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Fear and Loathing

24 augustus 07:35, 2005

Afgelopen weekeinde werd de as van Hunter S. Thompson met vuurwerk de lucht in geschoten vanaf een 45 hoge toren in zijn achtertuin. Hij had zich op 20 februari door het hoofd geschoten.

De laatste jaren schreef Thompson vooral sportcolumns die zich niet beperkten tot sport, zoals de titel van zijn laatste boek al aangeeft: Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness — Modern History from the Sports Desk. De eerste column in deze bundel heet The New Dumb en verscheen op ESPN kort na de chaotische presidentsverkiezingen van 2000.

We have seen Weird Times in this country before, but the year 2000 is beginning to look super weird. This time, there really is nobody flying the plane. [..]
The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic. [..]
Congress will be as helpless and weak as whoever has to pass for the "New President." [..]
Guaranteed Fear and Loathing. Abandon all hope. Prepare for the Weirdness. Get familiar with Cannibalism.

Na zijn zelfmoord leverde de Canadese Midden-Oosten-journalist Paul William Roberts, een vriend van Thompson, een fraai staaltje gonzo-journalistiek in dit in memoriam:

Hunter telephoned me on Feb. 19, the night before his death. He sounded scared. It wasn't always easy to understand what he said, particularly over the phone, he mumbled, yet when there was something he really wanted you to understand, you did. He'd been working on a story about the World Trade Center attacks and had stumbled across what he felt was hard evidence showing the towers had been brought down not by the airplanes that flew into them but by explosive charges set off in their foundations. Now he thought someone was out to stop him publishing it: "They're gonna make it look like suicide," he said. "I know how these bastards think . . ."

That's how I imagine a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson should begin. He was indeed working on such a story, but it wasn't what killed him. He exercised his own option to do that. As he said to more than one person, "I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time."

He was indeed working on such a story. Wat waren Thompson's gedachten over 11 september? In augustus 2002 werd hij geïnterviewd op een Australisch radiostation (hier te beluisteren als mp3) over de aanslagen:

Hunter S. Thompson: It's like murder, you know, who stands to benefit? Who had the opportunity and the motive? You just kind of look at these basic things, and I don't know if I want to go into this on worldwide radio here, but -

Mick O'Regan: You may as well.

HST: All right. Well I saw that the US government was going to benefit, and the White House people, the Republican administration to take the mind of the public off of the crashing economy. Now you want to keep in mind that every time a person named Bush gets into office, the nation goes into a drastic recession they call it.

MOR: It sounds almost like the plot of that film 'Wag the dog', where filmproducers sort of concocted a national event to inspire patriotism to take the public's mind of misdemeanors committed by the president. It seems a very long bow to me, but are you sort of suggesting that this worked in the favour of the Bush Administration?

HST: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I have spent enough time on the inside of, well in the White House and you know, campaigns and I've known enough people who do these things, think this way, to know that the public version of the news or whatever event, is never really what happened. And these people are willing to take that even further. So I won't assume that I know the truth about what went on that night. And, well, I just look around at who had the motive, who had the opportunity, who had the equipment, who had the will, yeah. These people were looting the treasury and they knew that the economy was going into a spiral downward.

[..]

MOR: In that first article you wrote, you say, "It's now 24 hours later. we're not getting much information about the 5 Ws of this." Now by the "5 Ws" I'm assuming you mean, the who, what, why, how -- is that still how you feel, that a year later those key questions haven't been answered?

HST: Absolutely, it's even worse now -- I mean this is just a suggestion, 24 hours later 5 Ws. We're still not getting -- well how much have we got beyond that? How much more do we have than we had a year ago? Damn little, I think. We know a lot about the firemen who died. A lot about the people who stole the money from their charity funds, A lot about the people who donated all that blood, the red cross had to throw away 5 tons of blood, something like that, that may be exaggeration, But no, I will stand by almost all my, uh, well, no no, get a grip on yourself, Doc, when you talk like that...

[..]

HST: Now what I'm afraid of, see is that that's going to be a cover for a sudden move on Iraq -- you know, that that little monster will come on and take the TV and say "Today we invaded Iraq". Now, this seems so impossible that I'd be happy to lose money on it if I bet on it, but it seems too logical for that kind of Texas thug mindset that this is a time to do it. I can't think of a better time if I was gonna do it, let's put it that way.

