This is so far off the topic that I'm debating whether or not to write it, but since it is vaguely sport-related I'll dive in.
As you all know by now, Hunter S. Thompson took his own life on Sunday with a shotgun to the head. As someone who has read a couple of Thompson's books and scores of his articles in Rolling Stone and espn.com, I was saddened to hear of his departure, especially considering he was a vital, albeit difficult-to-grasp, part of the literature scene.
My opinion of the man is changing, though, as stories trickle in from Colorado as to the cause of HST's obvious pain. It appears that HST was tired of the pain of everyday life, from injuries he suffered while on vacation to the maladies he inflicted upon himself during his 67 - shall we say chaotic? - years on this planet. In desparation to relieve his mind of the pain, he committed suicide.
I suppose I can understand his rationale, and I would be a lousy person to critize his motives, being that I have no idea how painful his life was.
Yet, when a man shoots himself in the head while he is talking to his wife on the telephone - as HST did - I begin to think that perhaps he has lost touch with how difficult life can truly be. After all, are his afflictions any more severe than the thousands of kids with cancer throughout this country? Or the people who live on the street with no dignity and all sorts of mental illnesses?
Yet, I suppose the reason I wrote this is the reverence his death has brought from the scores of writers who worked with him over the years. From espn.com lackeys, to actors, to God knows who, everyone seems to be saying how wonderful a man he was for living life "on his own terms" and refusing to live with the pain he was enduring.
I'm sorry, but HST was a husband, a father, and a grandfather. As such, he had responsibilties to all of those people. Killing himself doesn't help them any more than moving to Tahiti and shacking up with an island girl would. Since I hate to say something negative amount a man who has recently left us, I'll leave my vitriol for his defenders: Save your breath, friends, for the fathers who work every day despite hating their jobs, so that their children can eat; for grandfathers who look after their grandchildren even though they could be off playing golf or cribbage.
I think they deserve it more.