Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

By

Farewell, Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Do I fear death? No, I am not afraid of being dead because there’s nothing to be afraid of, I won’t know it. I fear dying, of dying I feel a sense of waste about it and I fear a sordid death, where I am incapacitated or imbecilic at the end which isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something to be terrified of.

It’s in times like this when, ironically, words just fail — it is so hard to convey some feelings. No, I was not so lucky to have met Mr. Hitchens in person, I cannot claim to know what kind of person he was, or how well he performed all of those roles each individual assumes throughout their life.

But I did know him as a mentor, as a writer, as a delusion slayer, as an educator of the masses. I was so fortunate to have exchanged a few emails with him, such an inspiring human being.

We knew him through his essays and books, his loudness, his brilliant rhetoric, his boldness, for his inspiring reasoning, and his amazingly blunt debate skills. He was such a pleasure to listen to.

I remember a few months ago, he was asked in an interview, “so, you’re dying…”, He calmly smiled and said, “Yes, but so are you.” The only good thing about these announced deaths, is the opportunity we get to show the sick person how much we cherish, and appreciate them. I hope he sensed how much we treasured him and his work.

He’s not resting in peace, he’s not in a better nor worse place, he simply is no more. Hence this feeling of irreparable loss.

All that is left for us is to celebrate his time on earth, and be thankful for what he gave us, that hopefully will continue to enlighten future generations. This was a life worthy of a great celebration.

Farewell, Hitch, you mighty warrior for rationality and reason, you! Thank you for your invaluable contribution to humanity’s enlightenment.

This is not a tribute, I am not qualified to do that. I just needed closure.

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By

Exit Smiling

http://books.google.com/books?id=WQVAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

In 1728, at age 23, Ben Franklin composed his own epitaph:

The Body of
B. Franklin, Printer
(Like the Cover of an old Book
Its Contents torn out
And shrift of its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be lost;
For it will, (as he believ’d) appear once more,
In a new and more elegant Edition
Revised and corrected,
By the Author.

Fifty-six years later, six years before his death in 1790, he wrote these lines:

If Life’s compared to a Feast,
Near Fourscore Years I’ve been a Guest;
I’ve been regaled with the best,
And feel quite satisfyd.
‘Tis time that I retire to Rest;
Landlord, I thank you! — Friends, Good Night.

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By

And just like that, I was dead.

No, seriously! I was dead, just for a few minutes, but dead nonetheless. Long story short, on Sept. 25th an allergic reaction to a supposedly innocuous pill, caused my throat to close, shutting off my breathing and within minutes I was dead, literally.

But this rant is not about my ordeal from that night, which I can’t deny, was scary and surreal, and ultimately ended up with me waking up in the hospital, incredibly tired, with a sore throat and an extremely bruised chest, after 7 minutes of CPR.

This is about how this event has triggered on my friends and family a relentless determination to pervert me… I’m sorry, that should have read, convert me.

As if I hadn’t had enough with what I went through, now I have to endure the endless preaching of my family and close friends. Their arguments would be amusing if they weren’t so recurrent and therefore annoying…

“It is God’s way to let you know that He loves you” Yeah, he was showing some luv, sure. I mean, seriously?

“You must have had a near death experience…? You probably don’t remember but you must have!” Nope! No NDE for me. But we all know that NDEs are natural chemical reactions to Ketamine, and if you didn’t know that, you have some serious reading to do.

“Jesus wants you to accept him into your life.” Accept him? The king of kings? That’s quite conceited, isn’t it? Given that they worship Jesus, shouldn’t they be ‘begging’ him to come into their lives, or rather their delusional minds?

“This has been a warning; god wants you to appreciate the life that he has given you…” Of course, now THAT makes sense, right? Newsflash! I didn’t appreciate life before any less than I do now; and, the life that he has given me? Come on!

“God is giving you a second chance…” Yeah, a second chance to die! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t make such a big deal out of this event, but it wasn’t pretty. Those few seconds right before passing out – which are the last that I can remember, were horrible. Try to picture this, being unable to breathe, actually suffocating, watching the terrified faces of the ones around you and being fully aware of it. One shouldn’t have to go through this kind of experience more than once, really!

And my poor mother, who is the only one who doesn’t annoy me so much, and was probably the most affected of us all, keeps praying for me to believe in god as she has done since I was 5 years old. Oh yeah, that’s when I told the priests and nuns in my catholic school that their stories did not make sense to me, that I couldn’t understand, that I needed rational explanations; their responses were something like, those are the holy mysteries and that’s what ‘faith’ is all about – believing in what you cannot see or understand, which made me want to say “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!”

If you know me a little, or if you’re following me on Twitter, you’re probably wondering, is this the same Monica that baits theists and tries to make them think rationally? I know, right? Well, when it comes to theists on Twitter I’m fierce and heartless, but when dealing with the people that I’ve known forever, my loved ones, I can’t be blunt and tell them to stop (which has crossed my mind in terms of “why don’t you all leave me the hell alone!”)

I *AM* an atheist in a foxhole, or rather was in that moment. I was dead only for a few minutes, but endured the process of dying for much longer than that, and not even once the idea of god crossed my mind.

When I was done and couldn’t stay awake any longer, while giving in, my last thought was for my mom, for whom my death would have been such a terrible loss.

Putting aside the agitation and the pain, this is pretty cool, right? I mean, how many people do you know that have died and come back to tell their story?

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