Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hey Rube

I have mentioned before that one of my all time favorite writers is Hunter S. Thompson. I was reading my old Issue 639 May 2005 Australian Edition of Rolling Stone Magazine that is a tribute to HST, soon after he shot himself in the head. In his early years he did a lot of work for the magazine so it is only fitting that he should have an entire issue tribute to him. But this issue also contains the 60th Anniversary Special of Bob Marley. Needless to say it is fucking priceless to me.

The section for HST contains numerous articles written by his close friends, including Johnny Depp, Keith Richards, and Ralph Steadman. If you were into his work then this is a must read. It also contains some classic pictures. Later on in his life HST was writing a column for page 2 of the ESPN magazine called Hey Rube. It was here that he posted his response to the September 11th attacks the very next day. While most articles that were published the next day resonated with cries of humanity and fear, I found HST’s response to be profoundly prolific. I could not find a copy of it online so I am going to type it out from the magazine. I am not one who enjoys such laborious tasks but I feel that this excerpt is significant enough to demand my attention.

“The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody ruble, with hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now – with somebody – and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fuelled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy… We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once… Victory is not guaranteed – for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush… He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won’t hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force… He is in for a profoundly difficult job – armed as he is with no credible Military Intelligence, no witnesses and only the Ghost of Bin Laden to blame for the tragedy.”

As I have said before, Hunter lived and died by his own rules. If nothing else, that is worth something. It does not sound like much, but to me that is everything.


Jax said...

I didn't know a lot about Hunter S. Thompson before I watched Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I can't say that I know much more now, but that excerpt was brilliant. I mean, it was poignant and pretty much stated, in a nutshell, the events that would transpire thereafter.

Whenever I think of Fear and Loathing, I keep hearing Johnny Depp's voice in my head, in that slightly drawn out, monotone voice as he speaks with a cigarette filter between his teeth. And that's probably not what he sounded like at all, but it was the things he would say, and the comments he would make about his surroundings that made the movie that much more interesting for me.

I guess his life was far from anything any of us will ever experience in our lifetimes, but that's ok, eh? Any sites that you'd suggest for a quick education on Mr. Thompson?

treespotter said...

My ex wife send me
The Great Shark Hunt : Strange Tales from a Strange Time for my bday last year, that's a good start to read on HTS, i guess. lots of his essays are there. i also recently finished reading Rum Diary, which is more a fiction and slightly different than his other works.

as for sites, avi is probably more knowledgeable.

careful tho, next he'll point to Leary and WSB and you'll reach the point of no return.

When the going gets weird, the weird gets pro

LOL, fave quote of all time.

dude, btw, you owe me something, i think :p

Avi said...

Shark Hunt is the only one I do not have. Rum Dairy is a great example of his early work in fiction. The one I bought most recently would be kingdom of fear which is a collection of his letters and correspondence. It makes for really good reading. It follows his carreer and you can see how he and his style change along the way. As for online, I have no clue.

Tree, I should have brought a couple back. I talked to some customs guys and they sugegested i do not import any bongs for now. But on my next trip I will bring a couple back for sure. Ill keep you in mind.

IndCoup said...


I have a digital copy of "Hell's Angels" on my pc. If ya want me to sent it to ya via email, let me know.