Hunter S. Thompson on being so loud they stop complaining about the noise.

Written by Cole Schafer

Hunter S. Thompson invented Gonzo Journalism, which he described as “first draft journalism” –– a rather oversimplified definition of a mode of writing that flipped journalism on its head.

Before Hunter S. Thompson, journalists didn’t have opinions, they were never, under any circumstance, part of the story and they always presented their stories as a set of facts rather than feelings.

When Hunter S. Thompson came into the picture, he was as much a part of the story as the subject of the story.

He was just as easily hated as he was loved.  

He was just as much the villain as he was the hero.

But, even those who hated him, even those who thought him to be the villain, couldn’t argue that he wasn’t superbly brilliant.

This superb brilliance came as a side-effect of his ability to “use the English language as both a musical instrument and a political weapon” –– his own words.

But, also, his tenacity.

Hunter S. Thompson refused to be ignored.

Rolling Stone writer David Felton describes a time where he visited Hunter at a California Hotel, to find him slamming his hotel door, over and over again, as hard as he possibly could; so hard it was almost falling off the hinges.

Apparently, a guy staying above him had complained about the noise and so Thompson made the noise louder.  

Thompson lived and worked with the belief that when someone bitched about the noise, you didn’t turn it down, you turned it up.

This was Thompson.

This is still Thompson, long after his death.

His life and legacy show all of us just how far we can go before we’ve gone too far.

Something he sums up poetically in his rant “Life isn’t a journey to the grove…

But, That’s a story for another day.

By Cole Schafer.

P.S. This piece was inspired by David Streitfeld’s book on Hunter S. Thompson, The Last Interview