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Hunter S. Thompson: Grace in Depravity

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This obituary was written by Josh Strike, a new contributor to

Unless it's all some elaborate hoax, Hunter S. Thompson died Sunday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the rest of us are left to wonder: What did it all mean? Common wisdom suggests that here was a man who should have died decades ago in some glorious drug-crazed rampage. He was alternately a born freak or a good-ol'-boy gone awry, a madman or an inscrutable genius. Or, as some have suggested, the Father of Blogging himself.

The fact that the death of such a strange man should make TV headlines the world over is no small miracle. But then, Thompson's words had such potent hilarity and vividness that they always refused to stick to the page. His sense of Gonzo became embedded in our collective consciousness. He built a bridge from Dada to Dexedrine, an absurd antidote to tyranny, propaganda and authoritarianism everywhere.

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LAist met Thompson briefly only two months ago, in the back of a small Rodeo Drive bookshop where he was promoting his new book. He was wild and frenetic, entrenched among his handlers and press agents. He
swilled a drink as he flexed his signing wrist. Three blonde, bikini-clad models had their arms draped all over him; he seemed happy. Benicio Del Toro stood chuckling in the background.