Monday, February 21, 2005

Contrarian comment on Hunter Thompson

The next thing I know there's a gun in Hunter's hand and three rounds into the ceiling of the bar. (Did I mention that there were apartments where people were sleeping above the bar?)

Then I think there was a blur of Andre, in suit and tie, coming over the bar with the mallet. Then more blurs and everybody is out on the street dragging a semi-conscious Hunter back down the alley mumbling something about getting his gun back. After that I don't remember much and, frankly, haven't thought all that much about Thompson in the three decades that have intervened.

This morning I think even less of him. Yesterday, it would seem, he left in the same way that he lived -- gun-crazy, thoughtless, self-obsessed and selfish to the last second. A gunshot suicide at home, leaving his wife and son to discover and deal with his ruined corpse and clean up the room. What a man.


That's just the ending. Pretty tough stuff.
You should see the first part and comments.
We report. You decide.


I was entirely out of the loop with Thompson. Never read him, and reading about him has done nothing to cause me to start. It seems a lot of people have elevated him to an echo of sainthood in the same way that Sartre exhalted the gifts of Jean Genet, a card-carrying morally retrograde imitation of life if ever one existed. I am also reminded of Lenny Bruce, another popular name who seemed to take pride in being intentionally nasty.

Emily, posting at It Comes in Pints, doesn't hold back...

You didn't just kill yourself - YOU SHOT YOURSELF. IN. YOUR. OWN. HOME.
This means that the person most likely to find you would be a loved one. Somebody who cared about you. Somebody who would have listened, taken heart, done ANYTHING THEY COULD in their power to stop you at that moment if you'd only given them a second's regard in the last moments of your life that you held in selfish, pathetic self-absorbtion.

That's the mild part.
At that point she's just warming up.
A blog that normally has about two or three posts on a screen used three screens to ventilate her screed. There is a lot of profanity. I'm not one to admire profanity, but when you think of the insanity of human behavior in war, the grotesque distortion of principle causing otherwise decent people to admire rather than regret the necessary pain and suffering caused by their warriors, profanity pales in contrast as morally offensive.
In this case, considering the badly misguided admiration of a writer's talents compared with his mean and selfish final act, rage and profanity seem oddly appropriate.


Anonymous said...

John, were still waiting to see if you are capable of writing a Blog on your own without stealing someone elses story or linking to another site. Show us that you have some brains by coming up with some original material!


Dave said...

Your comments might be a little more credible if you actually put your name to it, rather than hiding behind "Anonymous".

I think John is doing a pretty good job with his blog. I have learnt a lot from it, anyway, and enjoy his commentary and examination of the subjects he is concerned with.