Trailer for new Hunter Thompson documentary

The trailer for Gonzo, the new documentary about the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, looks incredible. The film was directed by Alex Gibney and narrated by Hunter's friend Johnny Depp. (Screenshot from the trailer: photo (c) 1977 lynn goldsmith/corbis.) Hunter has been gone for three years now. I miss him. The trailer alone reminds me why. Link (Thanks, Gabe "Tune Up Media" Adiv!)


  1. Hunter S. Thompson was a great writer, and an even cooler random human being. A lot of people don’t know how much of an impact he has made in the past decades, and hopefully this film will show how cool he really was.

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  2. I saw it at Sundance. Just when you start tearing up and think it is going all soft he leaps out of his grave (figuratively) and slaps you back to his cynical arrogance that I learned to love.

    It is a documentary…save your money and wait for it to come out on DVD. Seeing it in a theater does not enhance your viewing experience.

  3. “Unfortunately he will forever remain a coward and loser for putting a shotgun to his head.”

    Fortunately thats your opinion, and forever is only as long and meaningful as it is in your own head, and when those neurons stop firing, nothing you thought will matter anymore.

    so stick it out if you want, but it doesn’t matter one iota if you do.

    a guy who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge left a suicide note that said “for no other reason than i had a toothache.”

    I didn’t choose when i got to enter this world, but if the ending drags on for too long i’ll choose how and why I leave it.

  4. I love Hunter Thompson. I will definitely be seeing that movie. He was a revolutionary. A true master at expressing the hilarity in society while also covering serious topics. Can’t wait.

    1. NotThisGod, we don’t put .sig lines and URLs on comments. Just put your URL on your profile page.


    Hunter was an awesome person. But the truth is the truth.

    He left his life like an unfinished sente

  6. “Hemingway did his best work when he felt he was standing on something solid—like an Idaho mountainside or a sense of conviction.

    Perhaps he found what he came here for, but the odds are huge that he didn’t. He was an old, sick, and very troubled man, and the illusion of peace and contentment was not enough for him—not even when his friends came up from Cuba and played bullfight with him in the Tram. So finally, and for what he must have thought the best of reasons, he ended it with a shotgun.”

    -Hunter S. Thompson, What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?

    Here’s to you, Hunter. I’m doing my damnedest to keep the American Dream alive. No one has taught me love for my country like you have.

  7. @Rossifumi comment #1

    You might call me a conspiracy nut but he did have several run in’s with high power government officials. One so-called incident that sits weird with me is an involvement with Bohemian Grove. I do not know if it was true. There is nothing that points yes or no. Foul play may be suspect but who really knows.

    I say remember the good.

  8. Rossifumi:

    I feel he would say the same thing about himself.

    Stop putting words into the doctor’s mouth.

    HST was against just this kind of sanctimony and hypocrisy (i.e., “cool random human being” + “coward and a loser”).

    If you believe he was a coward for eating a bullet, then go all the way and wash your hands of him, purge him from your life and memory.

    BUT — if you have the intestinal fortitude to accept Thompson on his terms, then take his life and death as a whole. He walked his walk; he died as he lived. How many people do you know can claim the same level of self-consistency throughout their lives?

    There are two kinds of suicides: the Cry For Help and Those Who Mean It. Thompson meant it. That takes balls.

  9. Why does suicide make you a loser???

    Suicide is a very personal choice and I don’t think it should be looked down upon always.

    Sure it sucks for his fans and people who wanted to read more of his work, but Christ, maybe there was just no other way to find peace for him.

    I mean it’s not like Hemingway who claimed to be a devout Catholic and value endurance above all else.

    But even as the quote from HST above says, Hemingway was troubled and sick, survived two plane crashes with a questionable amount of memory loss or brain damage.

    Unless you are going to argue from a Judeo-Christian perspective, I don’t see what’s wrong with suicide.

  10. There are two very decent philosophical essays on suicide I remember reading, one by David Hume, and one by Schopenhauer. Neither could be published at the time because of the controversy, and I seem to remember there being internet versions, but I can’t find them. Basically though, the taboo against suicide in European culture, they argued, was entirely a Christian phenomenon since we know the Romans were all about it. At the end of the day right, we’re all going to kick it, so if you’ve had your fill, I don’t see the problem with doing it on your own terms, when the time comes. It’s being a crybaby about it I have a problem with. Seriously, help is available if you look for it, so look for it, and sort yourself out.

  11. Hunter was the definition of a man who lived by his own rules and his choice to die by his own rules rather than wither away is something I applaud.

  12. @Rossifumi #6: I kinda think we ALL leave life like an unfinished sentence, unfortunately.

    Perhaps it’s only the people who choose the ending themselves that are putting the punctuation on it.

    At any rate, I am also looking forward to seeing this flick. I think HST was one of the good guys.

  13. We miss you, Uncle Hunter.

    @ Rossifumi: There is nothing braver than living life on your own terms. Hunter felt his time was up, and chose *not* to wait for his body to realise this, and I’m glad he did it. The idea of him wasting away in a hospital bed breaks my heart.

