Monday, February 21, 2005

Requiem for Raul Duke

On my last flight back to Israel from the States, I picked up a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at Logan Airport and finished it an hour before we touched down in Tel Aviv. I think my fellow passengers were convinced I was insane, because I could not stop laughing out loud every few minutes for the entire flight. It is hands down one of the funniest and most fearlessly savage (to use a term adored by its author) books I have ever read. Although I obviously have little sympathy for Hunter S. Thompson's politics, and, as someone who can't smoke a joint without vomiting, I have difficulty relating to the lifestyle of someone who ingested unique chemical variations on the secretions of the peneal glands of the South African iguana on a semi-regular basis; I am nonetheless convinced that his suicide marks the passing of a unique American talent and one of the best and most original writers of the second half of the twentieth century. Rest in peace, you beautiful psychopath; too wierd to live, too rare to die.