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Hunter Thompson Is Still Dead & America Is Still At War With Everything


Wonkette guest editor (and Reason sellout) Dave Weigel snuck into a screening of Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter Thompson last night, and reports that it's "funny and raw as hell," but spoiled by dirty liberal anti-Bush hippieness, because everybody knows how much HST loved the Bush Family, oil companies and imperialist wars. (It's Reason; what do you expect?) But was Thompson's 9/11 column really "thin and watery stuff" and "a catalogue of worries and 'Bush is dumb' jibes"?

A Thompson lookalike sits at a typewriter and pounds out an ESPN column for September 11, 2001. And it's really not a great column. It's a catalogue of worries and "Bush is dumb" jibes; compared to, say, his obituary for Richard Nixon, it's thin and watery stuff.

We haven't read HST's 9/11 column since about September 12, 2001, when it was posted on ESPN.com. But we sort of vaguely recall it capturing the ominous doom of the moment and predicting eternal horror. Let's go back and see if the dead doctor was right, when he was addled and lazy yet still alive, and George W. Bush was AWOL again, and America was so baffled and terrified that a vicious rat-faced opportunist like Rudy Giuliani seemed comforting.

  • The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
  • It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.
  • We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once.
  • This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now.
  • He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why.
  • Good luck. He is in for a profoundly difficult job -- armed as he is with no credible Military Intelligence, no witnesses and only the ghost of Bin Laden to blame for the tragedy.
  • The numbers out of the Pentagon are baffling, as if Military Censorship has already been imposed on the media. It is ominous. The only news on TV comes from weeping victims and ignorant speculators.
  • The lid is on. Loose Lips Sink Ships. Don't say anything that might give aid to The Enemy.



Well, that's more prescient than 99% of the 9/11 pontificating in the years since, let alone the first 24 hours.

And other than a relatively kind wish of "good luck" for the "goofy child-President," at the end of the column, there's nothing about Bush in the whole thing. So, do not believe Weigel's terrible lies, and go learn about a strange, forgotten era when people could still read in this country, and there were still a few Writers.

(Gonzo opens on July 4. And unless the trailer used up all the good footage, it will be a fine excuse to waste two hours in an air-conditioned movie theater, with a thermos full of margaritas, on this coming Independence Day.)

Fear & Loathing In America [ESPN Page 2]

Night of the Hunter [Reason]

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