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Hunter S Thompson (1937-2005)

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  • #16
    Oh, Garry! That's just going too far!

    We all know the character of Uncle Duke in Doonesbury is based on HST. And it seems that HST didn't appreciate it much. Now, in light of a recent Doonesbury cartoon, I'm inclined to believe Garry Trudeau's rendering of Uncle Duke is not done out of flattery.

    Take a look at this strip and tell me if you don't find it just a bit insensitive, considering the way in which HST died:


    http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dail..._date=20050308

    That's one inelegant metaphor, friends.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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    • #17
      That's really rather shitty, if you'll pardon my French. I have nothing but admiration for Trudeau's achievements as a cartoonist, but in this case I can't really see the humour... I was wondering how he'd address HST's demise, but didn't quite expect him to be so unforgiving. Not that there's any reason why he should "forgive" I suppose... but isn't it common decency to at least wait until the dirt has settled before you dance on another man's grave? (I think HST is having his ashes fired out of a cannon, so that metaphor doesn't really work, but you get my drift)
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

      Comment


      • #18
        It's slapstick, with a bit of nihilism and Schadenfreude thrown in.

        I think it shows a good awareness of the bizarrie associated with the case.

        It skirts the boundaries of taste, and crosses them, but that's what satire does.

        In short, it didn't bother me. To each his own.

        LSN

        Comment


        • #19
          I see what you're saying, LSN. We all have our personal yardsticks, afterall. My experience with the particular topic (suicide by gunshot) puts me in a different place; I see the strip from a different angle, so to speak. My first thought when I saw the strip -- my very first thought -- was, "How will Thompson's children feel when they see this in the papers?"

          Yes, good satire shocks. I certainly still admire Trudeau as a cartoonist and a liberal voice. But this particular strip made me think, "Garry... oh, man, what the HELL?"
          "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
          --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

          Comment


          • #20
            The problem lies in the fact that Thompson made himself into a public figure.

            Sensitivity towards the feelings of a public figure's family is not a common phenomenon. The public persona becomes somehow separable from the private person.

            I think the satire is very clearly "aimed" (if you'll pardon the expression) at Thompson's public persona. An interesting character, who wrote some good books, but hardly a paragon, unless you like your paragons self-destructive. I, for one, find self-destructive behavior repellent. I've personally had too much first-hand experience with it. Those who have to cope with it don't feel sentimental about it. On the contrary, anger and resentment are more common reactions, along with incomprehension.

            I think this, in part, is what Trudeau was saying.

            LSN

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
              The public persona becomes somehow separable from the private person.
              Well, despite what the public would like to think, they are two different things.

              Could your opinion on quality of the strip be influenced by your negative opinion of Thompson? I mean, if a person who wasn't notoriously self-destructive shot themselves in the head, would it be then going over the line (in your opinion) to draw the same strip using that person as the influence? In other words, is the calloused handling of a topic like suicide something that Thompson 'deserved' because of the way he chose to live his life?
              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

              Comment


              • #22
                I don't think so. I didn't have a negative view of Thompson. I thought he exhibited a certain clownishness at times, but that's not a problem.

                The games with guns over the years, when I heard about them, struck me as bizarre and more than a little mad.

                When I heard what he had done, I wasn't shocked.

                Pay no attention to me. I am old and cynical, with an atrabiliar view of the world that comes from the sort of experience that I won't bore people with.

                LSN

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  hardly a paragon, unless you like your paragons self-destructive.
                  And many people do - sadly. I find it hard to relate to the cults of Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, for instance.

                  I haven't commented on the passing of HST as, to my eternal shame, I have never read him, although a bedraggled charity-shop edition of "Hells Angels" adorns the hipper section of my bookcase. He is clearly more than worthy of my attention. Who knows what private pain hides behind public personas, though?
                  \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    Pay no attention to me. I am old and cynical, with an atrabiliar view of the world that comes from the sort of experience that I won't bore people with.
                    As I said, we all have our personal yardsticks. I'll add that we whack things with them daily. :)

                    BTW, nice word: "atrabiliar" Comes from the Latin for "Black Bile." Nice.

                    Originally posted by Mikey_C
                    I find it hard to relate to the [cult] of ... Kurt Cobain, for instance.
                    Hey, my worship of him is purely at a musical level! :D
                    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                      Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                      Pay no attention to me. I am old and cynical, with an atrabiliar view of the world that comes from the sort of experience that I won't bore people with.
                      <. . .>
                      BTW, nice word: "atrabiliar" Comes from the Latin for "Black Bile." Nice.
                      Sorry. I tend to think in cognates, a lot of the time. The French word isn't quite so obscure as the English version.

                      LSN

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                      • #26
                        Good strip! Any personal emnities aside, I think he'd'a laughed. I hope so.

                        LSN - "atrabiliar". That's a word I'm going to use. Right moment, right moment, but I am.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I take the strip as being about: Duke, one of Trudeau's fictional creations, reacting in a moment of existential crisis, to the news of the death of Hunter S. Thompson, the real life figure, upon whom he was originally based (Was Duke based on Hunter S. Thompson? Check Answer). A neat acknowledgement of Duke and Trudeau's post HST character survival quandary.

                          ...

                          Good Taste? Decency? Sense of perspective check here... This is Gonzo Journalist Supreme, Hunter S. Thompson, we're talking about here! :D

                          If you you were revulsed by the above strip, this may start a reflux reaction too:

                          HST Tribute Edition.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Trudeau's strip in the Grauniad yesterday was on the same subject and rather funny.

                            'Course, Perdix the Ace Editor can't work out how to scan the bleedin' image into his craptop and get in on the forum... :lol: , so you'll have to go and buy it (nothing harder than trying to buy a paper a couple of days old! Have you ever tried! Jesus! Blood from a stone, them newsagents...)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Okay, maybe I was wrong...

                              Originally posted by PWV
                              I'm inclined to believe Garry Trudeau's rendering of Uncle Duke is not done out of flattery.
                              Well, perhaps this is one of the times where I have to admit to being wrong. It would seem that Trudeau did in fact intend his post-HST strips to be a tribute:


                              http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com.../sdb050309.gif


                              http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com.../sdb050311.gif

                              Originally posted by steeltsar
                              Any personal emnities aside, I think he'd'a laughed.
                              I'm beginning to agree with you. I have personal issues with the specific topic of suicide by gunshot to the head, but perhaps I was projecting that on HST where I shouldn't have been. The strip certainly seems to be trying to honor HST.
                              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                That's the one. Hey, you get colour! We get 'em in B&W!
                                Is it 'cos of the weather? :?

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