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Re: Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P.

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  • Jo Ann Schwartz
    Thanks to Larry and Brad for their contributions to HST s memory. Mark Morford of the SF Gate/SF Chronicle also has an appreciation here:
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 23, 2005
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      Thanks to Larry and Brad for their contributions to HST's memory.

      Mark Morford of the SF Gate/SF Chronicle also has an appreciation here:


      Some highlights to whet your appetites...

      "Forget the legacy thing. Forget the "this man single-handedly changed modern
      journalism" thing. It's only partially true, anyway, given how the period when
      Thompson nailed the political world to the wall and held a rusty Bowie knife to
      its throat was nearly 30 years ago, long before the Internet and way before
      Nipplegate and far before most cutely agitated bloggers were even born and back
      when Dubya was just knee-high to a collegiate cocaine habit.

      "Here's what needs to be said, what's worth lamenting most: there are no new
      Thompsons. There are no new snarling fierce-eyed one-of-a-kind journalists
      covering politics and the national agenda with such radical and nasty and
      brilliant aplomb and with such an explicit and enthusiastic disregard for
      standard journalistic rules and tropes, all via anything resembling a national
      media outlet.

      "In other words, while it's true what all the staid J-school chairs and
      Thompson's fellow journalists are right now saying about how HST did indeed
      blow the door open for a whole new breed of blast-furnace writers who merely
      disguised themselves as journalists to get a goddamn press pass, tragically few
      have dared follow HST through that door.

      "There are no new journalistic radicals willing to take such a risky, careening
      road to fame and glory. There is a tragic lack of HST-style fearlessness in
      modern journalism. No, we don't need another Thompson per se; after all, the
      man broke the mold. But we could definitely use a few more heavyweight writers
      willing to take up arms, tattoo *iconoclast* on their tongues and scream their
      defiance of all things decorous and punctual and grammatically decent."


      "You might rightly ask, But is this what journalism really needs? Expletives
      and guns and drugs? Don't we already have enough of that with the military and
      Lynne Cheney and the Catholic Church?

      "Shouldn't journalism, in the wake of so much bland me-too political coverage
      and obvious liberal/conservative bias and corporate media consolidation and
      your inability to click on any major media Web site right now and read anything
      dramatically different than what any other major media Web site is offering
      right now, strive for accuracy and respect and something akin to that most
      elusive of slippery hammerheaded snakes, objective truth?

      "To which I can only reply, you wish. Objective truth is, of course, the great
      white myth of our time. It simply does not exist. The New York Times and Le
      Monde and all those CNN/MSNBC/Fox ticker-tape newsfeeds scrolling across the
      bottom of the TV like some sort of never-ending dribble of drool flowing forth
      from the mouth of Dick Cheney's proctologist, we know this does not speak of
      true reality. This is not How It Really Is. Or, rather, these media represent
      only a fragment, a sliver, a whisper of darker and more complex and insidious
      truths, far underneath."

      and finally...

      "What we do know is, the door Thompson helped blow open is now nearly
      completely sealed up again, spackled over with the fresh concrete of fear and
      reinforced with iron bars and snide FCC regulations and heavily guarded by the
      least accountable and most secretive and violent and warmongering government in
      American history. The radical free speech HST embodied, the biting and
      ferocious (and ultimately insightful and telling) interrogation of the various
      thugs of government, this approach is no longer tolerated.

      "Only the tiniest openings remain. Only the slimmest slivers of light eke
      through. The era of raw open-mouthed bitingly hilarious New Journalism in major
      media is giving way to one of fearful reportage and shrugging sameness and prim
      adjective clauses sans wit or kick or rigid middle fingers, all undercut by the
      uptight quasi-religious hypocrisy of the Right, worse than Nixon, worse than
      Vietnam, worse than you want to imagine.

      "So then. Do yourself a favor, reread "Fear and Loathing," flip through
      "Generation of Swine," realize how relevant, hilarious, debauched, glorious,
      sodden with crazed half-truths and drunken epiphanies and wicked observations
      HST's observations still are. Wave high the flag of indignation. Scream the
      need for more iconoclastic voices. And laugh your ass off. This much you can

      "Oh yes, and make sure you do it all very, very stoned. Surely, the good doctor
      would've wanted it that way."

      Musing oh yes, in this age of "Jeff Gannon," the good doctor most assuredly
      would've wanted it that way....
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