The Good Doctor Will Be Missed

The Good Doctor Will Be Missed
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2005 at 07:31:55 PT
By Rob Deters
Source: Badger Herald
Hunter S. Thompson departed our planet this week the only way he could: with a bang, not a whimper.Not for him the infirmities of age, the slow realization that the body will simply not keep up with the mind (or his appetites). I do not care to speculate why he committed suicide; all I know is that as an end to a career and a life that most of us would not dare to live, it could not have been more fitting.
I think I speak for many people when I say that the first time I cracked the spine of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” I was shell-shocked within the first five pages. Not for Hunter the safe route of fiction ala Jack Kerouac. Even with a pseudonym, you knew it was the good Doctor himself tearing Las Vegas a new one. I remember finishing “Fear and Loathing,” and thinking, “Damn, I want to work for Rolling Stone!” That was quickly followed by the caveat that I would need to remember to hire a lawyer and carry around as many drugs as the entire entourage of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 Hammer of the Gods tour.What Hunter understood, and opened my eyes to all those years ago, was that our country is full of hypocrites. And no one deserves your scorn and derision more than a hypocrite.If it was the hippie telling you to “Tune in, and drop out,” and that this tactic would change the world, or the district attorney talking about law and order whilst getting drunk and groping cocktail waitresses at a convention, Hunter had your number. He knew the rotten core of America was not that we could not do better; it was that we frequently fooled ourselves into thinking we already had.I find the revelation this week that President Bush has all but admitted to smoking marijuana to be a fine example of the type of hypocrisy Hunter skewered during his 20 years of political journalism. First, for Hunter, this is the type of admission that does not disqualify you for leading our country. In no way would the ingestion of any type of illegal drug disqualify you from doing anything in Hunter’s book. Pretending, lying, disseminating or being evasive about it would. Especially to serve your own political ends, and especially if you would demonize that behavior in others, while reserving it for yourself.Second, Hunter knew in his bones that America was a great place. Hell, he ran for Sheriff of Aspen more than once to prove that politics were for everyone — even the freaks! But he also knew that all too often (if not nearly every time) politicians were the worst of the worst, the lowest of the low. The people who actually wanted to lead our country were those you had to fear and loathe the most.Ambition is a powerful, dangerous and insidious drug, perhaps worse than anything Hunter ever altered his consciousness with.Hunter knew it and recognized it in the most paranoiac and secretive president in modern times. Then he got the perverse joy of watching Nixon go down in flames because of those very faults.The revelation that Bush smoked pot is a perfect example of the hypocrisy that runs deep in American culture. Hunter wrote about these massive contradictory and conflicting forces in our culture better than I ever will.On one hand, we have a reactionary closed mindset that favors religion, nativism, authoritarianism and essentially good old-fashioned Biblical values as a means of running our society. What the hell were Pilgrims anyway but religious fanatics run out of their own country?On the other, you had the rum and gin-soaked masses, fleeing oppression to start anew, and if that meant plunder, drunkenness and debauchery, then so be it. It also meant hope, freedom and a new life.Hunter lived that second aspect of American culture to the hilt. And he did it while writing like a madman, living like a madman and exposing the madmen running our country for what they were.Good Doctor, your services will be sorely missed.Rob Deters -- rvdeters -- is a third-year law student.Source: Badger Herald (Edu, Madison, WI)Author: Rob DetersPublished: Wednesday, February 23, 2005Copyright: 2005 Badger HeraldContact: editor badgerherald.comWebsite: Articles:Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P. New Tapes Say Bush May Have Smoked Marijuana
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by ekim on February 23, 2005 at 07:43:25 PT
follow Howard and Misty--------- if you can say Hi Friday, March 4, 2005, Misty and Howard will complete the second leg of a monumental round trip from sea to shining sea, starting in Los Angeles and finishing in New York City. They have already completed a journey from Georgia to Oregon, taking the red roads across America, to end prohibition.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment