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eXile Classic / February 18, 2012
By John Dolan

This article was first published in The eXile in February 2005.

You wouldn’t have guessed he’d shoot himself, but it made sense after the fact. He always meant what he said and did, and he always had the guns around. It was right that he used one to blow his brains out.

I can’t remember the last time a celebrity death made me sad like this. I’d been meaning to write a tribute to him, because I consider him a great and underrated writer. Too late now.

Still, it was an honorable and gory end, a good conclusion. He’d already lasted about 40 years longer than he expected to, and much, much longer than the mainstream wanted him to. Ever since he got famous and kept saying openly that he loved and used speed, they’d been waiting eagerly to see him turn into something they could use to scare the kids back to nice, dumb, cell-toxic booze. They were willing to tolerate a discreet stoner—marijuana users are pitifully harmless people—but not a smart, tough, 6’3″ redneck who sang the praises of the hard stuff. (In fact, one of my favorite comments he made about drugs was that he could write effectively on every drug EXCEPT marijuana.)

It irked them, the way he refused to die, go dramatically insane, become crippled, or recant. Way back in the 70s people were saying, “Oh, he’s through, he’s really fried his brain.” That was all you ever heard from the millions of cowards who were going through the recommended transition from druggie to real-estate agent: “Oh, Hunter’s lost it, I heard he OD’d…”

Well, he hadn’t lost it. He kept writing well—better than they could. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best post-1945 American novel I know, with Dog of the South and Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch its only real competition. Thompson, waxing boastful in his old age, claimed it was as good as Great Gatsby; I say he was being absurdly modest. It’s vastly better than that rusting hulk welded of Preppie bathos.

There’s Huckleberry Finn, and then there’s FALILV. And note that they’re very similar books, these two great American novels: both hilarious, both steeped in intimate scorn for the culture they deride, both written by tough Southern boys who were too smart, honorable and cocky to fall for the Southern mythos—or the Northern one.

Thompson took all that was good about the South: personal honor, toughness, gun love, jokes; and abandoned, once and for all, the vile baggage that went with it, without whining about his loss. He backed Ron Dellums for VP in 1972, and never even thought about going back to Dixieland schmaltz when it became fashionable again at the turn of the millennium.

Can anybody else’s culture hero say as much? Can Orwell, that oft-cited example of journalistic virtue? Thompson was not only a far better writer than Orwell, he was a far better man. Orwell felt that his conversion to Socialism made it acceptable to him to keep all the other nasty bigotries of his background, and made a point of hating everyone his nanny had taught him to hate, from the Irish to the wogs to women.

Thompson dropped all his childhood prejudices and fought—in many cases, literally, physically fought—racism wherever he came across it. And typically, he never bemoaned his loss of innocence, nor became a mealymouthed “progressive”—an extraordinary bit of navigation through four decades of treacherous ideological snags, a feat worthy of his sole peer, the river pilot Mark Twain.

How many of the abstemious wisps who live on Spirulina and consider coffee a dangerous stimulant wrote as well in their sixties as he did? His columns for the San Francisco Examiner in the 80s were damn good, and his books kept coming, more diffuse but still funny. And he kept refusing to lie.

In one of his last books, Kingdom of Fear, he said the only druggies still honest enough to credit their chemical muses were him and Burroughs. But as with Gatsby, he was too generous. Truth is, he was the only one. Burroughs loved to pose with guns and play up the junkie schtick, but ended up sniveling to be “cured” of his “addiction” and wrote in praise of the medical gurus who weaned him off opiates.

Not Thompson. He never recanted.

We make the Hollywood Commies of the fifties into heroes for refusing to grovel or snitch, but that’s only because Commies just don’t matter. Try to think of a hero who stood up to the drug-cops and the medieval insanity they unleashed—a hero who never denied using drugs or enjoying them, never denied that they helped him enormously in his work, never backed down, even at the peak of the witch hunt. It’s a list of one: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. That’s practical bravery, bravery in the face of real, virulent, popular oppression. Do you see the difference?

67 years old, and he was still going so strong it took a bullet in the head to stop him. A half-century on speed. It’s an awesome achievement in itself, never mind the writing.

Yes, speed. I’ll say it again, since this crucial word seems to have been left out of every obituary I’ve read: speed.

All the ex-druggies who run the California press, eager to airbrush the decades spent high on speed and coke from their official biographies, are squirming to find some way to avoid the word. The San Francisco Chronicle even managed to find someone who quoted Thompson as saying, “Adrenaline is our real drug of choice.”

Nice try. But let’s try to be a little bit honest, guys, just for a few minutes, in his honor. His drug of choice was speed. Crystal meth. Amphetamines. You all know it. You’ve all taken it. And not one of you will admit that you love it, that you’ve written on it, that you’ve had the best times of your life on it.

That was his gimmick: telling the truth. It’s something that would never occur to the people who run the San Francisco Chronicle. That’s all Thompson’s “new journalism” was: telling the truth about what it was like to be a reporter.

Every other American journalist saved his really juicy stuff for the boys in the bus, and fobbed off press releases and other garbage on the sucker readers. They do it instinctively; it literally would not occur to them to go about the job any other way. America is the perfect Soviet society, with a built-in disconnect between what a reporter knows and jokes about while drinking and drugging with other insiders, and what he tells the losers out there.

Thompson was simply brave enough to do the obvious (which was so “obvious” no one else dreamed of doing it): telling us the whole juicy experience of being on the press bus, being one of the insiders.

This is what columnists mean when they say that he became a “Gonzo” journalist and “abandoned objectivity”: simply that he told the druggy, boozy, rumor-fuelled truth they all preferred to save for each other. And in doing so, he actually made the filthy, dull slaughterhouse work of American politics seem worth reading about.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 is still worth reading, long after all its principal characters are dead. Not for its account of the election, but just to savor the Amphetamine rhythm of Thompson’s life on the road, in the bus: the highs, the hotel paranoia moments, the crashes—he tells a speed crash better than anyone except maybe Philip K. Dick.

And there, maybe, is a fit companion for him: Dick. Both were smart and lucky enough to be in the Bay Area just as it took flame, in the mid-60s. Both were a little bit older than the average callow hippie, and that saved them. I recently read Thompson’s early letters, collected in The Proud Highway, and was amazed to see how brilliantly he avoided all the pitfalls of the hippie trail. And God, there were a lot of pitfalls. There was the gullible folly of becoming a naive believer in the charismatic dictators of the moment. Thompson stayed a hard Leftist all his life, but mocked, in his letters, friends who swooned at the feet of third-world dictators.

Then there was the lotus-eater slide into drooling hedonism. He was astonishingly deft at avoiding that one, taking his share of sex and stoner idylls without ever losing his hardscrabble drive to keep writing. In fact, you’ll find him remarkably terse about sex, compared to any other hippie-era writer. He had more, and boasted less, than any one I can think of.

And most treacherous of all was the shallow, unconcealed pit labeled “Return to Airbrushed Safe Career.” He never took that one. It’s almost as if…could this be possible?…it’s almost as if he WASN’T SCARED. How could there be an American who wasn’t scared? Scared is all that we are, it’s our DNA. But not his.

One of his last columns described the long sequence of humiliating searches and interrogations he endured before boarding a flight to Hawaii. In a beautiful passage, he remembers fondly how Americans used to be able to go anywhere they wanted, without fear, without explaining themselves to anyone. I don’t know if that’s really true, but it’s wonderful to imagine. Just the idea of an American not being scared—that’s wonderful in itself.

But I fear he was the last one.

This article was first published in The eXile in February 2005.


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Add your own

  • 1. G.G. Allin  |  February 18th, 2012 at 4:12 am

    This is an ok article. Thompson was certainly an interesting figure, especially in teh context of this lame country. But I’ve never really understood how he could take hallucinogens in public–that always scares the shit out of me, and I’ve never really met anyone who could do it with his degree of confidence.

  • 2. mutt50  |  February 18th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Pot users are pitiful and harmless. So, if you ain’t on the hard stuff, you’re weak. Oh, well, I guess sweeping bullshit statements are fun.
    Still, a good article, especially about our new fear based culture.

  • 3. DeeboCools  |  February 18th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Friendly warning; the eXiled’s snobby hate of booze might alienate young readers, who’re all drunk and unemployed and looking for articles to read(target audience) during this depression.

    I’m pro-all-drugs, and I agree about the white-washing(tehe) of his cocaine and amphetamine use by the press after his death. They loved to mention the wild turkey 101 and the acid but hated to feed the “speed culture,” which as Dolan mentions:

    “You all know it. You’ve all taken it. And not one of you will admit that you love it.”

    I don’t know why that’s so, but it’s true. I suspect writers don’t want to give away the big secret. Even Phillip K. Dick claimed later that there was something askew with his liver which caused the amphetamines to only provide a placebo effect. He evidently thought there was something shameful about using speed to completely remake and reinvent science fiction as we know it. There wasn’t.

  • 4. Wilmer  |  February 18th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    mutt50: it’s only new if you ignore the fear of the blacks and the reds.

  • 5. Dtd  |  February 18th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Pot users ARE pitiful and harmless, by and large.

    Name someone who became braver from pot?

  • 6. state  |  February 18th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    John Dolan *really* hates pot. It affects him poorly. Some people can write on it, some people can be productive, some people become, yes, lotus-eaters… that’s actually one of the best ways of putting it. It’s so deeply associated with the embarrassing side of the 60’s. Complete failure. The former ‘leftist agitator’ now pudgy and soft. Critical faculties gone, self awareness thrown down a bottomless pit of unthinking consumption. An object of pity and scorn.

    It will another decade to get over the revulsion of pot. And not for entirely unjustified reasons. Hard drugs, like speed, will lead to psychosis, taking incredible risks, and getting yourself killed. Other than maybe heroin, which usually kills or converts to Christianity at terminal use, what drug leads to the traits reviled by humans everywhere? Sloth, overeating, the fuzzy haze of a life that ends in underachievement. No one ever criticized speed for being fuzzy, no, it electrifies humans, brings objects into sharp focus. For many, the wrong objects. Most rednecks who do speed aren’t electrified with political & cultural criticism. But it won’t turn you into the most reviled and utterly boring junkie of all, the pothead.

  • 7. BlottoBonVismarck  |  February 18th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I should shut up more often

  • 8. Mason C  |  February 18th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    A strong Dolan offering, but with some false notes. Burroughs weak for wanting to be off smack? Heroin chic went out with the Boxer Rebellion, sire. And admiring a lusty crank addiction? Sure, if we throw in the Nazi hierarchy and Ayn Rand.

    Thompson was the pre-Boomer genuine article, a cardinal example of a real dissident taking a feral dump on convention, career, whatever the squares were offering. And doing it so well that even the lapdogs responded to the wolf howls and late-night scratches at the door – either snarling and peeing in fear or secretly calculating what it would cost them to knock over a few lamps in the parlor.

    Another Southern writer who knew him said without rancor that his suicide was the beaching of an image he knowingly constructed. That takes nothing away, but the myths surrounding his decades-long swashbuckling are exactly that. HST planted a flag where most fear to tread, but the reality cuts both ways.

  • 9. eh  |  February 18th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    The shots at pot smokers are completely unnecessary and make Dolan sound like a pretentious fool. I hate to sound like an uptight moralizer about this but there is solid evidence that THC destroys cancer tumors. We are basically sitting on the cure to cancer because of a bullshit moral panic among idiot right wingers, and complacency among non-stoners like John because of ridiculous, obsolete, cartoonish stereotypes of what kind of person a pot smoker is. My uncle is the hardest working man I know; hes a real estate agent/home renovation contractor/landlord, the only person in my family who makes 6 figures every year and he smokes pot several times a week. Certainly not anything close to a ‘pathetic’ person.!

    Another uncle of mine died recently of cancer and I find it offensive that in a slightly more enlightened world full of marijuana cancer miracles it would not have had to be. Thank god I still have my hardworking landlord uncle to soothe me and shove his weed edibles right up my big fat ass!

