Friday, February 24, 2006


It's really hard to understand the importance of anything until it's gone. This is especially true of people. Most people are replaceable - we may not want to believe this but it's true. For instance, I'm pretty good at what I do at work. But if I left tomorrow, there would be little if any noticeable impact over the long term.

The truly great ones are missed once they leave and can never be replaced. And when I use the word great I have a very narrow definition so that it reflects a handful of people that truly were extroadinary in their field. For example, Michael Jordan was great - just look at how the NBA struggled for an identity (and still is if you ask me) after he left.

So after allowing some time to pass, I feel it is appropriate to acknowledge the greatness of Hunter S Thompson. None of my words could ever match his words, so I leave it up to you to read him if you aren't familiar with his works. I highly recommend "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Hell's Angels", though anything is great. With these 2 books I think I started and finished the book in the same day - I just couldn't put them down.

Back to his greatness. Lately I've been thinking what Hunter S Thompson would think about all the shit going down in the world. He was so adept at cutting through all the bullshit but that's beside my point. So as I'm thinking about this I realize that his type has been sorely missing ever since he took his own life. There has not been someone else to step up in his absense. There is no one who you could reasonably say is picking up where he left off. And for me, that's a true sign of greatness.

My only regret with respect to Hunter was my waning interest in his writing in the final year of his life. I took for granted that I would always have him around. When he started writing regularly for Sports Illustrated I read his column as soon as I noticed it was new (anyone who knows his writing knows that writing for SI didn't limit him to discussing sports. In fact, "Fear & Loathing" was originally meant to be about a race). Then I made sure to read him within a few days. Until finally I would read his columns periodically. I still held him in high regard, but I did not have the same emergency. Of course, I assumed I would always be able to read him, which is my regret.

So I want to let everyone know how much I truly miss Hunter S Thompson. He was truly great and the world is a worse place because of his absense.


Blogger Mike K said...

The wonderful think about Hunter was that he lived by his own rules. A concept that is terrifying to most people. Most of his core beliefs were liberal, but he was a lover of guns, fast cars, fast bikes, and the oulaw lifestyle. He was always on the edge.

2/25/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger troutmask said...

He could turn a phrase. "Generation of Swine" Explaining Nixon's paranoia as a side effect of some weird drug- ibogain.
Exposing depravity of the super-wealthy just by describing them in pieces like the Pulizer Divorce Trial.

2/26/2006 04:04:00 PM  

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