I remember listening to Ralph Steadman, the English cartoonist, on the radio
once years ago, talking about his first meeting with Hunter S. Thompson. (I
think it was for his piece on the Kentucky races). He said he had never
been so sheerly terrified as he was in Hunter S. Thompson's company, because
there was no guarantee at any point that everything might not explode in
anarchy. Steadman, for reasons I can't remember, ended up getting sprayed
with mace and being driven screaming to the airport.
In a way, given his level of self destructiveness and paranoia, it's
surprising he made it as far as he did. On the other hand, having survived
so much abuse, there seemed something indestructible about him. The last
thing I read by him was a piece just before the US election, when he said
Kerry was certain to win. I wonder how much his suicide had to do with the
insane Nixonian darkness he talked about so many years ago running rampant
again in Washington.
I was always grateful to _read_ his books. Couldn't have stood the
actuality. But yes, he is miles beyond his imitators; inimitable, I think.
Editor, Masthead: http://masthead.net.au
Home page: http://alisoncroggon.com