Hunter S. Thompson este cel care a scris minunatul roman "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (transformat în filmul celebru cu același nume), dar și părintele jurnalismului Gonzo, cuvânt folosit pentru prima oară în 1970, atunci când a scris textul "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved".
Stilul ăsta de jurnalism a devenit treptat foarte popular și are tendința de a îmbina elemente reale, cu cele de ficțiune, pentru a implica cititorul în poveste.
Hunter S. Thompson a fost un spirit liber și un personaj. Existența sa a fost puternic influențată de consumul frecvent de alcool, LSD, mescalină și cocoina. Mai adăugăm la listă și antipatia pe care a avut-o față de guvernul SUA, dar și pasiunea pentru armele de foc.
Un astfel de destin complex era parcă menit să rămână nemuritor, dar și să se termine într-un mod tragic. Thompson s-a sinucis pe 20 februarie 2005, la vârsta de 67 de ani, după ce sănătatea începea să-i fie alterată.
A lăsat un bilet pentru soția lui, bilet pe care l-a numit Football Season Is Over - "No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your (old) age. Relax — This won't hurt."
Pe când avea doar 20 de ani, Hunter a scris o scrisoare plină de înțelepciune, adresată prietenului său Hume Logan. Hume l-a rugat pe Thompson să-i dea câteva sfaturi de viață, iar pe 22 aprilie 1958 i-a răspuns.
Rândurile scrise de Hunter ascund o filozofie de viață care sunt singură că ne-ar face mai fericiți, dacă am pune-o în aplicare. Cu toate astea, așa cum subliniază și autorul, cele scrise de el sunt MODUL LUI de a vedea lucrurile, iar cineva diferit poate fi de cu totul altă părere.
Îți redau mai jos, așa cum a scris el, câteva dintre pasajele care merită citite și recitite, atunci când poate cauți un sens al vieții și nu-l găsești (aici adaug și celebra scrisoare a lui Bukowski). Întreaga scrisoare o poți citi aici.
You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous thing to do! For to give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania.
To presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal—to point with a trembling finger in the RIGHT direction is something only a fool would take upon himself.
I am not a fool, but I respect your sincerity in asking my advice. I ask you though, in listening to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it.
What is truth to one may be disaster to another. I do not see life through your eyes, nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice, it would be too much like the blind leading the blind. [...]
And indeed, that IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives.
So few people understand this! Think of any decision you've ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don't see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect—between the two things I've mentioned: the floating or the swimming.
But why not float if you have no goal? That is another question. It is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty.
So how does a man find a goal? Not a castle in the stars, but a real and tangible thing. How can a man be sure he's not after the "big rock candy mountain," the enticing sugar-candy goal that has little taste and no substance?
The answer—and, in a sense, the tragedy of life—is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things.
We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman.
I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It's not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience.
As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective. [...]
But don't misunderstand me. I don't mean that we can't BE firemen, bankers, or doctors—but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal.
In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires—including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.
As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES. [...]
In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.
And it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man MUST function in a pattern of his own choosing; for to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life—the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual.
Let's assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let's assume that you can't see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN—and here is the essence of all I've said—you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.
Naturally, it isn't as easy as it sounds. You've lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn't any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else.
But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, "I don't know where to look; I don't know what to look for. [...]
Keep in mind, of course, that this is MY WAY of looking at things. I happen to think that it's pretty generally applicable, but you may not. Each of us has to create our own credo—this merely happens to be mine.
If any part of it doesn't seem to make sense, by all means call it to my attention. I'm not trying to send you out "on the road" in search of Valhalla, but merely pointing out that it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it.
There is more to it than that—no one HAS to do something he doesn't want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that's what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself that you HAD to do it. You'll have lots of company.
And that's it for now. Until I hear from you again, I remain,
your friend ...