  • 10. Petkov  |  February 18th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Oh please. Yet another pseudo hipster a la Burroughs lying about his drug use to make himself more interesting because he has nothing else to write about. If he really took as much drugs as he claimed he would have fried his brain and liver long ago.
    Thompson hated FaliLV; he though it was his worst book. It’s so easy to “shock the middle class”, almost anyone with half a brain can do it.

  • 11. Karl Farts 3148  |  February 18th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    “A strong Dolan offering, but with some false notes.”

    yep. read the comments on this one, John. You will find a lot of dumbshit stoners who can’t face the truth.

    also, pot always gives me courage in Playstation fighting/conflict situations.

  • 12. Mr. Bad  |  February 18th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Since we’re reaching around (LOL) for old stuff since Dolan is off with a ham and cheese how about the last words of the man himself, RIP H.S.T:

    No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt.

  • 13. coprologie  |  February 19th, 2012 at 4:01 am

    i like burroughs, i like HST, i will take amphetamines when i need to, but HST also did coke (which probably doesn’t turn people into assholes nearly as bad as it’s supposed to)

    this article was written seven years ago. i wonder how much further south things can go

  • 14. Nestor  |  February 19th, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I dunno, the few times I saw him near the end he seemed a mumbling mess

  • 15. adam  |  February 19th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    At the least, pot distracts people from doing any real systemic harm. Imagine how great it’d be if we could get all those teabaggers to take some hits and shut the fuck up.

    I love pot, but I also understand Dolan’s angst. His drug of choice, speed, does not have the wide acceptance enjoyed by pot and alcohol. He has to suffer a social stigma because of that, and I think he’s rightly pissed off about it. Plus, Ames brought up a good point in an article a couple months ago where he suspected that pot heads were only fighting against the drug war for themselves: once their drug of choice becomes fully decriminalized, they’ll let their druggie brothers and sisters rot in jail. I think that’s a valid suspicion; my pothead friends think all other drugs are for criminals and poor minorities, and wouldn’t lift a finger to help their cause.

    If pot doesn’t do it for you, and your drug of choice is constantly getting slammed, wouldn’t you also be as pissed as Dolan?

  • 16. gc  |  February 19th, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Well, if Ames, Dolan & co. ever want to lose some of the creepily worshipful fans who congregate in these comment sections, they know how to do it; more disparaging remarks about pot.

    Do it, guys!

  • 17. Big Gay Baby  |  February 19th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Love the man, the myth, the Bermuda shorts; but I’ll take the dissenting view on the writing itself: it’s aged poorly. Discursive, rambling, often incoherent, excessively ornate–No doubt there are some passages that are so good they make you throw down the book and pace around the room, but that’s usually after suffering through 20-30 pages of sub-Kerouac descriptive drivel. For what speed giveth in inspiration it also taketh away in editing–it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff with all that euphoria rolling around your dome. That’s why I tend to like his shorter non-fiction pieces the most. And Gatsby? Yeah, I guess I’ll give you that one, but HST never wrote anything that comes close to Tender is the Night.

  • 18. JIMGOAD  |  February 19th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    using JG logic how can u criticize pot mark & uncle dolan if u smoke it

    how can u do it gc how does it work

  • 19. hazey  |  February 19th, 2012 at 11:23 am

  • 20. internal exile  |  February 19th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    San Francisco Drug User’s Union‘s next meeting:

    Mon Feb 20, 2012

    5pm – 6:30pm General Meeting

    149 Turk St.

  • 21. Blanye  |  February 19th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Some god damned honesty. Now that’s what we need in this world. There’s a reason most tech companies don’t drug test: there’s no talent in the squares.

    As much as I love booze, it’s fucking retarded that that is legal and marijuana is not.

    Legalize all the drugs!

  • 22. Mr. Bad  |  February 19th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    @ 16. gc

    Well, you don’t know shite about movies but I sure do love the idea of pissing off the fanboys with some more anti-weed rants – the mere fact that pot has gained such wide acceptance just shows to go you how little it disturbs the typical bourgeois rube from his lowing and grazing, in fact it usually increases their potential for “being so, like, I dunno, like, chill”.

