Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Another reason to disregard the critics

I could never here the name of Hunter S. Thompson without thinking of a comment from Harlan Ellison, who once spoke at my college. In reply to a question from the gallery, Ellison said that Thompson was, and I'm quoting from memory here, "a terrible writer from whom you can learn nothing but bad habits." It's only just now that I wonder if the habits he was talking about were literary or chemical.

I'm only grateful that I read the first volume of "The Gonzo Letters" before I knew I wasn't supposed to be enjoying it so much. In more recent times, I enjoyed—okay, relished!—the anti-Bush diatribes he posted on the web in the days leading up to the ... well, "election" seems like the wrong word, but it's the closest thing the English language has to offer.

HST was the kind of person I love to read about (and everything he wrote was about himself, as far as I can tell) but would hate to be stuck in a car with during a long road trip. Unless he left a note behind, I can only figure that suicide was just one of those stupid things you do when you're high.


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