Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Hemingway Fan To The Bitter End

During a quiet grumbling session at an off-campus bar last night, a companion happened to casually mention Hunter Thompson's recent merger with the infinite. He seemed nonplussed by my emotional reaction and violent Wild-Turkey-summoning gestures.

In the final analysis, it was well over twenty years since HST produced anything worth reading, so it's not that I feel we're being deprived of future output. But the stuff he produced in about ten years of relatively focussed work stands up to this day: beautiful, controlled books that were concerned with something more than how awesome a person Hunter Thompson was and how many famous friends he had. Maybe more important than that, though, it was constantly reassuring to know he was out there takin' her easy for all us sinners. Still, in a life that had become little more than a sustained affectation, why is it that the saddest note seems to be the continued description of the old bastard's house as a "fortified compound" in the statement released by his son? He was pushing seventy, for Christ's sake. You can't be that guy forever.