The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Celebrated journalist, lifelong contrarian, and staunch atheist Christopher Hitchens has died from complications of esophageal cancer at the age of 62. “I personally want to ‘do’ death in the active and not the passive,” he wrote in his recent memoir Hitch-22, “and to be there to look it in the eye and be doing something when it comes for me.” Read an anecdote-filled eulogy by his friend Christopher Buckley over at the New Yorker.

2. Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien says that the band is rehearsing “four or five new songs” to play at their live shows next year in a world tour that includes 10 dates in North America and five shows across Europe. [via NME]

3. Christian Bale, who in China promoting his new film The Flowers of War (the most expensive Chinese film ever made), was forcefully prevented by government-backed guards from visiting Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist currently living under house arrest. [via NYP]

4. Phil Spector, who is currently serving 19 years to life for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, is asking the US Supreme Court to review his 2009 conviction, claiming that the judge violated his constitutional rights by providing his opinion on expert testimony. [via Zap2it]

5. Have you seen the promo for the new Lifetime Original that features Rob Lowe as accused murderer Drew Peterson? You’re welcome.

Bonus Buzz: The Best Ron Swanson Food Quotes