Today would have been Hunter S. Thompson’s 79th birthday. I don’t make a habit of pointing out things like this, normally. The birthdays of people no longer around to comment on them. I made a post last year, on the tenth anniversary of his death, as a memoriam and a means to show how much I wish he were still around today.
The reason I’m bringing up the good doctor today, now, is because we find ourselves in the middle of an unprecedented clusterfuck of an election season and it’s one that I feel Hunter would relish in. I feel he would haul his 79 year old bones atop the roof of Woody Creek Owl Farm and, bullhorn in hand, shout to the world “I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.”
I would love to see Hunter on CNN talking about Trump, the now unstoppable Frankenstein’s monster of the GOP, and his orange skin and black heart. Or Hillary Clinton and all of her pantsuit politics and shady behind-closed-doors dealings. The new era of democracy, the choice no one should be forced to make, with people voting to elect a tainted and uncertain future just to fight against the possibility of no future at all.
This is exactly the sort of thing I would love to hear Hunter’s voice on. Maybe he would surprise us all and be a Trump supporter (though not likely), maybe he would back him as a middle finger to politics in general, as a way to tear down the whole damn thing and build it back up fresh again.
Who can say? Hunter is gone, sadly. His voice on matters, old and constant, is always out there in the form of his writing. But new matters, new faces of evil flashing their shimmering eyes from Washington, are beyond his ability to comment. We can only imagine what he’d say.
As a reminder to what fueled Hunter, aside from a passion for life and politics, here’s Hunter’s “daily routine”:
I think I’ll spend today reading The Rum Diary. You celebrate however you see fit.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson left this world ten years ago. The world has changed a lot in ten years, a lot of changes that would have driven him mad, a lot of changes that he would have seen coming and accepted with a sort of loud resignation that only Hunter could manage.
More wars. More corrupted politics. More paranoia.
More Fear, and More Loathing.
His voice will live on forever, his writing a testament to a brilliantly broken mind, even as the last generation who could ever truly understand him slowly dies out, while the current population and the unknown masses of the future still have much to relate to in Hunter’s words.
If you’ve never read Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, I urge you to do so. If you’ve never read The Rum Diary, I urge you to do so. I urge you to seek out his essays and his sports commentary, most of which you can find online. In his own words, Hunter was “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die”, and he truly felt to me like the last of the reckless writers, the last of the dangerous ones. His death closed a book that I’ve always felt we still need open.
Watch Hunter and Ralph Steadman tackle the world.
If you are a Netflix subscriber, you should watch Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson. If you have some time to kill, search for Hunter S. Thompson’s many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. There’s a sense of comfort he has when he’s talking to Dave, as it appears that Dave understood him on a level other talk show hosts and seasoned interviewers didn’t.
Everyone can celebrate the life of Hunter S. Thompson in their own way. Myself, I’m going to spend the day drinking beer, listening to music, and reading. Maybe a little writing. Maybe a little trip out into the cold.