  14. i wonder if the film discusses Thompson’s final interview ( i forget the interviewer’s name) , but in it he talks about a white house pedophile scandal he was working on. he was VERY hesitant to talk about it, saying he was worried about being ‘suicided’, as this is the prefferred way of this admin’s dealing with dissention amongst their ranks. less than 1 week later, whilst talking to his wife on the phone and in mid sentence, ‘boom’. i find the whole suicide argument ( there was no note) a bit flimsy. just my opinion. he was one of my very favorite authors. he is missed.

  15. “Why does suicide make you a loser???”

    In this case it’s because Thompson’s six year old grandson was not only in the house at the time he shot himself, but in an adjacent room. Why on earth would anyone subject a child to such a thing?! Imagine what goes through the mind of a little boy as he witnesses the wailing screams as the parent discovers the body, the confusion and chaos of trying to administer help until paramedics arrive, the sight of brains splattered on the floor, not to mention the possibility of having the bullet pass through a wall and hitting someone in the next room. Hunter Thompson was a fool in that regard.

  16. Conspiracy theories aside, if this was “euthanasia” it was done extremely poorly. You don’t kill yourself in mid-conversation with your wife in a family room while other members of your family, including children, are around. If you have the strength to face your mortality then you arrange for it to have as little negative impact on those around you as possible. At the very least this smacks of poor impulse control.

  17. “You don’t kill yourself in mid-conversation with your wife in a family room while other members of your family, including children, are around.”

    its a good thing he didn’t do that then.

  18. I’d love to hear you guys talk about cowardice while suffering from a painful medical condition. If fact, I believe I can set it up…

  19. I’m really looking forward to this.

    I don’t think he’s a coward in any respect, though.
    He had many documented ideas on suicide and explained his ways very well. Check your wild comments.

  20. “You don’t kill yourself in mid-conversation with your wife in a family room while other members of your family, including children, are around.”

    its a good thing he didn’t do that then.

    I’m not sure about the family room part, but it’s true that he was in mid-conversation with his wife and that other family members were nearby when he shot himself.

  21. you know, most of us only get one shot at suicide. Isn’t it only fair to cut people some slack for not getting it totally perfect? I mean, how do you think you would do? In my experience, everything takes practice to be good at. Most of us tend to dislike regular suicide trainees so isn’t it only reasonable that the vast majority of people who suicide are going to be somehow less than optimal in performance?

  22. Suicide’s got nothing to do with the man’s work. That ultimate personal decision is none of our business. Our business as readers is: how is the work?

    Not so good, I’m afraid, but when well-fueled he could spin out a dazzling, godawful sentence. I don’t think he’ll be picking up any new fans in the next generation. His work isn’t serious enough or driven by a major talent; instead of the social criticism the times deserved, he wrote mostly social gossip. Next, someone is going to claim Charles Bukowski was a great poet.

    It was the 70s, people, nothing was what it seemed.

  23. Through early morning fog I see
    visions of the things to be
    the pains that are withheld for me
    I realize and I can see…
    that suicide is painless
    It brings on many changes
    and I can take or leave it if I please.
    I try to find a way to make
    all our little joys relate
    without that ever-present hate
    but now I know that it’s too late, and…
    The game of life is hard to play
    I’m gonna lose it anyway
    The losing card I’ll someday lay
    so this is all I have to say.
    The only way to win is cheat
    And lay it down before I’m beat
    and to another give my seat
    for that’s the only painless feat.
    The sword of time will pierce our skins
    It doesn’t hurt when it begins
    But as it works its way on in
    The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…
    A brave man once requested me
    to answer questions that are key
    is it to be or not to be
    and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’
    ‘Cause suicide is painless
    it brings on many changes
    and I can take or leave it if I please.
    …and you can do the same thing if you please.

  24. “I’m not sure about the family room part, but it’s true that he was in mid-conversation with his wife and that other family members were nearby when he shot himself.”

    “Family room” was a poor choice of terms in my post. I meant any room the whole family generally has access to. Including the kitchen, where his body was found. Maybe “common room” would be more appropriate.

    There is a segment of fans that believe there was a conspiracy around Thompson’s death. Perhaps that’s what Cpt. Tim believes?

  25. Look, I like the man, his books were fun, and he made a lasting impression on lots of people, including myself.

    BUT the man was selfish. As stated earlier, his grandson was in the adjacent room. He didn’t give a shit about that, and that makes the man a selfish coward.

    And, no, suicide does NOT put a punctuation on your life.

    A punctuation on your life is having your family be there to see you out, not taking your own life because your ego was too big to fit in your own little head.

    Part of me wants to also believe that he killed himself because he knew people would remember THAT instead of the aforementioned withered old man on the hospital bed.

    and #9

    A] I admire the man’s work, he was indeed a cool random human.

    B] I don’t have to wash my hands of an author that I have never met.

    C] And it takes balls to see life through to the last breath, not to end it when you are fed up.


    and that DOES NOT make you a hero, that makes you a coward.

  26. @29, on what grounds?

