Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Death of an icon .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Monday, February 21, 2005

Death of an icon

"You have to know the material you're writing about
before you alter it."
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Posted by Hello

Hunter S. Thompson, a pioneer of gonzo journalism, died yesterday at his home in Aspen, Colorado from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Although some tinfoil hat types might find that suspicious, I would think that if the powers-that-be wanted him gone, he would have been gone long ago.

Hunter, who was known for his scathing diatribes against those in power, was a pioneer of the style of hyperbolic political commentary that so many of us admire and try to emulate, myself included.

It was in the early 70’s when I first became politically aware. Up until then, the only thing I knew about politics was what was fed to me in civics class. To me, Woodstock was a music festival – I didn’t get its political overtones. Then the attention shown to Vietnam and Richard Nixon made me look at our social landscape in a different way, and Hunter S. Thompson was there.

I started reading Rolling Stone magazine for the music news, but Hunter was always there (well, most of the time, anyway – he wasn’t known for his consistency) to make me laugh and think.

Bill Murray portrayed Thompson in the 1980 film “Where the Buffalo Roam”, which covered (sort of) the 1972 Super Bowl and presidential race. In my opinion, this was a much better portrayal of the ideal “Dr. Thompson” than Johnny Depp’s rendition in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. But that’s just me – I understand the critics liked “Fear and Loathing” better. Although, Hunter didn’t have too high and opinion of movie critics, or other Hollywood types either.

The victims of Hunter’s barbed tirades, which include Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as well as Nixon, Humphrey and their cronies, were often portrayed as fools, crooks and criminals. His writing was instrumental in shaping my drive to question authority rather than take press releases at face value.

So thank you, Dr. Thompson, for helping me become the cynical, narcissistic rabble-rouser that I am today. You will be sorely missed.


  • Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

    Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
    Vegas Vacations

    By Blogger Admin, at 2:30 AM  

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