Hunter S. Thompson was a literary hero of mine. He committed suicide this weekend
The madness of a modern political campaign has not been better described than it was in a series of articles written for Rolling Stone that became Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
In his book Hell's Angels, he took the reader inside the darkest aspect of 60's counterculture. A symbol of the 60's and 70's counterculture, he was a pioneer of his own style called "Gonzo Journalism" that sought to take journalism from a dry exercise of relating facts to a vibrant picture that captured what it felt like to actually be present.
His critique of what he saw as the futility of the bohemian protests of the 1960's and 70's, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was made into a film by Terry Gilliam in 1998. He was earlier portrayed in film by Bill Murray in 1984's Where the Buffalo Roam, a movie Thompson hated.
The phrase "Fear and Loathing" was originally used by Thompson in personal correspondence following the assassination of JFK. The inspiration for the character of “Uncle Duke” in Gary Trudeau 's Doonesbury comic strip, Thompson exchanged heated correspondence with Trudeau for several years, and promised to shoot him on sight.
Taking the cause of Lisl Ulman, serving life for a murder committed while she was in the back of a police car in hand cuffs, Thompson recently drew fire for his heated criticism of the Denver Police department in an article for Vanity Fair as "thugs" and "pigs".
Thompson was also known for his wild hedonism and his almost superhuman intake of drugs and alcohol. Frequently if not permanently intoxicated, Thompson was prone to wild behavior and threats of violence. In 2000, he shot his then-girlfriend, mistaking her for a bear.
Thompson was 67, and is survived by one son, Juan Thompson.Update:Fafblog
, as usual, has the best thing to say on the matter. My obit above contains 1 or 2 inaccuracies (he is also survived by a wife), but I wrote it off the top of my head last night. I can't overstate the impact Hunter S. Thompson had on me. Before I knew you kids, I smoked all my cigarettes out of a short cigarette holder.
-Miguel Sanchez 23:39 EST |