Monday, February 21, 2005

The Hunter Has Left the Building

[Ed. Note: Hunter S. Thompson died last night of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jeremy wrote the following last night but I was only able to post it today. His real-life alter-ego is trying to get it published in the Montreal Mirror but we can't guarantee they'll accept it. En attendant, here it is, unedited.]

It's getting damn close to 4 AM but I can't sleep right now. What I wouldn't do for a drug tonight, anything to get my mind out of this soul-sucking space. I can't believe that another one of my heroes has died; Doctor Gonzo is no more.

Hunter S. Thompson was once a writer, before he became a lab rat and singed his neurons into charcoal. Thompson was a barbarian in his early days, clanging his pen against the gates of the publishing world, trying to prove that electrified prose and quick wit could triumph over accuracy. The 50's was mostly a wasteland until he rolled up on his motorcycle, drugs in one hand and a gun in the other.

Thompson used a novelist's eye to get to the epicentre of the story, sometimes lying to get his point across. Many credit him with ushering in the style known as "New Journalism", a school now relegated to trashy mags like Vice or the occasional college rag. His detractors painted him as a fraud--nothing more than a celebrity-cum-writer who milked his reputation for all it was worth--to them, he was more a drugged-out gun nut than a literary figure.

Hunter was all of these things. More importantly, he set the journalists free. Why else would I be compelled to write that my hemorrhoids are really burning right now? His death makes my soul burn more than any pile ever could.

Often going by the pseudonym "Raoul Duke", Thompson showed the American Press that their "inverted pyramid" technique was just as boring as the missionary position they would employ on their wives once a week.

Thompson proved that colour and flair (along with a keen sense of what is right) can compensate for gaps in the narrative; ultimately, the truth will emerge even if it is submerged beneath a sea of falsity.

Hunter never did wipe out the "Pyramid crowd"; those dinosaurs will still walk the earth when we're all just bones and plastic beer cups. I don't know if we'll ever be rid of the type of people who work for Fox News.

It must be said that Thompson never did a journalism class. Hell, he probably would have choked on the endless fluff pieces that I and my fellow scribes are forced to ejaculate for our loveless Concordia professors. Hunter's whole career was based on a sham, after he convinced the U.S. Air Force that he was qualified to write, edit, and produce a newspaper.

Hunter was an exception.

Now, I'm left here with all these Rules and no Buzz with the walls closing in like lobster claws. Where is Wendy, my one and only, when I need her? Has the world gone mad?

Maybe the Canadian Air Force is hiring?