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Dead Gonzo: Glorification of Suicide?

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As in life, there is a twlight blurring of the boundaries between Hunter S. Thompson as esteemed literary figure, and the actual person who lived on this earth. Even his family participates in the myth-making, buying into — at least publicly — the legitimacy and even heroism of his suicide, seeing it as a form of self-determination and consistent with his esprit de vive.

Among the statements, Douglas Brinkley, a historian and author who edited some of Thompson’s work, said the dead gonzo shot himself Sunday night after weeks of pain from a host of physical problems that included a broken leg and a hip replacement. “I think he made a conscious decision that he had an incredible run of 67 years, lived the way he wanted to, and wasn’t going to suffer the indignities of old age,” Brinkley told AP. “He was not going to let anybody dictate how he was going to die.”

So that’s a good thing?

His son, Juan, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and six year-old grandson, William, were visiting from Denver when he shot himself. His wife was at the gym. “He was trying to really bond and be close to the family,” Brinkley said. “This was not just an act of irrationality. It was a very pre-planned act.”

Again, all of this is good? What nightmares will the little boy have for the rest of his life? How will this influence his views on the sanctity of life. Suicides tend to run in family, you know, it’s a very contagious act.

Our Temple Stark tried to make these points in a long running thread about Thompson and his death and was excoriated for his efforts. Are Thompson’s admirers so blinded by fandom, by the allure of the myth, that they can’t separate the actions of the real person — a person who did all kinds of stupid destructive shit throughout his life (weaponry and inebriation being an unfortunate mix at best) — from the writer’s persona?

Now the family is looking to punctuate and celebrate the method of Thompson’s self-actualized demise by shooting his ashes out of a cannon. “There’s no question, I’m sure that’s what he would want,” said Mike Cleverly, a longtime friend and neighbor. “Hunter truly loved that kind of thing.” Indeed, he kept 44 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, black snubnosed Colt Pythons with bevelled cylinders, .22 calibre mounted machineguns, and explosives around the house for shits and giggles.

“Oh, sweet. I’d love to. I would so love to,” said Marc Williams, owner of Night Musick fireworks company and gonzo fan, regarding the proposed send-off. Williams suggested Thompson’s earthly remains be blasted from a 12-inch-diameter mortar 800 feet into the sky. A second monstrous blast would then scatter the ashes “amid a blossom of color 600 feet across … If you were going to light up a flash-bomb worthy of Hunter S. Thompson, you’d want to make it an earth-shaker,” Williams enthused to AP.

Celebrate the man’s work, a powerful, occasionally incandescent amalgam of close observation and hallucination, marvel at a strength of will that enbled him to get away with more than most any mortal, but don’t glorify suicide, the ultimate act of self-indulgence, self-absorption, and ultimately, failure of nerve, the latter of which strikes me as antithetical to Hunter S. Thompson’s real legacy – the easy way out is just that.

A private memorial service will be held March 5 in Aspen, with a public commemoration planned for spring or summer.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    According to a link I found on the Drudge Report, his family apparently had beverages while knowing HST’s corpse was stiffening a few feet away from them…

  • Eric Olsen

    either these people were changed by the magnet, or were like-minded souls drawn to it

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Drudge is a worthless fucking asshole. But Eric, yes yes, you are completely totally, 100 percent right. The suicide bothers me everytime I think of it. I reject it on religious and personal grounds, and all this shit about ending life “on your own terms” is reflective of a culture that is simply infatuated with death. There is nothing to respect about Thompson’s demise.

    I reprint here something I posted just last night on another site:

    Thompson’s son and daughter-in-law are “proud” of Dad’s exit, which has its own “beautifully dark logic,” they say:

    “I’ve known for many, many years that this is how Hunter would go,” Juan Thompson said. “There was just no question that when the time came he would choose to do it himself. The idea of Hunter lying in a hospital bed with tubes, gasping for breath, is so contrary to his whole life and purpose and drive.

    “It was just a question of when. This was a big surprise and I didn’t expect it to be now, but the means was exactly as we expected.”

    The daughter-in-law is “happy for Hunter. This is what he wanted.”

    Maybe they’re just trying to feel good about it, but they’re not alone. You see the sentiment repeated in one obit after the next: he went out “on his own terms.” See, these people think it’s really, you know, kinda cool that he went out the way he did, a kind of final way of thumbing your nose at God — I’ll decide when I go, old man, not you. It’s profoundly contemporary, atheistic, fashionable. Hip, with-it, aware people don’t play it out to the end; they grab their coats and go when the fourth or fifth act begins to drag. Our lives are ours. It’s a view that turns to life and says “You have nothing more to show me.”

