I'm posting the contents of a mail message received from a long-time friend of mine for the literary enjoyment of those with the endurance to read it. There will not be a test at the end.
From: Bewildered Rider
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 18:22:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: The liberal author and the rethinking of my personal literary deity
What an odd week it has been. I went from a quiet sense of gloom and despair to a renewed faith in humanity with the current election results. While I still hold fast to my position that we were really given no true “best option”, I am placated by the overwhelming support of the American people for George W. Bush. At the very least, it was a whopping testament to the level of distrust the republic has for a very wealthy man who so cowardly turned his back on fellow veterans and stomped them in the throat throughout the late 60s. It's a bitch when people retain a memory, ain't it, John?
The thing that I still ask myself is this: “Why was I so concerned about this election, anyhow?” I am fully aware of the liberal media's bias and borderline slander that riddle this election, giving their best efforts to drag the Bush name through the mud while painting Kerry as the greatest liberal candidate since a waterheaded boy from Arkansas took control of the White House in 1992. I should have known that the polling figures would always be slightly skewed to the left, attempting vainly to sway the 'tweeners into a Kerry vote.
The most refreshing thing about all this? The sudden revelation that almost 70% of voters were actually turned away from a candidate when they were endorsed by a celebrity. I hope that Affleck and Damon and Springsteen alike are very proud of themselves this week. Their efforts turned out to be more malignant than beneficial, though in my eyes the celeb treatment should be no more than a placebo, a non-factor. Damon said he'd give a million dollars to see Kerry get elected. A million? This is the price that a celebrity puts on “the most important election in American history”? He makes something in the ball park of $72 million a year, and he can spare but a cool million? Then again, that's the liberal train of thought…what is good for me is not necessarily good for you…
I read Hunter Thompson's last screed on his ESPN.com column, where he predicted a monumental victory for Kerry, going so far as to say that Kerry “…is about the greatest thing since God created you and me” in a conversation with George McGovern. I've known for quite some time that Hunter was a liberal, but his appetite for guns and hard liquor appealed to me during my more inebriated fancies of years gone by. I also knew, with great sorrow, that Hunter is a great writer not because he writes the facts, but because he distorts the facts to make the reality so much more of interesting thing than it really is. I have no doubts that he is, indeed, an outlaw journalist, one who has tagged along with presidential candidates in the 60's, visited the North Vietnamese leadership during the fall of Saigon, and riding with the Hell's Angels before suffering a brutal pummeling at the hands of renegade bikers.
In the following months, however, I realized his fallacies and came to accept the fact that Hunter Thompson, Gonzo, the Fear and Loathing, were all gross re-creations of a hyperactive mind and imaginative flair for exaggeration. Interesting as they may be, they are figments of a man's imagination, nothing but pomp and circumstance for a man who wants to fit in so desperately that he will say and write anything that can put him on the edge of every fringe element of this country. He has appeared in his own movies, and, outside of the Rum Diary, has written works that are said to be fiction but are presented as recollections and truths of a self that does not exist except for in his won mind. He strikes me as no more than a well-written prima donna who cannot rest with the ravenous beast that is his own self-conscious.
What makes him less fantastic to me today is to see that any hack and half-wit with a press credential or three-day-old growth of beard can impersonate so well his tired method of ranting. Half-truths and grandiose blatherings of a leftist author pour from the laptops and network drives of journalists from the press desks of New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and LA. Hell, even the pompous English tossers who call themselves journalists writing for tabloid Brit mags write with the same flare and idiocy that Thompson made so famous.
Thus, my literary deity has been dethroned. Though I may harbor a slight twinge of excitement that I may, in some way, be related to Thompson, I no longer admire the man so much any more. His style and his flavor are yesterday's fashions, running flaccid on a palette that has been piqued by the works of Vonnegut. Though another liberal, Vonnegut speaks his mind, and what little sense can be made of it, he holds all things precious in life and dispenses the most wonderful of advice and observations. “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt,” he wrote. Somehow, I like that, much better than the recognition of a God that has created nothing better in the past 60 years than John Kerry and George McGovern.
Dr. Thompson, I bid you farewell. You lifted me up from some rough times, but it is now time for me to hitch a ride on a band of bright unwavering light, one that will rise me above the truth and set me free.
Signing off as a teaching machine,
P.S. – I am surprised that, despite the fact that Thompson used so many of great doses of hallucinogenic drugs, he could not see through John Kerry. Hum.