What I Learned From Hunter S. Thompson


Last night I watched Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.  I didn’t know a whole lot about him – I did see the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas years ago and all I came away with it was, “This guy really likes hallucinogenics.”

Probably worth a second viewing.

Good ol’ Hunter, or some Hunter-esque figure, dropped in on me in the wee hours of the morning to drop some advice about writing, critical reading and critical living.

When I write a professional cover letter to anyone, I always introduce myself as “Grand Poobah” or “Lord of Shit and Whiskey.”  It cuts through all the bullshit, so that the reader knows who s/he’s REALLY dealing with.

When I read an article or an essay, I always read it three times.  The first time is just to introduce myself to the material, get familiar with it.  The second time is so that I can articulate the arguments that the material is making.  The third time, I try to refute those arguments, to the best of my ability.  I try to live my life this way too – What am I doing? Why am I doing it?  Are there good reasons NOT to do it?  To me, this is the best way to actually know  myself and the crazy, fucked-up world I live in.

BOOM!  Advice from Hunter S. Thompson, from beyond the grave.  You’re welcome.


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