“Dumbness deserves no sympathy.”
–Hunter S. Thompson

I grabbed Hunter S. Thompson’s book Hey Rube: Blood Sport, The Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness from the shelf today. This collection comprises Thompson’s articles he wrote for ESPN. Published in 2004, it counts as Thompson’s last book before his death in February 2005.

Twenty years later, this collection still rattles teeth. Thompson predicted America’s rot would worsen and he was not wrong. This excerpt from the article “The New Dumb” captures the uneasy vibrations surrounding our current state of affairs:

“Autumn is always a time of Fear and Greed and Hoarding for the winter coming on. Debt collectors are active on old people and fleece the weak and helpless. They want to lay in enough cash to weather the known horrors of January and February.”

Thompson goes on to explain: “Most of these things are obviously Wrong and Evil and Ugly–but at least they are traditional. They will happen…There is an eerie sense of Panic in the air, a silent Fear and uncertainty that comes with once-reliable faiths and truths and solid Institutions that are no longer safe to believe in…Prepare for the Weirdness…Get familiar with Cannibalism…”

Your correspondent was scheduled to interview Thompson on March 1, 2005. Unfortunately, he committed suicide on February 20, 2005. You can read about events leading up to that in Insured Beyond The Grave.