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Ghost Files

Grey Matter


ďThere he goes. One of Godís own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.Ē

I am going to take a bit of a break from my normal paranormal, c2c subject matter this week to pay tribute to a hero of mine. Hunter S. Thompson would have been 68 yesterday, though, as most will know he is no longer around to celebrate.

To say that Hunter S. Thompson had a profound effect on my life and how I view the world I do not feel is at all exaggeration. I first remember reading one of Hunterís pieces when I was around 17. I canít at this time remember exactly what it was about only that is was of a political nature. I remember being awe struck that not only was there someone who felt much like me, but that he could write it down in such a entertaining and brilliant way. After that I made sure to read everything he had ever written and through the years I continued to read any new books and articles he wrote except for the sports related ones, which I cannot tolerate.

I am not sure how one would describe Hunterís unique, enthralling writing style to someone who has never read him, but it was genius. A mixture of fact, fantasy, realism, surrealism and always full of sharp wit.

Hunter himself was like his writing, one of a kind. He was a complex individual who though a liberal did not always stick to the party line. He loved guns and sometimes terrorized people who lived near his home in Woody Creek, near Aspen Colorado. One of my favorite quotes after Hunter offed himself came from a local bar owner who said something like ďIf he would have killed someone else I wouldnít be the least bit surprised, but I am surprised that he killed himself.Ē Hunter was truly infamous from his Gonzo character in Doonesbury to the time he ran for Mayor of Aspen and almost won and you either loved him or hated him as far as I can tell.

Ever since I got my first computer many years ago Hunterís picture has occupied the spot above my monitor. This is probably some silly hope on my part to channel a bit of his brilliance into my writing. So far this attempt has been a complete failure, but the picture will stay. I suppose I could consciously try to write like Hunter, but it would be a pathetic and in the end doomed attempt at a type of genius that I just do not posess.

Actually to say Hunter doesnít fit into my normal subject matter as I did at the beginning of this isnít exactly true. While I donít know how Hunter felt about aliens (he may have seen a few), I do know he believe in conspiracies. What follows are excerpts from a interview done by Adam Bulger on 3/9/04 -

Adam : There were those assholes who flew the plane into the WTC.

Hunter : Who were they indeed? Now, do you believe that, that a bunch of Arabs jumped up from some kind of a campfire and fucking mountains over there and snuck into this country and hijacked those planes and did that by themselves?

Adam : Well, what are you proposing? I mean I think they were funded years ago by the CIA and it was a blowback, but, I donít think there was any direct.... Are you saying there might be some other American agency or some international agency that directly supported them in that?

Hunter : Uhh, this is tricky territory, but yeah, thatís what Iím getting at.

Adam : Really?

Hunter : I canít sit here and jerk up documents like Joe McCarthy, thereís no proof of that. But Iím sure there is. And the idea that weíre getting the whole story, uh, through the uh, the media, or from the President, is absurd on itís face because you never do, for one thing. And thereís so many unanswered questions and loose ends and uh, lets see, well, lies !
... I happened to see the second one go in, but just the last few seconds, as it came out of the left, stage left, and then plowed right into the front of the center of the TV picture and the center of the building, uh, perfectly. And I wrote that it was one of the most efficient, uh, most skillful and just about impossible um, acts of piloting... Thatís a very rare, uh, uh pilot... can take a big plane and plant it right as if a target or bulls-eye was on the side of the building.

There isnít just that interview that show Hunter was a bit of a conspiracy monger about 9/11, but also his last book ďKingdom of FearĒ tells how he feels there was conspiracy to elect Bush even though he hadnít really won the election. The overall point of that book is that Bush and his Administration are trying and succeeding at creating a kingdom of fear in which citizens will willing give up rights and tow the Bush line in order to feel safe. I would have liked to include several of Hunterís quotes from this book, but as usual I canít find any book of mine when I need it because they are stashed all over. None the less here is one I found on the internet, "This blizzard of mind-warping war propaganda out of Washington is building up steam. Monday is Anthrax, Tuesday is Bankruptcy, Friday is Child-Rape, Thursday is Bomb-scares, etc., etc., etc.... If we believed all the brutal, frat-boy threats coming out of the White House, we would be dead before Sunday. It is pure and savage terrorism reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

Some people only know Hunter through the movie ďFear and Loathing in Las Vegas,Ē which I think is sad. While I think this is a great movie, if you havenít experienced Hunter through his writing you havenít really experienced him. While the movie portrays the fun loving, drug crazed, ďGonzoĒ Hunter it does not give much time to the deep thinking Renaissance Man that was also Hunter.

While Hunterís death is still a deep, throbbing, saddening, gaping wound to me, it at the same time seemed a fitting end. I canít imagine Hunter going out in any other way. It was on his terms, where and when he chose it. He said he wanted to go out with a bang and he did. Why did he do it? I can only speculate that it was a mixture of a feeling of impeding doom brought on by the Bush administration and not wanting to ever become some helpless old man, who could not do what he wanted when he wanted. That is my feelings on it and as far as that goes I am glad he never did become a helpless old man. He may in fact still be wandering the earth waiting to see the big explosion when he is shot out of the 150 foot cannon that is being constructed for that purpose. You never know with Hunter so he may have just said ďfuck itĒ and moved on. (Since I am writing about Hunter I am obligated to use profanity at least once.)

In closing let me say, I salute you Hunter S. Thompson. Not only for the years of entertainment and information you provided me, but for your bravery from the Nixon administration on through the second Bush. For saying the things that others in the mass media would not even have dared to whisper. For showing that genius and creativity could at one time flourish in America. For being a true American original. Rest in peace, sweet prince.

ďMyths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most menís reality. Weird heroes and mold-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of ďthe rat raceĒ is not yet final.Ē - Hunter S. Thompson

*Note - you can read the complete interview with Hunter at HERE

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