Sunday, February 20, 2005
"Too weird to live, and too rare to die" by Wes Aldridge
Today is a horrible day. My icon fatally shot himself. Hunter Stockton Thompson is gone. He was a journalist and I wish I could have had only one conversation with him.
His work is the reason I am where I am in my life at this moment. After I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I got really interested in the wild ride he made of journalism. I got the itch, thanks HST. Its strange how his semi-fictitious representation of himself in his character Raoul Duke could mean so much to my life. He was why I began writing ruff editorial columns for my university newspaper and then started digging deeper and writing news and features and then, picking up the love of my life... my camera.
If I had never read Fear and Loathing, I would be pursuing the disgusting Music Business World and not having the great traveling adventures I am afforded with my job at the magazine publisher. Can you see? The value of literature?
If it weren't for him, I never would have acquired my lustful tongue for Wild Turkey. Now, that above all, would be have been a tragedy. I went to the archives and dug this shot up from about 2 years ago. I shot it because of HST. Could it not be more perfectly fitting for the man? A ripped, twisted, distorted and wonderful bottle of Turkey... bone dry from an agonizingly wonderful night of insanity. He was the one that proved to me that you can push yourself to absolute physical and mental limits and produce amazing works of all kinds. I aspire to be half of what he was.
I wish everyone could have had the chance to know him the way I do. I never needed to meet him, I learned more from him at a distance than I ever could in my entire life. But, now I will never get a chance to sit with him and get him to sign all my first edition publications of his books that I have collected over the years. Honestly, I just wanted him to sit and talk to me with his beautifully articulate mind and knock a few drinks on the books as his "signature." We are friends. I don't think ill things of him being gone, I am just proud to have gained the things I have through the life he had. A part of me died with him today.
A very fitting quote I leave you with from the pages of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Raoul Duke: There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.