A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson Obit

This one is a must read, and its by a guy who never even met Hunter, Fred Reed, author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well. (I'm not making that up.)

For those of you who missed that decade (or even the next one), the last paragraph should still bring it home for you:

Then it was over. Everybody went into I-banking or something equally odious. We gave up drugs as boring.

You can see why he ate his gun. Everything he hated has returned. Nixon is back in the White House, Rumsnamara risen from the dead, bombs falling on other peoples’ suburbs. The Pentagon is lying again and democracy stalks yet another helpless country. This time the young are already dead and there will be no joyous anarchy. The press, housebroken, pees where it is told. But he gave it a hell of a try.

The bio on Fred Reed's book page reads:

Fred Reed is a Marine combat veteran, police reporter, amateur biochemist, former long-haul hitchhiker, and part-time sociopath living in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.

Well done, Fred. [hat tip to "fat city" Don, who's gone fishing.]

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    He is so right, but we need him back and will never see a guy like this in a million years. and yes nixon is back and we will all pay for it in time.

    Hmmm-- Nixon got us OUT of Vietnam after the Democrats spent years getting us into it. As I recall, McNamara worked for a Democratic administration, too. The bombs "falling on other people's suburbs" aren't US bombs -- we're trying to stop the people who are "dropping" them. And the country that democracy is "stalking" was a brutal dictatorship. Those "stalked" people just went to the polls in enormous numbers -- 75% of registered voters. It wasn't us trying to stop them, either -- we made it possible. The glass is half full, people. Somebody should've told Hunter that.

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 12:15:59 AM EST
    Don't tell the fire marshal, somebody's got a bunch of straw men in here. Anyway, drugs as boring? C'mon now...

    Enough with the Hunter Thompson crap. Swallowing a .45 is not a sign of an enlightened mind, not a warrior's death. He was a consistent psycho and all this phony, smarmy eulogizing is deplorable. It's bad writing that exceeds the funeral scene in Death of a Salesman.

    The thing I find a little disturbing is that this suicide is spoken of in almost reverential, supportive terms -- almost like it was understandable and somehow justified. His widow made it sound almost beautiful. That, IMO, is morbid. This isn't something that should be soft-pedaled or spun positively. When someone takes his or her own life, it is (or should be) a tragic loss to the world -- and one that devastates the people closest.

    As I recall, Eisenhower sent advisers to Vietnam and I'm pretty sure he was a Republican. Vietnam had a hell of a lot more to do with general US arrogance about being omnipotent than it did with political affiliation. It's similar today. The US is a dictatorship and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start working to change it. Or you can support it. A before some half-wit tells me about how a dictatorship is sooooooo much worse, why don't you talk with my friends who lived in dictatorships and agree that the US is behaving a hell of a lot more like a dictatorship than a democracy. Take your Electoral College and your redistricting and shove it. I am on the verge (but not yet at that point all you junior G-men) of advocating insurrection. Cheers, Alan Tomlinson

    Alan - I support your urge to insurrect against the nanny state of the Kingdom-formerly-known-as-the-UK. Certainly before you guys sign that phoney-baloney EU constitution. But have you seen the Spooks episode where the military guys decide to stage an action using nuclear waste? So, remember, when you stage your uprising, a .308 will go through a vest. As for the dictator afflicted preferring that to democracy, well, there are always some slaves who prefer the lash. -C

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#8)
    by DonS on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:07:07 AM EST
    Y'all are getting too literal about repub-dem being the thing. The measure is the degree of fascism, militarism and the like.By that measure we are indeed going backwards.

    I'm sorry you feel that way, Alan. To start, you can compare Eisenhower's Vietnam troop levels to Johnson's. The "half-wit" you're referring to has Master's degree in political science, and my thesis for my second Master's was on international terrorism. If our country was a dictatorship, somebody would be shoving bamboo under your fingernails for writing what you just did. But we're one of the few countries that allow you to vent. Think the US is so bad? Fine. Move to one of the other utopias out there -- like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, China, or North Korea. Nobody's making the women you know wear burkhas. Nobody in the US will put you to death if you change religions. And nobody's going to put you in prison for insulting the President -- in fact, you'll be the toast of Hollywood. Electoral college? I didn't hear you complaining about lack of popular mandate when Clinton won the presidency with a minority of the vote in '92. So go ahead -- move. But you'll have a hard time swimming upstream against all those other people in the world who are trying to get into the US.

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#10)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:58:20 AM EST
    “The US is a dictatorship and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start working to change I” “Take your Electoral College and your redistricting and shove it.” I hear similar sentiment form my European colleagues; they are honestly pissed that they don’t get a vote in US policy. Truly bizarre. I wonder if the UK will get this kind of crap when Labour is reelected in 05/06, anyone?

    It's nice to see the link to lewrockwell.com.

