Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S Thompson Goes to Heaven

If there is a heaven, surely Hunter S Thompson is sitting on the right side of God right this minute. Or possibly he has headbutted the Lord and usurped His throne. Because Dr Thompson shot himself in the head yesterday.

The estimable doctor wrote a bunch of classic books (several of which were illustrated by the great Ralph Steadman, from whom I ripped off the portrait above) and was portrayed on the screen by Bill Murray in 1980 and Johnny Depp in 1998.

I haven't really kept up with his recent work, but I vividly remember his 1994 eulogy for Nixon (entitled "He Was a Crook"), written at a time when it seemed like most people were busy sweeping Nixon's true legacy under the rug:

Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing -- a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that "I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."

I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Superblog 2!! salutes you, Dr Thompson!

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