Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hunter S. Hard Drive, R.I.P.

I've just recently returned from the odyssey of having my hard drive die. It passed away right around the time I saw the excellent documentary Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (see the trailer here), so I can't help but think that my hard drive just decided that it's life was over and shot itself in the head, as Dr. Thompson did. Perhaps I should shoot it off in a cannon, out into the backyard.

Many people are surprised to hear that I am a Hunter S. Thompson fan. After all, he was psychotic, violent and a complete drug addict. And yet... he was an excellent writer and liver of life. I am not a big sports fan, but I would read anything that Hunter wrote, knowing that, while I will read about the game, or the match, or the race, or whatever he was writing about, I would also read an incredible piece about the world and how he saw himself, and all of us, in it. His political writing is also incredibly insightful. There is a section of the documentary where Thompson goes to listen to a pre-president Carter make a speech to a bunch of lawyers (Thompson was the only reporter who bothered to attend) about how messed up lawyers are. Thompson was so moved he wrote a cover story about it in Rolling Stone magazine and many believe that is why Carter got elected.

Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson
One of my favorite movies of all time is the excellent Terry Gilliam film Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the Thompson book of the same name. The movie stars Johnny Depp (who is genius in it) and Benicio del Toro (also incredible and so very odd). When I introduce the movie to my friends, it often ends with me cackling and screaming with laughter and my poor friend looking frightened and sad.  It is a sad movie, I suppose - but the richness of it's weirdness speaks deeply to my heart. As Terry Gilliam said himself "this film is not pre-digested baby food" - using the formula that the majority of Hollywood films made today use.

In the end, if Hunter S. Thompson was anything, he was a Freak, and there is nothing better to see than a Freak waving his Freak Flag. Being a Freak is about being real. Not necessarily truthful, although he was often that - but as many times as not, he was also a complete fabricator and story teller, as all good tricksters are.  His wild, creative abandon inspires me, always. 

Creating with Spirit, or collaborating with the inner divine is about recognizing the ways in which we are weird and different, which is really hard to do in this culture of "alternative as trendy" that we live in now.

So rest in peace Hunter S. Thompson and rest in pieces, Hunter S. Hard Drive.

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