Liberals treat dogs like people, Conservatives treat people like dogs

Sunday, February 20

Hunter S Thompson

Gonzo Posted by Hello

Well, I just found out minutes ago that Hunter S Thompson is dead. This is terrible news for me because he was a god to me. I am sad and torn and will deal with this the way I deal with everything - writing to you about it.

Really, no one can be surprised by news of Hunter's death. Hunter lived a long a very crazy life... you know that. What is a freakish surprise to me is the news is it was a suicide. What the fuck is that about, Hunter? It seems a cowardly way to go for such a brave and fearless man. For the last month I have been reading his last tome 'Kingdom of Fear'. I was on the web writing about Hunter on Blogcritics this afternoon (before I knew about his death). It was just today... about 6 hours ago I typed his very line "Hunter Thompson is the greatest living American writer".

Lemme tell you about my attachment and love of HST. If you have a working browser (like Mozilla) you have seen a black fist that says 'Gonzo' on the left under the links. That was an homage to Hunter for my site. In college, I had vanity plates on my Honda that said 'Lono'. This is a Hunter Thompson reference as well. Hunter is one of the reasons I moved to Colorado, seriously. I wanted to meet him, and knew eventually I would make my way to Woody Creek Tavern for an unpleasent drunken exchange with the man. In fact, if you could see that Atlas we used to drive to Colorado about 9 years ago... there is only one pen mark on the Colorado page. I circled Woody Creek to show my wife where Hunter lived, and where we would subsequently be stalking.

I am pleased to say I did get to finally see him in person. A year or two after we moved here he did a speaking engagement at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. It was a classic Hunter experience, and I was able to ask him a question personally. I'd have to say I am somewhere in the 'denial' stage still about this news. I keep refreshing my google news search engine every few minutes hoping to see the word 'hoax' somewhere. It hasn't happened yet. There will be a million pages and writings dedicated to Hunter over the coming weeks and months. However, there is only one good internet site dedicated to Hunter for years, it is Christine's 'Great Thompson Hunt' and that is where you should go for pictures and articles and news.

You see my sig file and e mail address? They are the name 'Lono'. I own that name in almost every domain over the years (ATT, Us West, MSN, Hotmail, & Mindspring). This is all a reference to one of Hunter's greatest books 'The Curse of Lono'. I am sure I will have more to say about this, much much more. For now, at 11 pm Colorado time, the news has only been public for about an hour. The details are chillingly few: Hunter Thompson found dead of apparent self inflicted gunshot wounds, found by his son Juan.

You all know about Roy if you are here often enough. This is what Roy wrote to the group this evening about this news: This is sad and a loss I put equal to the death of John Lennon. So perhaps you can see why Roy and I are so close. In fact, I just remember Hunter is the REASON I met Roy. Roy had one of the good doctor's books at his desk at work and it caught my eye. Knowing anyone who reads Hunter is good people, we struck up a conversation. If it weren't for that book, I probably wouldn't know or subsequently care about my very good friend Roy.



PT 2, written about an hour (and three drinks) later

The last piece I wrote about Hunter was ironically titled 'Hunter S Thompson, still alive' That was back in August. I knew one day Hunter would be gone and we'd all sit and talk about how great he was. I didn't want to wait until he was dead for people to appreciate him... so I reached out. Hunter was like Jerry Garcia, you just know neither was ever going to live out a full life to old age. I miss them both so much.

I also want to say this. We all knew Hunter could go any day. What I expected was a headline like this "Gonzo journalist shot by police after consuming hundreds of hits of LSD and attempting to paint murals on Aspen police cars" or something cool and strange like that. I guess I wanted an Easy Rider type ending... a martyr who fought to the end.

146 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's sad.
But very Hemingwayesque.
He was pretty old.
Those old beaten neurons begin to wind down...
I still remember reading F&L when I was young and in the middle of a sheer insanity of a life. He (and Henry Miller) helped me a lot.
All drinks hoisted to him!
Daniel

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wanted hunter to go out some "cool" way? You silly fucker, it's a man's life, not your entertainment. I'm sure he appologizes for whatever lead to make him take his own life, and the fact that it didn't entertain your notions.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Hunter we miss you said...

I just think that its sad that he is gone.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gonzo journalist shot by police after consuming hundreds of hits of LSD and attempting to paint murals on Aspen police cars"
haha yeah that should have been the headline.

Dude can I borrow this for an article, it'll be more ironic if I use your quote (well to me, you won't read it since I live in New Zealand. :))

1:49 AM  
Blogger Todd R. Steenburg said...

Random thoughts as I drink myself to sleep on the foulest night to worship a legend..

My son is named after this great man. He lived like a warrior from beginning to end. He never asked for forgiveness or offered appologies, he simply did; then he wrote about it.

I would give anything to read one last story from The Good Doctor.

I named my son Hunter Thomas (Thompson was too much for my wife to bear as a middle name) because I couldn't think of another person on earth that I'd more like him to emulate.

Live your life as if each day was the last -- and if the poor swine can't take the medicine.. if they can't swallow the fact that your time has come.. That your last thought was to chew the slug out of the business end of a loaded shotgun.. then they don't get the essense of the beast. They don't get that a man can choose when to leave, when to stay.. and choose he did.

Mahalo

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HST will be missed.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that Hunter is gone. Honestly between him and Bill Maher, they are the reasons I am in political science. He was a guiding light for the truth, even though we all loathed what was on the other end. I take comfort in that Hunter went out on his own terms. The best writer/journalist of the 20th century.

Dr. Hunter Stocton Thompson
1937- To this foul year of our lord 2005

1:58 AM  
Anonymous eitan rosenberg said...

your comment on suicide being anti-climatctic and non-hunteresk is incorrect and dangerous. He lived his life in the believe of the nihilistic and arcane nature of life, the news of his suicide should not invock feelings of being cheated. You should see that he wanted to go this way and he was as he wanted to be in his inner sanctum. he was back in the womb, where he never wanted to leave.

2:08 AM  
Blogger expression said...

I don't know what else to say, so I'll just say what I said before:

He has taught me about truth, justice, corruption, depravity, loneliness, love, and shit the list could go on forever.. Above all he taught me Freedom. Truly unbridled freedom. A man who never stopped TRULY living life for one moment, constantly expanding (more like utterly annihilating)the boundaries of thought and literature. Hunter will be missed. His guidance will have to come elsewhere, from the spirit he has instilled in all of those who have ever read and appreciated his work. His character seems so clear in my mind, I can almost see how he'd react to this news had he read it himself, though I'll hardly get into that here.
His life exists for all of us to view and appreciate. He is immortal. Appropriately, this may have been his final spoof to us all. He'll never die, and we're damn fools who deserve to be publically humiliated for thinking such ridiculous things.

RIP HST

Selah,
Mahalo,
Res Ipsa Loquitor.

2:17 AM  
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2:18 AM  
Anonymous Shayn said...

- Hunter died exactly how one would expect him to die - his own way, not caring what people think, knowing his legacy was in his words and his legend, and with enough shock to let us know that yes, this was the Hunter S. Thompson taking that last twisted and savage journey.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am bummed, of course, but there is nothing cowardly about taking your own life if the circumstances are appropriate; it requires great courage. We may or may not ever know the circumstances. Unfortunately, this also comes at a time when we need big voices to fight the growing tyrany in this country.

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody else think the whole scene looks fishy? The man does have a lot of powerful enemies. Maybe he found out some important shit? Maybe certain people finally silenced the preacher? Maybe Hunter knew something was about to happen in the world that he'd rather not see?

2:52 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Suicide. It already changes my thinking about...Suicide. (Not in any way wanting to do it). But it's a bit like everything I loved about Thompson, he made you stop and think about Something/subject issue/object in a Completely Different Way.

But it makes you Wonder. 100 miles an hour it does.

Thompson was a serious criminal. Never forget that. But one of the best that ever stole the golden words from the lap of the Nodding Gods, to roughly quote Conrad.

Peace be with You. Amen.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Suicide. It already changes my thinking about...Suicide. (Not in any way wanting to do it). But it's a bit like everything I loved about Thompson, he made you stop and think about Something/subject issue/object in a Completely Different Way.

But it makes you Wonder. 100 miles an hour it does.

Thompson was a serious criminal. Never forget that. But one of the best that ever stole the golden words from the lap of the Nodding Gods, to roughly quote Conrad.

Peace be with You. Amen.

3:03 AM  
Blogger timmy said...

My muse is dead. long live the muse. HST RIP

3:15 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Living in wollongong Australia at the moment... I heard the news and wandered around this college thing where I live, sharing the news.
None of these ignorant fuckers knew who he was.

On the way to the fruit shop I saw this crazed old guy on an electric wheelchair with a rainbow flag attached to the back. He was cruising down the middle of the road, bottle in one hand, screaming something out at anyone who'd listen. I followed him, stopped the car, tried to chase him, but he was around a corner and it was too late.
The kindred spirit had wheeled away, probably to be hit by a car or something... I just wanted to tell him that Hunter meant alot to me too.

I bought 3 grapefruit and a small steak knife at the fruit shop . Took them to the beach, ate all three. Then drove home, stopping for some beer... and retreated to my room by myself. I'd prefer to be alone than hear one more of those fuckers say "Hunter Who????"