    I used it in HS along with everything else but when I see other adults fetishizing it while shitting on awesome “hard drugs” I think of a teenager with a wine cooler. It is a gateway drug, an excellent gateway drug, a great way to practice not losing your shit during whilst in the altered states but it’s nothing to build a movement around. That being said legalizing it would undoubtedly bring us closer to decriminalization of the good stuff – which is about the most you can ask for in the WASP run USA.

  • 23. Hick  |  February 19th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Speed was good enough for Paul Erdos. Of course Erdos was getting pure, pharmaceutical-grade stuff. Your average speed freak is getting who-knows-what. Plus, what we see when we think “speed freak” is the segment of people who are unemployed and unemployable, speedin’ or not. Give someone pure stuff, a reason for living, and a decent income and home, and they may be no more harmful than Erdos was.

    Also – for those with ADHD, speed *calms them down*.

  • 24. Mike C  |  February 19th, 2012 at 9:00 pm


    Here in CA, where pot is legal under some circumstances, and the legitimacy of those circumstances is rarely ever enforced, the shit is plentiful. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t smell weed somewhere, at least faintly.

    And yet (some) weed smokers remain whiny and sanctimonious about a drug that no one has any trouble getting, and evidently no fear about using in public. To the most grating among them, weed is the answer to everything. It should replace alcohol, tobacco, and all human emotions not induced by weed itself.

    All that’s required to get weed in this state is a spurious health problem and a doctor who doesn’t give a fuck. And the doctors that don’t advertise themselves as such. Try getting something else, and you need a friend of a friend of a friend. The quality is a crapshoot; there’s no guarantee you didn’t get ripped off, or that you won’t go blind (such is the thrill, if you’re into such things).

    Personally, I think weed is garbage. Other people enjoy it—I don’t. Alcohol is also a sloppy, vulgar excuse for a drug. Both are widely available, largely free from stigma (and in CA, free from legal repercussions), and both are the worst of the lot. They’re the “California Candles” and sparklers in a universe of M-80s and bottle rockets.

    But yeah, in those for whom weed is an exclusive proposition, they’d drop the legalization hysterics the minute weed becomes totally legal (as opposed to practically so), and everything is made from hemp (as if the two were intertwined).

    @Big Gay Baby
    “sub-Kerouac descriptive drivel”

    Preposterous. No one can be sub-Kerouac, the least of which a writer with a voice like HST.

  • 25. John Drinkwater  |  February 19th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Thompson at his best is the funniest writer of all time, next to Wodehouse. Dolan at his best is one of the funniest writers of all time.

    As for drugs, I vote for amphetamines and booze. Coke’s fun, but it’s too exhausting. Never understood pot…

  • 26. Recall  |  February 19th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    “I love pot, but I also understand Dolan’s angst. His drug of choice, speed, does not have the wide acceptance enjoyed by pot and alcohol. ”

    It’s called Adderall, and it’s pretty fucking popular these days.

  • 27. Warlord  |  February 20th, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Everyone in my family is addicted to smack and/or crack. They are hardcore criminals and generally miserable pieces of shit, and I hate them. Wish they had all just smoked weed instead.

  • 28. Mr. Bad  |  February 20th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    @ 27. Warlord

    HAHAHA… Oh lawd! Game, set, match. I’m sure if they’d stuck to token’ and drinkin’ they’d all have PHD’s by now – or at least a fuckton of money saved up in their 401K’s, right? ROFL

  • 29. Ilona  |  February 20th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Thank you for the article.

    Mr. Thompson is one of the first American writers along with Vonnegut, Roth, Heller and all the usual suspects I stumbled over in then tender age of 14 or something.

    Mr. Thompson. Some eye opener.

    Mr. Thompson, you surely are missed.

  • 30. coprologie  |  February 20th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    i woulda mentioned adderall but i’m worried the AEC’d think me a pussy for doing ‘kiddie meth’

    also i will add that paul erdos was a grand motherfucker for earnest

  • 31. franc black  |  February 20th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Drugs affect different physiologies in different ways. There’s no “winning combo” that applies to everybody. Find those poisons that don’t kill you too soon, and go with it.
    If you get your thrill simply on THC and/or ethanol, count yourself very very very lucky.