    That “for no reason other than I had a toothache” kind of reenforces my position. “Hmm, even though medical science is TOTALLY capable of diagnosing and treating this minor oral discomfort, I think I’ll launch myself off a bridge to my death, rather than contribute anything further/at all to humanity, or make any attempt at personal advancement. And off I GOOOOOoooooo—!”

  27. Wow, I never thought I would see so much activism against suicide on Boing Boing! I haven’t seen that many posts about euthanasia and such, but characterizing Hunter S. Thompson as a “loser” and evolutionarily deficient… just, wow.

    Your life (and your body) is your own, do with it as thou wilt.

  28. My opinion on HST: He’s a cool guy, who did some amazing things. He had fantastic viewpoints and I find his work fascinating. I’ll see this movie when I can, because it looks phenomenal. Fear and Loathing is one of my most favorite things ever.

    (Two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, laughers, screamers… Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls.)

  29. Dear Gainclone:

    #28 on grounds of needless mean-spirit. We are all human here and we all deserve the benefit of the doubt – and compassion as well. Did you consider the emotional impact of your statement on the loved ones of someone recently dead by their own hand? I find you lacking in style here.

    #34 People need to be reasonably responsible for what they say. Sometimes a spirited,well thought out, nuanced and researched response (with foot notes),sometimes an apology, sometimes a strategic retreat,sometimes even silence. Opinion and comment is free. No one has told Rossifumi to shut up. I have asked him to put up, though.

  30. “No one has told Rossifumi to shut up. I have asked him to put up, though.”

    Nice phraseology, Takuan. I’m too laid back for these discussions, so I’m out.

    Just try not to take things too seriously while I’m gone, OK? And I know I can trust you all not to start a flame war.

  31. “Put up” to what?

    I am living this life, and so are you [follow my logic here] and we will be faced with many trials and tribulation [still with me right?] and if we conquer these trials and tests we become a better person when we are at death’s door step.

    Now if we skip and ignore these trials and tests, then we have nothing to show for ourselves when we are entering death.

    This view point assumes that you believe in God, if you do not, then please ignore my comments.

    And again, if you look at what I have said, I reiterate that I loved the man’s literary works [or social gossip…whatever] I simply detest the fact he took the easy way out.

    It is actually HST that failed to “put up” after all of his long-winded narratives about this life and society in general.

    I went through these same arguments when Kurt Cobain pulled a Hemingway. I loved the man’s work, but despised his actions.

  32. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to suicide knows there is nothing philosophical about it. The act has a devastating effect on family, friends – a wound that lasts forever and never heals. The stages of grief – anger in particular – take on a whole new meaning. There’s absolutely nothing romantic or liberating about it.

  33. Dear Rossifumi

    What if you die as a child? Are you then found wanting as “untested”? Does the god you subscribe to see life as nothing but test and trial?

    I was more interested in any direct life experience you might be willing to share.

  34. But apparently if a relatively talented person does it, then it’s considered cool.

    Sometimes I feel like this is 7th grade.

  35. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to suicide knows there is nothing philosophical about it.

    Other people don’t exist to make you feel good or to reinforce your reality. They exist for themselves. Their lives belong to them. And the decision to end it belongs to them and to them alone. You can accept that their suffering was greater than their desire to keep you happy, or you can accept that their desire to keep you happy might not have been that great all along.

  36. “cool”? Try to imagine yourself old and sick. Nevermind about before that, that is said and done and over. You. Now. Sick. Old. Do you think you will care about “cool”?

    Have you attended the dying?

  37. Man, so many facts wrong it’s hard to list them all.

    For one, he didn’t kill himself with a shotgun. It was a .44 or .45 revolver that he used. In fact, after finding the body, his son went and got a shotgun and fired some bursts into the air to signify his father’s passing.

    Secondly, I’m sure he wanted to do it with his family in an adjacent room, as he wanted them to find him. I’d be pretty sure that he wouldn’t want to hurt any of his family, especially his grandson who he doted on.

    His kitchen was basically his den – his sanctum sanctorum. That’s why he chose that place.

    Some people got it right though. He left this life on his own terms, and I think he had that right – regardless of the fact that he was a selfish bastard frequently.

  38. Takuan,

    The Capital G God I subscribe to tests those who CAN be tested, not the innocent prepubescent souls you speak of.

    And I haven’t had a person in my life kill themselves, but about 3 friends have had it in their lives. One friend’s dad because he found out his wife was cheating, my best friend’s best friend before me who hung himself because he went delusional, and my mom’s cousin who was not allowed to marry the man she wanted.

    All these events brought great tragedy to many lives. Nothing glorious or heroic about it.

    They could not deal, so they folded.

    And #42. That’s what we call selfish. NO HUMAN is content alone. We all live for others as well as ourselves. When we take ourselves as a greater importance than others, then we are being ego driven selfish little bitches.

    When you live for just yourself, you live as long as your life is, but when you live for others too, you are immortal, you live in their thoughts, and in their actions, and in their words.

