I’ve been shocked into a ever-deepening valley of despair over the passing of one of the most influential literary icons of my lifetime – Hunter S. Thompson.
When I logged into Farkistan this morning, the first headline I would see today totally cold cocked me upside my head. Just a few words, short and sweet; “Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself”. I instantly felt frozen and detached from reality – ‘Gonz…is dead?’, I said aloud. In the back of my mind, I asked this very same question repeatedly, as if trying to convince myself that the words I was reading were being projected into my retinas by some deeply embedded sadistic, psychosomatic element of my own persona. I attempted to rub away the ghastly dialogue from my eyes, but it persisted, like the bearable but completely uncomfortable searing sensation of a nasty sunburn.
‘Duke’s’ voice has been silenced once and for all, and the literary genious of this Magnificent Bastard will never be duplicated, or equaled. At once I felt my despair slip into fear and helplessness. Whoa. I never thought I would have taken it this hard. This was MUCH more serious than just another writer passing. This was the extinction of THE pioneer – THE architect of thought-provoking, ‘in your face’ social commentary – The great “Gonz” himself. Damn, I thought. ‘What the fuck are we in for now?!?’, I said aloud to no one.
No doubt, many love or hate him, but the respect for his literary prose will forever surpass personal boundaries and generation gaps. Deeply embedded expose’s like “Hell’s Angels”, uncover raw elements of human behaviour usually stifled in other forms of literature. Things like excess, intimidation, manipulation, rage, humiliation, general debauchery, and instinctive violence are all par for the course in Thompson’s world – as nature intended. This author brings reality to the reader’s doorstep in a fashion so few can ever hope to realise. His quick witted talent for storytelling, leaving nothing disclosed from the reader, allows for the imagination to become almost fused to the story, like cokeheads become entertwined in their habit.
The substance-induced journeys, like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” take the reader through all of the insanity and moments of clarity in himself and others around him, no matter how absurd, and scoops us into his psychedelic quests for a story. And it never fails to provoke thought. Sometimes, the alliteration is so raw, it beckons macabre thoughts, you know, the type that makes us look at traffic accidents and such. And before you realise it, the ridiculousness of it all suddenly makes the reader laugh out loud. That, to me, is the inspiration of Hunter S. Thompson.
R.I.P. Dr. Thompson. You sure had prose like a motherfucker.
“There he goes. 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.” -H.S.T
“I have spent half my life trying to get away from journalism, but I am still mired in it – a low trade and a habit worse than heroin, a strange seedy world full of misfits and drunkards and failures.” -H.S.T
“If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell, all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix.” -H.S.T
“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.” -H.S.T., Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
“As your attorney, it is my duty to inform you that it is not important that you understand what I’m doing or why you’re paying me so much money. What’s important is that you continue to do so.”-H.S.T.’s Lawyer, Oscar Acosta, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas