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Fear and loathing in Cow Hampshire

I haven't written about this before now because it's more of a story about Hunter S. Thompson's words than about the man himself, but nonethess I hope at least a few people will find it amusing.

Back in early 1992, the presidential primary was in full bloom. One of the candidates (I want to say Bill Clinton) was having an event at the Manchester library, and I figured what the hell, I'll attend.

One of the campaign officials there was a guy named Joe Grandmaison, who has been a Democratic operative since the late 60's. I had just finished re-reading "Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail: 1972," and Grandmaison had been described as (I think I have this right) a "fat young pol who ought to be stuffed in a barrel and sent out with the current in the East China Sea," along with at least one more choice phrase. Being young and arrogant, I introduced myself, then asked his opinion of Thompson's description.

His smile grew icy cold, and his handshake much firmer. "You know he apologized for that, right?" he told me, then moved quickly on.

If you know anything about Hunter S. Thompson, you should know that I don't think he ever apologized for a single thing he ever wrote. But Grandmaison insisted that he had, just this once.

I think that marked the beginning of my disillusionment with New Hampshire's Democratic party.

Rest in peace, Doctor. And may your afterlife be filled with whiskey and ether.

And all the ibogaine you can get your hands on.


Comments (16)

I don't know who this Thomp... (Below threshold)

I don't know who this Thompson guy was. And from what I have read and heard about his wrantings (sic) I am very glad I never read any of his stuff or knew anything more about him. Bitter, bitter, bitter comes to mind if what I hear is true of him. In any case it is good to know that he is no longer suffering in this life or making others suffer. My comment really is meant to be directed at your closing remark regarding "afterlife"....one of the things I DO know about. He is dead. His thoughts have ceased. But he will live again. Then he will be taught how to be happy.

His wife wouldn't come home... (Below threshold)

His wife wouldn't come home from the gym to help him with his column. So, he goes into a snit and blows his brains out while on the phone with her. And, he does this while his 6 y/o grandson is in the house with him. Gee, I guess he sure showed them. Why are we romanticizing this person's death again?

George, yours is the worse ... (Below threshold)

George, yours is the worse kind of hypocrisy and I simply cannot let it pass, especially as it regards a professional Truth Seeker like Dr. Gonzo. You are, of course, entitled to whatever opinion you may form, regardless of how strongly I disagree. I merely ask you to base your opinions on, well, anything at all. You are certain Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was "bitter, bitter, bitter" and making everyone around him miserable. I ask you only to read some of his writings before you decide that. Read the glowing epitaphs of those who knew him, which all describe him as dearly missed. Read, even, the admiring statements of those who always found themselves on the wrong side of Hunter S. Thompson. Two wire stories, the brief column above and what you heard from the guy who sits next to you at work are not the basis for an informed opinion.

And as for the afterlife, while I personally believe there is not one, I would never be so arrogant as to assume I KNEW our fate after death because, clearly, I am very much alive. So unless your animated corpse is spending its time reading blogs and posting inane replies to topics not under discussion, please refrain from telling the rest of us you KNOW the answer to the question the greatest and smallest minds (you belong to the latter group) of every generation have grappled with since first humans were able to grasp the concept of "future."

Colleen: Most peop... (Below threshold)


Most people, according to their religious beliefs, do believe in an afterlife. That you don't is fine by me. But, who are you to call those who do believe arrogant?

Julie,I'm not call... (Below threshold)


I'm not calling those who believe arrogant, I'm calling those who presume to know something they clearly cannot arrogant. Belief and knowledge are different, and this is the distinction I'm trying to make.

He is dead. His thoughts... (Below threshold)

He is dead. His thoughts have ceased. But he will live again. Then he will be taught how to be happy.

So, you object to George not qualifying the above with, "I believe he will live again; I believe then he will be taught how to be happy"? That seems a bit nit-picky. He didn't write the guy deserves to burn in hell. I would think if you had a bone to pick it would be with me who thought he acted selfishly.

Colleen, what would you say... (Below threshold)

Colleen, what would you say to those who have clear recollection of their past lives, as millions in India and some in the West. Isn't that some proof that if one has lived many lives in the past, that the pattern might continue?

No, I object to his stateme... (Below threshold)

No, I object to his statement " 'afterlife' ... one of the things I DO know about." He doesn't, he isn't dead.

And Julie, although I disagree with you, you've clearly read enough news reports to understand, mostly, what happened and you're entitled to your opinion. (Although actually, he picked a fight with his wife to get her out of the house because he was planning his suicide, he didn't kill himself because they fought.)

While I realize many people strongly believe in reincarnation based on memories of past lives, I still see it as a belief, especially since, if everything goes according to plan, you're memory is supposed to be wiped before you're reincarnated. I won't try to discredit people's beliefs, I just don't want them forced upon me in the guise of knowledge.

The post on Hunter Thompson... (Below threshold)

The post on Hunter Thompson and Joe Grandmaison absolutely made my day. Joe is currently serving as a director of the Export-Import Bank (a government agency), and is widely considered to be one of the most obnoxious people to have served on the Board for a long time. If it hadn't been for his television appearance defending Clinton during the Jennifer Flowers imbroglio, Joe would never have risen above the muck of state Democratic politics.

"There is nothing in the wo... (Below threshold)

"There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge."

Colleen wrote: .."if every... (Below threshold)

Colleen wrote: .."if everything goes according to plan, you're [your] memory is supposed to be wiped before you're reincarnated..."

What an intriguing statement. I am speaking sincerely: Is this something you feel happened to you or is it something you've heard from others? Did you find out whose plan this was? There are some writings on "between-lives" intervention partly by others and partly aided by one's own eagerness to forget past misdeeds. Just wondered what the source of your info was.

Generally, as to Hunter Thompson - I'm also not familiar with him. Was he one who was initially seeking enlightenment and then went down the dead-end labyrinth of drugs? I've heard that when the CIA-created LSD hit San Francisco in the sixties, many thought it assisted spiritual insights. The sad thing is that it only created an experience akin to near-body death, because of the poison.

I didn't say they fought. B... (Below threshold)

I didn't say they fought. But, he did call his wife at the gym and ask her to come home. When she refused, he put the phone down and shot himself. If, he just wanted her out of the house, one, he didn't have to ask her to return, and two, he didn't have to shoot himself with her on the line. And frankly, if he was so concerned about people being traumatized by his suicide, shouldn't he have picked a fight with his 6 year old grandson?

HST, it has long been known... (Below threshold)

HST, it has long been known, was a sick pup. To put it mildly, he had issues. Trying to apply logic to what he did is a futile task, IMO. (that IMO was for Colleen's sake, since I cannot know such a thing, I can only believe)

Amazing what being positive... (Below threshold)

Amazing what being positive does to some people. Yes, I believe. But "believing" does not make something true, does it? I said I did not "know" Mr. Thompson. I formed an opinion based on what those who actually "loved" him said. See the big little word "if" in the sentence? Nothing has been said to reverse that. Hypocracy? Howso? I did not pretend to be something I'm not. Is it wrong to know that he is not suffering "somewhere in the afterlife?" He is asleep, dead. But he will live again regardless. I thought that was good news. hmmmmm

Yeah, that'll teach 'ya!</p... (Below threshold)

Yeah, that'll teach 'ya!

Read HT's "Fear and Loathin... (Below threshold)

Read HT's "Fear and Loathing..." as 18 year old dope smoker - loved it needless to say. Twenty-four years later I still find it tremendously entertaining. However I think it's obvious what his "gonzo" mentality leads to unchecked. It's a shame he couldn't grow up with the rest of us.






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