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We can't stop here, this is bat country!Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007, at 5:46 PM
Last week marked what would have been the 70th birthday of one of America's most interesting (for lack of a better word) journalists: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
Thompson, both loved and hated by millions, is the famed author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, he worked as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine for many years and even wrote off the wall columns for ESPN in his later years.
He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting in which the reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become the central figures of their stories. This was shown vividly in his drug-induced classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Another work that is a great example is the book "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs". Thompson became friends with the gang and dug deep into the heart of the gang.
When searching for a decent end to the book, legend has it that he started a fight with one of the Hell's Angels and nearly got himself killed.
Thompson, with his bold style and eagerness to usher in a new day changed the face of not only journalism, but fiction writing with his style and prose.
Both a writer and recluse, he spent most of his years on his ranch in Colorado with his family publishing occasional letters on his feelings of the world today.
While I know many of you reading this will probably detest the man, I just felt that as a journalist, he deserves to be recognized.
Thompson summed up his own life best in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas through his character Raoul Duke:
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."
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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.
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