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Andy Small said...

Living in wollongong Australia at the moment... I heard the news and wandered around this college thing where I live, sharing the news.
None of these ignorant fuckers knew who he was.

On the way to the fruit shop I saw this crazed old guy on an electric wheelchair with a rainbow flag attached to the back. He was cruising down the middle of the road, bottle in one hand, screaming something out at anyone who'd listen. I followed him, stopped the car, tried to chase him, but he was around a corner and it was too late.
The kindred spirit had wheeled away, probably to be hit by a car or something... I just wanted to tell him that Hunter meant alot to me too.

I bought 3 grapefruit and a small steak knife at the fruit shop . Took them to the beach, ate all three. Then drove home, stopping for some beer... and retreated to my room, getting drunk by myself. I'd prefer to be alone than hear one more of those fuckers say "Hunter Who????"

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only hope that the Good Doctor has found some sort of peace now. God knows he was one of the most original, probably the only original, voice of the last 50 years. May the Wild Turkey flow freely wherever he may be.
-Jack (http://rivary.com/)

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st question: Why?
2nd question: What caliber?

Here's my fantasy... fantasy is all that we have left:

Doc Thompson sat down with 101 proof wild turkey in front of his typewriter. Wrote the best damn work of literary art EVER. Signed it with grey matter.

What else could he do? Isn't that what writers do? Who changes a generation's writing style and values and then writes a cute haiku?

Forget about all this adoration. Fan-fucking-tastic writer up until the end. Who finishes a damn good story with the protagonist off'ing themselves? Only those that can't come up with a more original ending. Something is awry, and I might change my thoughts about this in the end... but for now, I'm pissed off.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous pistola said...

There was a time when all I wanted to do was write my own 'Fear

and Loathing'. After all, it was written by a drug-addled freak

with no literary training, why couldn't I do it?

I gave up after my first attempt.

Even without successfully emulating Hunter in my writing, a small bit of the Good Doctor will live on forever on in my thoughts. Hunter's works were sublime philosophy for a teenage know-it-all, his bizarre life displayed on every page, straddling the facts of his meandering insane pursiuts and the fictions of his mind. It was no ordinary life, a paradox of illegal activity, full-on illicit assault of his own body and popular recognition. There was nobody else like him, an American literary renegade, an author, a living icon, the remnants of a political junkie who stared down the 70's and lived to tell the tale.

I haven't read a Hunter S Thompson book in many years, but I have

thought about what the world would be like without Hunter. I

guess now we will know. It is a strange feeling when someone you

never knew dies, it is a strange melancholy. But for Hunter, no

sadness, for he is immortal through his work, the ways in

which he shaped the world, and the ways he shaped me.

RIP Hunter. You gave me a lot and I thank you.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The deal is done… The fat is in the fire…

Indeed… No news has saddened me as much as the news I received this morning. My long time friend an ally in this strange and violent world has died. Hunter S. Thompson is no more… He apparently shot himself in the head… Wich I guess points directly towards suicide… He will be missed… Sincerely…
He hasn`t gone out the way I suspected him to end just like you my good blogging friend, but maybe he has… Although not shot by twenty state troopers while painting murals on their police cars with a head full of acid… He still left in his own particular style... No…?
No head… No more… Our top head has gone… Our top journalist is gone… And what now? What comes next?
Tonight… Me and my buddy, also an admirer of the good doctor, will stage a wake… Gonzo style… We will drink a good quality of rum, put a few songs on repeat, talk and write our asses off… In honour of the one true journalist… The one writer of the truth… For he was a truth writer… He was the first to put Nixon on the stand…. And he was one of the first to put Bush up there with Nixon… He was the one and only journalist who after 911 told the truth and pointed towards the obvious… Who was the one to bennefit from the 911 attacks… Nobody but Bush and his administration… And Bush’s scheme worked… He got reellected… But no talking politics today… We will only pay hommage to the man… He is one of the reasons I became a journalist… Mostly because people pointed out the similarities between myself and him… Similar youth experiences… Similar dress codes, and similar believes and antics…
Indeed Hunter… We are much alike… And I can relate to the fact you shot yourself… I am neither one to reach old age… If I get as old as you, I will probably end it myself too… Though I`ll probably overdose… Maybe even before that… Who knows… Just know that you are the man, a wise man and the doctor… And we all know the deal…
Today the doctor… Tomorrow you…

My condolences to all the friends and relatives of Hunter… And you will always live on in my memory… Cazart!
RvD…

A Dutch Journalist/Writer paying hommage to Hunter S. Thompson...

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article he wrote for espn page 2 about a year and a half ago seems like it might be fairly revealing as to his mental and physical state - http://espn.go.com/page2/s/
thompson/030722.html

Also something weird: This item appeared on ebay a week ago - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/
eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=
29223&item=6947274352&rd=1

Note the final paragraph:

"This copy is in 'as new' F/F condition, in mylar, and soon the value will be at least twice what I'm selling it for. Signed copies will become extremely rare and unattainable in the near future - don't miss out on this collector's beauty!"

Did someone know something?

(paste the links piece by piece I guess, I don't know how to post links.)

3:57 AM  
Anonymous finnish kiddo said...

It's just weird thou, now that they finally started getting somewhere with the theatretical version of Rum Diary, which I guess was all-in-all pretty big thing to HST. I recall reading some passionate letter about it. What goes for shooting yourself in the head. It does sound quite lame, but hey! Maybe he was aiming for the bats? I guess we'll never know..

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My life, my mindset, my drive, have been permanently altered. And for that, I thank you. I'm sitting in shock, although I penned a letter a week ago demanding more words before collapse...
I don't respect your decision. but this was your decision. SO we must all be stronger as the war drums roll on, louder than ever...
I will always be stronger because of you... I miss you already. I will stop on my way home for stong drink and I'll get most of these emotions down on Canvas... You were an artist with words...No one will replace you...Thanks for showing me the path... Now, without a guide, we must move forward... Thank you for making me stronger...I'm better because I know...
Cheers,
Dr. Vortman

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Bradley Laboe said...

I will miss him ... BIG HUG for Juan, Jen, Willam and Anita… who never be able to fill the hole left in there lives by the man in spite of the myth and legend attached to his life.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything, Hunter.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chilling! a whole generation, an entire dream dies tonight. He fought against the tumultous, archaic and flat reality of American enterprise and followed his heart with anger. In the end...it killed him. What a travasty. I cry tonight. Not because he didn't live a full life, but because he some how seemed the father of the life he took with him.

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://espn.go.com/page2/s/ thompson/030722.html Also something weird: This item appeared on ebay a week ago - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/ eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category= 29223&item=6947274352&rd=1

Those links don`t work this way...

Give us some more info so we can search ourselves...

What was the date of that ESPN article...

And wich item was that Ebay thing about??

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The links do work if you copy&paste 1 line at a time. Don't see the point of them personally thou. The other is a signed copy of Hey Rube. How suprising is it that it gets more value? The other one has even less relevance to all this in my opinion..

5:16 AM  
Blogger ZombieApocalypse said...

Over and over again, I just keep asking myself... why? Why would HST do this? The man no doubt had his reasons, and good ones they may have been, but it still feels as if I've been robbed. I can't even collect my thoughts into a decent post.

It's been only a few short hours since I found out this news, and still I'm in shock. I simply... cannot believe that another of my heroes is dead.

5:26 AM  
Blogger ZombieApocalypse said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of the ebay thing is that a week ago, someone posted the signed copy of the book saying: "Signed copies will become extremely rare and unattainable in the near future...." How can that not strike you as weird?

And the espn article: It's called the Big Darkness for one, and in it he talks about having chronic pain and having parts of his body systematically replaced. He also says "the American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime."

I think it's sort of relevant.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Complete crap! So you think it's cowardly to commit suicide? so you feel cheated? How is suicide cowardly when it's still stikes fear in almost anyone you meet yet he faced it head on. I'm not saying rah! rah! commit suicide but I'm tired of hearing that worn out line. ah its cowardly. Hunter S. took is life he never allowed it to be taken from him. It was his choice, he's a human being you haven't got a clue what was going through his head at that moment.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous John Holley (A UK fan) said...

I never met Hunter I have lived my life on the wrong continent, though I read some of his work and admired it greatly. I am very disappointed in those who by means of commenting on your journal Lono seem to want to smudge the memory of a genius. He went out in a way that suited his ends let us not argue about it and just remember the genius he was!

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Complete crap! So you think it's cowardly to commit suicide? so you feel cheated? How is suicide cowardly when it still stikes fear in almost anyone you meet? yet he faced it head on. I'm not saying rah! rah! go off yourself but I'm tired of hearing that worn out line. ah its cowardly. Hunter S. took his life, he never allowed it to be taken from him. It was his choice, he's a human being you haven't got a clue what was going through his head at that moment.

5:40 AM  
Blogger The Pisces Fish Killer said...

