My father once told me a story. In December, 1980, close to a year before the day I was born, a voice interupted the music on the then baby superstation, KROQ. "This just in, " said Doc on the Rock. "John Lennon is dead, he has been shot." My father then related that he pulled over to the side of road and cried.
And though I liked Nirvana, I felt no real connection to Kurt or the plight of the grunge movement when he kiled himself, though I myself was an ascriber to that movement. How did it feel on a visceral level to lose a hero; someone who touched, beyond a shadow of a doubt, ones life and mind? I could sympathasize with stories of people who, though they never knew these people, these heros personally. They felt as if they were family. I could sympathize but could never emotionally understand. I wish, with all my heart that that lack of understanding could have remained. Unfortunately, the powers that be did not see fit to consult me on the matter. My hero, my person of greatness whom I looked up to has passed.
Hunter S. Thompon shot himself this afternoon. The news reports have not as yet mentioned a reason. And if the Dr. wherever he may be can answer, he certainly isn't talking. He is dead, he is out, he has written his last column in his own blood and we may never know the reason.
Something tells me that some trick is afoot. Its all a joke. Hunter is alive and well, throwing back shots of Wild Turkey and yukking it up with Andy Kaufmann...and guess what America? The jokes on you, all you suckers and rubes! Fuck the lot of you! But of course that something is wrong. I know he's dead. But still it doesn't seem right.
Why would he do something like this. Cobain-esque angst doesn't seem to cut it for me. HST wouldn't stoop so low so as to commit a common, everyday suicide. It must have been something else. Avoidance of old age or cancer, one final trip before the great unknown, a Bush administration assasination, something. But please God don't say it was depression. I couldn't take that and someone like Hunter would never succomb to that kind of cheap bullshit.
That swine, that fucker! How dare he leave us now. Now is when we need him the most. Now is when the fight was supposed to begin. We are lost without Hunter S. Thompson. Michael Moore and Howard Dean and all the others are dribbling whelps compared to Dr. Gonzo. They are nothing. Hunter S. Thompson was the rock of the Left. We owe our freedom and our culture in no small part to him and his journalism.
And now he is gone, by his own hand. No more books or articles. No more appearences on Conan O'Brian or columns in ESPN or Rolling Stone. No more handshakes with John Kerry and Ted Kenneddy. The Good Doctor has crossed into the endzone, drink in hand and bullet in brain and all I can hope, is that that is how he truly would have had it. All I can hope is that somehow, it was planned like this all along. All I can hope, is that whatever special brand of Fear and Loathing that drove the jouranilst/hero to do what he did is in serious short supply in whatever may be his final resting place.
I write today in part because of Hunter S. Thompson. The drugs brought me in, the politics kept me reading but his soul kept me hooked and inspired me to write, not like him but with him. All to carry on the Gonzo tradition of justice on print.
I cannot say with certainity where the Doctor now resides. His is not an easy case, no open and shut scenarios on this trip. For in the case of Huster S. Thompson, he may well be in Hell, though he and I certainily don't believe in something like that. But if he is in Hell, he's sitting on a couch in some pit, watching football with Nixon and shooting demons in the ass. But more than likely, he's up in some paradise that looks like the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel, sipping Singapore Slings with Mezcal on the side, gearing up to slice the clouds on some heavenly and holy Vincent Black Shadow.
As for the rest of us, I can't speak for others but I myself intend to get stoned, very stoned. I will smoke and I will drink and I will do both tonight in Hunter's honor because in his case, I think the small tribute will go appreciated.
One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.-HST 1971
Here's to Hunter; wherever he is may he know no Fear, may he experience no Loathing. Just another Freak in the Freak Kingdom. God Bless.