Hunter S. gets his wish

August 21, 2005

thompson-inside.jpg
In the documentary Fear & Loathing In Gonzovision, Hunter S. Thompson explains that upon his death, he would like to be cremated and shot out of a 150 foot tall cannon brandishing a two-thumbed Gonzo fist. He is seen visiting a funeral parlour along with Ralph Steadman to make the drawings and plans, all in a very serious manner – and that was in 1978. The man clearly had a plan. (If you’re lucky enough to have the Criterion Collection version of Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, you can find the documentary in the extras.)

Well, yesterday he got his wish. He was blown sky-high along with some impressive looking fireworks. I do wish I was there, if not to just see the explosion and sip on a little bit of rum. Thompson picked a rather respectful way to go out, in my humble opinion. As I’ve said before, I find nothing wrong with choosing when and where you die. You should at least have that much control over your destiny. Thompson knew that. He also knew that there was no point in going on the way he was with his health problems, so he ended it. And then he had one hell of a funeral.

Such a perfect way to say goodbye; almost mocking the entire idea of life and death. Maybe even celebrating how fantasticly strange it all is. We come from dirt and back into the dirt we will go, but not without some explosions first. I wouldn’t mind something along those lines at my funeral. A cannon might be a bit grandiose for me, but I wouldn’t mind a parade of black men from New Orleans playing kazoos & throwing my ashes around in the air like so many Johnny Appleseeds. That would be ok. That would be my style. Or, maybe I could just get someone to clump me into a coffee can and throw me off of a cliff somewhere pretty. Dingle, Ireland was one of the more beautiful places I’ve ever seen, so that sounds pretty good to me.

Here’s some NPR coverage on the story [link]. Here’s the Gonzo tower:

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