Despite my imagined reaction from the esteemed Mr. Marin, even those who've never inhaled are able to divine the devilishly debauched mindset of those who call themselves experienced editors. And, just to round out the punning (before excoriation begins in earnest), one Mr. Jagger would agree that 'sympathy for the devil' is John Milton's (beastly) burden to bear, and just a song, ironic at that; besides, it's the singer not the song. Come to think of it, this aging magazine, now in its senior autumn years, has returned, albeit, unintentionally, to its eponymous roots by muddying the national waters (unappreciated, I'd imagine, by Muddy Waters). Oh, one more bit of relevant word play: Mr. Dylan said it best, 'like a complete unknown...'
And, speaking of singers, complete unknowns and muddy waters, in recent memory has there been such a nakedly perverse demographic pander as this?! Jann Wenner, pimping for that young reader, cares not a whit that these same 'readers'
won't be actually reading his serious journalistic treatment of his cover boy's wrongdoings. Just as 'Pussy Riot' is not a musical phenomenon, so, too, is 'Angry Confused Chechin Freak' not in the least bit harmonious with the founding cultural mien of this 'City of Love'-born publication.
Indeed, what remains of the self-congratulatory misnomer this world's 'greatest' nation guiltily uses to describe itself---civilization---is given the greater lie by such
aggrandizing at any cost gonzo journalism gone very wrong.
That's the excuse du jour, don't you know, however implicit: 'Hey, Hunter S. Thompson, remember, that's us, man, so, be cool....'
You needn't find yourself in Las Vegas to both fear and loathe that bit of legerdemain.
Gonzo, a term which conjures another foreign-derived colloquialism, ersatz....for fake. One source says this: "....'gonzo' is actually a corruption of a French Canadian word, 'gonzeaux', meaning 'shining path'. While to my knowledge no such word exists, modern slang dictionaries speculate it is Spanish, perhaps after 'gonzagas', meaning 'to fool'."
Well, it was Thompson himself who feared and loathed assassination, beginning with that of JFK whose public murder changed the country, and changed Thompson (and most of us), and forever, in ways that gave rise to his increasing cyncism, paranoia and eventual suicide.
A photo of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Marathon bombing, holding this sign has come to symbolize the tragedy worldwide. | Photo: Boston Globe | Link |
Which brings us to the public assassin of Boston's Marathon. What also died then? Were we reminded of our continuing loss of dignity, of simple public and private decency, those qualities personified by the murdered young boy, Martin William Richard
, and his divine paean, "No more hurting people....." Can irony be any more cruel, or potent?
And the harm he sought to end isn't always instantly fatal or so easily perceived as the carnage at Boston's all too symbolic finish line. It is the harm which Thompson's gut (and yours) recoiled at, the damage to a democracy where citizenship is more than a political buzzword, a weakness which scars us every day, ever-deeper: commerce uber allis.
It's the kind of unhealing wound which causes ever-younger girls to be enlisted in the promotion of commercially popular skimpiness of dress and demeanor, and causes the so-called adults behind such (s)exploitation to incessantly pursue that youth demographic audience/market and its captive redefining of each and every profitable enterprise, every such undertaking of any kind, no matter its co-opting of what used to be called conscience.
And, so, in closing, let me, perhaps us say that we knew Hunter S. Thompson, through his writing, through his fear and loathing, he became our friend, however irascible at times; Jann Wenner, you're no Hunter S. Thompson.