    As Iggy Pop says: “We’re all gonna die, so let’s get high!”

    Oh, and by the way Dolan’s at his best when he leaves George Orwell alone.

  • 32. Ilona  |  February 20th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    @ Mr. Bad

    Dear Mr. Bad Ass Anal Artist.

    I am ever so sorry to notify you, Mr. Bad Ass Anal Artist, but you have to clean up your act. It stinks (please, see the PS section). A hard, cold fact which sadly has to be said for your own good.

    In case you want to upscale your truly awesome act in the field of anal artistry and your changes in the anal show business in general you so clearly and so passionately cherish.

    I had a word with Danny. Now Danny, he runs a talent agency and ever since he lost his lovely Terrance Whips And Pisses The Living Jesus Out Of You act there’s been a gaping hole in his rooster, which you could fill up more than perfectly. To sum it up: a perfect talent agency for your perfectly obvious, intelligent, special and exquisite needs!

    Please contact:
    Danny Rose
    Just Slightly Off The Broadway
    New York City

    PS. In Danny’s mind you have to clean up some of your act. In my defense, I’ve to say this: I tried to be firm and stand up for you, but if Danny gets something in his mind there’s no point arguing about it anymore. You can keep all your unbelievable hemorrhoids and all the other props necessary for your undeniable act, but here’s the deal: Danny’s running a clean, family friendly entertainment business. In Danny’s own words: “There’s no room for Mr. Bad Ass Anal Artist’s tiresome routine of twat this, whore that. All of that just has to go.” You do realize that, don’t you?

    Danny was also worried about this “I am in my mother’s basement sitting behind a computer tweezing the grey hairs from my balls.” thing. So, unfortunately, all of that also has to go – publicly at least, if not completely. It’s not good for the business.

    And be nobody’s tool. Don’t let anybody to lead you by tether so easily. You’ve a tendency for that kind of a behaviour, don’t you see?

  • 33. JIMGOAD  |  February 20th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Hi Gavin McInnes here, I’m still really crazy obsessed with Ames, so is my second-banana Jim Goad–you know, the guy who had hair plugs and a nose job? Yeah, that Jim “second-banana” Goad. We’re both like the Misery woman obsessed with Ames. Wish we could find a way out of it, but I’m too busy being a white supremacist (as is my second-banana Jim “Hair Plugs” Goad).

  • 34. Mason C  |  February 20th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I’ll be won over to the booze ‘n’ cirrhosis crowd when a six pack helps cancer patients as much as a fat spliff.

    Shitcan the Harder Than Thou substance preaching. It’s dumber than a sack of Atlas Shrugged.

  • 35. Ilona  |  February 20th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    @ 31. franc black

    Oh, Iggy, Iggy… What haven’t your God awful lips uttered?

    He’s also allegedly said: “Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty.” according to Gimme Danger: The Story Of Iggy Pop biography after scoring the two most hideous fat chicks from the audience. At the time he was married to the one of most beautiful female models in the world. At the time Iggy was allegedly free of drugs.

    Nice line anyway: “Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty.”

  • 36. Mike C.  |  February 20th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @Mason C

    Holding up weed as a cancer cure, then complaining about preaching!

    What bullshit! We have to listen to stoners rhapsodize about their “herb” all the fucking time—typical! Such agonizing bores!

  • 37. Recall  |  February 20th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    @ 30. coprologie

    I could give a fuck what the vintage t-shirt crowd thinks. Speed is speed. The only difference between a Las Vegas hotel and a Walgreens parkinglot is the copay.

    @ 36. Mike C.

    So much vocabulary, so little reading comprehension.

  • 38. Mason C  |  February 20th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    @Mike C

    A cancer cure? Are you high? Check my post, I wrote nothing of the sort.

    Hardcore hackysack stoners bore me as much as you, but let’s not get into it about the well-documented medical uses of cannabis. Pot belongs in a medicinal plant guide, not federal Schedule I.

    Incidentally, Paul Gahlinger’s “Illegal Drugs” (2001) is an important book on the subject.

