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Monday, February 21, 2005

He was feared, loathed

Posted by: Hammer / 11:08 AM

Hunter S. Thompson, dead at 67
My view from the left Mainstream Media says Views from the right

The Mojo Wire fell silent last night. No doubt denizens of Fat City will rejoice in a shameful, atavistic way, though it's hard to imagine the celebrants will be more vituperative in Thompson's death than Thompson regularly was in life.

The freaks will mourn, as will political junkies of all stripes. Thompson was a bridge between the learned cynicism of H.L. Mencken and the personal journalism of the blogosphere, where if snark is the currency of the realm, Thompson's cigarette holder-clenching mug would appear on the 20 snark bill.

At bottom, Thompson wrote passionately, honestly, and well. A rare trifecta, indeed. His gonzo journalism is an obvious antecedent for political blogging and an unobvious precedent for Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation. If Thompson is fairly credited for these developments, perhaps his bitterly expressed contempt can fairly be blamed for the acceptance of Ann Coulter's deranged diatribes.

Is it intellectually honest to celebrate Thompson and condemn Coulter? Absolutely. Thompson was fundamentally honest; Coulter is fundamentally dishonest. Thompson, though his milieu was fictional memoir, created facts within his fiction consistent with the truth of the events he witnessed. Coulter presents, withholds, and arranges facts in such a way as to mislead. Thompson's writing was in constant opposition to power, with great service to personal freedom. Coulter's typing is in constant support of the powerful, with a commitment to demonizing liberals in a manner that borders on fascistic.

Farewell, then, Hunter Thompson. Wherever you are now, wherever you now are going, I'm certain the top is down, the throttle is wide open, and the high-caliber pot shots at hallucinations will echo forever.

Writer Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

From AP, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America's underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," has committed suicide.

Thompson was found dead Sunday in his Aspen-area home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff's officials said. He was 67. Thompson's wife, Anita, had gone out before the shooting and was not home at the time.

Besides the 1972 classic about Thompson's visit to Las Vegas, he also wrote "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72." The central character in those wild, sprawling satires was "Dr. Thompson," a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.

Thompson is credited alongside Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese with helping pioneer New Journalism -- or, as he dubbed his version, "gonzo journalism" -- in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story.

...Born July 18, 1937, in Kentucky, Hunter Stocton Thompson served two years in the Air Force, where he was a newspaper sports editor. He later became a proud member of the National Rifle Association and almost was elected sheriff in Aspen in 1970 under the Freak Power Party banner.

Thompson's heyday came in the 1970s, when his larger-than-life persona was gobbled up by magazines. His pieces were of legendary length and so was his appetite for adventure and trouble; his purported fights with Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner were rumored in many cases to hinge on expense accounts for stories that didn't materialize.

Freepers say:
  • While HST was a drug-soaked, ranting liberal, he was also a genius (in his own crazy way)--an incredibly original, fearless, and prolific writer. Unfortunately, his "fear and loathing" finally got the best of him. Very sad--he will be missed.
  • I just don't like people that talk down on my President
More Freepers
  • I don't mean to be disrespectful of the recently departed...but I had never even heard of this guy...but I think that 'dumbness' is commiting suicide...I am sick and tired of the leftists referring to 'me' and my country as dumb just because we choose not to buy into and follow their ideas (and I use that term loosely).
  • He was a big time drugie.
  • A staunch liberal checking out on their own makes me wonder if they don't finally hit a wall where ther realize they have lived a vacuous life and completely wasted their time on earth. Allthat money, the Aspen lifestyle, adored by Hollywood and running with the swells ,,, but... ?
  • HST was a spiteful, drug-addled, boozed-up, tortured wannabe journalist, whose writings evoked visions of spiteful, drug-addled, boozed-up and tortured persons wishing they were not spiteful, drug-addled, boozed-up tortured wannabe journalists.
    Some will praise him for his pro-2nd Amendment stance, but HST was like every other stinking dim-lib, in that what was good for him ain't necessarily good for you.
    His ultimate display of weakness in taking his own life rather than to continue to face the ravages of it, is typical of the tortured and twisted personalities that are of the dim-lib mindset.


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