    I don’t know if I can argue against this any more effectively or intelligently than to say I just don’t agree. The arrogance of it doesn’t impress me. I find myself wanting to write up a will that says “If I ever get to the point where I am physically and mentally incapicitated with nothing but a brain stem left and no chance of recovery whatsoever — do not pull the plug.” I think I’d prefer being a living corpse, if only to piss people off, to remain out of touch with rationalist groupthink to the bitter end. Maybe that, too, has it’s own beautifully dark logic.

  • Dawn

    I firmly believe that if you commit suicide you are indeed going to spend eternity in hell, but with one caveat -people dying of a terminal illness get a free pass.

    Seriously, how can we know God’s plan for us? Who knows what gifts we have left to give or what insight or change we can impart on the world? The reason I have a personal caveat to the “terminally ill” is because they do know God’s plan for them and with that knowledge comes a special gift to set things in order, say goodbye and allow loved one’s to accept the inevitable.

    What Thompson did and anyone who does so is circumventing the natural order of the universe and that has got to have a very dark consequence indeed.

  • Eric Olsen

    well said and I agree with you both, but Dawn even the “terminally ill” matter is a slippery slope. I don’t have much problem with what inreality happens all the time: doctors quietly making the decision to not prolong suffering VERY near the “natural” end, but like Rodney, I wouldn’t want that to be my decision.

    This whole “quality of life” argument is hopelessly arrogant: do all you can to improve your quality of life but don’t take the easy way out if you are not satisfied with the result.

  • Dawn

    I guess my opinion about the terminally ill is that until you know the pain and humility that comes with dying and the wasting away, surely even God can spare the beings that he so loves that burden to some degree.

    I have seen cancer ravage a person, steal their dignity and cause excruciating pain when all that lay ahead of them is more of the same, at some point, you have to let go and extending that kind of life borders on torture.

    That’s my perspective anyway.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Rodney, Somethings are easier said than done. My grandmother actually lived the life of ‘living corpse’ for six long years.And if you had lived with her you would have known that one doesnt need to die to know what hell is all about.

    Eric the quality of life argument is not arrogant.Not everyone like Christopher Reece lead positive lives till the very end.

    Many a times those in vegetative condition suffer all kinds of abuse and neglect even if the family members think that the care they are paying for is the best.

    I wish there was some way my grandmom’s suffering could have been shortened and I hope to god if I was suffer a similar fate my loved ones would have the courage to pull the plug. They would be doing me a big favor.

    And Dawn my faith in God was tested at the young age of nine because of my grnadmother’s illness. I am an atheist and dont believe in deliverance either by God or Santa Clause.

    People committ suicide because they lose hope and dont see anyway out. They need our compassion and not to be shown the fires of religious hell.

  • Eric Olsen

    SP, agreed that those suffering deserve our compassion, but that is not the same thing as applauding suicide. Certainly there is a strong religious component to much of the argument against suicide, but I don’t see how it can ever be viewed as anything but the easy way out and I am extremely skeptical that the meaning of life is ease.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Hell is other people?

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    I think the ‘where’ and the ‘how’ are equally important in comparing circumstances like this. Helping someone in intolerable pain at the tail end of a terminal illness by medical means is really different than leaving your brains on the wall for your loved ones to find.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I know this sounds callous but if it didnt have repercussions for his family as suicide generally does then it was his life and his to decide what he did with it.

    I am not applauding the act nor can I say all people see it as an easy way out. As a teenager I used to suffer from suicidal tendencies and the only reason why I wanted to end my life was because I couldnt deal with the misery after a certain point.

    I don’t know what was going through Thompson’s mind when he did it but saying that sometimes depression engulfs a person to an extent where life seems too unbearable one loses perspective and feel their life is not worth a dime.

    And the Japanese were known to glorify suicide take the kamakaze pilots or when the samurais were defeated in indigenous wars.
    It is only in the last century with western influence that suicide has become unacceptable in their culture.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    A piece I wrote on self-immolation may have some relevance here.

    HST – Kamikaze pilot!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    Swingingpuss, I do understand what you’re saying. I guess I take the view that once you’ve enmeshed your life with that of a spouse and/or children, your life actually isn’t your own to do what you want with.

  • Eric Olsen

    DA in 10: completely agree.