  • 39. Mike C  |  February 20th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    @Mason C

    I conflated your post with one by “eh,” which said,

    “there is solid evidence that THC destroys cancer tumors”

    Sorry if the topic of weed’s benefits bores me too much for due rigor.


    This is as much reply as your post merits.

  • 40. darthfader  |  February 20th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    We’re all waiting to see if he was right to take the ride after Bush took the oath again, all of us. Everywhere a bomb can reach.

  • 41. Mr. Bad  |  February 20th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    @32. Ilona

    Dearest Ilona,

    No, no my friend I must go on living near you, I’ve been thinking the matter over and I would be doing something very wrong to refuse the duty of your acquaintance, to say nothing of the incomprehensible incredulity of a person such as myself, to be turned down for so certain a crust and the simple pleasures of persisting in my own crapulence but thank you for the good cheer on such a dark night when your dimming soul seeks to plagiarize itself, such is its right.

  • 42. tom  |  February 21st, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Erdös the mathematician used amphetamines. A friend accused him of being addicted and he quit for a month to show that he could. Thereafter, he said that mathematics had been held back for a month.

  • 43. ct  |  February 21st, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Blargh, drug nerds can’t help but talk about drugs at every opportunity. It’s like christ, who cares? Good souls that do drugs are still good. Shitty people that do drugs are still shitty. Once you start identifying as “drug user” or “not drug user” you’re way past done, you’ve been shrink wrapped like a good little fool.

    Try to take the spirit of the writers you admire and not the powerpoint summary.

  • 44. gc  |  February 21st, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @ 22

    “I sure do love the idea of pissing off the fanboys”

    Bitch, I is the fanboys.

  • 45. gc  |  February 21st, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    @ 44

    Is there a power struggle going on in the censors office?

  • 46. Mike C  |  February 21st, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    @43. ct

    Drugs are part of the topic. A defining point of HST’s writing is his attitude toward, and use of, narcotics. Same with Burroughs. They’re inextricable subjects. It doesn’t mean you can just pop a pill and become a good writer—no one’s suggesting that. Kerouac is a sack of shit because he was just a disgusting hipster tourist, whether he picked up the odd roach or not.

    Moving on. What would make drugs less interesting is if they actually were legal (look at how boring the legal drugs are—care to write a book about caffeine, weed, and vodka?). So much of the mythos would be gone if there wasn’t so much slapstick surrounding peoples’ adventures with shady characters and filthy cops.

  • 47. JIMGOADSBRAINTUMOR  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 10:38 am


    oh gawd mark wrestling

  • 48. Bob  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “Try to think of a hero who stood up to the drug-cops and the medieval insanity they unleashed—a hero who never denied using drugs or enjoying them, never denied that they helped him enormously in his work, never backed down, even at the peak of the witch hunt.”
    Bill Hicks.

  • 49. DeeboCools  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Then Hicks died of throat cancer LOLOLOLOL. Snob.

  • 50. Ilona  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @ 41. Mr. Bad

    Dear Mr. Bad Ass Anal Artist,

    I’m most delighted to learn you’re working extra hard on your hemorrhoids. That’s exactly the type of relentless, never giving up spirit Danny’s looking for.

    Please, negotiate about the specifics with Danny. Remember to bring your wide collection of laser and samurai swords with you. Danny’s absolutely thrilled when he heard about them and how amazingly skillfully you handle them in your act.

    All the best for your dentro de poco blossoming career.

  • 51. Bob  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Hicks died of pancreatic cancer.

  • 52. JIMGOADSBRAINTUMOR  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 4:45 pm




  • 53. MCFAULSSENSEOFHUMOR  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 4:47 pm


  • 54. Mr. Bad  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    @50. Ilona

    Not working hard, but neither are you apparently, right? Just a little funtime with asberger diva Dolona and his Dostoyevsky by way of google translate “irony”. Don’t judge Dolona too harshly, it counts as good fun when
    you have to tickle trout for dinner and have a camp stove heating his tugboat to make out in, amiright?

  • 55. Ilona  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Ha, ha… Nice. Ok. Right.

