Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the Sports Desk
Hunter S. Thompson
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS.
Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports -- at times all in the same column.
With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America -- including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system.
Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form -- unbridled, astute, and irreverent.
"Punctuated by moments of brilliant iconoclasm, as well as profound questions for our age."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Thompson is a genuinely unique figure in American journalism, a superb comic writer and a ferociously outspoken social and political critic."
-- The Washington Post
"You can't help but be glad that when it all hit the fan, Hunter S. Thompson was working the Sports Desk."
-- The New York Sun
"This compilation...has fear and loathing in it, of course, but beneath its ornery doomsday facade is a message of hope: What happens in the stadiums and field houses of America is probably beyond your control, but what happens in the city councils and statehouses is up to you."
Thompson is, of course, the author of several New York Times best-selling books, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972), which is perhaps his most readily recognized one. He is the great and famous practitioner of so-called gonzo journalism, which means, at least by the definition set here in his latest collection of journalistic pieces, commentary in which his ruminations go far past the thought-provoking into the realms of the audacious, preposterous, and outrageous. Specifically, what is collected here are Thompson's popular ESPN.com columns; more specifically, the essays are about sports events and figures and what sports means in today's society, but he uses the broad subject of sports to launch into commenting humorously, fiercely, and quite intelligently on politics and sex. He calls being a politician "living in Public Housing"; he sees the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt as being publicly perceived as a message that something is wrong with the "machinery of the American nation"; and he avers that "the world situation has become so nervous and wrong that disasters that would have been inconceivable two years ago are almost commonplace today."
From Publishers Weekly
This collection of rants and reflections, taken from the king of gonzo journalism's new sports column at ESPN.com, displays an energy and humor lacking in some of his more recent collections and should please both his old and new fans enormously. Thompson has admitted being as much a sports fanatic as a political junkie, and these columns offer many hard-hitting but indisputable sportswriter insights, such as how a Sports Illustrated cover on Boston Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra featured a "cynically homoerotic image." A sidebar on "New Rules for Baseball" ("Eliminate the Pitcher") is not only funny but also an astute critique of how boring he believes baseball has become. But Thompson never loses sight of his bigger picture: "The only true Blood Sport in this country is high-end Politics." His view of George Bush—"a half-bright football coach who goes into a big game without a Game Plan"—can sometimes be repetitious. But he hasn't lost his skill as a reporter: e.g., his description of the "exact moment" when he knew Gore would never win Florida—when the Bush family appeared on TV "hooting & sneering at the dumbness of the whole world" that they would let Florida slip away.
their pregame bets start going wrong, and then they Double Up on every play in a desperate effort to catch up & win on some last-minute Fumble or shocking Interception. I have seen these loonies win on some days but not often. They are the spiritual descendants of legendary Old West gamblers who would bet the Ranch & even their Wives & Daughters on one final roll of the dice. Bill Clinton is one of these people, and so is George W. Bush. They are both high-stakes gamblers, and in both cases it
2001 I Told You It Was Wrong People mocked me when I picked Kentucky to go all the way in the NCAA finals this year. They said I was dumb, that I was doing exactly what I warned people Not to do, last week. I was betting my heart instead of my head—Homeboy Fever. Well, maybe so. I am a Bluegrass boy, for sure, and the blood of Devil Anse Hatfield runs in my veins—but I don’t hear any Fat ladies singing in my house tonight, no music has stopped where I dance.… Betting on Kentucky has
sensed a wild turn of the tide. I saw smiles on their faces for the first time all afternoon. The Sheriff was feeling so bold that he offered to double his bet. Benicio Del Toro called in on the phone and also doubled down. I grimly accepted all offers, despite what I knew in my heart. It was a matter of Honor, I felt, and also a deep-set Tradition.… No bet goes unchallenged in This room. Whoops! Have I forgotten to say that I’d already won all my bets on the Arizona–Michigan State game? Yes, I
business is the score at the end of the day, and if you don’t win Two out of Three, it is time to quit the business. They will call you a hopeless Loser and your wife will file for Divorce. Strange men in black suits will show up and kick down your door at night. That is the fate of Losers in this country. —April 2, 2001 Running Away with the Circus It is no accident that this column is titled Hey Rube. That is what’s called my “Standing Head” in the arcane jargon of Journalism, and it
in public opinion polls.… What would happen, for instance, if Michael Jordan made a glitzy antiwar commercial for Nike that appeared on nationwide TV about nine times a day? Think about it. Whoops. Ye gods. My plane is leaving for New York in two hours, and I am gripped with a helpless panic. It seems impossible. A giant blizzard hit the valley yesterday, just after I finished my impassioned speech to the cheering crowd at a park in the center of town, which included hundreds of X Gamers as well