Happy Hunter Day,
On this day (February 20), in 2005 Hunter S. Thompson shot himself. This day is usually a holiday for me. What I consider a “rock star day”. But there is no rock starring right now. And I can’t wait for this day to be over.
Every year I try to keep the spirit alive of the great Doctor himself – not on the day he was born but on the day he shot himself. Issues of agency ultimately inform this decision.
To stifle Thompson as a drug-culture icon is too unbearable. The drugs and booze have been focused on all too much. What these readers of Hunter forget is that drugs were a trope for railing against the establishment, for doing what people told you not to do in order to assert some control on your existence.
This is short. I know. But, I usually leave words from the man himself. Less funny than previous years, but “buy the ticket, take the ride” friends.
From THE PROUD HIGHWAY: “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
What Doug Brinkley describes as a suicide note to his wife Anita, titled “Football Season Is Over,” read: “No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your (old) age. Relax — This won’t hurt.”
INTERVIEWER: Do you believe religious things about drugs?
THOMPSON: No, I never have. That’s my main argument with the drug culture. I’ve never believed in that guru trip; you know, God, nirvana, that kind of oppressive, hipper-than-thou bullshit. I like to just gobble the stuff right out in the street and see what happens, take my chances, just stomp on my own accelerator.
-written by Amy Pommerening, my dearest and oldest friend