I don't have anything to say that anyone else hasn't, but I just have to take a moment to share my thoughts. Being a Louisville native and one of the art nerds that used to badger the hell out of HST and seek him out anytime he came home, I can't say how sad it is here right now. There isn't hardly an artist, musician, writer, or just creative mind in general here who was not touched by Mr. Thompson. The good Dr. showed the world that not everyone in KY is backward and barefoot. The infield at Churchill Downs will be soaked with cheers during Derby for him this year I am sure. I owe so much to him, and hope he is at peace and has some idea where ever he is how much art and thought he brought into the world, not just his own, but also that inspired by him and the works that his spirit will influence for time on. RIP Hunter S. Thompson. Your hometown will never be able to fill your vacancy.

5:40 AM  
Blogger The Pisces Fish Killer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not wanting to turn a "memorian" thread into a battle ground but the book came out quite a while ago and the man probably ended the "signing tour" or whatever you call it already. Thus no more signed copies available besides the ones that have been signed already. Is it that hard to understand? Oh wait I must be wrong. Some guy on ebay knew that HST was going to be dead in a week and therefore wrote what he did. Ah americans, you never seize to amaze me..

6:00 AM  
Blogger LisaLisaMoMeesa said...

I wrote about this in my blog as well.

I'm at a loss. I feel as I am suddenly without a compass. HST was my guide. My Mentor. How many times will that be written?

I'm enjoying your blog - your writing.

This is pretty disjointed, but a few martinis will do that to you.

HST will be missed by people who didn't even know of him.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

The Hemingway of his generation has (been) taken up to his example.

Now, Roll 'm boys!

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

I feel like we are all less safe now that the madman who screamed "the Emperor is not only naked but uncircumcised!" has checked out. Think about this, friends, and shudder in fear: A world that got to be too much for Hunter S. Thompson!
Maybe he didn't want to grow old - maybe his brain chemistry finally felt the effects of abuse that have killed any other person decades ago - maybe he wanted to leave the building before the Rapture - who knows . . .
I remember reading "Fear and Loathing" for the first time in college, and then spending hours in the town's only indepedent bookstore (now gone) perusing his other crazy reflections, and thinking, Damn!
I'll miss you, Hunter; I wish I had gotten to meet you first.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the ebay thing - google finds the username probably is "Susan Guttzeit" with email sguttzeit@somedomain and lives in Bellingham WA, USA as does the ebay user. Here, she takes Active Isolated Stretching classes at the Women's Professional Network if any female readers are interested.
So obviously, he posessed this woman and made her post if for him.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous High Powered Mutant (M.A.P) said...

....goodbye old friend, you will be missed. this glass of WT and these 2yr old frozen blotters are for u. Thank u for all your help over the years. Until we meet again. I feel hollow

6:32 AM  
Anonymous David Fearn, UK said...

I just found out and I feel decimated. I could barely muster the strength to write an obituary...


The man encouraged, conspired, and summed up a common ideal amongst generations of citizens opposed to the bizarre fantasy that is the American Dream. The man provided an important alternative mind to contemporary politics and culture. His views, as personal and distorted as they were, were blatantly naked, piercing the bubble of image and front so pervasive today. Hunter was the most fearless writer I've ever read. He would take on anybody, anywhere, any time and call them out for the fools and pious frauds they were - politicians, especially. And do so viciously and hilariously.

He was an icon and a true original, not to mention the only person I've ever read who can turn a Presidential primary into interesting reading.

HST will truly be missed. America doesn't produce figures like him anymore; the world needs him now more than ever. In a country where media and impartially are ships passing in the night, dissention from the approved corporate message is important, an important voice in the sea of global complacency and ignorance has been lost.

In an age when everyone and everything appeared to be insane, Hunter S Thompson was a voice of sanity howling in the wind. A terribly sad, and yet somehow fitting, endpoint to his brilliant career. I'm certain he's happier wherever he is now, and I hope wherever that may be he's giving a hard time to anyone who deserves it.

It goes beyond as just a loss for fans, admirers, and the world of journalism - we are left without this kind of a voice in a time still of such political depravity, and even more so, cultural decay and backwardness...

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

6:36 AM  
Blogger misterbarnes said...

The fear has finally overtaken the loathing...We'll miss ya old boy..

6:43 AM  
Anonymous martyjw said...

I'll raise a glass or twenty to one of the greatest contemporary authors of or time.
You were always a king-hell marksman. RIP.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous mo said...

In shock, but to think of what Hunter said" Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak arabic, love music and never forget that you come from a long line of truthseekers, lovers + warriors" Keep his thaughts in mind. My condolences to all,family and friends and fans.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

I first met HST back in '92 and later over time became good friends with various friends and associates of his. His lawyer, Gerry Goldstein and his trusted writing compadre, Dr Douglas Brinkley. Since then I got married and have a family of my own. When I married my husband in 2002 I was able to turn on my stepson, then a Freshman at U of Miami to the "Good Doctor" ....in Jan. of this year Daniel (by know, a senior and self-proclaimed "HST #1 fan) was able to sit down with HST and spend quite a bit of "quality time" with him discussing life. He wrote me a letter at Christmas and told me about all the incredible influence I had in his life - the foremost introducing him to HST. I got a phone call from the two of them late one night in New Orleans about 40 days ago and my darling stepson was following the "pied piper" of the pen and he said "his life would never be the same" Well, last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I got another call from this distraught 21 year old with a voice crushed from shock and dissapointment telling me "to get to the bottom of this Hunter suicide rumor" I immediately called Doug Brinkley and unfortunately for all of us -- his true fans, it is not a rumor.

Thank you Doc, for educating all of us in so many ways. You own a small piece of our hearts and a large piece of our memory banks.

I hope they serve WT at the Woody Creek in the sky. I am sure Hemingway and Spalding Gray are saving a stool for you

We miss you so much already

Lucy

6:56 AM  
Blogger Lucy said...

I first met HST back in '92 and later over time became good friends with various friends and associates of his. His lawyer, Gerry Goldstein and his trusted writing compadre, Dr Douglas Brinkley. Since then I got married and have a family of my own. When I married my husband in 2002 I was able to turn on my stepson, then a Freshman at U of Miami to the "Good Doctor" ....in Jan. of this year Daniel (by know, a senior and self-proclaimed "HST #1 fan) was able to sit down with HST and spend quite a bit of "quality time" with him discussing life. He wrote me a letter at Christmas and told me about all the incredible influence I had in his life - the foremost introducing him to HST. I got a phone call from the two of them late one night in New Orleans about 40 days ago and my darling stepson was following the "pied piper" of the pen and he said "his life would never be the same" Well, last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I got another call from this distraught 21 year old with a voice crushed from shock and dissapointment telling me "to get to the bottom of this Hunter suicide rumor" I immediately called Doug Brinkley and unfortunately for all of us -- his true fans, it is not a rumor.

Thank you Doc, for educating all of us in so many ways. You own a small piece of our hearts and a large piece of our memory banks.

I hope they serve WT at the Woody Creek in the sky. I am sure Hemingway and Spalding Gray are saving a stool for you

We miss you so much already

Lucy

6:57 AM  
Blogger notmeithink said...

I found out this morning at about half 5, just as I was about to go to bed, and it really got to me. Today I'm sadder than I've ever been over the death of someone I didn't know and I made a post called George W. Bush killed Hunter S. Thompson. It seemed a fitting tribute to make up something outlandish about his death.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems as if the "truth" got to him, finally. Years of bitching and pointing things out to no avail. the rich get richer on the backs of us all. you can't stop it, why not curl up like a baby and kill yourself in a drugged denial of he real world. This was, in the end, the only thing he really had control over. He destroyed it!

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Like the life that preceeded it, his death has changed me forever. We miss you Hunter, goodbye

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good bye doctor. thank you.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Haven't read Hunter in a good while, but his writing meant a lot to me back when my eyes were wilder and my belly wasn't so full. I learned a lot from him. Hunter was a strong link in the chain that eventually became "me." I read the news this morning: "Hunter S. Thompson dead. George W. Bush in Europe." And I thought "no, no, no, they must have gotten that wrong. Shouldn't it be reversed?"

It makes me happy that Hunter lived and died by his own terms. Although I have the same uneasy feeling as when George Bush the first was in the White House, and we had another suicide, remember? At the time I thought, "Abby, we need you. We need your voice in these troubled times. We are in the midst of an unjust war and people are being slaughtered. Thank god we still have Hunter." Sadly, no more.

Why was i not aroused in my slumber by the sounds of gunshots and shouting in the streets?

Who will fill the voice? Who will pick up the torch? Who is left to fight the good fight?

We have lost one of the good ones. Hunter, I raise a glass to you.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I wish you a good journey

7:27 AM  
Blogger idiot girl said...

You gave me a drink from your bottle once...Your soul was troubled, those with brilliant minds usually are. Thank you for making reading so enjoyable Hunter.
May you finally rest in peace.
M.M.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...It seems a cowardly way to go for such a brave and fearless man..."Everyone always says that... that suicide is a "cowardly" act, etc. I call BULLSHIT on that. It's definitely a selfish act and hurtful to others who love and admire you. But jumping off this earth into the greatest unknown we have is definetly not for the weak of heart. In a weird way, it takes a certain amount of courage.

