"Illustration by Curtis Livingston Every now and then I believe it is worth just thinking about Hunter S Thompson and the groundbreaking work he did in his blazing career as a writer. Notice I say 'writer' rather than 'Gonzo Journalist'. "
Hunter S Thompson’s Dying Dream
I dreamed last night of bats screeching and red Chevy convertibles. And today I have the work of Hunter S Thompson on the brain. Perhaps it is all this talk of government subsidy for electric vehicles. Perhaps it is the hair-shirt attitudes of the politically correct. Perhaps it is the general aether of distaste that exists for all things excessive, hedonistic, indulgent.
We fear we are entering a newly puritanical age where the fun and excess is drained out of things in the name of emissions regs and MPG.
Of course, we have to admit that it is probably a consequence of our erstwhile indulgence. We had collectively been riding the boomtime and gorging on a carbon-loaded diet of excess for so long we’re supposed to feel a collective guilt for climate change and be ashamed of our gas guzzlers and our aggressive styling.
But you don’t turn desire on and off like a tap. No matter how straightened our circumstances there nags at our heart an urge to return to a time when more was more, when freedom, excess and indulgence were thing to aspire to rather than to denigrate.
Blasting out to our own personal Vegas in a seven litre convertible was a metaphor that Hunter explored and to which so many of us aspired.
Hunter’s exploits behind the wheel reached down deep into the heart of American excess and documented the fringes of its reality. To sit down to read Fear And Loathing is to commune with the a time when all things seemed possible. All that mattered was the beautiful Now. It’s a reality that will always exist in privileged pockets, little nooks and cultural crannies where people don’t give a stuff for the moods of the mainstream.
Unutterably unethical, deliciously solipsistic – Hunter S Thompson was a road warrior who should be celebrated. His like may seldom be seen again.
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