Christopher Hitchens is being lionized today for many things. I met him once, in the early 1980s, after signing him up to to speak at my college. The first thing he said to me, after arriving: "Comrade, where do you go to get a drink around here?" He was terrific that day, of course. Andrew Sullivan, another contrarian of sorts, has compiled an excellent round-up of tributes. My favorite (for now) is from Slate's Jacob Weisberg:
Like all of us, he was often wrong, but never in the way everyone else was wrong. His originality was a constant, his independence an unstoppable engine. He loved to argue and debate, not because he was a bully but because he thought it pointed in the direction of truth.