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Revisiting the Gonzo Doctor

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 22nd February 2005 11:57pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


VegasTripping.com contributor and friend, Jesse Jarnow, interviewed Hunter S. Thompson in April 2003 for Relix Magazine. Below is an excerpt of that interview.

Inside, Thompson works on his beloved typewriters, never upgrading to a computer, despite a weekly column on ESPN’s website. His brain works only as fast as he can type on a vintage Selectric. In conversation, he speaks in tight bursts, quickly stopping and starting, as if allowing his hands time to type. “I’veneverunderstood. Whatamemoir. Reallyis.” When he stumbles, which is frequent, the impression is that he’s stuck on a word. The constant derailments can be explained, perhaps, as lingual crossroads: how to write the story.When presented with an object of desire or potential Action he barrels ahead, his body language changing and thoughts focusing.

“I leave [Colorado] once every two months,” Thompson said. “In the past six months, I’ve been to Hawaii and LA. It’s getting harder and harder because of the planes. I fly first class,with all the advantages I can get, but—goddamn—it’s just getting more and more horrible. That’s intentional, I believe. That’s part of the overall plan to dumb the population down. A frightened population is obedient. They’re confused. They’re afraid. A fearful population is going to be easier, more malleable, more compliant. I wasn’t personally hassled [on the way to New York], but the breakdown of the system hassles everybody.”

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment,” Thompson is fond of saying. If politics is control and control is fear, then this well applies to Thompson’s personal style, from the abstract vultures atop Owl Farm’s gates (to ward off unwanted visitors) to the abrupt hammerings of his cane (keeping oddly subtle control through apparent unpredictability). For Thompson, politics is the base level at which humans communicate and it deeply bothers him when people make no attempt to engage.



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