When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn to H.S.T. [PIC]
It’s here, it’s here, oh joy it’s here. My own copy of The Great Shark Hunt Strange Tales from a Strange Time from Hunter S. Thompson came in yesterday. I about creamed my pants…if I were wearing any. The book is broken into four parts, moving from Thompson’s earliest writing for the U.S. Air Force, through his sports articles, then into his middle years of political and cultural commentary. It covers articles from the National Observer, Rolling Stone,Scanlan’s Monthly, The New York Times, Playboy, and others.
I’ve gotten as far as his coverage of the Kentucky Derby as I type this, but have had to stop several times from my sides hurting from laughing out loud, or to pour another round for myself so I could slump into my leather wingback in my home office and pause long enough to brush off the sadness from his loss. They called him a pioneer, (what, some kind of explorer with a pith helmet and metal cups hanging off his backpack? Hell no!) but somehow I always envisioned him not as an explorer or pioneer or ground breaker, but as a guy who just knew the truth when he heard or saw it and knew better than to record it verbatim.
Campaign trails, hotel rooms, cities of ill repute, shooting ranges equipped with fully stocked bars, or just his dining room chair where he often sat in front his typewriter and shared a “damn it” or two with folks who traveled to see him like some sort of guru, Hunter still posthumously inspires us all.
Now I’m not talking about the snotty still pimple faced punk ass van wearing assholes in their 30’s and 40’s that still work at some fast food joint. Those cretins and wannabes who lurk about Facebook and watch for the next big Twitter trend so they can copy and paste first. Disgusting. Penises without balls…how unnatural. I’m talking about those of us who still love and read books from past masters of the craft of crazy (though most sheeple now-a-days aren’t even literate much less literary). You know the guys i’m talking about right? Not some reading rainbow bullshit…Thoreau, Hughes, Burroughs, Bukowski, Kerouac! Thems the boys you can gather around a campfire with, go primal with, go crazy and back again with. And of course the leader banging the drum of Gonzo, Thompson.
Those of us smart enough still travel in our minds to his Mecca, his strangeness, bravery, fear and loathing allures us today. Are we addicts? Maybe. All I know is that the people are down, the sleaze in Washington and Baton Rouge don’t give a flying crap enough to grow a pair, the country is working it’s way off the edge, and we can’t pay our bills. Some go into depression, some hide like recluses hoping when they come back out it’ll will be sunshine and gum drops, and some go quietly, which is worst of all. But I tell you this…
If there’s ever been a time to go Gonzo…it’s now.
Climb aboard, I’ve got a passenger seat.
“Some people can accept this, and some can’t. That is why God made whiskey.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
Rolling Stone (23 January 1992)