Tuesday, February 22, 2005


It's official, CNN is reporting that the world has been “shocked and saddened” by the recent suicide of “gonzo journalist” Hunter S. Thompson over the weekend. The bizarre and often misunderstood counter-culture writer and author fatally shot himself Sunday night at his own Aspen-area home at the ripe 'ol age of 67.

Where I agree that the world would indeed be deeply saddened, perhaps even mystified, over having lost one of it's foremost modern literary architects, I doubt that anybody is really much “shocked” per ce, or even much surprised for that matter either. This IS Hunter S. Thompson we're talking about!

How could we? The man was a complete and utter Mars bar! His very fame and notoriety were based on it. Christ, over the years the man has consumed so many intoxicants and poisons that he could probably walk straight into a nuclear fallout zone and experience no ill side effects whatso-fucking-ever. By now, the guy must have had the Immune System of a cockroach, and had probably burned out more brain cells than all the combined members of Motley Crue.

"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon." (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)

I don't think he's talking about a Girl Scout bake sale here!

By this point in his life, I’m surprised that he hadn’t killed off so many brain cells already that he wouldn’t have been able to even remember his name or wipe his own ass. But shooting himself? Sure, I could buy that easily. It saddens me of course, but I’m not terribly surprised any more than I would be if Richard Simmons ever decided to come out of the closet. I believe it was well inside the realm of possibility for Hunter S. Thompson all along.

In fact, I’m only shocked that it didn’t happen sooner! Through numerous drug and alcohol addictions, self-induced psychosis and panic attacks, and even being chain-stomped into pudding by members of the notorious Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, this guy has had and used more lives than Morris the Cat! I say, this recent suicide was just a simple case of mortality catching up with Hunter. It was bound to happen eventually. Nobody ever really believed he was going to go out quietly in his sleep, did they?

I think at this point in his career, we all realized he wasn’t playing with a full deck of cards...if ever. It should have been clear then and now that the man was more crackers than my grandmothers infamous “Mini-Ritz Pie’, not just representing “that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character” as Richard Nixon himself once pointed out. But hey, ‘ol Tricky Dick wasn’t too big in the smarts department himself either.

"Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full with what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals?" (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)


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