Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Doctor is Out

For good.

By now, anyone who would care knows that Hunter Thompson did himself in Sunday night.

I had an odd reaction to it, that a few years back I'd have chuckled at. I heard the news about 6AM on Monday morning. I was waking up even though it was a holiday. I flicked on the radio just to get the goods on the coming day. Usually, I just wait to hear the weather report. Yesterday morning I certainly got more than I bargained for.

When I heard the first words, "The Father of Gonzo Journalism..." I knew he'd had it. When the announcer said "...apparent suicide...." I did feel the air go out of me for just an instant. I was struck with sadness, for just an instant, then it went away. I was nagged by something, and it wasn't until later that realized it was the utter lack of surprise. There was something fitting about the exit. Something fitting about Thompson riding a .45 bullet to the next stop. I couldn't really feel badly for Thompson that he would do a thing like that. Why?

I feel badly for all of us who appreciated his outraged voice. For a long time now, since about November 2000, I've hoped that he would find the gas again to chase the goblins and expose them for us like he used to do. I'm convinced that at least part of him cared deeply about our country and its shaky future. Maybe that along with his chronic pain had thim thinking it was time to check off the net. Still, it's hard to concieve of him giving up hope. This is one I will think about for a while, uselessly, no doubt. I will wonder where our next talented, outraged voice will come from. We need it badly, and the best one is gone. It's a stone bummer, Man.


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