    SP, I don’t agree there is such a thing as “right to suicide.” I am not trying to imply any of this is easy or that there isn’t exceptional suffering that any of us would want to do almost anything to end, but I do think there is no such thing, morally, as nothing left to live for. Pain of all kinds can be mitigated and “miracles” (healing that cannot be explained medically) do occur. Thompson wasn’t even close to having a reasonable “excuse” as far as I’m concerned.

  • Dawn

    If I were brain dead – I sure don’t want to be left lying in some vegetative state to be robbed of dignity, possibly physically abused and to burden my family with my pointless expenses – sometimes (though rarely) there is no point in going on.

    Lucky for me though, my loved ones wouldn’t hesitate a second to relieve themselves of the burdens of my existence.

  • Eric Olsen

    are you kidding? laying there all silent and pretty like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White? we’d build you a glass case and sell tickets

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    I’d stay hooked up to the machines so long that the only way you could get rid of my ass is for a massive power failure, and even then I’d still stay on until the back-up generators breathed their last. And then I’d have a huge funeral, complete with a casket and a ferociously religious ceremony with lots of flowers.

    This is my idea of “dying on my own terms.”

    Suicide is for pussies.

  • Iris

    Good for him. Suicide is hardly an “easy way out.” Many agonize for years over the prospect, largely due to the tremendous stigma and potential legal ramifications of a failed attempt.

    The right to self-determination is about as fundamental of a right as you can get, and the one whence all others derive. (How can you possibly have a right to live without a corresponding right to die?)

    Those who demand that another live so as to contribute to the betterment of SOMEONE ELSE’S life are the selfish ones, not he who elects suicide.

    Good for Hunter. I am certain, if it is at all possible, he’s laughing his ass off at you folks.

  • Dawn

    Whatever – it’s a good thing I signed my Living Will – otherwise you people would be selling my organs on the black market and having orderlies molest me for ten dollars a pop.

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Iris —

    “Those who demand that another live so as to contribute to the betterment of SOMEONE ELSE’S life are the selfish ones, not he who elects suicide.”

    So the grieving families they leave behind are just selfish little shits?

  • Eric Olsen

    Iris, so society would benefit if the “stigma” against suicide was removed? How so? Do you respect and applaud suicide bombers and the 9/11 terrorists as well?

  • NC

    Eric, who cares whether society would benefit? Society might conceivably benefit somehow if Blogcritics were knocked off the Internet; fortunately, society has no say in the matter. It’s a question of self-determination. As for your moral equation of people who kill themselves with people who kill others: exceedingly lame.

    I agree with you completely, Iris. Well said.

  • Eric Olsen

    there is no such thing as “self-determination” coming in or going out, only while we are here

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Eric, what you are calling “right to suicide” is a right that nature has given human beings along with freedom of choice.

    This right is also governed by the fact that we as a society cannot control their decision to commit suicide.

    And while I believe in the sancity of life I also know that sometimes one has to live through a certain experience to understand what drove another to take a certain action.

    I dont see it as an excuse but as empathy.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    That statement is indeterminate since we are not ‘there’

    The undiscovered country, and all that jazz

  • Eric Olsen

    SP, love the person, hate the act; empathy is blessed, condoning evil is not.

    Aaman, good point, I should say to the best of our knowledge we don’t have any say on the way in, but I believe very strongly it is not our place to determine the way out.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Aaman, I think self-immolation as a form of protest is plain dumb.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Eric point taken and accepted.

  • NC

    I had this argument recently with my mother and she made the same point about it not being “our place” to determine when we die. My mom is a good Catholic, though; I am not. And I don’t think there’s any way for religious and non-religious people to see eye to eye on that point.

    In my opinion, if someone is tired of life, if they’ve thought long and hard about the future and come to the conclusion that things will not improve for them, they’re justified in committing suicide. That doesn’t mean it’s cause for celebration (or, in HST’s case, romanticization), but neither is it cause for throwing rocks at the casket and screaming about how “selfish” the deceased was.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Heinlein’s Lazarus Long rejected suicide for himself because “I’d be too curious to see what happens next,”, but would not pronounce it wrong, because “no man may know the burdens of another’s pain, nor his strength to bear that burden. ”

    In his own person, hoever, Heinlein once said, “Death is the lot of all of us and the only way the human race has ever conquered death is by treating it with contempt. By living every golden minute as if one had all eternity.”

