Sunday, November 23, 2008
Paging Dr. Thompson
"A Democratic victory would not change the world, but it would at least slow the berserk white-trash momentum of the bombs-and-Jesus crowd. Those people have had their way long enough. Not even the Book of Revelation threatens a plague of vengeful yahoos." -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
The above passage is a prime example of just why I miss Hunter S. Thompson...it was written in reference to the Senate elections in 1986, and yet is every bit as relevant today, and is exactly the sort of sentiment on the minds of millions of us across the country right up to the moment one Barack Obama was elected to serve the United States as its Commander in Chief. And frankly, I wish he were alive to see it today. As a staunch Democrat and vehement opponent of George W. Bush, Thompson was a vocal supporter of John Kerry's efforts to win the presidency in 2004, and the continued reign of the GOP clearly caused him some discontent (I learned all of this from reading the archives of his column, "Hey Rube," on espn.com one Saturday afternoon while doing receptionist "work"). I think it would please him to see the Democratic party not only rise again, but to do so in such a proud and historic fashion. So in that respect, I'm sad that he isn't here to see it. Nor did he get to see the massive celebratory binge drinking on my part that accompanied Obama's ascension, though that is admittedly of somewhat less significance.
On the bright side, at least Thompson doesn't have to suffer through yet another dismal season for his beloved Oakland Raiders (although they did play pretty damn well today). This season overall has seen the Raiders adrift in a malaise of aggressive mediocrity, and if they keep playing like this, then-and it pains me to say this-we may eventually see the day wherein waving my genitals out of a car window as I drive past pedestrians while yelling, "RAAAAAAIIIIIIIDEEEEERRRRRRSSSS!" may just become EMBARRASSING.
I'm currently reading Thompson's Generation of Swine, a collection of essays I cannot recommend highly enough for both its wit and its uncomfortably honest dissection of American life and its perversity. I wish Hunter hadn't departed this world quite yet, though I respect the fact that he did so on his own terms and, indeed, I find it hard to conceive of another way he could have gone. I guess all I can really do is crack another delicious Gonzo Imperial Porter, a beer specially crafted by Flying Dog to honor the late Dr. Thompson. I suggest you do the same. After all, when you drink in memory of another, drinking not only loses any social stigma, but becomes the classy thing to do. It would in fact be disrespectful not to.