Monday, January 18, 2010

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Jimmy Buffett

A few days ago, one of the greatest calamities of my life transpired. It was an event that was so horrible, so unbelievably and inconceivably bad, that the surrealistic nightmare of it all is nearly too much for my fragile psyche to bear. I feel that at any instant I will collapse as I am consumed by burning, radioactive waves of fear and staggering rage that will clash together like the pulses of exploding stars, and my eternal soul will be lost in outer space where I will wander cold and alone forever.
What could make me feel so very, very incredibly awful? Awful like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 when the bomb goes off and her very skeleton is set on fire? Awful so that it seems, as the doctor said, "the possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real,"? What could cause me to write with such incredible hyperbole?
Only this:
I have just discovered that Hunter S. Thompson was close friends with Jimmy Buffett.


This is exactly like being a kid and finding out that, before he was the Devil, Lucifer had been an angel. So you're eight and you're like, "God and the Devil used to be friends? Well now I don't know what to believe..."

Only this is like a thousand times worse. And here's why.

I have hero-worshiped Thompson since I first saw Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was fifteen. As a teenager, I was fascinated by his unbelievable need and ability to rebel. To do everything that was forbidden by cultural norms and always come out on top. His life, lived on the edge, and passion for irresponsibility was such an inspiration to me at the time. I felt surrounded by the normalcy of suburban life and of school, and here was this side to reality that I had never really seen or thought of before. It is no exaggeration to say that Thompson literally changed the course of my life. Without him, and others like him, I might have caved to societal pressures and chosen a safe and practical career like dentistry or accounting. Thompson is a standing testimony to living and dying by what you believe in, and made me realize that safety-nets and compromises are for weak-willed villainous scum.
As an adult, I continue to admire Thompson for different reasons. While he is immediately attractive to all males between the ages of 14 and 25 for his balls-out craziness and whiskey-drinking, acid-dropping make-your-own-luck approach to life, he was also a visionary. Thompson, above all, just wanted to do something. He wanted to make a difference. He wanted to be important. He wanted to find the American Dream, he wanted to find an honest politician, he wanted to become Sheriff of Aspen and change the town for the better. Thompson is a towering monument of living life to the fullest and on the edge, but also to slamming your fists against the brick wall of the establishment even though you know you're not going to get anywhere. He was a dreamer and a brilliant writer and a genius and his life-story is enough to give one hope of extraordinary things in the dismal and soulless world we live in.

And then, there's Jimmy Buffett.
Jimmy Buffett is, in my eyes, everything that is wrong with the human species. He is a talentless, gutless, money-hungry, sham of an artist. This is a guy that, after being mistakenly shot at by Jamaican police when leaving the country, wrote a song called "Jamaica Mistaica." Doesn't that just make your blood fucking curdle? What a hack. This is a guy that I have so much personal distaste for that I actually started a hate group for him on facebook, and it's going strong.
The reason I hate Buffett so much is that he's exactly everything Thompson is not. His music is easy and soulless. There is no pain or suffering or sacrifice in his songs. He doesn't live and die by his songs like all the great musicians of our time and of all other times. He has risked nothing and therefore he produces nothing. He plays an acoustic guitar with a great big smile and a flower shirt and a lei and that stupid little wrist band of his, and I just want to watch him die. He is more than a crap musician and a shitty novelist and a smiling idiot who spends too much time in the sun. He is a symbol for all that is disgusting and vile in the world of art. He is my nemesis.

So, watching these two conflicting ideologies come together in friendship... it's really just more than I can handle. What can I do? Do I think less of Thompson? Do I think more of Buffett? Each is equally impossible. I feel betrayed. I keep imagining them together. Hanging out in the Caribbean drinking rum, swimming, driving around on Buffett's boat, laughing it up and having a good time. It makes my skin crawl. This must be what Oedipus felt like. A sinking in the pit of your stomach like a rock dropped into a well, because you know something horrible has happened and there is no way to ever correct it.


  1. OMG! Your my hero! I never thought anyone could hate Jimmy Buffett more than I did!

  2. Oh you have certainly met your match.

  3. Maybe Thompson kept him around for a laugh?

  4. Well, if I spent any amount of time around Jimmy Buffett, I think I would be too busy puking up blood to laugh.
    So I'm not inclined to agree with that theory.