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I can see a lot of relatives from my in-laws side throwing rocks on my casket or wait a minute they’d have a party!

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Very fine statement, DrPat

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    NC, religion has nothing to do with it in my case. I’m not religious. Death is rarely pretty, suicide usually less so. People who kill themselves often do so at home. All I’m saying is that if you have loved ones, that’s a horrific thing to do to them, and in that light, it’s almost unbearably selfish. Sometimes our obligations to those we profess to care about ought to outweigh our right to self-determination. Sometimes people enlist the unwitting aid of others – ever hear of “suicide by cop”? Fair to the cop? I don’t think so. There was a story in the news recently about a guy who parked his car on a train track. Even if no one besides yourself gets hurt, it’s a hell of a thing to leave the train engineer with, don’t you think?

  • Eric Olsen

    SP, very gracious, which as far as I can tell is your nature.

    NC, much more nuanced, but it seems very solipsistic to me to think that we have the ability to determine whether or not “things will improve” or even really, what that means.

    DrPat, exactly, what can ever be gained from self-annihilation? You cannot win if you do not play. If you are religious, suicide means damnation; if you are not, it means nothingness. How can nothingness ever be preferable to being (to rearrange Sartre a bit)? I cannot imagine how choosing nothingness is in any way “empowering.” It’s not even quitting to fight another day, it’s just quitting.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    The distinction I make about suicide has to do with the mental and/or physical state of the person comitting the act. HST decided to die “at his peak,” I believe his son said. He wasn’t one of those terminally ill patients wasting away. He was a fairly healthy 67-year-old who was in the middle of a phone conversation with his wife about his next ESPN.com article. To me, he seems to have just been playing the role of HST, the renegade “died as he lived — on his own terms,” guy.

    His is a completely different story from someone who is clinically depressed and despondently takes his/her own life in an act of desperation. And it’s different from a terminally ill patient who has suffered long enough and wants to die with dignity rather than be boxed up in a glass case like Dawn. 😎

    But HST was just a big DICK about it, doing it with his six-year-old grandson in the house. It’s not dignified or even cool to shoot yourself in the head with your grandchild in the house.

  • Eric Olsen

    absolutely, I think those distinctions are real and worth noting – about the only thing he could have done worse is harm someone else in the process (and of course, I assume he did psychologically)

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    When it comes right down to it, none of us really have the right to judge someone who commits suicide unless we’ve experienced their circumstances or something very close to them. Whatever reasons Thompson had were good enough for him, and I doubt he undertook his own death lightly or on a whim. The evidence suggests that he’d been planning it for at least a week.

    I believe in freedom of choice, and that includes the right to choose when and how you die. It has to include that.

    I suppose you can criticize Thompson for the circumstances and for things like having his grandchild in the house, but those things are secondary to the act itself and I don’t think anyone has the right to criticize that choice.

    As for his ashes being shot out of a cannon, I’m surprised that’s even legal in Colorado. It wouldn’t be in most states. My personal plan when it comes to that is to be buried with minimal embalming and with a live webcam in the coffin with me hooked up to a website where people can watch me rot. I expect it to be a big hit.

    Dave

  • NC

    All I’m saying is that if you have loved ones, that’s a horrific thing to do to them, and in that light, it’s almost unbearably selfish.

    How is it any more selfish than those loved ones wanting a miserable person to go on living and being miserable so that they don’t have to face life without him/her? I agree with you only to the extent that it’s irresponsible for someone with dependents to leave them destitute, but that problem is easily solved by buying life insurance. In fact, at the risk of being venal about all this, let me gently suggest that a suicide can improve a family’s quality of life in the long run.

    it seems very solipsistic to me to think that we have the ability to determine whether or not “things will improve” or even really, what that means.

    Improvement in the sense of personal happiness or fulfillment. There’s no way to know for sure whether one’s life will be happier ten or twenty years in the future, but I think we all have a sense of our own limitations and tendencies and can make a pretty sound projection if we devote enough thought to the matter. Perhaps HST was miserable, had been miserable for a long while, and couldn’t foresee any circumstances that would penetrate that misery. Reason enough to pull the trigger.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    The Parsis/Zoroastrians scatter their bodies for the vultures at the Towers of Silence

    Zoroastrians consider the dead body to be unclean, and their religion proscribes allowing corpses to pollute the pure elements of earth and fire. Corpses are therefore placed atop the Towers of Silence for their flesh to be consumed by vultures. Once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, they are thrown into the ossuary pit at the center of the tower

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    Reason enough to pull the trigger.

