When Hitchens was useful

The significance of Hitchens passing may have more to do with the fact that he was the last of a dying (no pun intended) breed — the erudite, iconoclast commentator who kept up with current events so you wouldn’t have to. It’s not that iconoclasm or erudition as such has disappeared. Instead, it has become generalized, through blogging, and in the process has been deprived of its exchange value.

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