Monday, February 21, 2005

Attention Must Be Paid

If any of you sanctimonious little shits still give a rat's dick that Arthur Miller is dead, then you've got worse taste than even I thought possible. Last night, the world lost a talent that burned far brighter.

RIP, Hunter. You deserve it more than anyone.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Terminator said...

I agree, Hunter S. Thompson was a brilliant mind in a not-so-brilliant world. He reminds me of the math guy in that Russell Crowe movie. Not that he was a schitzo or anything, but the fact he could easily bag women as hot as Jennifer Connelly because of his brilliance.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Decadent Leftist said...

Thompson was overrated.

There. I said it.

What he was doing was really nothing new. "Gonzo" journalism was being used in the 1940s by writers like Norman Mailer and AJ Leibing. But it was just called "New Journalism". The only difference between the "new" journalism of the 1940s and 1950s and the "new" journalism of the 1960s and 1970s was EXTREME EXAGERATION and ohhhhh "edgy" drug references (OH ME OH MY! LSD & Ether? PRAY LAD, HELP ME FETCH MY MONOCLE FROM MY CHAMPANGE GLASS FOR IT HAS POPPED OUT IN HORROR!). The chief reason people read him today is because of the OMG DRUGS references- which if you're 15 years old and haven't heard of someone like Burroughs or Ginsberg (Thompson's predecessors, so don't say he's groundbreaking about OMG DRUGS) its like a blast of edgy in your face. Which is why most people like him today.

Thompson really wasn't that amazing. He was good- but not the jouralistic god that people make him out to be.
He was good at successfuly reviving the long faded star of celebrity journalism that had died out at the turn of the 20th Century. It wasn't new, it was a revival, and a self-indulgent one at that.

Real journalists change the world and expose it as it really is. Upton Sinclair, HL Menekin(sp), Woodward and Bernstein, Seymour Hersh- more of an impact than Thompson.

Would you say that Thompson is on the same level as men like these? They usually don't write a series self-masterbatory polemics.

(Lester Bangs on the other hand WAS god)

8:16 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Sure, his persona was exagerated. No reasonable person denies that. What can't be denied is that, for many, it was an entertaining persona ... this is a matter of taste, nothing more. It's sad that, in his later years, that persona got the best of him, until he eventually degenerated into a parody of himself. No doubt that parody is what will stick, fifty or a hundred years from now.

The persona wouldn't have gotten him anywhere had he not been a master of the English language, though. As far as comparisons to the names you mentioned (Mencken, btw) I can't really say as I haven't read much of their work. Whether he was better or worse than any of them is beside the point; the point is, Thompson was good. It's a little silly to try and claim that HST didn't have a massive impact, given the number of writers that have been influenced by him. Whether or not his works, in and of themselves, had a direct impact at the time they were written is immaterial. What's important is that a lot of people read him, and remembered what he wrote, not necessarily for what he said but for how he said it. Shallow perhaps, but style has its place.

12:26 PM  

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