Hunter S. Thompson on Richard Nixon: the greatest obituary ever written!

HST, the flag, and the convertibleReally, there's nothing like a writer who knows his stuff inside and out, has made the English language his bitch, and refuses to hold back in the name of "impartiality." More evil has been done in the name of impartiality than in the name of passion; just ask Hannah Arendt.

Hunter Thompson never pretended to be anything other than a razor-fanged partisan anarchist. Neither leftist nor rightist, simply Gonzo, he was as horrified by his own fondess for Jimmy Carter as he was by the tame White House press corps that gave Nixon a free ride for so many years. And he opens his coverage of Nixon's funeral with a passage from Revelation, as is only right and proper.

Read it and weep, both for the savagery and for the loss…nobody writes like this anymore. Selah.

HST makes sure Nixon gets on the chopper

Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism–which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful…

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern–but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.

Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man–evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him–except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship…

At the stroke of midnight in Washington, a drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and head of a giant hyena crawls out of its bedroom window in the South Wing of the White House and leaps 50 feet down to the lawn … pauses briefly to strangle the chow watchdog, then races off into the darkness…toward the Watergate, snarling with lust, loping through the alleys behind Pennsylvania Avenue and trying desperately to remember which one of those 400 iron balconies is the one outside Martha Mitchell's apartment.

Ah…nightmares, nightmares. But I was only kidding. The President of the United States would never act that weird. At least not during football season.

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