A shot from the Gonzo Cannon

Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill “gooks”. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are racists and hate mongers among us–they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.

–Hunter S. Thompson, sadly missed


They tell me the recently deceased Lono is going to have his ashes fired from a cannon.

That fits. Hunter S. Thompson’s entire life and journalistic career were devoted to shooting himself from a cannon. The statement above being a perfect case in point, and a perfect opener for the inaugural entry to this blog.

Thompson’s way with words, from obscenity to profanity, was beautifully balanced and varied, totally over the top, angry and addled and painfully, tragically right. The Doctor immolated himself with fiery lava-language so we wouldn’t have to…or maybe so we could do the same ourselves, only safely.

Or maybe he just didn’t give a shit. He was driving this crazy finned old convertible of his, high on God only knew what, shooting his pistol at random off to the side, and we were all just along for the ride.

But hell, what a ride. Even now, when the car has finally hit the wall (which we all knew it one day would), and everything’s all stove-in and broke, and the hubcaps have rolled off into the bushes and we’re all staggering, stunned and bloody, from the wreckage, we have to admit we were glad to be along for the ride. HST took us places we didn’t have the courage to go ourselves, he freaked the fuck out of us all the way there and back, and we were all the better for it.

Why bother with newspapers, if this is all they offer? Agnew was right. The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits — a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to c u r l up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

— HST, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This somehow seems so prescient, given what we’re dealing with lately. Yeah, the whole “Jeff Gannon” thing. A cruel faggot? They don’t come much crueler than James Dale Guckert. This one even wrote anti-gay articles under his pseudonym.

Ain’t no homophobe like a closet case, and no whore like a right-wing media whore.

There’s no chance you’d ever hear a squeak out of “Jeff” about the injustice of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, or how much it’s cost the military–not only financially, but in readiness to fight terror. They lost translators who were fluent in Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu…people who could, perhaps, have helped prevent 9-11 by sifting something more definite out of all the terror networks’ “chatter”. And BushCo tossed these people out–why? Because of institutional homophobia. And perhaps for other, darker reasons, such as a need for a terror incident that would help shore up the case for implementing the PNAC agenda. But mainly, it seems, because they were gay.

And meanwhile, “Jeff Gannon”, rentboy “reporter”, homophobic scribe and Republican shill, got a free pass to sit in the White House press corps, where he didn’t belong. And real journalists of long standing got the shaft. What was that shit again, about liberty and justice for all?

The results of institutional prejudice are always dirtier than whatever those prejudices were put in place to keep out. Forbid abortion, and you get whole maternity wards full of horribly maimed women, bleeding to death or dying of septic shock. Keep blacks down, and you get race riots, cross-burnings, and hangings from light posts. Keep women oppressed, and you reap the wrath of Medusa. And deny equal rights to gays, and you get an AIDS epidemic growing out of a culture that shouldn’t be sub, and an impoverished military intelligence service. Oh, yeah–and you get “Jeff Gannon”. Joy, joy!

I can’t even refer to America’s seat of government as the White House anymore. It is now besmirched beyond recognition. Back when the Clinton witch-hunts were on and everyone was sniffing the semen stain on Monica’s blue dress, the right-wingers were wringing their hands and whining about how “the flag is falling”.

Well, guess what, assholes–that flag would never have fallen had you not dragged it through the dirt yourselves. You’re now reaping what you’ve sown, and by God, the weeds and tares look good on you. They’re yours–OWN THEM. And see that film of toxic sludge all over the White House? That’s yours, too. I don’t envy whoever has the job of scrubbing that off. If there were any justice left in the world, you’d be doing the job with your own toothbrushes.

Meanwhile, though, you’ve made one helluva mess. I despair of seeing it cleaned up anytime in the foreseeable future. Unless you are held accountable, all of you, and SOON, things are just going to fester on. As it is, I see fascism all around to the due south of me, and I’m not comforted by the fact that a border lies between me and all that, any more than the Free French were when they saw Hitler’s troops massing just beyond the Maginot Line.

WWHSTD? What would Hunter S. Thompson do?

Too late. He’s gone.

Anyway, he was just one man, flailing ragefully at the corruption around him. He had the power to excoriate it, but not to spur real change in the end. The wrong guy won, and if nothing else, it gave him something to hurl inkwells at in a fine fit of psychedelically enhanced fury. Readers everywhere have been rejoicing ever since.

Fast-forward thirty years, and history has repeated itself, but for one thing: The Doctor is no longer in. Meanwhile, “Jeff Gannon”–joy, joy!–has piped up again.

Sigh.

Happy landings, Lono. Wherever your spirit may be.

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