Friday, February 20, 2009

4 Years Ago Today: Hunter S. Thompson Dies From a Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

4 years ago today, the life and work of one of the greatest American writers abruptly stopped as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to to the head. Hunter S. Thompson was many things, but crazy and brilliant are the two best descriptions of the man. Hunter was a journalist and author who became widely known for his book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". Thompson is credited with creating "Gonzo" journalism, which is a style of reporting where the reporters involvement in the action ultimately makes them a central character in the story itself. Hunter ingested about every drug under the sun, drank a sea of booze and shot more guns than John Wayne. He was truly "Gonzo". Hunter S. Thompson is one of my all-time favorite writers and he is dearly missed by his friends and fans alike.

Hunter S. Thompson suicide note:

What family and police describe as a suicide note was delivered to his wife four days before his death and later published by Rolling Stone. Entitled "Football Season Is Over", it 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."

Here is a poem I wrote on 2/20/2005:

"Requiescat for Hunter S. Thompson"

Sitting here at the typewriter
one beer into the night

I am left to believe that sometimes,
the only way out is -

a way out

another great writer dead
(chose the same method as Hemingway)

Of all the thoughts he had, I wonder

which one was his last?

was it the past or the future that pulled the trigger?

we may never know

Hunter, you left us
but what you gave us:

keys to the locks inside the mind,

words that will never cease to penetrate those who read them...

will never leave us

- Mikeal P. Davis

Suggested Reading:

Suggested Viewing:

Suggested Listening:

Bob Dylan - "Mr. Tambourine Man"

Warren Zevon - "Lawyers, Guns and Money"

(these were Hunter's two favorite songs)

1 comment:

grantfacekillah said...

While the suicide of Hunter is something that gives anyone who's ever obsessed over words and form pause... and I of all people know that the real victims of such an atrocity are those left in the wake... dare I say this (and we've talked about this before):

If the man loathed anything in this worldly realm, it was outside control. He wanted to experience this life on his own terms, distorted exactly how he wanted it to be. In my readings of his work, I would never call him a possessive man. But a master of his own destiny, most definitely. I think to Hunter, his suicide was not out of cowardice, but at least to him, it was an act of nobility. He would not burden the world with his weakness--he was never a weak man. I look at his suicide as tragic, yes, but, it was on his terms. How much more of a fitting (not beautiful, but fitting) ending to his life's story could we imagine.

Funny, because I know she was unaware of the significance of today at the time, but 3 days ago, she picked up for me Gonzo: the Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson. An amazing documentary, narrated by Johnny Depp. Watch it if you haven't already.