Christopher Hitchens is dead, and politics will never be interesting again. Farewell, the level-headed though unpopular argument–so long, contrarianism. Hitchens seemed to take on over-discussed subjects–atheism, militarism, the rightness of the war on Freedom, expatriacy, the unfunniness of women–simply because they hadn’t been discussed to his satisfaction. There has hardly been a time in the past calendar year when his name hasn’t graced the bestseller list–a testament to America’s waning, but apparently still existent interest in intellectualism. Two of his books, Arguably, a collection of essays, and The Enemy, a treatise on Osama Bin Laden’s threat to democracy, topped the charts in the past two months. His pivotal 2007 work God is Not Great bravely put religion in the context of superstition and slavish thinking. In many ways he was a miracle of the modern age–in that he was so much of a throwback to the previous one, an age of long nights of booze-fuelled, cigarette-hazed existential discussions of ‘is god dead’ and ‘is civilization improving.’ With his loss, we’ve also lost the fantasy of believing that somewhere on the earth such discussions still exist, with a vacant spot waiting for us.