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the skunks of los feliz
2.22.2005
 
The Doctor is out.

Hunter S. Thompson, the great American journalist and hedonist, has checked himself out of this plane of existence, and gone on to the ultimate ether trip.

This is one of those deaths that is shocking, not in its occurrence, but in its method. I never thought HST would directly kill himself. I mean, sure, he had been killing himself for the last forty years or so, indulging at every turn the self-destructive streak that was the well-spring of his inimitable, laceratingly funny style.

But to actually put one of his beloved guns to his head and pull the trigger? Never would have guessed it.

Hunter S. Thompson was always giving the finger to those he aptly called the "swine", the smug white bastards in suits who had the game fixed, the books cooked, and the shysters on standby at all times. He railed against a country (and a universe) that was intrinsically corrupt, a closed system that was rigged against you from the start. His was not a hopeful philosophy.

Which is why I enjoyed his work so much, especially during that period in college that I was a journalism major. His irrationality seemed to me to be a rational reaction to an insane world. His writing was a big "fuck you" to the man, his stand-in for the universe, God, death, the uncaring, unfeeling void.

He gave me the idea that in the end you might lose (and all mortals do, eventually), but at least you can go with your dignity intact, middle fingers raised and a heartfelt "kiss my ass" falling from your lips.

Whether HST felt that he was going out on his terms by killing himself, whether there was a unyielding depression, or a terminal illness, this was, apparently, his final response to an insane world.

Hopefully, he has achieved some kind of peace, and a respite from a world where "all pigs are upwardly mobile."
 
Comments:
I really enjoyed your post about Hunter Thompson!
 
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