Clarification: The post below is a repeat from four years ago. Not a word changed, not the date nor nothing.
Monday, February 28, 2005I should have said this last week. It is the nature of the media, and of columnists and opinion writers in particular, to yearn for that sweet spot in public opinion at any given moment, the one that will get them read. Many things can derail the search for that personal sweet spot. Many of those things are idiosyncratic and mysterious to the writer. You open your mouth and out come the words, who knows from where. Or the words may have been stored up, prepared long beforehand, as the ant prepares its winter feast. You've been whispering this thought to yourself every morning in the mirror for ten years. Today is the day to tell the world.
But another thing that determines where on any given day any given columnist or opinion writer finds his or her sweet spot is good old-fashioned contrarianism. And if your aim is being read, contrarianism is more reliable than idiosyncracy or long-held conviction. Calculation is all too often superior to inspiration. Everyone else is saying one thing till we are sick of it. Time to say the opposite, whether you believe it or not.
This week that will happen with Hunter Thompson. It has to. It's the nature of the enterprise. Last week we wept. This week we jeer. Ross of the Chronicle may have started the ball rolling yesterday. The pendulum is swinging. The barometer is falling. The tides rises, the tide falls. We breathe out carbon dioxide; plants breathe it in. When it comes to praise, a little more than a little is by much too much.
The great circle of life asserts itself. Hakuna Matata. All together now:
Hunter Thompson, you ignorant slut.