The Rip Post                                                                                              

Hunter The Headless
Thompson Gunner

As the song goes
"Whatís this whole world cominí to?
Things just ainít the same
Any time the hunter gets captured by the game"
Thompson took himself out of the hunt
In which he looked to bag big game players
who employ hearts as pawns
and snack on the moist bones of the innocent
No more Nixons and Bushes and Clintons for Hunter
No more trying to snatch the ragged American Dream from the jaws of Wall
Street and Pat Robertson
The American Dream? American Reem
And I think this is why he became Hunter the Headless Thompson Gunner
and joined his old pal Warren Zevon
for a stroll with Orion
And it would be nice to think that they enjoyed every sandwich
But itís hard to enjoy every sandwich when the average idea of a sandwich is
processed burned cow shot through with antibiotics and corn sweetener with a
nice MSG secret sauce on top between two pieces of something that looks like
bread but tastes like paper
When the average idea of a sandwich is a very below average idea, and all are
sandwiched between concrete and stealing
Donít bother me, Iím eating
Maybe he was bothered
Maybe he was sick of sandwiches, and hunting down phoniness, chicanery, and
Stalking them with qwertyuiop and Wild Turkey
Itís a bloody goddamn business, after all
And business is bloodier than it has ever been
And everybody has become a hunter nowadays, anyhow, and theyíve given hunters
a bad name
As they slink down freeways and beltways, seeking out new kills with
high-powered cell phones. . .
But Hunter really was a gatherer, wasnít he?
Of words and sentences that lived somewhere between assiduous Philip
Marlowe-esque morality and righteous indignation worthy of Jefferson and Adams
Lenny Bruce
And gatherers are girlie-men, you see, in the Alpha-male Judeo-Christian
Macho God world of Global Pax Americana and Toyota Tundras and WMDís and
shock and aw, shucks
Bring Ďem on
Maybe he didnít want anybody to bring anything on anymore
But Hunter gathered while the gathering was good
during a brief era of attempted enlightenment
during a brief era of Beatles and Beefhearts and Zappas and Eugene McCarthy
and McGovern and muddled attempts to write compassion into law
All recently extinguished by hunters who have gathered minds by the millions
and massaged them with lies, Archer-Daniels-Mydland, Wal-Mart, and Jesus
Christ, the Lard and Savoir-Faire
who is due any second for a guest appearance with Oprah
Perhaps Jesus and Oprah will discuss parental abuse
and Jesus will cry for the cameras and Oprah will hug him
just before the commercial break
for an Irritable Bowel Syndrome prescription drug
Warning: may cause hallucinations of bats and lizard-people and the idea that
writing might change things for the better
So Thompson did his word mathematics with something greater than aplomb
A gallant fearlessness little known in todayís journalism, or perhaps any
(Imagine taking on Nixon!)
And an integrity that should shame a lot of writers into quitting the business
Tonight, the latest on the Jackson Trial, Robert Blake, Terry Shiavo plus the
hippest places to get your buns in shape. . .
Thompson had a hip replacement, and of course you canít replace that kind of
Reality is for people who canít face drugs, they say, but Hunter faced both
and integrated them rather lyrically, lysergically
Doing that Twain/Vonnegut/Shakespeare trick of being hilarious and
poignant at the same time
You know, just like life!
And so angry, unlike the chin-strokers who pull their punches, and MEASURE
THEIR PROSE, and exercise careful thought and studied restraint
Which really gets you exactly nowhere
Which is about exactly where Thompson is now
Maybe he was sick of every sandwich
Maybe he was sick of every SUV and every assassination of every soul by every
Rupert Murdoch and every TV newsmannequin
Maybe he was sick of the government notion that if you kill just enough of
the right people, you make the world safe for democracy and Desperate Housewives
and discount lawn furniture
Maybe he was sick of the troglodytes and Grendels and werewolves of London
and wailing demons masquerading as humanity
Maybe he was tired of computers---no, he didnít use them.
He still typed.
Still hunted and pecked, did this gatherer of tales and outrage and truths
Imagine the sounds late at night in that kitchen, clickety click, mumble mumble,
clink of bottle to glass, flick of a lighter, ding, percussion of teeth on
cigarette holder. . .
Of course, the world wide web, which is occupied by five million new spiders
per day, says there was ďsomething wrongĒ with Thompsonís death
That it couldnít have been suicide
Well, there was something wrong with it, all right, and that is that the body
falls apart and complains to the brain about it to the point where life is
not full of love and curiosity anymore
That is that a voice of comfort is always so badly needed here in Bedlam
That is that things went so sick and ugly that maybe Thompson knew there was
no more curiosity and love for him out there
Or maybe the FBI and Bush and Hillary Clinton did it
Ritual slaughter of Ď60s icons!
Or maybe, as I suspect, bat-people from Arcturus slipped into Woody Creek in
a Great Red Shark, posed a carefully sculpted flesh-and-blood doppelganger,
and took Hunter away with them for an urgent meeting with his attorney,
disappearing in a puff of purple smoke.
---Charles Bogle


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