  5. Perhaps you should read some of Hunter's early works instead of watching a movie with Johnny Depp portraying Hunter at a younger age. Do your fucking research, child, before you go pulling your wad and congratulating yourself for nailing that bitch in the bar you were chasing.

  6. Your group on facebook is "going strong" when it has less than 400 members? Congrats, there are 400 million active accounts on facebook, so the level of stupidity found in your group members is quite literally 1 in a million.

  7. Maybe a tad late to the party on this one but as a fan of both Buffett as well as Thompson I'd like to say congratulations on proving that you know absolutely nothing of either artist and from what I can tell music and probably art in general. Your shortsighted rant reflects little more than this fact. Don't like Jimmy, that is fine; he's not everyone's cup of tea; but perhaps if he and Hunter were friends then you don't know as much about either of them as you so arrogantly boast. Perhaps perusing a degree a tad stronger than a BA in English will provide you with a little more insight and reflective capacities.

  8. Hi, I just found this really insightful blog post while googling the words "jimmy buffett idiot" to prove a point to my friend. You are eloquent and awesome.

    Good job, sir!

  9. I really think you are selling both Jimmy Buffett and Hunter S. Thompson short by only scratching the surface of their works. Fear and Loathing and Margaritaville are both what they are most known for but you have to dig deeper to get a good understanding of who they really are. I have not read as much of Thompson as most but I respect his work for what it is. As for Jimmy Buffett only being about sun and sand...take some time to listen to "Delany Talks to Statues" about his daughter or "False Echo's" about his father "Chasing false echoes like a lost legionnaire
    He waltzes on memories while he fades like a flare"
    All and all, neither you nor I will really know either man...only what they choose to portray.

  10. Wow, I haven't looked at this in a really long time, and I'm sort of surprised the parrot heads came out to defend their hero. Just let me say: thanks for trying to make me feel like a fair-weather Thompson fan, and like a fool for not just absolutely wanting to suck Buffett's dick, but you're all a bunch of morons. I don't think I should have to explain that just because I got into Thompson through the Fear and Loathing movie, that doesn't mean it's the only Thompson work I'm familiar with. But I guess you have to really spell things out with people like you.

  11. If you're just now finding out about the friendship between Buffett and Hunter Thompson then I'd say you're not very much of a Hunter S. Thompson fan. If you actually want to educate yourself on the relationship between Hunter and Buffett, I'd suggest actually doing some research on their friendship first rather than going off half cocked and declaring your outright hatred for the man.

  12. Listen dude, I really didn't want to get into a pissing contest about how much I know about Thompson, but here we go. I first watched Fear and Loathing when I was fifteen, and then I watched it about a thousand more times. I have the collector's addition DVD and I've watched all the documentary footage on the second disc, as well as watching the commentary track for the movie itself. I've read the book Fear and Loathing multiple times. Before high school was over I read The Great Sharkhunt, The Rum Diary, Hell's Angels and Kingdom of Fear. After Thompson died I read The Joke's Over by Ralph Steadman and I also read every single article in the 100% Thompson "Rolling Stone" that was issued shortly after his death. Last year I watched the Gonzo documentary (which is how I found out about the friendship). And you're saying that because I had been previously unaware of one friendship in his whole life that I'm not a fan? That's ridiculous, sir, plain and simply. And no, I'm not going to spend my time doing research about Jimmy Buffett's friendship with Thompson. I don't care why Thompson liked him. The point is that I don't like him, me, it's my opinion. His music sucks and so does his fiction and I think he's a hack and probably an asshole. Fuck him, is basically what I'm getting at.

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    2. It's ok bro! I fucking cannot stand Buffett's shitty assed music. It's like a soundtrack for a bunch of old corny drunk fucked to sway back and forth till they black out. He's gotta be up there in age. He'll be dead soon.

  13. Jimmy Buffets music is meaningless trash. mindless optimism, comedy, debauchery... drinking cocktails, wearing bad shirts, checking out tourists covered in oil on the beach... total sunshine opulence.