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 07:14:41 AM EST
    Trueblue, you watch a lot of Springer? I find those that compare themselves to the most sinister or most dysfunctional are usually as dysfunctional as those they compare themselves to. Why not compare the US to Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, half of Europe, Canada? I like to look at people or countries that are successful and functional and model myself after their behavior. Of course I have millions of miles to go to become half as good as let's say a Feingold or a Powell (support for the war notwithstanding) but when I compare myself or my country I try to do it with a "how can I do this better" attitude.

    Breaking news - Supreme Court strikes down juvenile death penalty as violative of 8th amendment. Opinion by Kennedy.

    Jlvngstn, if you're looking for example of succesful countries to compare the US to please remove Canada from your list. Unless you consider a failing health system, billion dollar cost overruns for a 2 million dollar project (gun registry), and a complete lack of a independant military a success. In the earlier half of the past century Canada's opinions on a given topic mattered and we could be a useful ally. Now we are being led by a Prime Minister that is better known internationally as Mr. Dithers than Mr. Martin.

    Pigwiggle, While your eurobuddies are busy extracating themselves out from under the socialists wishing to destroy democracy in there countries, you should be more concerned that the democratic party here is now completely at odds with the will of the people. The electoral college notwithstanding, our country has elected a President by a majority of the popular vote and its time to get to work. As for europe, lead and they shall follow. Its time to wake up and smell the freedom

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#16)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:15:53 AM EST
    “Its time to wake up and smell the freedom” Bah; the republicans are just as scared of real freedom as the democrats. Wake up and smell the hypocrisy; the republicans are now the party of central power, big government, social spending, fiscal liberalism, nation building, interventionism, …. I was nodding right along with Dick Cheney in 2000 when he told the moderator of the VP debates, regarding marriage “The fact of the matter is that matter is regulated by the states.” I’ve had the rug pulled one too many times, and so I’ll take the wait and see approach.

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#17)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:18:00 AM EST
    JL, The difference between trueblue and a Springer guest is that trueblue is not acting. Pretty scary. TL, That was one obit I never would have seen without you. I emailed it to everyone I could. Thanks

    Great writing. Great post, TL. I wish Frank Zappa was still here.

    No, not Nixon. Nixon actually gave a damn about what the left thought of him, and actually tried to seek their approval. The left took advantage of this weakness by ferociously condemning him at every turn. GWB learned this lesson about the exploitative dishonor of the left, and so he doesn't give them an inch, nor does he give a rat's arse what sort of invective they spew against him. Remember that the next time you call him dumb. Nixon actually had a conscience and so could feel shame, which is why he resigned before he could be impeached.

    Re: A Maybe-You-Had- to- Be-There Hunter Thompson (none / 0) (#21)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:54:53 AM EST
    Thanks for the post, TL, a great read.

    deleted for profanity.

    deleted, stick to topic. Hunter.

    You have just destroyed one model XQJ-37 nuclear powered pansexual roto-plooker....and you're gonna have to pay for it.

    The thing I find a little disturbing is that this suicide is spoken of in almost reverential, supportive terms -- almost like it was understandable and somehow justified. His widow made it sound almost beautiful. Amen to that. I can understand why she'd try to make sense of it that way... maybe it comforts her. But I feel nauseous when people try to make Thompson's suicide into a political statement. For g*d's sake, he killed himself when he was on the phone with his wife, with his son and grandson in the next room. There's a universe of hurt and anger in there.

    I've got to start by point out that it's odd how whenever you voice an opinion opposing the left, the ad hominem attacks start. What's the matter, Jlvngstn, are you worried your arguments can't stand on their own merits without insulting the intelligence/aptitude/personal qualities of your opponent? That's generally a sign of lack of confidence in one's position. I brought up the countries I did because Alan claimed the US was a dictatorship. When I shine the light on genuine uses of that term, suddenly the bar for "dictatorship" is raised. Someone puts the US in the same hopper as the countries I mentioned, and when I call him on it the premises behind the argument change. Look up the term "dictatorship" people. Is the US a dictatorship because it isn't Sweden? I don't think so. I'm not disputing the freedoms in Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, etc. But, happily, I don't have to pay taxes in those countries, either. There's something to be said for freedom to keep more of your paycheck than the State. I don't see people walking across deserts or floating on rafts across the ocean to get to Sweden, either. I might also add that it was a whole lot easier for Europe to develop its social infrastructure when it didn't have to bear the brunt of the financial burden of its own defense for 40 years. Our best friends in the World right now appear to be the ones who want what we have, instead of the ones who've forgotten what we gave them.

    1. VERY well said, True Blue. Hear, hear! 2. My remark upthread regarding Nixon's conscience was a btw, in no way contrasting him to GWB. 3. You break my heart, whoever you are posting as Frank Zappa, only reminding me of the loss of one of America's and the world's greatest composers.

    This thread is about Hunter Thompson. Further off-topic comments will be deleted. You can take them to an open thread, or email between yourselves. Thanks.

    Got it. I agree with webmacher. Making sure that your spouse gets to hear you eat a bullet is not a beautiful thing. There's a whole lot of ugliness there that's being glossed over.