Monday, February 21, 2005

Time for that longer Hunter S. Thompson post I've had bouncing around in my skull all day.

More than a couple of my compatriots in college wanted to be Hunter S. Thompson, and one or two even had the writing chops and self-possession to pull it off. The others, well, I think they just liked getting fucked up, or didn't get that Thompson's drug-addled persona bore about as much resemblance to their (our?) chemified ramblings as Jackie Chan's drunken kung fu bore to a pissed off drunk throwing punches outside the Flamingo bar on a downtown Kirksville Saturday night. I certainly didn't get it. Not till a long time later.

Thompson's craziness bought him a license to tell the truth about our cities, our culture, our leaders, and ourselves. The guns, the booze, the gambling? Hunter was us: 100%, pure, uncut America. The only thing missing was the bullshit, which was what made him so hard to take, and so necessary.

Hunter spent his life straining against the ropes, and we're all a little freer for it. Still, there's one less truth-teller in the world today, at a time when we need all we can get.

Damn it.

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