“The edge…there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
–Hunter S. Thompson
With the upcoming release of the Rum Diaries, I felt it necessary to revisit some Hunter S. Thompson…his writings, interviews, films, and his reputation as being a rock star for literature and Gonzo journalism. I watched the Documentaries on his life and times…Buy the ticket, take the ride and Gonzo, as well as watching the films Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Where the Buffalo Roam, and reading the many articles and stories he published. In my quest I found a revealing look into the genius of Hunter Thompson and also the demons that plagued him throughout his life. I now hear his voice as I sleep as a journalistic messiah to break social norms and report the actuality of our lives and actions.
Hunter saw the best and worst in Humanity. He shot holes in bullshit politics and envisioned a possibility for America like no other. He truly lived a life searching for the edge and shining light in a dark tunnel for journalism. His words remain with us as a poetic reminder of his life and a desperate need for humanity to always push the limits. In America today the poets, writers, authors, journalists, and original thinkers are no longer looked upon as biographers of humanity. The internet has all the answers already. Hunter often referred to his generation as the “Doomed generation”. Well, the doomed populace have now procreated and multiplied intensely into an American class of functionally insane and sub-humans as if reminiscent of a modern day H.G. Wells tale of Eloi -iphone consumers controlled through social media and big business in the capitalistic Morlocks.
Hunter Thompson ended his life February 20, 2005. He shot himself at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. He talked about his suicide and his wishing to have his ashes shot from a cannon for years. He felt as long as he could kill himself at any given moment he did not feel trapped by this world. So, when he finally did kill himself it was not a surprise and shock to his many friends, family, and fans. Just a sad disappointment that they would not get to read any more new words from Hunter or calls in the middle of the night regarding story ideas or late night inspirational speeches.
Hunter S. Thompson lived a life on the edge. He was a reporter for the people who dwindle on the edge and often fall off. He also wrote for the curious scared onlookers that were and are too scared to venture past the short cut grass of their front lawn. In an interview shortly after September 11, 2011 he reflected on the changes and wars destined to consume the world. The meltdowns of personal freedoms that he helped fight for and write about all his years. Friends and colleagues of his have commented that his voice would have been helpful through these trying times post 9/11. Hunter Thompson in retrospect seems very prophetic in that interview regarding the post 9/11 world to come.
Hunter had a point of view and intellectual honesty that people listened for and understood. He must himself felt he could make a difference with his writing and advocacy. He must have known he could still summon the willpower to get Gonzo and rub it in the face of the powers that be. Why Hunter? Maybe he felt trapped by this new doomed generation? For whatever reason Hunter S. Thompson is gone and we are left with the poetry of his life.
“No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.”