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Gui Stuart Remembers

On his own terms

Hunter S. Thompson is dead today
One of the last and greatest living symbols
of freedom in America is dead today,
right along with the American dream
that died along time ago
and he wrote about its demise
quite frequently
and quite humorously
He had an ingenius knack
for writing about the bleak truth
and making you able to laugh
about it at the same time
that it disturbed you
His writing had a healing
quality to it
He could take the conformity of the country
and turn it upside down
and show everyone how absurd it is
and he did it all on his own terms
He lived his whole life on his own terms,
never compromising himself
or his fierce individuality
He was a part of the machine
that never quite fit,
never wanted to fit
He forced the world to deal with him
instead of molding himself to it
and he did whatever the hell he wanted to
He was always testing the limits
and going far and beyond too far,
and it was never far enough for him
He took the civil liberties granted in the constitution
and tried to make them a reality,
and when they were a sham, a hypocrasy
then he fought to make them a reality
by living exactly the way he wanted to,
and by writing satire with genius and wit
He had the ability to make you laugh
like you'd never laughed before
because there was truth in that laugh,
there was the tragic comedy of the
american nightmare in that laugh
and everyone who read him
experienced the relief, the genius,
and the pain of that laugh
He was the embodiment of the
fantasy of the american dream
that only happens in hollywood movies
His version was much more twisted, much
more comical, much more sinister,
much more real, much more the reality
of civil liberties put in action,
and the government tried to crack down on him
because he tried to make those rights a reality
and that scared them, that sent fear rumbling
and cracking up the steps of the establishment
He had his hand on the pulse of America
at all times, and that pulse is a scary place to be
It skips beats and sends people running
for their lives, literally,
but Thompson defied the odds
and beat the system time after time
and more than that,
he made a mockery of it,
and people loved him for it
He was the mad hatter prophet
with his hands on the pulse of America
that told them and showed them the facades
of "a decadent and depraved" culture
on the brink of extinction,
and made them laugh
and love him for it
because he was the outlaw out there
who had the genius to be able to put
into words, put into words what
all of them felt deep down and related to
but didn't have the ability to put into words,
didn't have the ability to show the humor
in all the bleakness and farce
of a culture and country
moving rapidly toward a real 1984
He was the guy who had balls enough
to live as he pleased
and earn a living doing it
He was the great wet dream
of the American Dream,
and everyone looked up to him,
envied him, and admired him
He was being and living
what they'd always wished they could be
He was the mad hatter prophet outlaw
beating the odds and being strong
out there on the periphery
as the claws of conformity
and government control
grew tighter and tighter
He was a beacon of strength,
a beacon of hope,
a beacon of empowerment
in these trying times of darkness
full of disappearing freedoms
and mirages of rights,
and he saw it all for decades
and he lived it all for decades,
and yet, he still never compromised himself,
his rights, or his individuality
He lived life on his terms,
and he died on his terms
No laws, government, sickness, or aging
took him out
He took himself out
and it was a surprise
in truly Hunter S. Thompson fashion,
being unpredictable to the end,
never letting anyone know what he was
going to do or what he was up to
until he did it,
always leaving in that mystery
with unpredictable underpinnings,
always living on the edge,
never willing to falter from it,
from his hand on the pulse
He lived like America
He died like America
He lived in the dying times of America
an outcast, a rebel, an involuntary revolutionary
searching for truth, searching for the American Dream,
and then turning it upside down as a farce
and helping us to learn to laugh at it
instead of just cry
He was always an outlaw, like Wild Bill Hickock,
and a true a nonconformist taking on the bulls,
and I'm selfish, and I wish he was still around
for me to look up to, for me to gain strength from,
but I still admire and respect him
for always living on his own terms,
and in the ultimate act of nonconformity,
he died on his own terms
No one ever dictated the terms
for Hunter S. Thompson,
but Hunter S. Thompson
He lived like he died,
on his own terms,
and you gotta love him.


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