Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The Good Doctor
I devoured every Hunter Thompson book I could find in my teens and kept going well into my 20's. It was the way he wrote; the metaphors he used would sink in and stay there even after one was finished reading any of his works. He was pro-gun, pro-drug, and an untamed all-pro freak that any hormone addled kid adored. There was nobody truly like him, unless PT Barnum had a child with a wolverine made of gunpowder.
I remember the morning he killed himself. I was a little sad. I always wanted to meet him. But we all had long known it was coming. My clue was that he was half-assedly writing for Page 2 on ESPN.com. There was nothing there. No connection. Weak sauce.
And so he killed himself. As per his orders, he was cremated and shot out of a cannon. Which, of course, made me admire the guy even more.
Tonight I watched GONZO: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Thoroughly enjoyable until the details of the McGovern primary came out.
Thompson invented a story that McGovern's rival, Edmund Muskie, was on ibogaine and was under treatment of a radical Brazilian doctor. Rolling Stone ran with it. It left Muskie in shambles.
What was disturbing is the complacency of Rolling Stone and the members of the journalist community. Actually, it wasn't complacency as everyone interviewed seemed to have rather enjoyed it. They destroyed a guy's career on a lie and got off on it.
More disturbing that Thompson stacked the deck so his boy would win. He lied. I thought Thompson had some integrity.
In the beginning of the documentary he was being interviewed about Hell's Angels. One of the members actually confronts him about supposed lies, and it's shrugged off because this guy is scum and The Good Doctor obviously gave an accurate portrayal. Was the biker lying, or was Thompson?
I'm running out of people to look up to.
I will still reread his work, but it just won't be as enjoyable. It won't make me feel like I'm 20 and about to explode.
Well, at least Rolling Stone is still killing music and blatantly carrying water for favored political entities, so my faith in them remains unchanged.