R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson

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R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson

Postby Ophidion » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:37 pm

I am surprised that no one posted about this yet, on this forum at least.
Link to Original Story: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... t_thompson

Writer Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide

Mon Feb 21, 2:26 PM ET U.S. National - AP
By ROBERT WELLER, Associated Press Writer

ASPEN, Colo. - Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America's underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," has committed suicide.

Thompson was found dead Sunday in his Aspen-area home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff's officials said. He was 67. Thompson's wife, Anita, had gone out before the shooting and was not home at the time. His son, Juan, found the body.

Thompson "took his life with a gunshot to the head," the wife and son said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News. The statement asked for privacy for Thompson's family and, using the Latin term for Earth, added, "He stomped terra."

Neither the family statement nor Pitkin County sheriff's officials said whether Thompson left a note. The sheriff and the county coroner did not immediately return telephone messages Monday.

Besides the 1972 classic about Thompson's visit to Las Vegas, he also wrote "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72." The central character in those wild, sprawling satires was "Dr. Thompson," a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.

Thompson is credited alongside Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese with helping pioneer New Journalism — or, as he dubbed his version, "gonzo journalism" — in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story.

Thompson, whose early writings mostly appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, often portrayed himself as wildly intoxicated as he reported on such figures as Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton (news - web sites).

"Fiction is based on reality unless you're a fairy-tale artist," Thompson told The Associated Press in 2003. "You have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you're writing about before you alter it."

Thompson also wrote such collections as "Generation of Swine" and "Songs of the Doomed." His first ever novel, "The Rum Diary," written in 1959, was first published in 1998.

Thompson was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, and once said Nixon represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character."

Thompson also was the model for Garry Trudeau's balding "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip "Doonesbury." He was portrayed on screen by Bill Murray in "Where The Buffalo Roam" and Johnny Depp in a film adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

That book, perhaps Thompson's most famous, begins: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

Other books include "The Great Shark Hunt," "Hell's Angels" and "The Proud Highway." His most recent effort was "Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness."

"He may have died relatively young but he made up for it in quality if not quantity of years," Paul Krassner, the veteran radical journalist and one of Thompson's former editors, told The Associated Press by phone from his Southern California home.

"It was hard to say sometimes whether he was being provocative for its own sake or if he was just being drunk and stoned and irresponsible," quipped Krassner, founder of the leftist publication The Realist and co-founder of the Youth International (YIPPIE) party.

"But every editor that I know, myself included, was willing to accept a certain prima donna journalism in the demands he would make to cover a particular story," he said. "They were willing to risk all of his irresponsible behavior in order to share his talent with their readers."

The writer's compound in Woody Creek, not far from Aspen, was almost as legendary as Thompson. He prized peacocks and weapons; in 2000, he accidentally shot and slightly wounded his assistant trying to chase a bear off his property.

Born July 18, 1937, in Kentucky, Hunter Stocton Thompson served two years in the Air Force, where he was a newspaper sports editor. He later became a proud member of the National Rifle Association and almost was elected sheriff in Aspen in 1970 under the Freak Power Party banner.

Thompson's heyday came in the 1970s, when his larger-than-life persona was gobbled up by magazines. His pieces were of legendary length and so was his appetite for adventure and trouble; his purported fights with Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner were rumored in many cases to hinge on expense accounts for stories that didn't materialize.

It was the content that raised eyebrows and tempers. His book on the 1972 presidential campaign involving, among others, Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and Nixon was famous for its scathing opinion.

Working for Muskie, Thompson wrote, "was something like being locked in a rolling box car with a vicious 200-pound water rat." Nixon and his "Barbie doll" family were "America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the werewolf in us."

Humphrey? Of him, Thompson wrote: "There is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack Hubert Humphrey is until you've followed him around for a while."

The approach won him praise among the masses as well as critical acclaim. Writing in The New York Times in 1973, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt worried Thompson might someday "lapse into good taste."

"That would be a shame, for while he doesn't see America as Grandma Moses depicted it, or the way they painted it for us in civics class, he does in his own mad way betray a profound democratic concern for the polity," he wrote. "And in its own mad way, it's damned refreshing."


Associated Press writer John Rogers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

I expect that at least Bill is going to be as upset as I was. :cry
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Postby Goofydoofy » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:41 pm

WTF do I care? If we could get 100 million more to commit suicide, we'd be doing alright.
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Postby nazar » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:39 pm

rr..why is there bieng multable suicide posts on our general forums
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Postby Goofydoofy » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:58 pm

Why not? Not everybody who posts on these forums are TF members.

It is in the papers and on the news. It is talked about at work and at school. Why do people feel the need to moderate forums? Suicide is a part of life. Or so to speak.
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Postby Serano » Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:37 am

well I find it interesting that any one takes special note of this suicide.
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Postby Ophidion » Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:18 am

Kinda like how they made a point to bring up the dev from EQ's suicide.
Famous author who founded the "gonzo" style of journalism [essentially making yourself part of the story].wrote many good books etc.
Developer.. who made a video game better?
Yeah, I see where there can be some confusion as to which is more/less "newsworthy".
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Postby Aboobaka » Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:34 am

I heard about this today, and I really wasn't all that surprised.

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Postby bill » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:00 am

Boo, you stated that beautifully. I couldn't add a thing.

Yeah, kind of amazing but I always thought he was a coward. Ever read Hell's Angels?
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Postby Adlewiese » Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:38 pm

Ernest Hemmingway was mentally unstable and blew his brains out. In that day and age, they left it at that. Today, the press would have made it out to be that he was depressed over the Iraqi war or that Bush got elected, ad infinitum....

Well, suicide by a famous author...welcome to the 21st century.
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Postby Caeliel » Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:05 pm

I personally think Hunter S. was having to many problems figuring out the new bazaar. No pun intended.
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