I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Hunter S. Thompson is dead, and while that news shouldn’t really surprise anyone, it is disturbing. Not because I’ll miss what he’s written lately (admittedly I did not keep up with the good doctor’s more recent work), but because we need people like Thompson to maintain balance in the universe.

If you’ve heard of him at all, it’s probably Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that you’re familiar with, and probably the movie rather than the book. Well, that’s your fault, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Not because the Fear and Loathing book is bad, on the contrary, it’s a modern masterpiece of freak-out prose. But he wrote about politics and culture with the same pedal-to-the-metal approach that he brought to everything he did. Pick up some of his other books and you’ll see what I mean.

As for me, I consider Thompson to be one of the three funniest writers who ever lived. He was a unique voice and a true lunatic and outlaw. You don’t often see people walk it like they talk it anymore, so there you go.

According to the Associated Press:

Thompson “took his life with a gunshot to the head,” the wife and son said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News. The statement asked for privacy for Thompson’s family and, using the Latin term for Earth, added, “He stomped terra.”

Stomped terra indeed.

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