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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 08:38 AM
Original message
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Edited on Mon Feb-21-05 08:41 AM by whometense
In memoriam, from the October 20, 2004 issue of Rolling Stone:

    Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004

    Back in June, when John Kerry was beginning to feel like a winner, I had a quick little rendezvous with him on a rain-soaked runway in Aspen, Colorado, where he was scheduled to meet with a harem of wealthy campaign contributors. As we rode to the event, I told him that Bush's vicious goons in the White House are perfectly capable of assassinating Nader and blaming it on him. His staff laughed, but the Secret Service men didn't. Kerry quickly suggested that I might make a good running mate, and we reminisced about trying to end the Vietnam War in 1972.

    That was the year I first met him, at a riot on that elegant little street in front of the White House. He was yelling into a bullhorn and I was trying to throw a dead, bleeding rat over a black-spike fence and onto the president's lawn.

    We were angry and righteous in those days, and there were millions of us. We kicked two chief executives out of the White House because they were stupid warmongers. We conquered Lyndon Johnson and we stomped on Richard Nixon -- which wise people said was impossible, but so what? It was fun. We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river.

    That river is still running. All we have to do is get out and vote, while it's still legal, and we will wash those crooked warmongers out of the White House.


It's a sad day for this country because the irrepressible Hunter Thompson lost his hope.
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Lots more
to read here in Salon.
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. From the AP
obit.

    His book on the 1972 presidential campaign involving, among others, Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and Nixon was famous for its scathing opinion.

    Working for Muskie, Thompson wrote, "was something like being locked in a rolling box car with a vicious 200-pound water rat." Nixon and his "Barbie doll" family were "America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the werewolf in us."

    Humphrey? Of him, Thompson wrote: "There is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack Hubert Humphrey is until you've followed him around for a while."

    The approach won him praise among the masses as well as critical acclaim. Writing in The New York Times in 1973, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt worried Thompson might someday "lapse into good taste."

    "That would be a shame, for while he doesn't see America as Grandma Moses depicted it, or the way they painted it for us in civics class, he does in his own mad way betray a profound democratic concern for the polity," he wrote. "And in its own mad way, it's damned refreshing."

    Associated Press writer John Rogers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is another one you should put up in the front forums.
Thompson LOVED Kerry, as a man and as a fellow warrior against the corrupted aspects of government.
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. ok, thanks.
You know, I hadn't even checked. I'd assumed there were a hundred threads about him already up.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. that's why Joe Wilson endorsed Kerry also
i remember when some supporter of another candidate in the Primary asked him why he didn't support that candidate instead of Kerry.

and Wilson brought up all the things Kerry had done through his life in fighting the government corruption.
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. America has lost a unique voice
I'm pretty bummed.

Especially because he lived here in Colorado. He was one of our luminaries, and in a way helped define this state - what with it's extremes in elevation and political thought - from James Dobson to Hunter Thompson. Colorado will never be the same without him sitting up there in Aspen.

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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Agreed.
Edited on Mon Feb-21-05 11:48 AM by whometense
If you haven't seen it yet, don't miss Will Pitt's essay here.

    Hunter Thompson is the reason I write politics. Period. He was the most honest man in the business. Everyone else had and has an angle, a reputation, or a source to protect. Hunter stripped it down to the raw throbbing nerve and let it fly.


AND the always-amazing Rude Pundit:

    In an interview before the election, Thompson said of the Bush II administration, "This is the darkest hour that I have seen in my long experience as an American. This is evil." His Rolling Stone article on Bush and Kerry said, directly, that Bush was worse than Nixon, which, for anyone who read Thompson for a long time, was quite a startling belief. So the romantic, fall-upon-one's-sword version of Thompson's suicide is this: all Thompson saw in America was that we were on a never-ending spiral towards madness that even he couldn't envision, that the worst things he could imagine about this country were coming true and more, that the only possible things to do when the monsters are knocking are to stand and fight or cut and run. And he had fought far, far too long already.

    As the Rude Pundit said, this is the romantic version, a sucker's dream of honor in dishonorable times. But the harsh inverse of this notion is: if Thompson couldn't take it anymore, what hope is there for the rest of us?
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I am sorry to hear about this.
Suicide is always a very tough thing to deal with, but to leave when there was still so much talent and promise is very hard to accept. Thompson was a unique voice and he will be missed. He was also that gonzo voice crying in the wilderness and we will miss his unique insights and honesty into politics and the people who run for public office.

I was thinking of Thompson when I read that passage in 'One-Car Caravan' wherein Walter Shapiro imagines the Dem candidates class of 2004 on their first day in the WH. He imagines Kerry sitting there musing on how he was shouting a 12 letter word at Pres #37, and here he was Pres. #44. I thought of Thompson when I read that and I thought of him again in the passage you cited above. Sigh!

