, whereas the latter looked more like a professor's messy desk had been the inspiration, with cigarette butts everywhere.
We drank, smoked, and debated -- well, I tried to. He's even more charismatic in person than on stage or in videos, even when he's infuriating you. But when you're in accord, there's no one more compelling with language.
I first encountered his work at the Strand many years ago, Why Orwell Matters
, because I was deep in Orwell at the time, but I finished it curious to learn more about the author than the subject. I've read nearly all of his work since.
I'll never forget those few hours together. Thank you, Christopher. We'll miss you.
My friend +Zach Weiner
has a great point about paying tribute to him: http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/newng/mrweiner_smbc_pays_tribute_to_hitch/c38jg6h