The Gonzo Monument goes up; explosion today for the Doctor

At this very moment, Hunter Thompson's ashes may be arcing through the air, settling back down all over the place. A fitting end to the legend. There were Golden Tickets to the ceremony hidden in Gonzo Imperial Porter bottles which you can order from Flying Dog brewery over the Internet. "Photographer tangles with Thompson's neighbor for shot of cannon". A news roundup via the Great Thompson Hunt. Hunter Thompson Widow Tells AP of Send-Off. FAA to keep tight grip on airspace at Hunter Thompson’s memorial (it is near the airport).

I've got nothing particular to say, save a quote (Songs of the Doomed, p. 294)

Feeling crazy has never really worried me. It is an occupational hazard and some days I even get paid for it--but there are some things that even crazy people can't get away with, and this idea of turning around and driving back to Sacramento to pick up Jilly's birth certificate seemed to be one of them.

"Don't worry about him," she said. "He's having dinner with some tax lobbyists tonight. I'll just run in and get a little suitcase. It won't take two minutes."

I shrugged and turned around. What the hell? I thought. Buy the ticket, take the ride. There was madness in either direction. And besides, I was beginning to like the girl.

She was a dangerous dingbat with a very pure dedication to the Love and Adventure ethic--but I recognized a warrior when I met one, and on the way down the mountain I knew what Clyde must have felt like when he met Bonnie.

Fare thee well, Doctor of Journalism. Selah.

Gonzo in Space: Hunter S. Thompson to Go Out With a Bang on Saturday

"We have never had a request such as this one in our company's history," Marcy Zambelli, chief executive officer of Zambelli Fireworks, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gaztte this week. "But we respect the request of the family and have actually custom engineered an aerial shell specifically designed to carry out his final wish."

Gonzo Tower

Richard Gilmore, left, and Tom Bennie with Specialized Protective Services of Aspen, stand guard at the entrance to Hunter S. Thompson's Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colo., on Friday, Aug. 19, 2005, where preparations are underway for Saturday's memorials service for Thompson. The memorial pictured in the background will be unveiled Saturday night and Thompson's ashes will be distributed by a fireworks projectile. As many as 250 family members and friends are expected to attend the by invitation only ceremony. Thompson shot himself to death six months ago on Feb. 20 at age 67. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Hunter S. Thompson's counselor By D.A. Blyler | RAW STORY CONTRIBUTOR

The Scriptures relevance for Thompson flooded back as I stared at The Proud Highway and Bible in the bottom of the box. It reminded me of the mystery surrounding Thompson’s brief suicide note. Before shooting himself with a revolver, he had typed the single word “Counselor” in the center of a blank page. To date, fellow journalists and friends of Thompson have expressed confusion as to what the word might signify, comparing it to the mysterious “Rosebud” of Citizen Kane. And that’s when it hit me. I picked up the Bible and quickly scanned the Gospel of John. There it was in the 14th chapter:

“16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor*, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.”

It isn’t surprising that journalists didn’t pick up on this connection with Thompson’s goodbye in the days following his death. While the Bible has wielded greater influence on the history of American Letters than any other work, we currently live in an age where any mention of the Bible immediately conjures up images of right-wing nut-cases, homophobic TV evangelists, and door-knocking Adventists in bad suits. Fewer and fewer educated people (including Christians) read the Bible anymore. But Thompson wasn’t a product of this age. He was of that rapidly dwindling generation of writers who saw the majesty of the Bible as both a work of literature and a looking-glass into the human condition.

Thompson surely would have felt drawn to the Gospel of John, the most lyrical and mystical of the four Gospels. It’s there that we find the pronouncement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It is a decree that has resonated with writers from Twain to Whitman to Fitzgerald to Miller—a revelation that words are transcendent, that a writer’s vocation is more than just a job. It should be a calling, wherein the “Spirit of truth” (Counselor) is followed unfailingly. No mean trick.

For following your Counselor often means discovering things that aren’t fit for polite company. It’s never pleasant to find evil growing among the peonies. Or in the hearts of your elected officials. Better to be “vaguely happy” than uncomfortable. Thompson, though, never fell for that devil’s lie. He knew that even though the truth often cuts like a razor, it also serves as a “Comforter*” when the jackals begin circling. Because as Thompson recognized, the jackals don’t really give a damn whether you speak the truth or not. They are coming after us all one day. But facing the bastards down is a whole lot easier when you’ve got the truth by your side.

Hunter Thompson Ashes Set to Blast Off


The Associated Press

Saturday, August 20, 2005; 8:26 PM

WOODY CREEK, Colo. -- Iconoclastic journalist Hunter S. Thompson would have loved the 153-foot tower built to blast his ashes into the sky, said one of his many friends and admirers gathered for an unsolemn farewell.

"It's a beautiful structure. Of course, he would not have been able to resist putting a few holes into it," said Michael Cleverly, referring to his former neighbor's love of shooting guns. "But it weighs several tons, so it could handle a few holes."

The counterculture author killed himself six months ago at his home near Aspen. His ashes, intermingled with fireworks, were to be fired out of the tower Saturday evening in front of a star-studded crowd at his Owl Farm compound.

"He loved explosions," his wife, Anita Thompson, explained during the planning of the fireworks sendoff.

The tower _ intentionally built just taller than the Statue of Liberty _ was erected in a field between Thompson's home and a tree-covered canyon wall. It was shrouded in tarpaulins for days, but his widow, Anita, said it was modeled after Thompson's Gonzo logo: a clenched fist, made symmetrical with two thumbs, rising from the hilt of a dagger.

The memorial was expected to be a party, with plenty of alcohol, reminiscences, readings from Thompson's works and performances by both Lyle Lovett and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

About 250 people were invited, including Thompson's longtime illustrator, Ralph Steadman, and actors Sean Penn and Johnny Depp, close friends of the writer. Depp portrayed Thompson in the 1998 movie version of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," perhaps the writer's most well-known work.

Anita Thompson said Depp funded much of the celebration.

"We had talked a couple of times about his last wishes to be shot out of a cannon of his own design," Depp told The Associated Press last month. "All I'm doing is trying to make sure his last wish comes true. I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out."

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