One last good shout in honor of The Dcotor: MooththhherrFuuuckkkkeerrrs!
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. and an
appropriate shout it was, too. He would have appreciated that!!
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. Hunter and Dubya
Salon War Room:

    Thompson claimed to know a thing or two about the president's partying past. In an interview with The Independent in 2004, Thompson said he remembered meeting Bush at Thompson's Super Bowl party in Houston in 1974. He said that Bush was "with a guy who had come to sell . . . " but then cut himself off. "Look, I'm not going to put this next sentence on the record. Let's just say that 'a friend of mine' was buying cocaine. I have friends in Houston from all walks of life. Lawyers. Professional men. Bush was hanging around with this crowd of what you might call gilded coke dilettantes."

    Thompson's memory wasn't always the most reliable, and his story about his Houston encounter with Bush evolved over time. But in the 2004 telling of it, at least, Thompson said the future president had left an indelible impression on him. "He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer," Thompson said. "I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing. He had no humor. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him. But when he passed out in my bathtub, then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away."

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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. I can't count the number of times over the past four years I have said
that I hated George Bush. Hated him, loathed him, despised him. Of course I dislike him, but despite my rhetoric, I wasn never sure that deep down in my soul I actually HATED him. It takes a lot to hate someone, after all. Hate is a scary and dangerous thing. So while I certainly dislike the shrub and I loathe everything that he's done to this country, and loathe his lackeys and minions and loyal little Nazis, I wasn't sure I ever actually honest-to-God hated him.

But when I heard about Hunter Thompson's suicide, I immediately recalled his article in Rolling Stone a week before the election, and how much this cynical, honest reporter loved John Kerry and loathed George Bush, and how hopeful he was that America would reject * and elect a president of good character. And as I sat there, I realized that George Bush, indirectly, had killed this man, and I began to hate him. Not just dislike, or abhor, or loathe - but really, truly, hate him.

RIP Hunter S. Thompson. We promise we'll never give up on the America you so desperately wanted to see.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. i think he is a failure as a human being
Edited on Mon Feb-21-05 11:23 PM by JI7
he deserves to be hated. i have thought for some time that he is far worse than Reagan, Nixon, etc. and i use to wonder if my feelings had more to do with the fact i'm actually living under him and am aware of what is going on unlike with Nixon where i wasn't born yet or Reagan when i was still a kid and not aware of politics that much.

but i really do think he is one of the worst people around. notice he has no friends. everyone he knows is a result of being brought on to work for some political or business goals. and he is closest to Karl Rove who isn't a personal friend but a hired political advisor.

in fact i pretty much hate the entire Bush family.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. They are truly evil
Anyone who doesn't see them for the evil morally bankrupt criminals they are isn't paying attention.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Yeah! You know, that's it!
There are so many reasons why I'm having a really hard time dealing with Thompson's death. Not just because I loved his work and it had a huge impact on me starting when I was pretty young, but because it's so big, so complex, and I remember reading that article in Rolling Stone and being happy because he had just confirmed all my instincts about John Kerry being really a great man who was going to make a great President (because if you can't trust Dr. Gonzo, who CAN you trust?) and I could tell he actually had a little hope and was really excited...

and yeah. Like you said.

That silver-coke-spoon scumbag isn't worth one of Hunter S. Thompson's old toenail clippings, and look who killed himself in despair and pain, and look who's squatting in power wreaking selfish havoc on the whole world.

I just...run out of words when it gets to that point.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #14
15.  I am absolutely stunned by this. I just don't know how to handle this.
I am actually frightened by this news. Hunter was one of two authors who knew and wrote about Dubya's coke use. This week the tapes reinforcing Bush was a "user" come out and Hunter commits suicide.
The Salon article left out the part of the quote where Hunter says he met Dubya in the presence of his friends coke dealer. The friend was having an order delivered and the pusher brought George with him.
The other other, the one who wrote "Fortunate Son" the book the Bush's suppressed, was also a victim of suicide. I don't want to put on a tinfoil hat but is all this coincidence? Our local news did an interview with a friend of Hunter, who said, he was "the least likely person he knew to commit suicide".
I looked up his last column and it certainly doesn't sound suicidal, or even depressed. I just don't know. We are losing our liberal voices . RIP Hunter.He was one of the best.
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Don't be scared.
I admit I was too, but I heard today that according to his lawyer it had nothing to do with *. Read this: After Thompson's suicide attorney saw clues. It's still a sad story, but not as tinfoil hat inducing. :hug:



Author Hunter S. Thompson, left, is escorted out of the motorcade car of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), D-Mass., at Aspen-Pitkin Co./Sardy Field Airport in Aspen, Colo. on Monday, June 21, 2004. The man at right is unidentified. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of journalism in books like 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' fatally shot himself Sunday night, Feb, 20, 2005 at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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