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A rant on the occasion of the death of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson is dead.

Shit.

"Self-inflicted" gunshot wound. Hmmmm.

Part of me always suspected it would end like this.The comparison with Papa Hemmingway is only natural.

Part of me also instantly assumed that "THEY" finally got to him. As Beria said, anyone can arrange a murder, but it takes an artist to arrange a "suicide."

Hunter S. has said some highly uncomplimentary things about the administration of George Junior, who seems like he is petty enough to do something like this. Junior, after all, has exposed at least one CIA agent just to "get even" with her husband, who dared to criticize him. A fortified compound is of no use against federal agents, if they want to kill you.

This is admittedly far-fetched, although not nearly as far-fetched as you might think. Several of my relatives have worked and still work for American intelligence agencies, so I know whereof I talk. If you'll slaughter a few millions of humans to steal their oil, why not kill one more?

Most Americans would see a difference between the two, but not be really aware of the basis of their belief. The difference is, of course, that Thompson was a white American, and those millions of Iraqis and Afghans and Vietnamese and Cambodians and Laotions and Timorese (and Latin Americans, for that matter) were not.

Not to mention the twelve millions or so of American Indians that the U.S. Army slaughtered so as to found our "Homeland." The people for whom America is REALLY the "Homeland" were slaughtered by the use of breaking treaties (every single treaty!), by sneak attacks, and by "Weapons of mass destruction," biological and ecological warfare (smallpox blankets, slaughtering the Buffalo on which native peoples depended, introduction of whisky). The killing of women and children ("Nits make lice!" as one U.S. Army officer said when questioned about killing Indian children) was seen as "war." You could even get a medal for it! These techniques can only be described as terrorism, and the result can only be called genocide, and it is on these that America is built.

No American Indian was surprised to hear of U.S. troops killing civilians and using torture. No one of non-Native descent has any right to call this continent their "Homeland," and to do so is a slap in the face of every American Indian still alive today, and of every one that ever lived since they first settled here thousands and thousands of years ago. It is to approve torture and terrorism and genocide.

Indeed, Adolf Hitler used the U.S. Army's Indian Policy as a guide to his genocidal ideas about Slavs, Homosexuals, Anarchists, Communists, Jews, Gypsies...

If Hitler had been a US Cavalry general in the old American west, he'd be a hero to us, along with Custer and Sherman and Buffalo Bill and all the other brave founders of our "Homeland."

Over 2,500 (mostly non-white, non-American, of course) children starved to death on the day Thompson died, killed by our capitalist system based on want. HST brought the count up to 2,501. With so much blood (albeit non-white blood for the most part) on their hands, do you really think our corporate-controlled government would be stopped by moral considerations over one annoyingly brilliant writer? Just 'cause he's white? And an American citizen?

Of course, I prefer to believe in Thompson taking his own life, making the decision himself and acting upon it. I am very sad that Hunter S. Thompson is no longer with us, but I want to think of him taking leave of us voluntarily, with dignity and by his own will.

But we really cannot ever know. We'll never be really sure about the truth. All we can do is carry on.

Hunter S. Thompson would want us to keep on pointing out the injustice, the state sponsored terrorism, the moral imbecility of the "leaders" who were "elected" by fraud in Florida, and then, four years later, by fraud in Ohio. He would want us to use every opportunity afforded us as writers, as artists, as voters to point out the evil, and to try to correct it.

For Thompson called a spade a spade. He did not hesitate to combat evil where ever he perceived it, whether it was sitting comfortably in the Oval Office of the Presidential Palace or standing guard duty at Abu-Ghraib.

But Hunter is gone now, he has fumbled; and it is left to us to pick up the ball, and run with it. That in part is what this little rant is all about.

A friend of mine used to say that he wrote everything as if HST were looking over his shoulder. He is now looking over all our shoulders.

-- Marshall R O'Keeffe



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