  39. Krykee doodle!

    That’s all we need in this society – a glorification of this depressed, drunken, misogynistic, anti-social, cantankerous, and now dead, mean old S.O.B. who’s only claim to fame was writing books that attract other depressed, drunken, misogynistic, anti-social, cantankerous, mean old S.O.B.s!!

    What a waste.

  40. a fine mesh indeed your god sieves with… have a care you fit.

    First: Peace be upon the souls of a father, a friend and a cousin. Loss of love, madness…

    You use the word “folded”. You make judgment. I agree with you we live for each other. Why do you think you can understand all that was in these person’s hearts and minds? Can’t you accept possible error on your part?

  41. At the risk of getting sucked into this philosophical quagmire, I’d like to suggest that Rossifumi is tirelessly defending a pointless argument. The ‘suicide=cowardly loser’ equation is merely a bad sports analogy that has little to say about life. The forces that push someone toward suicide cannot be so easily simplified.
    I loved HST ever since I stole my dad’s copy of F&L in Las Vegas at age 12. He lived life balls-out and made no apologies, and I think he left it the same way. I would never think of suicide for even a moment, but I would never think less of someone who did.

  42. “Other people don’t exist to make you feel good or to reinforce your reality. They exist for themselves. Their lives belong to them. And the decision to end it belongs to them and to them alone.”

    Can’t speak for the others here, since I expect we approach this subject rather differently. But how and why the person chooses to commit suicide has a tremendous impact on how they are judged for the act.

    Just ask the families affected by EgyptAir flight 990. Yes, it’s an extreme case. But the “how” of someone’s suicide reflects on them. When a suicide negative affects other people it will be judged harshly.

    Judgment reflects more on the one doing the judging than those being judged. So I’ll reserve mine since I never knew the man. But, the act could definitely have been done better and with less impact on the family. The fact that it came as a surprise and left a mess to be cleaned up attests to that.

  43. My point is not necessarily an argument, but a viewpoint. I liked this guy, but I feel he did the opposite of what he lived for because it was easier.

    He did not want to fade away, and he took it in his own hands to do what he did.

    When I say he “folded” I make an observation, not a judgment. He ended it. That is folding.

  44. The trailer sparks my interest, and I’m sure I’ll see it in some format, but it hardly looks “incredible”. Seems like standard documentary fare-some journalistic and personal footage, some filmed interviews-where’s the “incredible”. Try ‘Thin Blue Line’-a documentary that blew up how documentarys are made, and got an innocent guy out of prison. Now that’s “incredible”.

    Still, goes along with all the self-described “hilarious” postings that bb gives us.

  45. Gainclone @ 27:

    Suicide is nature’s way of isolating and eliminating the weak and useless.

    So you and Rossifumi are working on that together or separately? Best of luck to you both.

    Rossifumi: that whole “when you live for others too, you are immortal . . . ” is bunk.

    There are hundreds of millions of dead who lived their lives for others, yet remain nameless, faceless — and will stay so forever. The vast majority of today’s altruists will join those worthy ranks, too.

    Conversely, there are dozens of selfish, lunatic jackasses whose names we remember, yet they lived only for themselves.

    No matter which category you fancy yourself in, I can’t forget you soon enough.

  46. Just ask the families affected by EgyptAir flight 990.< ?i>

    But that’s not a suicide. It’s a homicide with suicide as collateral damage. We really should stop saying suicide bomber (or whatever) and start saying homicide bomber. It would be a more accurate description since there’s usually more murder than suicide involved.

  47. First I begin by giving my respects to HST. I love his work. It has become a part of me.
    When I first heard of his suicide, I was sad, but not at all shocked. I certainly did not judge him. I try really hard to not judge those who have passed on, especially based on how they died.
    Come on, show some respect. Yes, he killed himself. Yes, that affects his family and friends in a huge way. Suicide does that. His family is dealing with it, and who the hell are we to judge?
    Does his suicide diminish the value of his work? Of course not. I don’t think any less or more of him based on the “shameful” way he died. Hell, if I did that, I wouldn’t be a fan of….. Plath, Poe, Joplin, oh…I can’t list them all. Well, you get my point.

  48. I watched this documentary just 2 weeks ago at SIFF. It’s quite good, with a large part dedicated to fear and loathing on the campaign trail. I’d recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in Hunter.

  49. Still, goes along with all the self-described “hilarious” postings that bb gives us.

    And yet you keep coming back, when it’s obviously not your cup of tea?

  50. i wonder if anything is left of the article he was working on that he discussed in his final interview. i would be very interested in reading it. having just lost a good friend to suicide ( gunshot to the head), i certainly went through the entire DABDA range. with a long time spent on anger. but having reached a certain acceptance i have to say that it was his decision, he made it, and if there are afterlife consequences, he will have to deal with them. however, HST’s suicide still ring’s false with me. either way, my condolences to his family, and i hope he gets his chance to rest in peace.

