When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

Intellectual Poison is mourning the loss of one of its greatest influences, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. This week's posts will all be under this one and will relate to this extraordinary man's extraordinary life.

"I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time." - HST

Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P February 20, 2005

I don't know what to say. I'm so deeply, deeply saddened by this news.

Words aren't going to be able to express how sad this news has made me. I feel like a part of my youth, like a part of me has been ripped away from me. His influence on me and many, many others, the gift of just fucking writing. He gave it to me and it stays with me today.

I've decided that Intellectual Poison will observe a one week period of mourning for one of the greatest men of my generation.

hunter s. thompson
Originally uploaded by T r a c y.

There is a timeline of his life (through to 2002) at Life of Gonzo and if you're not sure who he is, go read his Wiki. For a taste of what he was like, try his WikiQuote.

If you have any Hunter S. Thompson stories you'd like to share, please go ahead. I've got a couple but I'm going to just feel bad for myself tonight.

Note, yes, that is a spear he's holding in that picture.

Some choice quotes: There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

On Journalists and Journalism: Why bother with newspapers, if this is all they offer? Agnew was right. The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits - a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely.

[Update: Tuesday the 22nd, ESPN's Page 2's Tribute to HST. Nice.

Another update: The Denver Post has an update on his death along with some info about medical issues that may have contributed to his suicide.]

[Update: Wednesday the 23rd. Saw this in an article about Hunter having planned his suicide, "The family is looking into whether Thompson's cremated remains can be blasted out of a cannon, a wish the gun-loving writer often expressed, Brinkley said." And that, in a tidy little nutshell, helps to explain how this man thought. And it also aptly demonstrates that this was a man who refused to live life on someone else's terms.

Here's Ralph Steadman's Eulogy to Hunter. Which begins with, "Hunter said these words to me many years ago: "I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time.""]

[Update: Friday the 25th.
Strangely, this image of Hunter as stylized by the excellent Ralph Steadman epitomizes and represents Hunter better than any pic of him and is only superceded by the double-thumbed freak power fist above on the campaign poster.
Steadman's Dr. Gonzo

Fare thee well, good Doctor. I, along with many others, will continue to miss you for a very long time.]