Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Too Much Fear and Loathing I guess......

I don't quite know what to say about the death of Dr. Gonzo/Raul Duke/Uncle Duke/Hunter S. Thompson. He is the reason I like to write. The reason I like to spew bile and bitch. The reason I don't like to accept the status quo. The reason I majored in journalism. The reason I love outlandish metaphor. The reason I still respect Rolling Stone. The reason why I love the Warren Zevon song Lawyers Guns and Money. I am not up for writing some long eulogy or some hack job at coopting his voice (after all didn't he teach us to respect our own voice no matter how much strange wierdness it embodies...) instead I just want to say goodbye and thank you for the wonderful journalism/prose/fiction/literature/cheap attacks and all around outlaw bad craziness.

I have yet to decide how I want to have a private memorial. I could watch the extras on the Criterion collection version of the fear and loathing movie, I could re read a classic book, I could buy his new book, I could buy Where the Buffalos Roam on DVD, I could scour the net for others thoughts, I could keep peacocks as pets, I could tie on one last classic bender before fully retiring into married bliss, you'll have to stay tuned. I am basically just thinking out loud. A lot has been said in the last 24 hours about how HST was really an early blogger, and as lame as that sounds I have to admit that when blogging first hit my conscience I was reminded about how they read like Thompson's late night letter and faxes to his varied and diverse friends that have been collected in two volumes of books, a underappriciated addition to his cannon by the way.

The suicide part really bothers me. I have always been a hard liner on the suicide issue (pathetic/so what/cheapway out etc) and if he had died of some glorious overdose, the effects of hardlivin or even just run of the mill old age/diesease I would mourn but figure the wheel of life spins on, but suicide?????? This man who laughed at death from a mpotorcycle on a hairpin turn with a head full of acid and chivas regal? Was the legend and the man so at odds that it finally crushed him. I know Woody Creek was constantly besieged by hipster pilgrims and junkies, I know from his letters that a human bieng exsisted uderneath the grizzled inebriated zietgiest, I also witnessed on an English documentary how in old age he seemed imprisoned by his persona and suffered delusional paranoia. I remember when I watched that a year ago that I was depressed and feel like he needed a hug and a long nap. I guess when I think about what I saw on that doc I understand why he decided to pull a Cobain, but I will admit that I keep hoping his death will be announced as an accident as he cleaned his gun or was playing russian roulette with Tom Wolfe.

For any of you new to his work who now want to check it out here is a quick overview of some of my favorites:

Hell Angels: His first book. Great in a way a bands first album is. Proto-style. A great piece of Journalism that nails the 60's in the way it should be remembered, as a freaky scene. Go fuck yourself Sonny Barger.

Fear and Loathing at the Kentucky Derby: You can go home again! But it helps to bring a limey and the right "perscriptions" (Found in the collection The Great Shark Hunt)

Fear and Loathing at the Superbowl 72: Both the Good Doctor and I live(d) for the NFL. His recent work on Espn.com's Page 2 (see link in my faves) was great football talk that eats the monday morning quaterback for lunch.

The Curse of Lono: Great art, great story. Great look at empire building.

Generation of Swine: Good predictions about the future we are living right now.

I am realizing that this is now longer than the NY Times obit (Sandra Dee got more ink...huh?) so I will wrap it up.

When the going gets wierd the wierd gets shot out of a cannon,

Yours in Gonzo,
Chris Larry

ps editing this would be silly, plenty of mistakes....deal!