  51. Problem with having guns around the house makes suicide more probable…amongst other things. Suicide is what you make of it that is IMO it’s a choice but if I’m ever found like that assume foul play…and I’ll try to stop you if I catch you trying something like it around me…
    Hunter like all of us was /is a man of his times
    And what times they were…
    but times change and move relentlessly like a shark
    Should judge people by their best moments and
    Some of Hunter’s were among the best ever
    People see what they can no point in blaming any for blindness
    Can lead horses to water but you can’t make them see…

  52. “Other people don’t exist to make you feel good or to reinforce your reality. They exist for themselves. Their lives belong to them. And the decision to end it belongs to them and to them alone.”

    If a person lives like that, it would be considered selfish, so why is it not selfish when applied to death? If you have family members, it is a selfish act. Plain and simple.

  53. I think everyone needs to cut Rossifumi some slack as it’s obvious that he has never been in a position where he has been seriously depressed enough to think about such things.

    Rossifumi: Consider yourself lucky and try not to comment so much on things you have no understanding of. You will look like less of a fool to others. What happened was tragic, but comments like yours are simply naive and unhelpful.

    As for the whole suicide is selfish debate. Most people are selfish, even many of those that try no to be. If you go down that path, then you can also apply selfishness to those that are left behind.

  54. “When you live for just yourself, you live as long as your life is, but when you live for others too, you are immortal, you live in their thoughts, and in their actions, and in their words.”

    Is the desire for being immortal and living in peoples thoughts not considered selfish? Or is the expectation of people not killing themselves because of you, or because they will make your life more difficult not considered selfish either?

    I mean, suicides are as selfish as expecting people not to kill themselfs because of what you will feel.

    But then again, I have not personally kwown people who have killed themselfs.

  55. Suicide is the ultimate act of self-determination. It’s rarely a consultative event because everybody tells you not to do it. But it’s your life. It’s your decision. If my life is hell, I’m not going to maintain it to keep other people happy. I worked in a hospital for twenty years and saw people living in torment because their loved ones didn’t want to let go. That’s selfish.

  56. Thompson was a romantic and a maniac. As in: someone who experiences (or suffers from, however you’d like to look at it) mania. I think people are ascribing a lot more forethought to his decision to end his life than was probably there. I think it was impulsive and a consequence of an ongoing condition that is evident and pervasive in his writing, in interviews, and in his general behavior. Impulsiveness was the man’s MO. I think there was something neurochemical going on and it wasn’t just the drugs–I think he suffered from mania and hypomania.

    He had this romantic idea of what an outlaw was, and it was a very convincing and sexy argument, and a lot of people bought into it. His irreverence was as much a performance as it was genuine–If you take an honest look at what drove many of his stories, a lot of it was just self-generated drama.

    He wrote with wit, and had a talent for language, but I don’t know that I admire the way he risked his health and life to feed his need for drama. Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas is a fun read, but if there is any truth to what he wrote, the book describes a desperate and sad attempt to feed this need for a sense of excitement and danger in his life. Almost killing yourself to experience something “edgy” isn’t any more profound than getting the right neurotransmitters to fire in just the right way to make you feel whatever it is you’re chasing. It’s no more profound than a rat in a skinner box.

    Romanticizing this behavior is an exercise in banality. He was a clever and progressive writer, but his self-destructive lifestyle didn’t make him a better writer. It didn’t make him a lesser human being either, but I do believe that he wasn’t making choices in the way that people who don’t suffer from mania make choices. I don’t know that he preferred to live that way so much as he just didn’t have any other choice.

  57. #65 posted by soupisgoodfood

    My viewpoint is shared by many who have known people that killed themselves.

    Hunter S Thompson could talk the talk, but apparently old age was much stronger of a drug then LSD, Mescaline, and all that other fun stuff.

    As far as being selfish, when you live for other people you are not thinking about yourself. And if they remember you, then that is simply a bi-product of being such a person.

    I will always remember Hunter S. Thompson as that guy who made his living off of doing a buncha drugs, and infiltrating the Hell’s Angels, but could not handle gray hairs.

    It shows the world that no matter how much of a badass he wanted to look like, he was still a pussy on the inside because he could not handle life.

    That’s a coward no matter how you look at it, and it is actually a bit more naive to glorify such an individual.

    What really gets me is that he was a couple of years away from dying anyway, it’s not like he had to “suffer” from his drug tortured manic soul forever.


    Whatever, he’s dead anyway.

  58. still haven’t heard from any out there about thompson’s last investigative piece on the g.w. bush white house pedophile ring. any takers?

  59. I wonder how many of the people who talk about HST taking the “coward’s way out” a) are envious of him for living the life that they fantasize about, but don’t have the guts to live out themselves, and/or b) have struggled with suicidal thoughts themselves, and want to hold onto their decision to live as something that they have over HST? Just a thought.


    So HST’s suicide characterizes him as a “pussy”? I disagree about that. In my opinion, it takes a certain amount of courage to face your mortality head on, especially if you’re a terminal case or sick to the point where you know you’ll never be any better. It beats watching your parent waste away in a hospital bed (I’ve done that twice. It’s not a good trip.). Some folks would rather have it one way or another.