Many people can't come to terms with that and are so afraid of death that they have knee-jerk reaction to suicide (calling it cowardly, etc.). If you come better to grips with death and really think about it... suicide may be a whole lot of negative, horrible things... but you'll certainly see that it's not a "cowardly" act.

That's closer to the truth you may not want to face.

HST's friend said: "There's no one in the world these days who writes the truth ... as he seems to. He spoke to the world and said what people were afraid to say."

And in that vien I say to you... he was no coward you little cunt. Sorry, if the truth hurts, but that's how it is.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wrote the "In memoriam" piece for the dutch paper I work for...

Wich made me focus on all the highnotes from his career and life... Again I`m saddened by his departure... It makes me all the more vowing that I will keep the gonzo style alive...

All that is left for me is to get some foreign correspondent job on some island and drink myself silly on Rum everyday... And I love my rum...

Respect to the one who got it right...
RvD...

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Mike Wise said...

I am going to smoke a ridiculus amount of dro in his honor.

7:41 AM  
Blogger zack said...

i'm terribly terribly sad.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only force that could kill hunter was hunter himself!
lets never forget him

from hamburg/germany

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hunter will be missed, no question. I was shocked to hear the news since I never thought it would happen this way for him. He was a great author who taught me a lot and I was always happy to introduce his writing to anyone I could. I would like to ask that his other admirers join me in praying for Juan, Anita and the rest of Hunter's friends and family... that they may find peace during this difficult time.

Mahalo

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a huge fan of HST. I have read so many people toasting to the excess of his life, which is frankly a little disturbing. It was his unwavering adhesion to these indulgences that ultimately led him to his end. He was caught in his own story, his own legend. It wasn't working anymore. I wish he would've caught a new wave. His death is a tragic end for a brilliant man. I don't think there was any great plan or great statement he was making other than he being trapped and desperately sad. No conspiracy, no hoax. Just sick and tired. HST reminded me why I did drugs and why I quit them. I wish he'd found the same solution.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Good Doctor,

Via con dios. Selah.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was coming home from a great day of snowboarding Cooper Mountain, I looked out the window toward Aspen through the light snow and distinctly wondered what that crazy bastard was up to up there. I got home turned on the news and now I know. One of my living heroes has died. Give em hell up there Dr. Thompson!

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also on this date in history...

"Do you want your little kid to say 'Hey daddy, President Bush tried marijuana, I think I will'?"

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the world of coincidence and dread pounded through a sieve of reality created by F and L and the cycle of loathing it created in my place. Odd, but Elmo Rusiak died one year ago to the day and he and I have been the alter egos of Duke and The Samoan for decades...mad ranvings in Montreal and alienated friends...too much to drink and huge amounts of everything that occupied the front seat of a red shark....so here I am today entering year two of the loss of a friend now compunded by the loss of an alter ego...my friend's son comes to visit today...there are parts of Rusiak's past which need to be discussed...we stand at the edge bouncing on the diving board...a horrible and confused chasm...lives lost...


blastoff

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's gonna tell us the truth? Sorry he felt that he needed an ending like this. It just does not seem right, something had to be wrong. He was a scrappy fucker when it came to real liberty. A true spirit in a human body. Goodby Hunter.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man... I guess CRUSHED is an understatement. All I can imagine is those pigfuckers over on FOX News like Hannity and Coulter saying "That Liberal got what he deserved... a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head." In this day and age, Hunter, we needed you.

We'll all carry on, just one guy less. But The Doctor will be remembered by this young journalist as The King. There are so many pretenders, but only one original. God Bless him. God have him.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Ken Wymore said...

Tis a sad day, at lest he lived life to it's fullest. It's more than most of us can say. Maybe HST couldn't stand another President's day with GW Bush in the White House. It's enough to push anyone onver the line.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous PammyDQ said...

I was devastated when I heard the news upon arrival to work today. So sad. Surely I'd have expected HST's death to be the result of a drunken rampage or gun accident, or perhaps sudden liver failure. Not suicide. My other favorite contemporary author, Richard Brautigan did the same thing back in 1984. I shall never have the pleasure of meeting either of these men who entertained me, especially through my college years in the early 80's.
Rest in peace Hunter. Cheers.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Give em hell up there Dr. Thompson!"
Huh? Given the way he lived his life, it's doubtful that he's anywhere near "up there." I loved his body of work, but seriously, this was not a man to emulate.

The toxicology report should be an interesting read.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Waldorf said...

"You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands."

Somebody up there is in trouble...

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freak Power still lives because of the good doctor. Let's all keep fighting for him. God bless his family, god bless his fans. Heaven is a place for gods, and Hunter was a god in his own right, so heaven beware the doctor's coming, and you sure the hell better be ready.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Leonard Klaatu said...

A great wordsmith.

Pathetic life choices.

I'm 20 years younger than HST, but remember first reading his stuff in Rolling Stone when I was a teenager. His writing captivated me.

I'll miss his work. And forever wonder what incredible writing he might have produced. I wish he'd made wiser choices.

A tremendous talent - lost. He's been lost for a long, long time though to a world that shouldn't capture anybody, muchless somebody with HST's talent. While I ponder the sadness of a life devoted to drugs and alcohol, perhaps it's sadder still that much of his audience may have fueled his poor choices. What is MY responsibility to HST or anybody, for that matter? HST wouldn't see it that way, for sure. But you have to wonder the impact of his adoring public who so glorified the rebel in him willing to behave in ways that were harmful and destructive.

I'm sad for all of us.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man, the legend has died all hail HST!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest in peace HST. Maybe the most we can ever say about anyone's life is that they influenced us somehow. He absolutely influenced my life, but the drugs & general chaos were (at least to me) part of being young and living in such an insane time. But admittedly times couldn't seem more insane then right now.

After the election in November I began to reread F&L on the campaign trail. I never imagined that a more clear-cut set of circumstances could exist in an election as they did in '72. To say I was mistaken would be kind. However, it's important to note that much of what was said about that election was said about this one as well. And, as it turns out, 1972 was not the most important election of my lifetime. Life goes on & I'm sorry that HST won't be here to share the disbelief that just keeps on coming.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's not really fair to talk about a person in certain ways once they're dead and can't defend themselves, but I'm going to in this case. I never read Hunter S. Thompson, nor do I really care for him or his opinions for that matter. I've always viewed many people of the so-called counter-culture as hypocrites, and I'd have to say Thompson among them. People like him attacked Western culture for its "decadence and depravity" and were intent on bringing about big changes. To a certain extent, there was some justification for this; but on the other hand, here they are either becoming drug-freaks, alcoholics, hedonists, new age freaks, cultists, etc. or complete and total sell-outs. Aside from being hypocrites, I think many of these counter-culture people were and in some cases are still lost people trying to delude themselves and others into believing that their supposedly non-conformist lifestyles have legitimacy. Sadly, this is not the case. And the fact that he was cowardly enough to go and shoot himself only emphasizes this fact. A man who possess dignity and self-love, who values human life and respects himself as well as others, does not commit suicide. So many people revere him, his writings, evidently, are influential. But his final act shows that it is not deserved.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a dude. Whatever else you can say about him, the guy lived and died on his own terms and left behind a staggering body of work. It's sad to see him go but his genius will outlive us all.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely he has his followers and imitators.

Still, the one thing I enjoyed was his ability to show "People" that the pacified languages of the 60s generation was not one voice, but rather it was chaos and it could include the word Fuck.

Bad way to go out, and I imagine there will be conspiracy theories.

He and Spalding.

They took the crappy way out, but it is their human perogative.

Basically, both Great Talented Assholes that deserve much respect for what they added, and none for how they left.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Griff said...

Absolute fucking legend.
No more words

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I discovered HST when I got a subscription to "Rolling Stone", back in 97'. His articles were like , the only thing I would read in the whole damn mag.

Well that lead me to his other great works, and hours of enjoyment.

HST will be a part of my life forever living or deceased.

(Odd thing though)
Sat. morning at 3:00 A.M. I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Flipped through stations and saw that FLLV was playing on Bravo. Watched it all. (long with all the damn commercials!)

Then Sat. evening found myself going through old articles of HST on the web.

Monday morning
Sadness.......disbelief

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a very sad day indeed. I remember my high school english teacher back in 1980 handing me the book "Hells Angels" and telling me it was a must read but dont tell anyone he gave it to me for it wasnt in the curriculum nor would it probably ever be. It was that book and moment that made me realise that one shouldnt just follow "the curriculum" in life and reach out beyond it. I was effected by Mr. Thompsons writing and way of life so much so that my wife and I gave our son the middle name "Hunter". Shame we are to be grased no more by the magical life and writings of the great gonzo journalist! Long live Hunter S. Thompson!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aahh the Good Doctor...My phone never rings early in the morning, not 7:00 AM early, unless it is something important. Well all news is not good news and this mornings news was definately not good. Mr. Thompson's writings, or works of dark comedy and truth will live on. Some one wrote that we will go on, just one man short, so true but Hunter, oh Hunter...we really could have been helped with your words in these shady times of America's splendor.

Nothing new has been said here, just giving a little bit of respect to a man whose influence will continue.

