The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

People Who Died #3: Hunter S. Thompson Dead at 67

A few moments ago, I was cheerfully writing some delayed emails, typing away chirpy as all hell, when I learned, to my great horror and sorrow, that Hunter S. Thompson died this evening, and by his own hand.

According to MSNBC, Thompson was the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. At 67, he was only one of the finest writers of the last half-century; one of the true innovators in his field; and possibly the only journalist alive who knew how to write about Richard Nixon without getting lost in a reflexive objectivity. If I listed the three or four authors whose prose has had a lasting, defining influence on my own, he would be among them.

Unlike many who pass at his age, he probably had more to offer the world. Perhaps he didn't think so; which may be why he decided to take his own life today.

I hope those who populate the afterlife, in whatever form, are ready for what they'll have on their hands now.

Requiescat in pace, Raoul Duke.

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