Hunter Thompson is dead. He killed himself 40 years ago when he figured out it was a lot easier being a circus clown with a typewriter, a bottle of bourbon and some drugs instead of being a writer. It just took a while.
So it is time for Aspen and everywhere else to give it a rest.
How many more people do we need to make the Thompson-inspired drunken/doped-up trudge to Woody’s before we all figure out he was just a drug addict with nothing more to say than ‘watch me as I get high.’
Just a few weeks ago Lily Tomlin was in Aspen. In the press run-up to her show, Tomlin remembers downing 13 shots of Wild Turkey at one of the local watering holes. She was disappointed that the bar did not have a plaque commemorating that historic occasion.
Hunter Thompson may have been an idiot but he also left a legacy. Lily Tomlin was trying to be a part of it.
Drinking 13 shots; smoking 13 joints; taking 13 handfuls of acid, Phenobarbital and other drugs is not an accomplishment. To state the obvious.
Neither is it a substitute for having a real life.
But the legacy of Hunter Thompson is that a whole lot of people still think it is.
The latest clowns are some lawyers (sorry for being redundant) who are putting up some kind of scholarship they say is worth a thousand bucks to give to some current or aspiring drug lawyer. They named it after Hunter Thompson and the seminar will be right here in good ol’ Aspen and feature all the ways that people who smoke pot and hire lawyers can now do so without worrying about the legal consequences.
Maybe Johnny Depp can make a movie out of it.
I scanned one of the Big Losers biographies that came out last year. As you might expect it was all about a wasted life dressed up in the gauzy memories of famous and semi-famous people who used to be amused by his drug fueled antics.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
So the book went on: one failed relationship after another. One drug trip. Blah Blah Blah. Hahaha.
But at the very end of the book, the author puts it all in perspective: Thompson did all the clownish things he did all because he “loved the constitution.”
That is the biggest joke of all. Hunter Thompson loved only one thing. The attention he got from taking a lot of drugs and sitting in front of a typewriter hitting keys almost at random.
Rest in Peace? I don’t think so.