EULOGY FOR THE DOOMED –Notes On the New Weird and the Birth of the American Nightmare: #1 “Come And See The Show!”


January 13, 2017

FROM: Hunter S. Thompson, The Other Side

TO: Ralph Steadman, United Kingdom


Dear Ralph,

Well, it looks like the worm has turned old friend. You and the rest of the poor bastards down there are on your own now. My old nemesis, Tricky Dick,  the inimitable embarrassment of evil riches himself, Richard Milhouse Nixon, has finally been usurped as the biggest piece of shit that modern times (‘modern times’ meaning since the arrival of Jimi Hendrix) could have produced. I never thought it could happen, but there he is, great and terrible; if he didn’t exist, we couldn’t imagine him: Donald John Trump.

Whoo-wee, Ralph, the very idea of this half-wit asshole running anything bigger than an illegal laundromat makes about as much sense as a monkey fucking a football. I mean, this man is STUPID. He would’t have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot with instructions written on the heel. At least Nixon had enough intelligence to understand what he was doing, he knew how to be truly evil; he knew where and when to stick it to you, where you would hurt the most and where your wound would take the longest to heal—or if it ever would. Trump’s too stupid to know whether to stab you in the back or shake your hand so, instead, he does a shitty job of both and hopes for the best.

But I have to admit it, Ralph, I underestimated the son-of-a-bitch. I really did. Had you told me that this tacky, two-bit real estate crook could ever be in a position to instil real fear—I mean, real, genuine fear—in accomplished, educated, established individuals—I’m talking old-guard, old-money white guys, Ralph, men whose bread and butter is screwing over the little guy—the very backbone of North America—well, I would’ve told you to pass me the Chivas and to double the dose of whatever prescription medication you were currently abusing.

Still, I have to admit that I am, in a perverse way, impressed; he moved from being the boil on a city’s butt cheek to being the world’s asshole—nobody’s doing anything without his say-so, it’s all got to get through him first. He’s got the key to the exit, Ralph. And, let’s face it, when that thing isn’t cooperating, the rest of the whole operation comes to a standstill—tell me it doesn’t. (And a better analogy for the office of the President of The United States of America, I defy anyone to produce.)

But goddamnit, Ralph, this is what happens when a maniacal rank and file hell-bent for vengeance against imagined foes and indignities perpetrated upon them, a bunch so feeble-minded and petty and who regularly and greedily gorge on NASCAR, incest, and illiteracy, gets the keys to the car, when they are granted the power to make decisions on the order of electing someone to be the foreman of the biggest shit factory on the block. Strange times ahead, Ralph. Strange times indeed.

And don’t think you’re immune over there across the pond, pal. Oh, no. Just remember this: shit rolls downhill, and Dear Old Blighty—just like the rest of the world—is in the path of the biggest turd in the history of modern civilization. And it’s just getting going, Ralph, it’s just picking up speed. If anything, your Brexit bullshit dug the groove for this rollout. Enjoy!

But to hell with all that crap, Ralph. Here’s the deal: it’s too late for apologies, things are well and truly fucked now. It’s going to get hairy, and it’s up to you to batten down the hatches, stock up on the ammunition, and to start drinking heavily. Or, to borrow a sentiment from one of your countryman’s most salient heroes for this time we find ourselves in, Lady Macbeth:

“We fail?

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we’ll not fail.”

You see, Ralph, THIS is the sort of banshee-wailing-in-the-night kind of thinking the world needs right now to ride out this four-year (at least) shitstorm. It’s time for action. Just like ol’  batshit Mrs. Macbeth would do if she were here right now, attack first, think later, and never, not ever, assume that they’re not coming to get you.

Because they are, Ralph. And there’s no amount of hiding out with your silly doodles at Old Loose Court that can save you, you old looney bastard. They’re coming for people like you first.

Me? I feel a little guilty saying this, but I’m happy. It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and when he left, I felt lonely. Now? Now I have press box seats to what promises to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, clown show in all of modern political history, barring, of course, the rise of Nazi Germany.

But I’m not laying down my money yet, Ralph. Not me. If this were all a trip to Vegas, I would just be getting out of the car right about now and looking up at the neon marquees, peering out at the anesthetized, complacent sheep-like mob pushing their baby-carriages with one hand, raising their Budweisers with the other, all of them blissfully heading headlong into oblivion. And the best part? The best part is knowing that any manner of malfeasance, violence, or pure truth-telling anarchy that I get up to will be expensed.

Bliss, baby. Pure bliss.

I will leave you with these words from Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Karn Evil 9. I blasted that record today and, well, these words speak to me, Ralph, (and in the phrasing of Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign slogan, no less) now more than ever:

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside
There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along

Come inside, the show’s about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth
Greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo
You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll, oh

Watch this space, Ralph. This will be, for now, for these times, the greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth. It IS a dynamo, and, boy-howdy, is it ever rock and roll!

Guaranteed to blow your head apart…




(I’m trying to track down Nixon for an interview. He’s slippery, but I think I might be able to pull it off. If I can’t get that bastard, I’ll settle for Al Davis. The going is getting weird…)


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