    Brian Keith shot himself. Would you consider him a pussy? He had terminal cancer. His cards were dealt. My brother-in-law’s father did the same thing. Both of these men fought in WWII. Would you call them pussies?

    HST did what he wanted and I say to heck with you for thinking you can dictate how someone else chooses to live or die.

    And for the record… I love pussy. What’s so bad about it that you think it’s a negative?

  61. “What really gets me is that he was a couple of years away from dying anyway, it’s not like he had to “suffer” from his drug tortured manic soul forever.”

    Again you’re ascribing a decision making process to him that I don’t believe was there.

    I don’t believe you understand the concept of mania. Mania often feels good. It can be an intense, often euphoric feeling. Sometimes it’s a paranoid and desperate feeling. People who have manias often like their manias while they’re happening. Often it’s not the FEELING of mania that people suffer from, but its consequences. It can effect your behavior and decision making process in a big way.

    Some people who suffer from mania shop obsessively and spend way beyond their means, some people abuse drugs, or become extremely and sometimes dangerously sexually promiscuous, some people take extreme risks. To say that people who experience mania are making the same kinds of decisions that they would when they’re not experiencing this condition is to completely miscomprehend the condition. It’s like being under the influence of a mind-altering drug that you didn’t choose to take, and weren’t aware that you were taking.

    In his declining years, Hunter’s drug of choice was alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and I think he was self-medicating. He may have enjoyed his manias sometimes, but my guess is that he used alcohol to temper them, but alcohol does not make mania go away.

    From what I’ve heard about the circumstances surrounding his death, I don’t honestly believe that this was something he deliberated over in a rational way, or with great consideration and care. I believe this decision and the impulsiveness that drove the decision was a result of a neurochemical condition. Not the result of some deep philosophical decision, or an inability to endure in a larger sense, but the wrong neurochemicals firing at the wrong time.

    Some illnesses are not as obviously debilitating as cancer, or heart disease–some diseases effect the way you make decisions, the way you think, the way you process things. Mental illness is real and common, and it’s not like the way they portray it on TV and in movies. Often it’s not obvious because it’s not aberrant–it’s just the way we’ve become accustomed to seeing that person’s behavior. It’s just the way they are. Hunter was able to survive with his condition with tenacity and a great deal of luck, but ultimately it took him in a way that other diseases don’t. It may have seemed like it was by his own hand, but he wasn’t driving the car.

  62. JED, your point is well taken.

    MAX, it’s sad to hear about those WWII vets taking their own lives. And I don’t mean to call such people “pussies,” it’s just the case of someone that defies death all his life only to give in to it later by his own hands.

    JACK, I think we are all a little envious of HST’s adventures, but my comments are not fueled by envy.

    And the second part of your statement is funny to me. I am here defending life, and trying not to glorify suicide.

    My personal opinion about suicide is that it is very, very effin’ stupid to say the least. Those WWII vets, my heart goes out to them, but damn man, if you are diagnoses with terminal cancer then you are on the doorstep of death anyway, WHY the hell would you expedite it not knowing what lies on the other side?

    It’s like cutting off your hand because of a blister, WTF! Is this idea so hard to understand?

    Death is like Life, it is NOT supposed to be in your control. And to embrace something that is NOT in your control is what makes you strong in this life. To try and control these things signifies you are afraid of the natural process.

    But if JED if true in that HST’s death was just chemically induced impulse, then I guess you could say he was murdered by years of drug use, but I find that a little hard to believe, because I have read HST’s mental narrative, and I simply believe he was much smarter and deeper than that.

  63. “The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one’s aim is to die a dog’s death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one’s aim.
    We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaming one’s aim is a dog’s death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he pains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.”

  64. That’s why there ain’t no more damn Samurai left.

    Ntr hs gd wy f gttng rd f ths wh dn’t wnt t b hr.

  65. Rossifumi, you have to be less careless. If you decline to read and think about what others offer, why should they pay attention to you?

    Yes, there are no samurai today, just as there are no knights and many other types of people. How long was their time? How long has your times been? Value systems are not laws of nature.

  66. Pshaaw. Tom Cruise is still alive innit.

    Rossi, the way you say what is and isn’t supposed to happen–were you one of the ones got that limited edition rule book to life when you were born? Diff’rent strokes, my friend. There’s a reason they call death the undiscovered country [from which no traveller returns etc]. At some point, we all have to face up to death. Sucks, yeah, but no way around it. It’s the biggest deal for any individual, and I don’t think anyone ever understands it, but if one thing can be called natural, it’s death, in whatever form it takes.

  67. “But if JED if true in that HST’s death was just chemically induced impulse, then I guess you could say he was murdered by years of drug use, but I find that a little hard to believe, because I have read HST’s mental narrative, and I simply believe he was much smarter and deeper than that.”

    I believe that Thompson’s mania preceded his drug use. I don’t believe that his suicide or his other impulsive behavior was specifically motivated by drug use.

    If you’ve read his “mental narrative” than I would think that you would be able to see the manic energy that drives it. Mania can be very lucid–it intensifies experience, and I don’t believe it made him any less smart or deep.

