Sunday, February 20, 2005
Hunter S. Thompson: RIP
Please excuse me while I a take a break from the rally commentary to mourn the passing of a true American genius, Dr Hunter S. Thompson. He apparently committed suicide at his Colorado home yesterday; newsreports say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Dr Thompson was a wonderfully entertaining writer and journalist who pioneered over-the-top, so called "Gonzo" journalism in which the author becomes part of the story. In the 1970s I devoured "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Hells Angels" with delight. Although his pharamaceutically enhanced behaviour was truly hilarious (apparently he later said this was entirely fiction -I remain sceptical about this denial) he was an highly insighful and astute political commentator and his book "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail", covering the 1972 US Presidential election, was a landmark. He could also turn his hand to sports writing and was notoriously a devotee of large caliber handguns. I saw him once at a lecture in San Francisco where he gave a larger than life performance. In these days of neoconservative politics the voice of this highly eccentric dissident will be sorely missed.