MEMO FROM THE NATIONAL AFFAIRS DESK
DATE: MAY 1, 1994
FROM: DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
SUBJECT: THE DEATH OF RICHARD NIXON:
NOTES ON THE PASSING OF AN AMERICAN MONSTER....HE WAS A LIAR ND A QUITTER, AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BURIED AT SEA. ...BUT HE WAS, AFTER ALL, THE PRESIDENT.
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is becoming the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of
every unclean and hateful bird."--REVELATION 18:2
Richard Nixon is gone now and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing--a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that I know Iwill go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."
I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, andI am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hatedNixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.
Nixon laughed when I told him this. "Don't worry," he said. "I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you."
The President of the United States doesn't believe that the earth is square, and that witches should be put to death, and that Jonah swallowed the whale. The Golden Text is not painted weekly on the White House wall, and there is no need to keep ambassadors waiting while Pastor Simpson, of Smithville, prays for rain in the Blue Room. We have escaped something--by a narrow margin, but still safely.
I have stolen more quotes and thoughts and purely elegant little starbursts of writing from the Book of Revelation than anything else in the English language.. . because l love the wild power of the language and the purity of the madness that governs it and makes it music."
"Most smart people tend to feel queasy when the conversation turns to things like 'certain death' and 'total failure' and the idea of a 'doomed generation'. But not me. I am comfortable with these themes. Any conversation that can make smart people confront a mix of Death, Doom and Failure with a straight face is probably worth listening in on"
But the funny thing is that most of our memories come not from his work or even from him but from the seeming dead-on impression of Thompson by Bill Murray in the movie Where the Buffalo Roam, a period piece cobbled together from Thompson's most famous books, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.
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