    Fine. Then he should have had the decency to go do that out in the middle of the desert somewhere, not at home where his family would have to witness it.

  • NC

    DA–Yes, a little consideration in that regard would have been nice. And like I say, I hope he had some insurance. The least a suicider can do is provide a cash cushion for his next of kin.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    NC, money no matter how much has a tendency to run out(ask M.C.Hammer) also I don’t see how monetary compensation would heal the scars left behind in the hearts of grieving family members.

  • Eric Olsen

    obviously there is a fundamental philosophical difference at the core of this, and I am certain my own feelings on the matter are fundamentally shaped by religion. But I also truly feel on an intellectual level that the premature departure of one diminishes us all.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    And like I say, I hope he had some insurance.

    If you’re talking about life insurance, it’s usually void if you commit suicide.

    Remember “Death of a Salesman”?

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Eric, I’m sure you’re right; the differences have a lot to do with philosophical and religious presuppositions, and there are limits to which those can be argued. We’re at the point in the discussion where people just dig in their heels and insist, ever more stridently.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    His family’s going make enough from his estate, not that that’s on their mind, I’m sure

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I am conflicted by HST’s death. I know someone who committed suicide only a few hours after we had parted company one evening. That tragedy weighed heavily on me for many years and I don’t wish that kind of anguish on anyone.

    That being said, it’s almost poetic that HST chose to end his life with a bullet. He made his choice and that’s his business as he leaves behind a rich legacy. When I heard he died the first thing that popped into my mind was Socrates and Christ. Socrates was forced to drink a cup of hemlock but it was suicide nonetheless. According to Christian Doctrine Christ could have saved Himself from the cross but did not in order to fulfill the Scriptures. Could it not be concluded that He committed suicide? Rest in peace, Gonzo.

  • Dawn
      But I also truly feel on an intellectual level that the premature departure of one diminishes us all.

    I can think of some cases where that is entirely untrue.

  • NC

    SP–Wouldn’t the family members have borne scars in their hearts if the deceased had lived and been miserable? Or would the satisfaction of their own needs by having him around made them oblivious to his misery? Look at it this way: now that he’s dead, at least the college tuition is paid for.

    bhw–The suicide clause on most life insurance policies is time-limited, usually to the first year or two after purchase. Off yourself after the clause has expired and the policy pays.

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Thank you for pointing that out, Silas. Thanks to your brilliant reasoining I’ve completely changed my mind. I now see that sitting at home, putting a pistol in your mouth and blowing your brains is no worse than being murdered for the sins of humanity. You’re a genius, yes you are.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    NC, if he or she were that miserable I rather they seeked help than put a bullet through their heads and left the family with pots of gold and guilt. For some money makes everything okay but to others its the least important thing.

  • Eric Olsen

    life is life and art is art, and I think the central problem re HST’s death is a confusion and blurring of the two

  • NC

    SP–Your comment supposes that “help” is always possible, a position with which I wholeheartedly disagree. But I won’t belabor the point as I think it’s beyond the scope of this thread.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Ah, Rodney, you inspire me. I gather that you are a Christian, so you could clarify something for me?

    I was taught that Christ did not have to die on the cross. I was taught that He accepted God’s will and allowed his body to be subjected to torture and humiliation ending with His crucifixion. In the end it was His decision. That’s what I was taught.

    So, let’s break this whole thing down into simple terms uncluttered by centuries of human manipulation and misinterpretation. Leaving Resurrection, salvation and King James out of it Christ made his choice. Socrates made his choice. HST made his choice. All three made their own choices. Where is my logic skewed?

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    The suicide didn’t surprise me in the slightest. In a lot of ways, it seems Thompson was fated to go out this way. At the same time, what a frickin’ cowardly and selfish way to handle it.

    What’s done is done. Happy trails, Gonzo, you miserable bastard.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    NC even the most obnoxious people have loved ones who wouldnt want them dead. And if you read my previous comments on this post you’d see that I believe that they all can’t be saved but they owe it to themselves to say ‘been there done that’.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    without even touching on morals and religion, i think suicide is a pretty stupid thing if you’re not terminally ill. What a waste of energy, what a waste of life.
    i’m pretty sure i’ll never change my opinion on this. Hell, even if, some ponit in the future, i developed some mental problem that drove me to do it, i would never think it “a good idea” or anything close.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    I do not think anyone here is saying it is a ‘good idea’. It is more along the lines of ‘he was stupid, but must’ve had some justification to himself’.