As for suicide, I yelled out 'YOU PUSSY, Why that way, you were the tough fearless bastard!' You do have to be those things to endure suicide, but very fearful of tomorrow to give up on something as precious and valuable as life. I am young and still a little crazed with desire for life and its passages, so it's hard to know what he really was thinking. I still think he may have been shooting at bats...at least I can smile one more time at the antics of the great Dr. Gonzo.

I'm off to shoot firearms and drink heavily with the sheriff here, maybe some gambling will take place, or even some 'Shotgun Golf'.

RIP Doc

Love,
Rainiersma
aka: The McDermitt Hermit

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self-inflicted? Gimme a goddamn break. The goddamn Freemasons were after him for years; no WAY did he kill himself. There are two options: either the Freemason Committee for Republican Party Operations finally rubbed him out, or he's sitting on a beach in Venezuela, sipping Wild Turkey and sharing a joint with Ken Kesey. Kesey...what would he have to say? "Nothing lasts" comes to mind, or maybe he'd just lament over the fact that a whole bunch of people the world over are sentimentalizing Hunter S. Thompson, that old bastard! That raving lunatic! That wife-beating, dope-smoking, irrepresible philosopher, that immortal lush, that great man, my hero-and what do heroes do but die?-H.S.T., you're having a good fucking laugh at our expense, but you better wipe that smirk off your face by the time I get there, 'cause you're gonna have a whole generation of hero-burying kids on your hands.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He gave us his best work in his early years...F&L, Hells Angels, and the combined articles that were collected in The Great Shark Hunt.

Loved his work. This was one of the greatest wordsmiths to ever pound a key, and we are the poorer for his loss. I never saw eye-to-eye with him on politics, and fevently wish he hadn't made some of the talent-destroying choices that I (sometimes ...) feel led to the lesser quality of his later work. (C of Lono, etc)

But man....why bitch about that? This dude gave us some of the greatest essays into the heart of our nation, and ourselves, that have ever been penned. When he was on top of his game, he was nothing short of brilliant. And I will have to be satisfied with that.

Tonight I will dig up my copies of his old work to read over, pour a tall drink, and toast a man I never knew....but who gave me so much, and for so little.

Rest in Peace, Hunter Stockton Thompson. And thanks for your life.

Selah.
The Fish

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat" about the demise of Oscar Acosta still haunts me to this day. Some of Hunter's most soulful and eloquent writing. To tell the naked, awful truth and yet show such respect and I guess love, is the genius I found in the man. Who will write the same for Hunter? A lot of lights went dim last night in Fat City, Mr. Duke, and I'm it saddens me to think that now indeed-in regards to that doctor's comment 30 odd years ago- you have stopped sweating.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hunter did what almost happened to him years ago with the HElls Angels. I know this may sound horrible, but what other way could he have gone. It is how he wanted it done. Only he could willingly end the madness that loomed in his head.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Gretchen said...

May the frenetic life and work of this original, unedited man continue to infect and inspire others to not emulate, but create their own intellectual freedom. Hunter- que sera, sera. Thank you for being.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Chris Wood said...

What a foul piece of news to wake up to! The good
doctor dead, apparently of a self inflicted gunshot
wound. Details are at this sad point hazy, but it's
Monday morning and for the first time in (I think)
four years I got out of bed QUICKLY on a Monday
morning.

What I think happened, as nearly as I can tell, is
that Thompson was having an early breakfast yesterday
evening when, at too early an hour for someone wanting
the day to begin slowly and peaceably, he came across
a newspaper report about Bush...

Only natural really.

Let us not forget this great man once said of Spiro
Agnew (Nixon's VP): "I don't think they make them like
him anymore, but I think to be on the safe side we
should castrate the fucker anyway."

A sad loss. America now only has about two honest
journalists, and both of those lost their sense of
humour when Reagan was elected. Thompson was reputed
to have been orbiting one of Saturn's moons at the
time. Ugh! But who else's death would make me want
to write on a Monday morning?

According to CNN a special wing of the Smithsonian is
going to be put aside for HST's bizarre collection of
narcotics paraphenalia and sex toys. Hanx Blix has
been called in to unload all of his surviving guns
(364 at last count). A giant tidal wave hoarse cry of
"DOH!" has been heard sweeping the West coast of
America. Very sad news.

Thompson said of the Bush regime: "I piss down the
throats of these Nazis." Amen.

Our Hunter, who art in space, hallowed be thy writing.
Thy drugs be done, thy music nicked, on earth as it
is in Congress. Give us this day our daily portion of
hazed gibbering invective, and forgive us
neo-conservativism - no scratch that. I will be
pissing out of an upstairs window next weekend in his
honour.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hunter said "buy the ticket take the ride." in some way or another his readers bought the hst ticket and took the ride. there was nothing as unpredictable or refreshing as his derranged antics. so we took his ride and it is now over. it just feels like the the roller coaster went flying off the tracks.
rip hunter

10:42 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

this just doesn't seem like hunter. if he really wanted to kill himself, wouldn't he had done it with a head full of acid, trying to crash the shark into the white house?

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a way to wake up this morning . . .not that the news is EVER good these days. I'm not a journalist, nor a writer, nor a politician, nor an activist of any kind, but Doc was/is my inspiration, and I'm proud to say that I've lived vicariously through his exploits and am a better person for it. Hunter is my compass, my true North in this endless sea of lies and deceit that seems to have become the status quo. His humor and brutally honest observation of character have been as regular and reliable over the years as the rising and ebbing of the tides . . .unless of course the moon gets blasted off its axis by some Pentagon Dingbat who wants to "teach China a lesson," as he once said. Thank you Doc, my life would be empty and squalid without you.

10:44 AM  
Blogger the smartest guy in the world said...

Degenerate swine.

It looked like nothing else could kill him. He'd been beat up by hells angels, targeted by nixon, consumed by booze and high grade amphetamines, on the campaign trail, strung out in 3rd world countries, arrested, a candidate for sheriff, a journalist, a gambler, a hunter and a rebel.

He LOVED Freedom and most of all LIBERTY.


Drink a bloody mary at lunch in his honor...or maybe a tall glass of Wild Turkey on the rocks.

Rest In Peace Dr. Gonzo
Mahalo

10:48 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

That's the Hunter I knew in San Francisco. Self consumed and selfish to the last instant. Shoot yourself in such a way that your son and wife will find and deal with your body.

What a man!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HST's gone, and at the time and place of his choosing. His life, lived at the speed of the projectile that took it. Men die, but their written words lives forever. And that's the comfort that we can all be left with. Although the line was written about Dr. Gonzo, HST was truly one of God's own prototypes, a high-powered mutant, never considered for mass-production. Celebrate the life, don't grieve the death.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yada yada I a have to say your an idiot. let hst be. get your own life. jack ass!!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Whiteman said...

Very encouraging to see so many great comments on the death of one of the last good dogs in the fight. Most of us boomers have long since turned into gutless shit-weasels. I happen to be a "recovering" hedonist who lost his grip on substances. For me, it was punk out or die.Unfortunately, political conscience went into the shitter along with the Absolut. Thompson became the standard-bearer and the last fuckin' honest angry man. For the past 30 years, just finding a kindred spirit who knew about and understood HST, was cause for laughter, joy, indignation, and sometimes even some welcome "substance abuse." Hunter's observations and balls-out attitude helped to define the lines of division in our bipolar American culture, long before the reds and the blues. For the past year or so, I felt a reconnection with Hunter and a deep longing for some of the adrenaline of the 60's. I dressed up as Hunter for a Halloween party, and was totally encouraged by all the 20-somethings who knew who the fuck he was. I got the DVD "Breakfast with Hunter" last month, and started re-reading all his books. Maybe a foreshadowing. As for the suicide debate raging in prior comments, I say: Bullshit ! America killed Hunter. Maybe not murder one, but probably negligent homicide. All of these CNN and ABC blurbs today are talking about "Hunter and his demons." The demon is America, its politics, and its smarmy self-righteousness. Keep reading Hunter. Pass him on to your kids. And definitely pass him on to your parents.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Whiteman said...

Very encouraging to see so many great comments on the death of one of the last good dogs in the fight. Most of us boomers have long since turned into gutless shit-weasels. I happen to be a "recovering" hedonist who lost his grip on substances. For me, it was punk out or die.Unfortunately, political conscience went into the shitter along with the Absolut. Thompson became the standard-bearer and the last fuckin' honest angry man. For the past 30 years, just finding a kindred spirit who knew about and understood HST, was cause for laughter, joy, indignation, and sometimes even some welcome "substance abuse." Hunter's observations and balls-out attitude helped to define the lines of division in our bipolar American culture, long before the reds and the blues. For the past year or so, I felt a reconnection with Hunter and a deep longing for some of the adrenaline of the 60's. I dressed up as Hunter for a Halloween party, and was totally encouraged by all the 20-somethings who knew who the fuck he was. I got the DVD "Breakfast with Hunter" last month, and started re-reading all his books. Maybe a foreshadowing. As for the suicide debate raging in prior comments, I say: Bullshit ! America killed Hunter. Maybe not murder one, but probably negligent homicide. All of these CNN and ABC blurbs today are talking about "Hunter and his demons." The demon is America, its politics, and its smarmy self-righteousness. Keep reading Hunter. Pass him on to your kids. And definitely pass him on to your parents.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous pastorprime said...

