I just found out that Tom Wolfe died at 88 years old in Manhattan, and this made me think of Gonzo Journalism and the impact that writers like Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson had.
Long and detestable hours I have spent hoping and trying to find writers these days that aren’t devoid of passion and authenticity.
A fellow writer and acquaintance of mine recently suggested that I check out this new and edgy author (recently published) and insisted that I would “really dig him”.
I admit it, I was intrigued by the prospect of there being a “new” and “edgy” writer that simultaneously offered substance, value, intensity and passion. This is what I was promised.
What I received, however, was the pedantic, bland, predictable and pampered drivel of a sheltered college kid that never truly lived one single day in his boring and pointless life.
It was writing that failed to deviate from the coddled cowardice of today’s bubble-wrapped playpen we call society, and inspired me only to fall to my knees and cry out “where the fuck have all the good writers gone?!”
I thought about Hunter S. Thompson and a stand-up comedy act from Bill Hicks where he talked about the rising popularity of the clean cut music that was plaguing the industry of the day.
I’ll never forget what Bill Hicks said during his act. He said “play from your fucking heart!” and concluded, in a dramatic effect, that he wanted his “rock stars dead”, such was the level their intensity should have been.
Hicks was visibly frustrated, and I know precisely how he felt. Authenticity is imperative to good writing, this is why I liked Thompson so much. I simply don’t want to read a novel about racial oppression from a white woman who never experienced it. Yeah, I’m talking about you Hillary Jordan.
I’m confident there are good writers out there, whom like Thompson, encompass a genuine level of passion, authenticity and creativity… I just haven’t found them yet.
Or perhaps they’re gone? Perhaps all the good writers are dead and exist only in the tormented pages of yesteryear’s novella.
Maybe the wild years are behind us and the future holds nothing more than an ominous ‘G’ rating; a sinister and diabolical sneer to all that was once raw, young and fearless.
I truly miss Hunter S. Thompson and all the great writers that are no longer with us. Life feels all the more vacant when all your heroes are dead.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ~ Hunter S. Thompson.