  • Eric Olsen

    more disconcerting to me than Thompson’s action, which was certainly in character, is the lauding of it by others: that’s what is really aggravating me about this. Gonzo is gone, not much point worrying about him

  • http://www.iamcorrect.blogspot.com Lono

    Well, I have been stewing on this for a bit… obviously. As the group’s self appointed Hunter expert I agree with much of your assesment Eric. I don’t think of it as suicide, which can be a strong and noble way for someone to end suffering.

    No, he killed himself. I feel he did it solely for glory. However, it is not glorious to kill yourself with your wife on the phone and your kid (and grandkid) in the next room. They will all be fucked for life now. He was strong and a warrior and all that. Now he is just a dead dude, and that is unfortunate for everyone.

    He planned this so his family would be home. My guess is this has been in his mind for months. He simply waited until football season was over (seriously).

    The going got strange, and the strange checked out.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Dave said As for his ashes being shot out of a cannon, I’m surprised that’s even legal in Colorado…

    The cremains that are the result of proper cremation are not actually ahses – they’re mostly powdered bone. Calcium. If it’s illegal to spread calcium on your property, there are a lot of rose growers in trouble in this country. [grin]

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I will add my comments, but not tonight. I’m certainly no Mr. Conformity or Mr. “We should all play nice” person. I respect a person’s right’s to do damn near anything they want – but that doesn’t mean everything should be respected.

    I am for assisted suicde and I am not coming at any of this from a religious POV but from a societal one. You can go back to what I wrote less than an hour after I heard the news

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    I suspected that he might have killed himself from the [sarcasm] ignamamy of living in Bush’s America.[/sarcasm] Ever since Bush got elected, it was downhill for him. I did genuinely like HST, not because I agreed with more than 1% of what he wrote, but because he was simply a very interesting character. Any guy so willing to be a guinea pig has, by proxy, to be interesting.

    But he was very self-indulgent and this was the final proof of it. Can you imagine killing yourself, doing this to your family, just because you cannot “endure” another four years of Bush? My oh my … any shreds of respect I had for HST just faded away.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    My wrap-up thoughts Please go here and comment.

    It starts: When a hero dies all kinds of people are hurt.

    Fame distorts much – and that includes the acceptance of suicide. Hunter S. Thompson, a man of many talents and a balls-to-the-wall forebearance was a hero to many and he killed himself in what appears to be a deliberate act to make sure no one in his family forgot the day they lost him.

    Because he was a hero, people who thought so also thought he could do no wrong. Whataver they had learned from Thompson they had also suddenly learned that suicide was .. the way to go.

    I know it’s not etiquette but my post there is way too long for the comments section here and too long for a post here.

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    I like how many of you are not only laying “god?out into this moral debate about HST’s suicide, but so many of you are god-like in your telepathic powers (speaking for his wife, son, friends, and what-not-else). Many of you sound like grimy academics haggling about terms and caveats. HST isn’t simply another number and if I may employ my own telepathic powers, his family and friends aren’t exactly your balanced sample from which to draw your far-reaching conclusions about the “horrific implications?of his death, who knows what they will draw from his life and/or death. Keep your gods and your self-righteousness for another thread. The sheep are the cowards, HST was not a bloody sheep. The many statements made by friends and family don’t out and out “glorify?his death, nor do they “glorify?the act of suicide. Let them speak instead of reading between their lines and interjecting your own revisions or prophecies of a hell on earth for those close to him (who might have actually known the man).

    N.B.1. I’m totally new to this whole blogging thing and I can’t believe the number of entries that turn into personal confessions or spews of some sort of another. The thread has been completely lost (by selfish preachers in bloggers clothes or something of the sort).

    N.B.2. Call it a foolish death if you will, but HST was not afraid to play the fool, hell, he was intimate with the foolish demigods that devastate all that might have been holy, like freedom, but killing “himself in what appears to be a deliberate act to make sure no one in his family forgot the day they lost him.? Appearances are open to interpretation.

    N.B.3. Conflicted by his death. I don’t think the man cared.

    N.B.4. Reel upon reel. Real upon real. Truth upon truth. The man lived.

    N.B.5. Dawn’s comment is absolutely brilliant.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kozlow travis kozlowski

    the man lived a life of legand and prestige and i pray when i am 67 years old and i am not happy i could have half the courage of hunter and follow in his foot steps “to weird to live, to rare to die”