Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson Was the Sandra Dee of My Generation

Hunter S. Thompson, the maverick journalist and author whose savage chronicling of the underbelly of American life and politics embodied a new kind of nonfiction writing he called "gonzo journalism," died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado, yesterday afternoon. He was 65.

In order to maintain the karmic balance in the mortal world, and to compensate for the loss of Thompson's dark genius, the grim reaper also took out Sandra Dee, the actress who first played "Gidget" in the movies.

"It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die. A fat man will feel his heart burst and call it beautiful. Who knows? If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell , all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix---a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everybody seems vaguely happy, except for the ones who know in their hearts what is missing. . . and being driven slowly and quietly into a kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Via con Dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get. . .

Heaven is a bit harder to figure. And there are some things that not even a smart boy can tell you for sure. . . But i can guess. Or wonder. Or maybe just think like a gambler or fool or some kind of atavistic rock & roll lunatic and make it about 8-1 that Heaven will be a place where the swine will be sorted out at the gate and sent off like rats. With huge welts and lumps and puncture wounds all over their bodies. Down the long black chute where ugliness rolls over you every 10 or 16 minutes like waves of boiling asphalt and poison scum. Followed by sergeants and lawyers and crooked cops waving rule books. And where nobody laughs and everybody lies and the days drag by like dead animals and the nights are full of whores and junkies clawing at your windows and tax men jamming writs under your door and the screams of the doomed coming up through the air shaft along with white cockroaches and red stringworms full of AIDS and bursts of foul gas with no sunrise and the morning streets full of preachers begging for money and fondling themselves with gangs of fat young boys trailing after them. . .

Ah. . . but we were talking about Heaven. . . or trying to. . . but somehow we got back into Hell.

Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish---a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found out a way to live out there where the real winds blow---to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested. . .

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

Paradise Valley"

- excerpt from 'Author's Note,' Generation of Swine

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