My tongue has been torn from my head. Thankyou H.S.T. for deciphering the grotesque code of American politics, and in the process making me scream and cheer and piss myself in fits of revelatory hysteria. I hope you find the peace you seek. My condolences to all family and friends, fred vare med dig- p.p.

11:25 AM  
Blogger armedpoet said...

now all my heroes are dead.

fuck.. what else can be said.

when your up against the wall fighting the capitalist pig fucking assholes everyday.. eventually you crack.

jesus.. i feel so fucking empty.

11:27 AM  
Blogger whiteman said...

Very encouraging to see so many great comments on the death of one of the last good dogs in the fight. Most of us boomers have long since turned into gutless shit-weasels. I happen to be a "recovering" hedonist who lost his grip on substances. For me, it was punk out or die.Unfortunately, political conscience went into the shitter along with the Absolut. Thompson became the standard-bearer and the last fuckin' honest angry man. For the past 30 years, just finding a kindred spirit who knew about and understood HST, was cause for laughter, joy, indignation, and sometimes even some welcome "substance abuse." Hunter's observations and balls-out attitude helped to define the lines of division in our bipolar American culture, long before the reds and the blues. For the past year or so, I felt a reconnection with Hunter and a deep longing for some of the adrenaline of the 60's. I dressed up as Hunter for a Halloween party, and was totally encouraged by all the 20-somethings who knew who the fuck he was. I got the DVD "Breakfast with Hunter" last month, and started re-reading all his books. Maybe a foreshadowing. As for the suicide debate raging in prior comments, I say: Bullshit ! America killed Hunter. Maybe not murder one, but probably negligent homicide. All of these CNN and ABC blurbs today are talking about "Hunter and his demons." The demon is America, its politics, and its smarmy self-righteousness. Keep reading Hunter. Pass him on to your kids. And definitely pass him on to your parents.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself”, Franklin Roosevelt – 32nd President of the United States of America.

So, this is it, eh? We’ve waited this long to see just how it was going happen. The thought has always crossed our minds, don’t lie. Would it be an overdose? Naw, maybe by wrapping a car around a telephone pole? Naw, no guns involved there, not believable enough either. There needs to be guns somewhere. Is this a fitting end? On many levels, yes...yes it is. We need something else, something only the good doctor will revile to us later. But based upon what we are being told today; this very day of celebrating past Presidents (how ironic is that?), we are talking about Hunter, his art and how and why he moved on.

It is to easy to drive into the realm of “Who shot J.R.?” I love to go there, but common sense holds my feet in reality. To swim in the sweet waters of “He knew to much” is much too tempting, even for a half-cocked revolutionary such as myself. “Suicide is painless”, to borrow a line from one of my favorite movies and by knowing this, we can all rest assured that at the very moment the trigger was pulled, it was all over just as fast. Do we really need an answer to the question of “why”? -- which in itself is an ironic question considering who we are talking about. What would be his response to this? I think we all know the answer.

I went down to the cellar this morning to smoke a joint and reflect on my feelings about all of this. Hunter has (present tense intended) an impact on all of us, whether we read is art, or not. There are very few people here on this piece of spinning mud that can have such an impact on the herd like Hunter did. We all know that no artist is fully appreciated during their lives, only that it’s when they have moved on they can punch it into overdrive. It is only in this state of immortality that the artist can put the finishing touches on the people they have influenced. How many people you think will now be exposed to the good doctor and his art? I’ve watched the visitors tally on this site skyrocket today; you watch – the amount of visitors to just this site alone will hit double the amount it had (from November ’03) by noon on the west coast today. Not even one full day after he has moved on and I’ll bet you two packs of smokes the amount of new “gonzo” writers has doubled as well.

While partaking in my ceremony, I looked for my stash of HST books in the library and found them book-ended by Poe and Kerouac. “How fucking fitting is that?” I said to myself. I’m not a Hemmingway fan at all, but if I was, I’m sure he’d be near as well. I look forward to re-visiting all the thoughts, adventures and “reflective ness” Hunter gave to me. Since the very first day I read “….Las Vegas”, I felt that I had just been introduced to the best writer of my time. Nobody has ever laid it out, made me think or entertained me more than him. He seemed to be that wild uncle at the family get together who would sneak you a beer, give you toke, show off his guns and tell you what’s really going on around you.

I feel very enlighten since my first visit with Dr. Thompson. I think to say that we’ll miss Hunter, is one of the greatest understatements since words were placed on paper. There is now a door that has been opened by him for us to walk through. Like a parent bird throwing their young out of the nest, we must all learn how to fly without his “mother-henning”. It is up to us to keep his sprit alive if we so choose to and I choose to stand by any rabid bastard that does. Divide and conquer is a victorious tactic. Let’s us morn, reflect/remember and then get back to business of fighting the good fight!

To his family, I wish peace, balance and strength in these days of loss. You are in my thoughts as I reflect on the incredible works your husband and father has given us.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Badpatty said...

I'd like to think that the good Doctor realized that there was one thrill that he hadn't tried yet. Don't trip on your trip and keep a seat warm for when I get there.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For the whole point on this picaresque is that the American-style rogue-hero must not merely tease or insult the Silent Majority, but abuse it, outrage it, twist it, hurt it, smash it," HST

R.I.P. you crazy bastard

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GONZO IS GONE

The cynicism is easy --
printing the acerbic words that
flow from your acid tongue,
that is natural.
There’s no gonzo
in that.

Perhaps stating it all
in sharp, true words
is the beginning
of gonzo.

Making sense of the hurt
that takes gonzo living.

Dropping in not dropping out,
that takes gonzo authenticity.

Getting older and facing what’s
come at your own hands,
that takes gonzo humility.

Dying at your own hands --
not sure there’s
any gonzo to that,
because no one can write
about it
first person.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote the great HST, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Must have gotten pretty weird for Dr. Lono, he will be missed, condolences to his friends and family. To the author of this blog, I was also at the Fox Theater in Boulder and knew one of the guys that worked there, I don't know if you knew this, but, Thompson was told after the intermission that it was time to go back onto stage and he sprayed the guy with a fire extinguisher, very Thompson'esgue.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Maybe this is all pure gibberish – a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found out a way to live out there where the real winds blow - to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and ride fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested…

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll."



-HST

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote the great HST, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Must have gotten pretty weird for Dr. Lono, he will be missed, condolences to his friends and family. To the author of this blog, I was also at the Fox Theater in Boulder and knew one of the guys that worked there, I don't know if you knew this, but, Thompson was told after the intermission that it was time to go back onto stage and he sprayed the guy with a fire extinguisher, very Thompson'esgue.

12:38 PM  
Blogger RMR said...

One of the last true American Legends, he will be missed. Anyone out there that went to the book signing for "The Pround Highway" at the Tattered Cover in Denver in 1997. Well, anyway, there was a guy behind me in line that had a camera and took my picture with Hunter and said that he would mail it too me, never got it, thought that this would be a good way to see if he was out there in cyberspace??

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF you loved the man as much as you protest, or ever understood the method to the madness you would know why he did it. He had to be true to himself...Jesus it astounds me the number of people who caught a glimpse of a real human being and yet could never realize what they were looking at. He was the most honest person of the last century, and if you can't understand why...then there is no amount of reading or even any note that could explain it to you.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous John Owens said...

Just this morning around 8 o'clock (Monday 21 Feb, Hirschberg, Germany) I had decided to do some surfing and listen to Bessie Smith, "Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town" and "Backwater Blues", and decided to check into CNN.com when I saw the headline about Hunter - needless to say it threw me a loop, like someone had thrown a rock or a snowball in my face - I began to stare out the balcony door window, reflecting that the ranks of the visionaries and rebel voices are growing thinner and thinner with the passing years, voices that we sorely need now more than ever. Hunter seemed like a solid figure in the landscape - like Keith Richards or Mount Rushmore, I had considered Hunter to be a member of my personal pantheon of those who are Built to Last. His suicide comes as a grave shock to me, and I immediately thought of his essay on Hemingway "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?", where Hunter closed with the words (in my memory) "for reasons that were his own, he decided to end his life with a shotgun."

I will truly miss Hunter. It's winter in Germany - and an even colder one in America - for 4 years at least.

Let's pull up our collars and zip up our jackets, it's going to be a long one.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who spent the better part of his young adult life reading Thompson's work and who never felt as in tune with any writer as Thompson....the loss is enormous.
It is just good that his writing can never be erased...the he influenced many....won the admiration of many mainstream journalists and never compromised who he was.
We will never see the likes of him again

Res ipsa loquitor

12:58 PM  
Anonymous John Owens said...

Just this morning around 8 o'clock (Monday 21 Feb, Hirschberg, Germany) I had decided to do some surfing and listen to Bessie Smith, "Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town" and "Backwater Blues", and decided to check into CNN.com when I saw the headline about Hunter - needless to say it threw me a loop, like someone had thrown a rock or a snowball in my face - I began to stare out the balcony door window, reflecting that the ranks of the visionaries and rebel voices are growing thinner and thinner with the passing years, voices that we sorely need now more than ever. Hunter seemed like a solid figure in the landscape - like Keith Richards or Mount Rushmore, I had considered Hunter to be a member of my personal pantheon of those who are Built to Last. His suicide comes as a grave shock to me, and I immediately thought of his essay on Hemingway "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?", where Hunter closed with the words (in my memory) "for reasons that were his own, he decided to end his life with a shotgun."

I will truly miss Hunter. It's winter in Germany - and an even colder one in America - for 4 years at least.

Let's pull up our collars and zip up our jackets, it's going to be a long one.

12:59 PM  
Blogger RMR said...

Thompson was a very honest person, as much to himself as too others and maybe that is why he is getting the wrap that he has, as being a weird and wild excentric person. He lived his life without regret...not a lot of people can honestly say that. Seems there are a lot of people out there that should pick up one of Thompson's books and read it again, some have lost touch with the artist that he is/was. Celebrate the life of HST the way you see fit ie... drink a bottle of Chivas Regal and curse the Bush administration or just curse the Bush administration.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey everyone.

Just seen Ralph Steadman talking on the news. It seems HST was in very declining health (couldn't walk, two hip ops) and decided it was time to go.

Maybe we should honour him for that, not least because he chose his own way out & his own time. How would it be if we saw the guy wither and fold, only growing weaker as the times got worse & the presses more gutless? Bizarre that in his end we can understand the mad old wolf more clearly than ever.

God bless him and best to all of you feeling the loss.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Widely Known Secret said...

The man lived as he wished, and told those who disagreed in no uncertain terms to go to the devil. That alone in this age of compromise and coddling is very rare, and to be applauded.

Farewell, HST - we salute your individuality, talent, humor and unwillingness to bow to the dogs of mediocrity.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hunter will be missed. he was such an inspiration to me as well as many, many others.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am very conscious of eras"

HST

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep expecting the punch line too. Like the suicide is some joke. As if to say 'HA HA see how easy it is to fool a moronic media!' Then Hunter will leap forth and say 'I SHOOT OTHER PEOPLE YOU FUCKERS - NOT MYSELF!' But I am most afraid, it is not a joke, so now I am pissed that he didn't have a select few of us out to go down in a blaze of sex, drugs and rock and roll. No, he was at least dignified and quiet about it. The bastards finally ground him down and it leaves me utterly bereft of hope when I look at the current political situation. I think, I will find a fox hole, crawl in and never return.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think George W. Bush finally decided it was time to silence one of the last free thinkers in our country.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Armus said...

Anonymous said...

"...It seems a cowardly way to go for such a brave and fearless man..."Everyone always says that... that suicide is a "cowardly" act, etc. I call BULLSHIT on that. It's definitely a selfish act and hurtful to others who love and admire you. But jumping off this earth into the greatest unknown we have is definetly not for the weak of heart. In a weird way, it takes a certain amount of courage.

Many people can't come to terms with that and are so afraid of death that they have knee-jerk reaction to suicide (calling it cowardly, etc.). If you come better to grips with death and really think about it... suicide may be a whole lot of negative, horrible things... but you'll certainly see that it's not a "cowardly" act.

That's closer to the truth you may not want to face.

HST's friend said: "There's no one in the world these days who writes the truth ... as he seems to. He spoke to the world and said what people were afraid to say."

And in that vien I say to you... he was no coward you little cunt. Sorry, if the truth hurts, but that's how it is."



Blah, blah, blah...

Bold words coming from a noisy little cunt who posts anonymously.

Hunter shit all over his legacy. He left a big steaming coiled turd on everything he wrote, everything he stood for, by taking the coward's way out and eating a bullet.

He left his body---his head shattered, with blood and bits of brain scattered around---for his son or his wife to find.

The actions of a selfish asshole.

Fuck you, Hunter.

With your last actions you managed to confirm what so many people had accused you of for so long: you were a selfish self-destructive prick, who got by on your declining talent no matter the cost to others.

And to all the teenage nihilists who are going to whine existentialist noise about the "bravery" of suicide? Fuck you. In fact, let me borrow a couple of horny donkeys and we'll let them deliver a nont-to-be-forgotten "fuck you" as well. There's nothing "brave" about being afraid to face the next morning, nor in leaving a horrible mess for other people to clean up. If it's so admirable, I strongly encourage the lot of you to do it. Promptly. You're assholes, like Hunter. The difference was he was an asshole with talent and will be missed.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the Bush Administration has done away with other forms of free speach, they have done away with the King of free speech. CIA, anyone?

3:17 PM  
Anonymous John said...

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."

It almost felt like he was in the back seat when I took that 'trip' across the same desert in 1980.

Whose works will I look for in the bookstore now?

3:23 PM  
Blogger wildcat02 said...

I enjoy writer's and reading, I will say, when I picked up the book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", I laughed hysterically, I then watched the movie and laughed even more hysterically. Although not being able to relate to some of his episodes; let me tell you he can paint somebody a good picture. Not only did HST write some good Political articles, but he could write some damn good Sports articles, as well; which is proof he wasn't complete oblivious to the outside world...just a little confused. I think it's sucks that he is gone, because I really think he had something everybody needs...the ability to make somebody laugh!!! You'll be missed Hunter.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss him too!!...however I think at his age and with the chronic pain in his back, hip, legs and other parts that he couldn't take it anymore...anyone who has suffered this way knows what I mean and the painkillers?...they simply stopped working a long time ago...I will carry his memory fondly in these dark and troubling times...

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday was my birthday and it was also the day one of my heroes left the world.I am struggling to find my way in the world as a writer and a journalist and I can honsetly say I owe it all to the good Doctor.Hunter S. Thompson was the kind of man I hope to one day be...he lived his life without limits and always fought the good fight for Truth and the First Ammendment.He gave us the tools and the information to change the world around us and as long as his work lives on,so will the fight.Wherever he is,I hope hes enjoying the ride.....

4:34 PM  
Blogger Zach said...

"We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back." The best line in any of his works sums it all up. Drugs and booze and madness aside, he had the "right kind of eyes;" and the right kind of heart. He was an American with a 20 foot capital A -- an American in the real and final sense. I thank Christ I met him when I did -- four months ago in a rainy L.A. May the Gods bless and keep him, wherever he is.

4:51 PM  
Blogger T said...

I have a friend who talked to Hunter only hours before his death. He was happy and looking forward to seeing him the next day. This makes me very curious about the nature of his death. His recent writings being so political and pointed made him a self proclaimed possible target of aggression. Just putting down what I've heard so far just to try to sort it out. Its a sad day no matter what....

5:01 PM  
Blogger AutoEditor said...

i'm really sorry for his family, i know first hand how hard it is to live with an action like that, it can't be undone, and it cant be made better by all the words in the world. i'm moved far more than i really thought reasonable, considering i never knew the man personally, those books got under my skin and stayed there. nothing will ever be the same again.

5:07 PM  
Blogger AutoEditor said...

Re the guy who "talked to Hunter only hours before his death. He was happy and looking forward to seeing him the next day. This makes me very curious about the nature of his death" - look I've had two of my closest friends take their lives unexpectedly and violently, and they were both talking to me, in once case maybe only 2 hours, before the event with no indications of what was on their mind. its not uncommon for that to happen, and i wouldnt read anything at all into it. dammit a conspiracy would perhaps make it easier to accept and understand, but suicide leaves little in the way of reasons and causes at the best of times. accept that he's gone with all the good grace you can find, continue the causes that matter, and show respect and compassion to family and friends. one NEVER gets over a violent death, one only gets on with living, and that's the truth.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read CoL many years ago, and have reread it frequently since. HST was larger than life in the most serious sense; I had not read CoL for several months when I visited Hawaii, and the entire experience came flooding back to me. The entire time I was on the islands, I felt like HST was with me – and that we needed to go do something very hedonistic, something very crass, perhaps even illegal. One early morning, I was watching some canoes skate across the water outside my condo when I heard a voice say, “They row like bastards…”

5:38 PM  
Blogger integon said...

a very sad day in American literature/journalism/history...will we ever know the true reasons behind this madness? probably not...why suicide Mr. Thompson?...or a possible murder to silence a free thinker?...at least a nice tribute has been posted on this blog...the mainstream press will never get the story right anyway...stay Gonzo...vote Gonzo...stay American...support free speech...

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see hunter now standing at the gates of heaven negocating for a press pass....in the words of another fallen hero...So long hunter and thanks for all the fish

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Jason C said...

forget the drugs (as fun they may be), forget the weapons though deadly they are ... and lay away the suicide - THIS MOTHERFUCKER COULD WRITE. Hunter Stockton Thompson, whether by his own hand or that of a bush (theres two in every one yeah?), is gone on to the next level...and the world will be one less genius full - long live Hunter, R.I.L - dont fuck with his shit.
JC

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was somewhere at the edge of my bath tub when the shock took hold ... i heard my wife say 'Hunters Dead' and felt my body stiffen, crude images of bats and puking fatmen bombarded my mind and i thought about the day i read the great shark hunt...the day i decided i too could eat all the drugs within arms length and write great social commentaries, the day the world shook from a headfull of acid and a lungfull of pot...the day i became a man.
though i no longer take many drugs, and ive even given up the fags - i thank you hunter, with all my heart for the years of inspiration you gave.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Eve said...

