Monday, February 21, 2005

Farewell Hunter S Thompson

I woke up this fine Monday morning to hear the sad news that Hunter S Thompson had been found dead. His body was discovered by his son in Hunter’s Colorado home, it appeared the 67 year old writer had committed suicide. Why would a guy at his age, who could see reality in such clear terms, decide to blow his own brains out? Maybe I just answered my own question there.......

Like the many thirty-something’s of my seemingly pointless generation, I was first introduced to Mr Thompson’s work by watching the Johnny Depp / Terry Gilliam movie, " Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas ".

It was love at first sight; I was moved by Thompson’s astute, yet damn ugly observations of American life. He did not portray himself as the 'good guy', he knew he wasn't, and so did his readers. He painted a picture of his life in a context that so many other American travel authors would dare not openly admit. That he can be, at times, a stupid person trapped in a stupid world, surrounded by stupid, stupid people.

But this is the world we live in. A world where John Lennon is murdered by the CIA, and where Ronald Reagan gets to survive, and where George Bush is a national hero (to some stupid people anyway). Oh well, onwards and upwards (You can tell I'm an optimist eh......?!?!

I’ll finish this short lament with one of my favourite quotes from Hunter’s above mentioned book, and subsequent movie;

We’re all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the sixties. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America, selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all those people who took him seriously.

All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy peace and understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours, too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole lifestyle that he helped create. A generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the acid culture: the
desperate assumption that somebody, or at least some force, is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.


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