Thompson’s new beginning
Dear Editor:There is a lot of speculation about Hunter S. Thompson’s motives. The family will publicly stick to the script celebrity demands and answer this question for themselves in their own way. I, having been there as a mere artist, wish to throw my insight into the mix.Every artist (and I extend this title to Hunter, who is considered a journalist) worth their salt knows there is this stasis before the blank canvas, the blank page where life and death are on equal terms. The next brush stroke, the next keystroke, a bullet in the head are all the same. Each is a new beginning.Please do not take this as being flippant, for it is the serious reality the creative know too well. Something Hunter lived daily, because ever since he chose to be the act demanded of celebrity and not further his contribution to the art of letters, he has stood in the stasis of this blank page.Hunter’s contribution to the world of letters was his ability to play hooky from the story given and infuse a little subjectivity into the ossified objectivity that had become journalism. Now, several decades later, in a time where pure fantasy is reported as the unadulterated truth and objectivity is discounted as “The Liberal Media” or the even falser label of “Un-American” (when the foundations of this country are the bedrock of dissent) the poor doctor may have found his methods obsolete.While he busied his performance with a four-decade binge, the mad experiment he gave life to lost any critical footing it may have enjoyed before his fame. The first and last gonzo journalist spent his time on terra as a caricature lounging on his laurels.Stuck in the adolescent seventies, overindulging the supposed mind-altering freedoms given purposely to the left to declaw its politics, the creative spirit sobered up enough by age and pain may have realized for the first time his persona not only failed to become sheriff, but armed the enemy with a means to circumvent all meaning. His complicity merely fame.Every fan of the good doctor I’ve met worships the celebrity, desires to be his drinking buddy and knows not to where his neglected invention has led. How it facilitated in the propaganda we are now prone to believe is the news, because it is subjective.Like Malcolm Lowery before him, Hunter couldn’t transcend the seminal work that defined him, so I shall mourn not the man, nor the drug fiend, nor the act of control and planning that the script must contend, is the happy ending. I mourn all that the celebrity did not allow to walk terra so firmly. I choose to place in the grave not the circus act (with its grand finale), but an era, which both begins and ends with a bullet in the head. My condolences.Eric OlanderNew Castle
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