    An impulsive act driven by a preexisting condition that compels you to do impulsive things doesn’t make you any less smart or deep, but it doesn’t give you much time to deliberate while their happening. Sometimes acting in the moment could be a great adventure for Thompson–other times it resulted in poor decisions that he couldn’t take back, like shooting a vending machine with a rifle because it didn’t give him his quarter back. That particular decision resulted in jail time and compulsory military service. His last impulsive decision resulted in the end of his life, and is very consistent with his history.

    Mental illness, without treatment, is outside of the control of the person who suffers from it, no matter how brilliant they are. It’s even less in your control when you and the people around you can’t even identify that you have a mental illness. For most of the people who knew him, that was just Hunter.

  68. TAKUAN,

    I understand the way of the Samurai. Their value of suicide was high, and this value did not exist in Knights and other people.

    And do not think I am not comprehending what you are saying, I am simply opposing it as a failed set of values. Any system where the aim is death for lack of a better aim is not a system.


    Nobody gave me a book on what’s supposed to happen, I simply observe nature, and nature has yet to show me suicide as a part of it’s system. Suicide is a man-made action.

  69. Bees. Bees commit suicide when they sting. What about Lemmings? Spawning Salmon?

    People just have more complicated reasons. And since when are human beings not part of nature? It’s pretty weird and arrogant to assume that somehow we’re separate from the rest of nature and the ecosystem. We’re not the first organism to screw up its own environment, or to be the cause or potential cause of its own extinction. What about the microorganisms that generated the first oxygen molecules that caused their own extinction?

    Anything that we do is nature by its very nature.

  70. I appreciate your posts on the subject, Jed. Although I never met the man I’ll be camping next week with someone that has. And I’ll relay your well thought out analysis of him to her to see what she says.

    Her stories of how he acted in public places, airports in particular, versus how he was in private reinforced my personal feeling that above all else he sought attention. And had low impulse control. It sounds like this may correlate well with your theory of mania and could lessen the negativity I feel towards his suicide.

    As for the discussion of the samurai, Rossifumi, I’ve always seen their approach to death not as fatalistic, but as accepting. The root of their view on the matter wasn’t that they rush towards death, but they not fear it. They couldn’t fulfill their duties as a samurai if they feared death. As surely as we can’t really live life to the fullest if we can’t conquer our fear.

  71. Oh, and just to throw out another $.02 on the subject, I don’t believe that anthropomorphizing natural systems and behaviors of animals proves that suicide is “natural.” I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that this trait is something we share with any other animals out there. But I am open to change my view if compelling evidence is provided.

  72. Rossifumi,

    You keep saying the same things over and over and over. I think, at this point, we all get your opinion on suicide.

  73. Alexander,

    You’ve nailed it. Hunter’s mania, resulting in a difficult personality and a difficult life. I knew him briefly, but it was risky to be around him because he lived a dangerous life.


    Suicide scares you, doesn’t it? It should, but it’s not for the cowardly. Sixty-three years ago hundreds of young Japanese men climbed aboard flying bombs, and in defense of their country flew them into an assembled American naval fleet, killing thousands of the enemy and sinking thirty-five of their ships. Are men who turn themselves into bombs cowards? Was this an act of mass cowardice?
    I doubt that you know a thing about either courage or cowardice, son, only what you’ve read. Be here now!

  74. as far as the comment that only man commits suicide: i saw with my own eyes, an eastern diamondback rattlesnake kill itself after being put on display in front of a bunch of cage rattling, glass tapping, elementary school kids. thing just got so flustered he bit himself in the midsection and was dead in less then a minute. i’ve since heard from others into herpetology that this action is not as uncommon as one might think. still waiting to hear any news on HST’s last article. anyone?

  75. “Conspiracy of Silence: D.C.pedophilia, banned Discovery Channel show pedophile ring

    post Jan 4 2007, 11:43 PM
    Post #1
    Must be seen to be believed. I never would have believed had I not watched it myself.
    This is actually true, a real made-for-television documentary

    This film was made to be aired on the Discovery Channel , but high-level political
    interference and pressure cancelled its airing.

    I can see why certain powerful people did not want this aired. It documents the
    existence of an organized homosexual pedophile ring prostituting orphans to the
    rich & powerful of Washington, D.C.”

  76. Rossifumi, you don’t know jack about suicide. People do it for wide range of reasons.

    Don’t blame your god for your opinions — not when you’re crediting “nature” as one of the reasons suicide happens. It’s obvious that you’ve got issues with the subject. The coward here is you, because you project your issues onto others — in this case, Hunter S. Thompson — instead of dealing with them yourself.

    You had a comment @47 that was exceptionally ill thought out. You were describing suicides that have affected people near you:

    …my best friend’s best friend before me who hung himself because he went delusional…

    You think he was a coward? It sounds to me like he was unbalanced, or deranged, or whatever word you prefer that means “not responsible for his actions.”

    Have you ever dealt with things like intractable pain, severe long-term depression, outliving everyone close to you, or the loss of your faculties? If not, how dare you presume?

