Irony of Thompson funeral | AspenTimes.com

Irony of Thompson funeral

Dear Editor:In response to the article in the paper (“Gonzo funeral doesn’t ring true, some say,” Aug. 22), I’d like to add a rejoinder – it wasn’t my intention to show any disrespect to Mrs. Thompson and family members, who are clearly in mourning.It seems, though, that the event was publicized to the point that those readers affected by Mr. Thompson’s words and deeds were encouraged to be near him at the end in whatever way they could. Memorials serve as cathartic events. For someone like Thompson, whose words affected and inspired so many, it was a double catharsis – but only for those inside the big tent.We are living in psychically challenged times where the “lone voice” is needed more than ever, and Thompson’s voice was a reminder that this country is not entirely asleep. It’s cold out here in Amerika. So when you read “Fear and Loathing …” or listen to the words of Abbie Hoffman or Spalding Gray, all bristling with clarity and truth, you realize you’re not alone. After living in post-9/11 New York City with its fitful attempts at order and “security,” suddenly facing all the black shirts struck me as particularly ironic and inappropriate. As for being accused of leading the barbarians to the gate, I’m only 5-foot and wear glasses, hardly a perfect specimen for rabble-rousing. However, an event which carried the sense of “them and us,” already so pervasive in this country, struck me as an imperfect tribute to someone who valued the role of an outsider.Perhaps if Hunter had been with us, we could have crashed the event together. Next time, perhaps.Nancy Cohen New York City

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