Monday, February 21, 2005

'Gonzo' Godfather Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself:

"A 1994 essay in Rolling Stone written as an obituary for former President Richard Nixon was typical. At a time when many commentators offered a more generous re-assessment of Nixon's legacy, Thompson called him 'a liar, a quitter and a bastard. A cheap crook and a merciless war criminal.'"
That's why I loved Hunter S. Thompson. One of the toughest mostly-liberal people I've ever read. He was a gun nut, but not against reasonable gun control. He regularly used the word fag, but didn't hate gay people. His tough persona made him a better journalist than any of these quivering tubs of lard who are so scared Bush won't call on them that they won't ask any hard questions.

Thompson was a master at finding the meaning of things through what they were not. His character's famous drug binges in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas helped me realize that one of the reasons HST had such a unique grasp on reality was because he had a strangle-hold on unreality.
"...two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.....also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls...but the only thing that worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the dephts of an ether binge..."
What shined through for me were the LIBERAL values of not being helpless and irresponsible. This "responsiblity" vein that Thompson often touched on has been stolen by a bunch of fat cat bastards in this country, most of whom never had a day of hard work in thier lives. Thompson rescued the idea of personal responsibility by putting it in the most absurdly irresponsible situations and rescuing it through wit, hard work, and luck.

And finally, perhaps the most fitting quote of the day.
We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60's. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.

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