My call for a visitation from the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson has so far gone unheeded, so I have decided to embark on a rereading of the complete HST oeuvre, starting with Hell’s Angels. When appropriate, I will share a few choice bits.
Parts of HA seem oddly relevant in the current landscape, particularly the portrayal of people whose politics are consistently at odds with their own self-interest. (“The Angels will be among the first to be locked up or croaked if the politicians they think they agree with ever come to power.”) The following could easily refer to a certain subset of Von Clownstick voters, could it not?
Their lack of education has not only rendered them completely useless in a highly technical economy, but it has also given them the leisure to cultivate a powerful resentment…and to translate it into a destructive cult.
In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile — and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep…but we owe it especially to our children, who will have to live with our loss and all its long-term consequences. I don’t want my son asking me, in 1984, why his friends are calling me a “Good German.”
– HST, 1971
Frequently over the last few months I’ve found myself wondering what Hunter S. Thompson would have had to say about the improbable and terrifying rise of President Fuckface Von Clownstick. We know in general terms, of course: Hunter would have hated him. But how, exactly, would that hatred have expressed itself? Would it have reached the same level as HST’s legendary antipathy to Richard Nixon?
We could really, really use a little of the old gonzo magic right now. I hereby call upon the spirit of Hunter Thompson to visit me in my dreams and tell me his thoughts. If he obliges, I’ll let you know.
A sensible prayer people could offer up from time to time, it seems to me, might go something like this: “Dear Lord – never put me in the charge of a frightened human being.”