Hunter S. Thompson

His beat, he once said was "the death of the American dream." --Washington Post

No wonder he shot himself in the head. Today would have been the great gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's 69th birthday. I first read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was about 13 or 14 years old. If you know me, this isn't surprising, given my father's occupation, loves, and habits. Thompson's writing, his truth, his documentation. Nothing like it. Nothing like it at all. But for all his love and experimentation and reverence for states altered, the power of writing, he said, beats all. "I haven't found a drug yet that can get you anywhere near as high as a sitting at a desk writing, trying to imagine a story no matter how bizarre it is, [or] going out and getting into the weirdness of reality and doing a little time on the Proud Highway," he once said. Long live this fire, this fervor, this razor's edge. Most of today's journalists can only dream of writing the truth you lived. Happy birthday, Hunter. I hope you're in a better place.

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