MOR: Because the nation's effectively distracted by the commemorations in New York that it's almost like saying "Quick while no one's paying attention let's invade another country".

HST: Exactly, and it's so cynical and so stupid and so self-defeating in the long run that you'd think that nobody in their right mind, no president would plunge us into a war like that, with no allies on the other side of the world.

[..]

MOR: Do you ever worry, given the current climate in the United States and the surge of patriotism that's going on, that you could be personally at risk from someone who took offence from your critique, that your own personal security might be threatened?

HST: Yeah. Yeah, I think about it. It definitely could be true.

MOR: Have there been occurrences you've been threatened?

HST:: Oh yeah. I have been all my life. But in journalism, it goes with the territory, there's going to be threats and there's going to be people are very angry -- knock knock -- it's a matter of luck. I pretty well stuck to my battle plan, yeah they tried to come after me, the federal government, all kinds of governments, I've had constant wars in courts, I keep some of the finest criminal lawyers on retainer.

In januari 2003 werd een invasie van Irak steeds minder onmogelijk. Thompson gaf een radio-interview waarin hij verder ingaat op de nakende oorlog:

HST: I don't really know Iraq. I made a point of getting to know it a lot better. It was a very advanced, progressive country, had, what, 90% literacy, health care for the whole entire population. They were doing well, prosperous, high literacy. Many more book stores per capita in Iraq than there are in this country. Many. No more. We bombed their children. We killed their husbands and wives and we bombed them, and we saw her, and we're going to do it again. Just random killing like that, mass killing to force a population to get rid of Saddam so we can move in and take over and control the oil, God damn it, if that's not evil, I don't know what would be. You know, Bush, he's really the evil one in here. Well, more than just him. We're the Nazis in this game, and I don't like it. I'm embarrassed and I'm pissed off. Yeah. I mean to say something and I think a lot of people in this country agree with me. A lot more never say anything. We'll see what happens to me if I get my head cut off in the next week by -- it's always unknown bushy haired strangers who commit suicide right afterward. No witnesses. They have a new kind of crime.

Mary Suma: Is that the CIA kind of crime?

HST: Oh, absolutely. Anyone who's a successful criminal has got a crime. Absolutely no witnesses, no records. We can go on and on. I have to be restrained on the subject.

Miss Pinky in de feesttent bij de Owl Farm, Woody Creek

Het in memoriam van Paul William Roberts wordt door complot-theoretici lustig gekutkwoot. Ook door Alex Jones, die Roberts interviewde over het artikel. Tussen het gehijg van Jones door horen we over een ander gerucht: was Thompson bezig met een verhaal over homoseksuele prostitutie in het Witte Huis? Roberts antwoordt:

Yeah, I had heard that quite a lot from Hunter. It goes back to Kissinger, I believe. [..] Yeah, in fact Lyndon LaRouche published some stuff about that. And although, you know, a lot of his material was not that trustworthy, in this particular case there were a lot of sources cited and there was no lawsuit. And where there's no lawsuit you can be almost guaranteed that it's true. [..] He certainly knew all about that and I believe had written about it. I don't know wheher there was a book in the works, but he certainly had published columns on it.

Terug naar de Thompson's column over The New Dumb:

Autumn is always a time of Fear and Greed and Hoarding for the winter coming on. [..] There is always a rash of kidnapping and abductions of school children in the football months. Pre-teens of both sexes are traditionally seized and grabbed off the streets by gangs of organized Perverts.

Refereert Thompson hier aan de ontvoering van Johnny Gosch in september '82, zoals besproken in De roze balletten?

Hoe het ook zij, in het boek van John DeCamp (Bonacci's advocaat) over die zaak vertelt Paul Bonacci uitgebreid over een snuff-movie in Bohemian Grove. Volgens Bonacci noemde Larry King de regisseur van die film Hunter Thompson. Rusty Nelson, de fotograaf van King die Gary Caradori voorzag van belastende foto's (zie De roze balletten), werd 4 dagen vóór Thompson's dood gearresteerd (en niet 6 dagen erna, zoals het artikel vermeldt) op verdenking van het produceren van kinderporno. Nelson zou in 1988 een aanbod van $100.000 van Thompson hebben afgeslagen om een snuff-movie te filmen. Van Nelson zou een dubbelganger hebben rondgelopen op King's feestjes. Van Thompson ook?


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