It's nearly impossible for me to express in words how saddened I am to know that the weird one with the freak power has retired from the professional leagues in a flash of peacock feathers and a broken cigarette. Hunter never lapsed into good taste despite the fears of his peers amidst the stink of a Nixon with legion. For that he has been a pillar of my own writing, where telling the truth is lying, and lying with a sneer and a smirk that, despite the superficial offensiveness, lets you in. Truth in language, after all, is not fidelity of signifier to signified exactly but instead the inflation of that space with something you could really sink your teeth into, that which appeals to the beast in all of us. While my body could never withstand the excesses of the great gonzo, my mind, well, nevermind, never mind that.

It's been too much to bear for HST I imagine, his physical deterioration and the ever-looming pile of bodies rotting in the streets of Washington continuously transformed into religious singing contests through the transformations of satellite transmissions and digital processing units and sickening sincerity, Moonified mung from a black magic seance with guys like Rove and Pearle and Murdoch stroking themselves in the corner of the room to smuggled Texas execution videos. When I dedicated my recent book to Ginsberg, Dorfman, and Baraka, I did so because I felt truly beholden to the sense that truth in language could be conveyed only by a sort of lying, a lying that vaults like a breastbone in a surge of blood and old-fashioned guts right about to pop open. I owe equal credit to HST for informing that with equal parts outrage and humor.

Journalism, not just gonzo journalism, is dead. In America it is dead. First battle field reporters, then investigative journalists, and now the Great Gonz himself. Nothing so surprising, because democracy in America is likewise dead, never to be recovered from the screwheads, these Operation 40 whores whose CVs include the murder of presidents across the globe, genocides on three continents, the engineering of the technologies of terrorism and plausible deniability, countless billion dollar heists of the public trust from colonias to savings and loans to weapons pork to missing military budget funds and now social security, and shameless gloat over their oh-so-munificent incorporation of Jesus as some perverse extension of loving wrath. "Here are your hoods Allah; you'll kneel at our temple." John Ashcroft is writhing down in his kiddie porn dungeon, oiling himself madly & frothing at the thought of a Supreme Court nomination. The screwheads have won, and they are truly terrifying.

We've been fucked America--dusted first and then fucked. Hunter understood what it meant to be dusted, and he was tough enough to stay awake. It's why he was screaming.

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