Enough Of This Nonsense

Hunter was part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson’s own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century’s greatest comic writer in the English language.”

Tom Wolfe

 

Take a good long look at that quote. Tom Wolfe is a man who I, along with millions of others, admire and respect. When he offers his opinion people pay attention and for very good reason. He is not some kind of slack jawed yokel who has just discovered the power of speech. He is a ferociously intelligent man and one of the finest American writers of our time. He is also a gentleman and all round class act. Hunter Thompson was lucky to have him as a friend. 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for certain other people in Hunters orbit. Since his untimely death there has been a number of individuals who have consistently leaped at every chance available to publicly bash and smear his standing as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century. Recent book publications and documentaries have predominantly featured these “friends” who seem to have no shame in attacking Hunter now that he cannot respond. They claim that towards the end of Hunters career his output was worthless, repetitive and the product of a man who had turned into a sad caricature of himself. Interestingly these claims come from people who had previously profited enormously from his prodigious output. However once Hunter was no longer making money for them, they waited all of about 5 minutes after his funeral before they started sticking the knife in. At best it is misguided over-the-top criticism of a man who was suffering from severe health problems. However one cannot help but think that it reeks of bitterness and cowardice. These people wouldn’t dare criticize Hunter while he could still respond. They knew that it was an argument they would lose, and badly so.  

Of course that is not to say that Hunter was producing 100% full octane literary classics in his final years. Only a fool would make that claim. However there is no doubt that he could still put out some truly hilarious and entertaining writing, and when the occasion arose he could still hit the bullseye like no other. Hunter NEVER lost it. Perhaps the only thing that Hunter lost towards the end was the motivation and particularly the energy required to write as only he could. The battles that presented themselves in the 21st Century were meant to be tackled by a young person, and not somebody who was in ill-health. Hunter knew this and no doubt he wished he was 30 years younger so he could go after those bastards in The White House. That’s not to say he didn’t try though. As John Nichols observed – some of Hunters best political writing is evident in his Hey Rube column. His article in the aftermath of 9/11 is proof enough of this and makes a mockery of any claims that he was a washed up loser. Hunter had already taken on Nixon and kicked his ass, it shouldn’t have been his task to do that again with George W. Bush. The fact that nobody stepped up to the plate to do the same with George W. Bush is the abysmal failure of my generation. Well perhaps make that second abysmal failure, voting the idiot into the White House was our biggest without a doubt.

Ok I have gone on enough about this now, the more I think about it the more I am getting pissed off and tempted to name the clowns that are spouting this nonsense. In closing I will leave you with a quote from one of Hunters genuine friends.    

“The fact that most of Hunter’s recent books were letters and reprints of columns, like Hey Rube, caused a lot of people to comment that he couldn’t write anything new anymore. But that was bullshit. If he had the time and the muse visited him, and he had the assistance and the help, he could write.” 

 Sheriff Bob Braudis 

 

All the best,

Ron Mexico

PS: A hefty thanks to John Earl for the fantastic new banner at the top of our site.  

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No Rest For The Wicked

My main luxury in those years-a necessary luxury, in fact-was the ability to work in and out of my home-base fortress in Woody Creek.It was a very important psychic anchor for me, a crucial grounding point where I always knew I had love, friends, & good neighbors.It was like my personal Lighthouse that I could see from anywhere in the world-no matter where I was, or how weird & crazy & dangerous it got, everything would be okay if I could just make it home.When I made that hairpin turn up the hill onto Woody Creek Road, I knew I was safe.”

Hunter S. Thompson – Fear and Loathing in America  

 

I was just settling into a nice dream about George W. Bush being chased out of the White House by a blood thirsty three-headed Hyena called Retirement, when I was rudely awoken by a godawful racket from the van parked in my front drive. The postman round these parts has a rude habit of blasting atrocious music at a deafening volume in the early hours of the morning. I am seriously thinking of stealing the stereo from his car or investing in a pack of vicious dogs. My mood was foul as I collected the post from the front porch but it quickly lifted when I spotted the large white envelope stamped with the Gonzo logo, sent all the way from Woody Creek Colorado. Inside was the latest issue of The Woody Creeker, which I subscribed to many moons ago. Anita sure as hell delivered on her promise to publish it when least expected 😀 The first thing that struck me was the totally cool front cover. Check it out below!

 

So who is the lady on the front cover eh? Well her name is “Jilly” and she appeared in the fourth Aspen Wall Poster, produced by Hunter and Tom Benton between January and March of 1971. It is the Aspen Wall Poster series that featured the now infamous Hunter Thompson for Sheriff poster designed by Tom Benton. There is a great article in this issue by Lynn Burton about the Wall Posters so if you want more details then pick up a copy. There is also a great interview with Tom Wolfe and a nice piece by Ralph. If you haven’t already subscribed then contact the Gonzo Store at gonzowear@gmail.com The Gonzo Store website is being revamped at the moment.

Anyway gotta run, the bats are at the window again… (seriously there is a colony of bats in my garden that appear every night all swooping around the place and driving the women crazy with fear, this is certainly Bat Country)

Ron Mexico

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