Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hunter S. Thompson

I have a friend who IS Hunter S. Thompson. He's always wearing those iconic amber-colored sunglasses, has the cigarette hanging out of his mouth, writes profusely, is extremely neurotic, and can produce a wide variety of illegal substances from his immediate person at any time. That is definitely a compliment, because Hunter S. Thompson is awesome.

Hunter S. Thompson is most famous for the counterculture classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He created what he called Gonzo Journalism, which means that the reporter involves himself in whatever he's writing about, and therefore becomes the main character in his own first-hand account. He was open about his lifetime drug use, including substances like alcohol, cannabis, LSD, mescaline, and cocaine. He loved guns and hated any authority, but especially Richard Nixon. He disagreed with the lack of real convictions he saw in the Hippie culture.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was always in trouble as a kid, including being kicked out of a prestigious high school club because of his criminal record. His first experience with the criminal system came when he was implicated in a robbery, because he was in a car with the robber after the crime was committed. When he joined the military, he received an honorable discharge because of his inability to follow orders, and he was fired from Time Magazine for his insubordination as well. One of his first successful writing projects was a book about the Hell's Angels, who he lived with for almost a year before they decided that he was using them to make money and so he got a "stomping." He lived in New York, San Francisco, and finally settled in a secluded spot in Colorado, where he remained for the rest of his life. In New York, he made friends with famous Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. In Colorado, he ran for sheriff of his county, on the Freak Power ticket, whose platform included legalizing drugs and abolishing paved roads and tall buildings, and he almost won. His best friends included Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, who both played him in different movies. He died by suicide, probably as a result of his chronic medical conditions, and at his funeral had his ashes fired from a cannon.

To come: A selection of Hunter quotes, and a review of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, including a comparison of the movie vs. the book!

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  1. I stumbled upon this while searching for something else. I agree with it completely. I miss Hunter. My brother gave me F&L in LV for my 14th birthday, Iv been a fan ever since and I am now 40. Last april he gave me the curse of lono. there have been a few other hunter books between, I bought most of them myself after reading the first. Lono was special though, he knew Id been searching for it for a few years since it was out of print. I owe that brother, he turned me on to a great many things. when I was in 1st grade he introduced me to the music of the Doors, made sure I met up with Hunter, he also shared Frank Zappa and David Bowie with me, took me to my first concert when I was maybe 10 (Styx), and took me to see Rocky Horror when I was maybe 12. His influence shaped alot of who I am today. many thanks to the good doctor, and to Ralph Steadman, and to my oldest brother, Daryn.

  2. I did my 1st hit of Acid in 1971 when I was stationed at Ft. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne. It was a 4 way Orange Barrel, and 6 hours after taking it I was Jumping out of a C-130! Needless to say, it was an exhilirating feeling, and LSD-25 immediately became my Drug of Choice. In the 41 years since that first trip, I have taken more than 12,000 hits of Acid and have NEVER had a Bad Trip. Hell, I've gone 30 days without sleep doing nothing but Acid! I have always admired Hunter S. Thompson, I had a Cuban friend that was a lawyer, and for many years (he was large) I referred to him as "My 300 Pound Samoan Lawyer"! I still Trip every chance I get, but it has gotten harder and harder to find any decent (clean) Acid that doesn't bankrupt you to buy 40 or 50 hits. If you think my 12,000 hit total is BS, I ate Acid almost every day for 6 years and sometimes ate as many at 30 hits in a 24 hour period. I have turned more than 300 people on to their 1st hit of Acid (no charge, of course). I also have several people who can verify my statements. Hope you all have a great day.


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