  • 56. H.S. Thompson  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 12:41 am

    When I was alive(?), they called me a stoner. Now that I’m like totally dead . . . .

  • 57. Ilona  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 6:41 am

    @ 54. Mr. Bad

    Damn! You’d do your own footwork.

    Ok, I Google translated “irony”. According to Google it’s “ironia”.

    Once again we are getting somewhere!

  • 58. 69 Anytime 88 On a Date  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 9:41 am

    All this fuss over Johnny Depp? Jeez…

  • 59. MQ  |  February 24th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I love pot, but I also understand Dolan’s angst. His drug of choice, speed, does not have the wide acceptance enjoyed by pot and alcohol.

    In its Adderall form it enjoys very wide acceptance.

  • 60. SVETA THE FJCKEN SLUT  |  February 25th, 2012 at 5:04 am


  • 61. DeeboCools  |  February 25th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    “I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.”- Mitch Hedburg

  • 62. Neil Baker  |  February 28th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    He didn’t shoot himself, dumbass!
    Neither did Gary Webb (in the head, twice.)
    Neither did J.H. Hatfield.
    Neither did Margie Schoedinger.
    Neither did JFK Jr. stall his airplane.
    Sen. Paul Wellstone was assassinated.
    All of them were exectuted.
    I strongly suspect that ExiledOnline is a Zionist counter propaganda pub.
    Shape up fa! ghhhhhh!—And that’s the last anyone heard from dear old Neil.

  • 63. Margo Adler  |  February 28th, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Totally late for the party and nobody asked for my opinion anyway, but:

    The way that HST blew his head off while ON THE TELEPHONE with his wife was a completely abusive, unacceptable thing to do. NOT OKAY.

    IMO, the quality of HST’s writing varied tremendously–but so did Twain’s, and practically every other author, especially the prolific ones. And HST was prolific. He was absolutely talented, and when he nailed it, he nailed it–his writing about Nixon? Clinton? Hell’s Angel’s? Some of his lines are unforgettable.

    I am morally indifferent to his drug use (unless it negatively affected his parenting–that’s not right), but having read most of his work, there is no doubt in my mind that years of speed and hard drinking gradually diminished his talent. Not judging, just saying.

    P.S. I am always confused when pot enthusiasts hate on Dolan because Dolan expresses his dislike of pot. Who cares if he hates pot? Why be so defensive? He’s entitled to dislike it. I never cared for it myself, but I don’t give a shit if anyone else uses it, and I’ll happily agree that it is infinitely less harmful than booze. Makes chemo patients hungry. Great. Just don’t tell me that it’s a cancer-curing wonder substance which enhances your IQ, or whatever. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  • 64. Neil Baker  |  February 28th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    U.S. Army Colonel Ted Westhusing didn’t shoot himself either.
    Oops, looks like dem Zio boys done shot me already. Dang!

  • 65. hahaha  |  March 13th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Anyone ever find that Hawaii interrogation column?????? I’ve been looking for years.

  • 66. Glenn MacLeod  |  May 15th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    What about Charles Bukowski???? If anybody chronicled the down and dirty decadence of the downtrodden American, it was him, and he had plenty of poetic moments to boot where he could somehow make the ugly side of L.A. life beautiful in its wretchedness. Then there’s Brett Easton Ellis. You can’t say he shied away from writing about the glories of the drug life even if he did prefer the company of the wealthy, the gorgeous, and the totally ammoral. There’s a reason why the Hell’s Angels think Thompson is a big wimp. He had his moments of brillaince, but he didn’t go down swinging like Buk—THAT FEIRCE POSTAL WORKER 4 LIFE REBEL—did and I think Ellis has at least one more good relapse in him (and hopefully a sequel to American Psycho). Just publishing that made him one of the ballsiest American writers ever. Maybe when the slug scattered his brains he hoped people would kindly equate him with Hemingway. Not a fucking chance. And how about…me! Yeah that’s right, you punk ass misers. See how I write like a total MAN. All tight and gritty–punchy and meaner than a postal office groupie on day three of a seven day rot gut bender. Yeah! I’m a badass, taking it to the mean places HST never had the guts to! Yeah!

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