    It seems to be pretty tongue in cheek to me. An album called 'A White Sportscoat and a Pink Crustacean' is beyond ridiculous. Jimmy seems to be rather knowing and obviously crowd pleasing. perhaps butt f**king the American dream? presumably hunter and jimmy could have whiled away weeks drinking cocktails and '...looking for my lost shaker of salt...'
    2 guys wearing short shorts and loud shirts.
    2 over the top hedonists with plenty of cash to spend on whatever... I'm sure that would be enough for a pal-ship.

    I don't think Buffets music should be taken seriously. From a nihilstic point of view who gives a sh*t, it makes me laugh when I'm drunk on cocktails and smoking a cigar. I think there's a place for pure trash. To be constantly aware of the sickness of the world and the fact that its primarily run by douchebags is painful, some time spent in happy oblivion will help to keep the 'yang' up... to continue the cause.

    if I want depth and debauchery I'll seek hunter and others besides...

    Buffet probably shouldn't be writing novels, though I am yet to see / sample one.

  14. This is exactly how i feel when i arrive at my vacation destination & the Macarena is playing!

  15. I came across this by accident. Although not a jimmy fan, and to further comment on why no parrot heads are not running to the defend this, well they just don't care what you think.. You see while you are bitching and complaining about Jimmy Buffet these people are out enjoying life, not trying to analyze it. Most of these people are the baby boomer generation with a few decent dollars in their pockets. Obviously this person has major mommy and/or daddy issues.. As well as you don't get what Jimmy Buffet is about, and I guess if I were a parrot head, i would say who would want you anyway as a parrot head.

  16. Oh yeh. I just checked out the FB book pages, a little over 400 people strong. what a joke! Lets us know when you hit 500 about of the billions of people who love him. Maybe these people who basically comment like high school wallflowers can have a party.. HA HA HA HA HA HA.. This is so funny and what a joke, I think Ill join the page just to get a good laugh at all the losers.

  17. This reminds of the time I watched the extended director's cut of "This is Spinal Tap" and found out that Nigel Tufnel now writes songs for Nickleback. I was crushed. So I got up and earned a BA in English, I put my brains down on paper and then I snorted them.

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  20. So you are from the suburbs and Johnny Depp is your role model, that's cool I guess.

    Keep slamming that fist against the brickwall that is society. fuck the MAAAAAAAAAAAN, man.

    Fake hippy rebel, sorry you hate any sense of authority because you know you are free bird who deserves to soar, and mom turned off your video games.

  21. If he's and Idiot what does that make you for being this neurotic about either? ... maybe instead of building false Idols you should attempt to possess the courage to live a life wholly your own instead of wasting precious moments in order to defile and criticizing others. I assume like most hip pocket intellectuals you assume that because thousands love the man ... and you do not , therefore you are the sole beacon of reason in a hopeless jungle?

    Well... Just cause your unique doesn't mean your useful.

    Shawn "Ogre" Imlay

  22. Jimmy got old, and, from a musical perspective, began kissing the same asses he used to kick a long ago, but when Thomoson met him, rest assured, he was still kicking....hard.
    Check out his first 2-4 albums, from before the word "Parrot Head" was a thing. Start with the oldest first, and make sure to skip any song you have heard before. A good bit of that is very far from the beach party, re-parroted parrot head stuff you hear today. The man could paint a very clear picture with only a few could Thompson.
    Hey, if you respected HST that much, it is not unreasonable to say that at the very least, you owe him the benefit of the doubt enough to see if you can't find another side to this Buffett coin. I am sure you have given such a benefit to some who deserved it much less.
    You don't find what you won't look for, and you won't look for what you don't believe exists. There is a very good chance JB & HST had very good reasons for being friends. Whether you find them is up to you.
    Good Luck

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  24. You're an idiot. Way to look at Buffett through shit tinted glasses without even giving his more honest work a chance. They are both heroes of the counter culture and legendary drinkers / loveable losers. If you would listen to any of Buffett's lyrics or read any of his novels you'd find that he shares a lot in common with Hunter both stylistically and intellectually. What i'm saying is, you're a square and you wouldn't know cool if it bit you on your pampered, college educated ass.