February 20th, 2005


Sleep Well, St. Hunter S. Thompson


One of the last American journalists is dead at age 67, allegedly by his own hand.

Founder of the New Journalism ("Gonzo," he called it); author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail 1972, among many others. A wildman, a truthteller, a giant among pygmies. Immortalized not only by his own work, but by Johnny Depp's portrayal of him in the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam (one of the best films ever made, btw).

I was gonna scare up some quotes, but I don't quite have the heart. When Richard M. Nixon was re-elected, St. Hunter just quoted Robinson Jeffers's poem "Be Angry at the Sun," which is why I did the same thing last November. The most recent of his quotes I keep thinking of: "There is no more paranoia. It's all true."

I hope that Garry Trudeau will continue appearances of the Thompson-based character "Uncle Duke," another justified immortal.

St. Hunter Thompson did the best any writer can do: he told the truth as he saw it, no matter how bad it hurt; and he did it as well as anyone who ever lived. We are richer that he passed this way, and poorer he has gone.

93 93/93 -- AJ
who has a Greater Feast to celebrate