    Greg @60: Yes; but there’s not a lot I can do about it.

    Regarding Hunter S. Thompson: I don’t much care about the man as a rebel, but he was one hell of a nonfiction writer. I’ve lost track of the young writers I’ve seen try to imitate him, and fail. Re-read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas sometime and keep track of the repetitions and variations of themes and bits of languge within the narrative.

  77. It documents the existence of an organized homosexual pedophile ring prostituting orphans to the rich & powerful of Washington, D.C.

    I think that I read that series in the Authoritarian section at

  78. thank u so very much, oh High one! for a sec there i thought i was dreaming it! the kinda thing that was discussed seemed like a reasonable enough reason to be ‘suicided’. who knows for sure? HST, but he ain’t talkin’.

  79. #61 by jmh sez:

    “And yet you keep coming back, when it’s obviously not your cup of tea?”

    You’re right, of course. Only those willing and able to nod agreeably to a particular post should comment.

    When will I learn?

  80. #69 posted by Rossifumi:

    My point was the people who are thinking about killing themselves are often experiencing severe depression and therefore aren’t thinking very well. In fact, their thoughts may be too paralysed to think about anything else. Severe depression is a major psychological/neurological disorder that can completely change a someone’s personality and essentially shutdown their normal brain function.

    And please, dump your whole superiority thing while you’re at it — people who have been through this may be a lot stronger than you ever will be.

    I’m sorry if people you know have killed themselves, but writing them off as cowards show that perhaps you never really understood what they were going through. No body expects you to unless you have experienced it yourself, but it is expected of you to understand when you can’t relate to something.

  81. There is no doubt that Hunter Thompson was a remarkable human being. He is so very far from the norm that his writing intrigues us all. I agree with many of the posted comments here. I do not, however, think Thompson was in any way a coward. If any of you were really familiar with his work you would be quick to agree that he is in fact quite “ballsy” if you will. It isn’t like his suicide should surprise anyone who knew the man. If you really knew H.S.T. and his work you would have been surprised that he made it as far as he did. Ralph Steadman, a colleague and serious friend of Hunter’s is quoted as saying, “He told me 25 years ago that he would feel real trapped if he didn’t know that he could commit suicide at any moment. I don’t know if that is brave or stupid or what, but it was inevitable. I think that the truth of what rings through all his writing is that he meant what he said. If that is entertainment to you, well, that’s OK. If you think that it enlightened you, well, that’s even better. If you wonder if he’s gone to Heaven or Hell — rest assured he will check out them both, find out which one Richard Milhous Nixon went to — and go there. He could never stand being bored. But there must be Football too — and Peacocks…”The debate over whether or not his suicide was justified is irrelevant. These kinds of arguments reflect any common and ultimately unsolvable moral dilemma. Is abortion justified? Is stem cell research justified? Is euthanasia justified? It is obvious to anyone that those of you who quickly call Thompson a coward have no concept of pain, no concept of suffering, and ultimately no concept of the true, gritty, and realistic darkness of the world around you. Anyone who has ever indulged in any facet of Thompson’s work can say, without hesitation, that he was a very substantial thinker and a powerful source in not only the political field, but also any journalistic field. Quite frankly, I must admit, these types of message boards repulse me. Scroll through this page and you will find any number of assholes that are unfamiliar with Thompson, Thompson’s work, or Thompson’s personality. I would especially like to address the number one post. How in the fuck are you going to call him “cool” and a “cowardly loser” in the same post? I respect any common opinion as such, but how can you contradict yourself in such an obviously ridiculous manor. This type of ignorance discredits your entire opinion. Quite frankly, you sound like a seriously moronic asshole. Your closed mindedness of the situation demonstrates my point. You cannot simply watch a single documentary and start judging one of the most influential journalists of all time… I mean honestly for fuck sakes… Who do you think you are?! I sure as hell know that I’ve never heard your name in my entire life. Sadly I am not here to attack personal outlooks however (sorry #1… Haaa), but I am here to express my own feelings for the Doc H.S.T. He was an undoubted voice of a generation… especially with any regard to political, athletic, or civil matters. For fellow fans like #’s 4, 5, & 7 I respect you all. At the same time it would be insane for any of us to admit, without a doubt, that Thompson’s methodology wasn’t extremely creative, destructive, violent, and most importantly affective and unique. – That is what draws the masses of “different” types of thinkers to his special style. Try and imagine creating such a prominent journalistic character. Next try to imagine your life after stardom actually sets in. Imagine the constant struggle trying to decide whether a specific job requires Duke or Thompson. Thomson has often referred to the real Hunter Stockton Thompson as “an unnecessary appendage” that would be better off, for the both of them, dead. Thompson’s was a style that was prominent, violent, and sharp… It is and will always remain… TRUE GONZO!! -_-_-_- You Will Be Missed & Respected Forever! -_-_-_- Let’s hope ol’ J-Depp gets on The Rum Diary already! – Last I heard it was due in 2010-He’d better hurry! He isn’t getting any younger. The Rum Diary takes place when H.S.T. is a relative youngster!
    Chris Landrus

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