Hunter S. Thompson, the counterculture author of “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” has committed suicide, the Associated Press reported. He was 67.
Thompson invented gonzo journalism, and influenced countless writers and journalists. He didn’t just break the mold, he smashed it to pieces. He also had a PhD in Journalism, and y’know, in order to break the rules, you have to know what they are. At his best, he was savage, acerbic, howlingly funny, and his putdowns could very definitely kill.
His political reporting for Rolling Stone in the late 60’s-early 70’s turned journalism upside down. The reporter could be part of the story, expressing their own subjective viewpoint. A common enough idea now, but Thompson was the one who started it. He was the model for Uncle Duke in Doonesbury too.
Some say he was a drug-addled cariacature in his later years. I dunno, I don’t care. The journalist as outlaw. That’s what he did. And that’s what we need more of now.
The title of his most recent book says it all, “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness.”
Rest in peace Hunter, you had a long crazed run, and we thank you for it.
PS From a Freezerbox interview in March 2003
The mainstream press, you mean?
Yeah, the mainstream press is uh, is uh, in the bag, in the pocket of Bush and the military and they seem to like it there! Not all of them, I’ve got a lot of good friends, good people in journalism, that feel more strongly than I do, or at least as strongly.
The uh, New York Times, eh, yeah, it’s a different animal. There’s not too many papers like that. But the press in general, the media, the TV, is doing a disgraceful job in covering this situation in this country and around the world. This is where I have to bring some subjectivity into it that I believe is right! A president that came in here, uhhh… about two years ago…
Right, barely elected.
Barely elected, yeah, and I guess it’s only been two years, and he’s taken this nation from a, uh, um, let me think looking at it from a, uh, just objectively, from a prosperous nation at peace to a broke nation at war.
Right, but I mean, there were those assholes who flew the plane into the World Trade Center.
Who were they indeed? Now, [cough] do you believe that, that a bunch of Arabs jumped up from some kind of a campfire and fucking mountains over there and snuck into this country and hijacked those planes and did that by themselves?
Well what are you proposing? I mean I think they were funded years ago by the CIA and it was a blowback, but, I don’t think there was any direct… Are you saying there might be some other American agency or some international agency that directly supported them in that?
Uhh, this is tricky territory, but yeah, that’s what I’m getting at.