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Gonzo journalism and the Ibogaine effect

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson must have been a real SOB when he was alive.
Just look at what happened to Maine politician Edward Muskie, who in 1972, was trying to secure the nomination to become the US Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
Thompson’s imagination got in the way of Muskie’s ambitions.
Sometime during the period, good old HST wrote that Muskie took Ibogaine.
He said that the psychoactive drug was administered by a doctor who flew in from Brazil, a claim he would later say was something he just made up while beating a deadline.
This didn’t help Muskie’s chances any.
Someone else — Senator George McGovern, a Governor from South Dakota — later secured the nomination but he lost the presidency to Richard Nixon.
Whatever consequences Thompson might have on the course of United States history — with or without what is now called the Ibogaine effect — remains debatable.
However, one thing is certain.
Thompson was one of the best writers and journalists the English-speaking world has ever read, heard, and seen.
“Some people will say that words like “scum” and “rotten” are wrong for objective journalism which is true but they miss the point,” he once said.
Like most personalities here and abroad, modesty was never one of his virtues.
Thompson loved the camera, as shown by the various pieces of footage shown in the same 2008 documentary about his life, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, a copy of which was lent to me by Karl Kaufman.
He was also a womanizer, a gun freak, and, according to his landlord, a tenant who failed to pay his rent on time.
But even before he killed himself in 2005, these character flaws were overlooked.
After all, the man invented Gonzo Journalism, a form that many of us — including deadline-beating deadbeats such as myself — can only dream about replicating.


From the Gratis et Amore Dept. HST’s picture, taken during the 1988 Miami International Book Fair is from Wikipedia. Entry was first published under the title of Hunter Thompson, inventor of Gonzo journalism.

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  1. How very timely: I just bought from Booksale (for Php20!!!!!) a book called “The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight.” It’s about the writing style of HST, Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, Joan Didion and Norman Mailer, among others.

    Glad you enjoyed the DVD. That kinda of psyched me up when I first saw it. :-)

  2. Good to hear that. One of these days, I am going to give you a run for your money at one of them Booksale branches. :) Anyway, I think A. would enjoy the documentary too, especially since the documentarist —whoever s/he might be — choose correctly to stay away from the story/subject. Tim Crouse, author of the Boys on the Bus, which I haven’t read yet was interviewed extensively.