Hunter S. Thompson.

Have read all of his works.

LEGEND.

Lived, wrote, and died on his own terms.

Am still in shock.

-Eve, from Sydney, Australia.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous kai said...

From Berlin Germany.
Yes it's a shocker. The news will spread like waves across the globe.
when a friend told me last night I pictured him on a drug frenzie pulling that trigger or while cleaning his gun accentently letting one go. maybe I thought this beacause I believe he is just that crazy. But reading about his family disovering his courpse made me real sad about what happend. He must have had his pretty good reasons to go out like this, with all the consequences for the people he left behind. Frankly I just hope that it will remain a secret and that the media and fans will leave it with that. He will be mist. there is still alot of reading still ahead for me and that makes me feel good.
I don't want to know the why and accept his reasons and keep him in the good memory that he and his family deserves.

KAi
from Berlin Germany

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Those who are more adapted to the active life can prepare themselves for contemplation in the practice of the active life, while those who are more adapted to the contemplative life can take upon themselves the works of the active life so as to become yet more apt for contemplation.” St. Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274, Italian Scholastic Philosopher and Theologian

Now it is understandable why Hunter did what he did. If the “facts” that we are hearing remain true, I cannot fault him for taking his journey to a road that we will only experience when we leave on that same train. He decided that he was weak enough to be purged from the herd.

I would hedge a fifty-dollar bet in Vegas that this was what he was thinking. He knew how the herd moved, how it flowed. He knew that the herd would benefit from his natural selection action and he operated so. The fury of gunfire appeased the rank in a natural style that he could only provide.

To see the monkeys chirping gallantly over his demise is solidifying. I silently pray for their souls, fore they know not what is in store for them. These are the times of evolution and predication of the works Hunter; an opening of the works to a new generation to take on the vile swine that surrounds us.

It always takes an act of courage from a patriot to kick the asses of the masses to action. This is the least we could do as writers. Keep up the good fight; we owe it to him and ourselves.

-- RTX2

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the living only we owe respect to the dead only the truth

voltaire

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the living only we owe respect to the dead only the truth

voltaire

2:30 AM  
Blogger armedpoet said...

Yes indeed... Amerikkka and the global capitalist system of greed and oppression killed hunter. Shit, I can imagine shooting myself after spending as many years as he did involved in the struggle..

Amerikka killed hunter. It is our duty to continue the fight and kill Amerikkka.


Bring on the FREAK POWER!

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever his reasons were, ultimately Hunter remained honest to himself and how many of us can truly claim that?

We should all honour Hunter by celebrating his life rather than obssessing about his death. Hunter deserves much more than self indulgent idolatry.Remember the things he wrote, and why he wrote them. Perpetuate his philosophies and keep up his unique and definitive voice through your own voices.

Thankyou Hunter for 67 years of your life, your writing, your passions. We are all diminshed by your passing.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Armus said...

"Armedpoet," why don't you do us a favor and follow Hunter's lead? I can understand you imagining shooting yourself. I can imagaine you shooting yourself. It takes me to a happy place...

I realize that you may have some difficulty in emulating him exactly, as your prison-colony of a country doesn't trust the inmates with dangerous tools like firearms, but you can probably muddle through with some sleeping pills and a plastic bin bag.

Take your juvenile Marxist bullshit elsewhere, at the least.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During my freshman year in college in Colorado I dressed on many, many occasions in the uniform of my hero - white Chuck Taylor low-tops, loud Hawaiian shirt, black cigarette holder with a Dunhill permanently locked and loaded, and yellow aviator shooting glasses. I am prematurely bald and at times when we are ripping into a crazed Friday night in the dorm the effect is eerily similar -through the haze of exhaled bong hits I really look like him. I blast the Apocalypse Now soundtrack, The Doors, and The Cowboy Junkies into the cold concrete hallways as my peers get dressed up to brave the snow and hunt down the best frat parties.

There are many rich and connected East coast kids at the school and one of them, who is an heir to a chemical fortune and has a "III" after his name, has a little black address book that is magic. On one occasion we prank call Tori Spelling and in a desperate late night and drug-addled effort to connect to things bigger than us, we make a late night call to Hunter S. Thompson but quickly hang up when he answers.

In October of 1991, my girlfriend's parents take us to Aspen for a weekend of fine dining and a glimpse into the ski vacations of the ridiculously rich. I know that just 15 minutes down the road is the Woody Creek Tavern and I commandeer the minivan after everyone else declines the invitation to come with me. There are not many signs for Woody Creek and as I pull in I am imagining the best case scenario to be a photo of me grinning like an idiot in front of the place.

I walk in and wander over to check the walls for famous photos or signatures or some evidence that this is in fact the oft-referenced home court watering hole of Lono - the head truth teller and chief bullshit-caller of the second half of this century. The Doctor is also the only writer to make me laugh out loud and permanently twist my brain to look at the world correctly. There are six or eight tables, a pool table, and a six-seat bar. I spot the famous Rolling Stone photo where HST is reclining on a parked motorcycle and confirm I am in the right place.

I wander around the outside edge of the bar, checking out more photos and end up standing in the doorway to the kitchen. My voice cracks a little as I ask a mustached guy in cooks' whites if Dr. Thompson has been in recently. He points at the end of the bar with his knife.

"You mean Hunter?"

My first impression is that Hunter S. Thompson is larger than life. Really. He is a thick, fleshy man who does not represent the face I have seen peering out from the black and white photographs. Airman Thompson is long gone and a growling Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz coughs from the far left barstool. He is wearing blue Levis, $400 Mephisto walking shoes, a white polo type shirt, and a thick plaid flannel jacket. He is smoking one cigarette after another. There are quartered grapefruits, bowls of chili, and a bottle of Chivas Regal on the bar. He sits next to a tough-looking blonde woman who is at least ten years younger.

"Hunter needs some water."

One of the waitresses yells through the smoke and wet coughing. I stand rooted at the other end of the bar and imagine that he might, in fact, expire right then and there from the ferocity of the hacking and wheezing. Another younger waitress wants her photo taken and HST obliges but the camera doesn't work.

I see my opening as I sit down a couple of stools away. "I have a camera in the car. I could take your photo and send you the picture."

"No," she replies, looking sideways, "he probably wouldn't like that."

Hunter then viciously chops some colored drink straws in half and jams a thick wood-handled steak knife into the top of the bar. He staggers up, coughing, and marches off to the bathroom, brushing against my arm along the way. He is gone for a solid ten minutes.

A sandwich arrives when he returns and he eats a single french fry before passing the plate to his blond companion. They seem to be going over a manuscript of some type as he smokes, growls, yells, and waves his hands. He flashes me a glare twice.

I order a Coke and realize that I am not ballsy enough or suave enough to plan much less execute my next move. I am completely in the hands of the two hard-faced waitresses. Things seem to be happening in slow motion as I am stunned at the sight of Lono in full stride and at full volume.

The older waitress returns and smiles at me.

"Are you here to see Hunter?"

"Yes."

"Where are you from?"

"Seattle" (Technically this is true).

"Well, stay right here. He's got a full drink."

The bartender looks up from the beer he is pulling. "And he's in a pretty good mood."

After the younger waitress and I decide that a book signing might be the best approach, I realize that I have left my copy of Curse of Lono back on the bedside table at The Molly Gibson lodge in Aspen. Idiot. I rip back in the maroon minivan and as I pull up to the Woody Creek Tavern the second time I see HST pointing himself towards his blue, wood-sided Jeep Cherokee. The Dr. smells a trick, or an interview request, or a feeble autograph attempt and he jumps in his car and sprays gravel out of the parking lot as soon as I get close to the door. There is an NRA sticker as big as a manhole in the back window that I see very closely as he almost backs over me in his haste to depart.

I go back in and the waitress smiles and offers me his lunch bar tab with the familiar three letter autograph as a consolation. HST tips an admirable 33% on the ticket.

I later drive up to see the entrance to Owl Farm, imagining that I might get shot at or at least stopped. The Pitkin County Sheriff stickers from the traumatic 1990 "lifestyle bust" are still on the gate. I realize that the day was not a failure and I got to see the real main event in its full glory. The end of my time at the Woody Creek Tavern seems the right way to finish the day. I could never hope to sit down for a beer or shoot guns with HST because I am nowhere near the same league of fire-breathing champion that he is.

It also seems that things should end the way no one would expect them to. As we stop to realize what is suddenly gone it doesn't really matter why what happened on Sunday went down. The train is off the rails and there will be no more calling bullshit the way bullshit is meant to be called. The Kingdom of Fear is in a in a double-handed fascist death grip and the sane will have to go elsewhere for their shot of comic relief.

Res ipsa loquitur, Lono.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I turned on Headline News last night I was greeted not by the news, but by that Hideous Hag Nancy Grace yammering on and on about some gibberish she felt was important. This show was followed (or preceeded...shit has no order) but some god awful "entertainment" program. Hunter, there is a good chance you opted out at EXACTLY the right time.

2:20 PM  

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