By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

The incredible dumbness of Sportswriters is a subject I thought I'd exhausted a long time ago -- but let's hit it one more time, just for the fun of it. ... I have described them as "a rude & brainless subculture of fascist drunks" and "more disgusting by nature than maggots oozing out of the carcass of a dead animal. ..."

But they keep coming back for more, like pimps & real-estate agents, & on days like this I run out of patience. ... I have explained many times that I am, by Profession, a Gambler -- not some jock-sniffing nerd or a hired human squawk-box with the brain of a one-cell animal. No. That would be your average career sportswriter -- and, more specifically, a full-time Baseball writer.

OK, how's that for Rudeness? I can Play in this league. I don't like it -- but when my own editors at ESPN start asking me to get outraged about the Huge Salaries being paid these days to Baseball Pitchers -- instead of the truly Insane high-stakes Gambling that is going on right now in our national Political Arena -- I know how Thomas Jefferson felt when he said, "I fear for the fate of my country when I reflect that God is Just."

As for Pitchers, they are as useless as tits on a boar-hog & should all be put to sleep. Baseball's only hope for survival is the elimination of the "pitcher" position completely. (see "Hey, Rube" on Nov 6, 2000.)

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The cure for White House Disease is not so simple. It is like a combination of Blueballs & malaria, an interminable Fever that is always Incurable & often Fatal. The symptoms are blindness, freezing, sweating, weeping & delusions of suffering beyond Death.

Hell, a Presidential Candidate could barely buy Pittsburgh for $170 Million. ... Let's face it: The only true Blood-Sport in this country is high-end Politics. You can dabble in Sports or the Stock Markets, but when you start lusting after the White House, The Joke is Over. These are the real Gamblers, & there is nothing they won't do to win.

Nothing involving jock straps or sports bras will ever come close to it for drama, violence, savagery & over-weaning lust for the spoils of victory. ... The Presidency of the United States is the richest & most powerful prize in the history of the World. The difference between winning the Super Bowl & winning the White House is the difference between a Goldfish & a vault full of Gold bars.

The very heart of the American electoral system now seems to be cracking. ... This is like a Super Bowl that goes into 99 scoreless overtimes, or a night when the sun never sets. Even Congress is preparing for Trench Warfare: The GOP leadership is now daring Clinton to try to pass a Spending Bill before the year ends. That would paralyze the Nation & prevent all payments for anything by the Federal Government. It is reminiscent of Political events that occurred just before the start of the Civil War. ... Beware. There might be no Super Bowl this year.

It is no accident that this vicious mess has come to a head in Florida. I know the state well. Florida has been very good to me in many wild & beautiful ways that still make my whole body hum when I think about them. ... I know Tallahassee & I know Palm Beach. I have run amok in Naples & suffered terrible boat crashes in the waters off Miami & the treacherous channels of Key West. ... I have run aground at midnight on sandbars far out in the ocean; I have lost control of my boat in many posh marinas & been rescued at sea by the Coast Guard so often that they came to recognize my voice on the short-wave radio. I have known great happiness in Florida & I still have a certain love for it.

But I also know it to be the most corrupt & profoundly degenerate state in the Union. So many of its elected officials are so openly For Sale that politics in Florida is more like an auction than a democratic process. Its Congressmen have been jailed for Felony Fraud & its Senators have routinely committed more heinous crimes than Richard Nixon was ever accused of. ... More murders & rapes go unreported in Florida each year than in Corsica & Sicily combined. The state has no Income Tax & essentially no Law. Its cities are ruled by Depraved sots & its Universities are snake-pits of cheating & random sex in Public. The libraries are filled with Beer-Drunkards looking for Skull sessions & beautiful girls who are proud & Eager to oblige them. Oral sex is more common on the streets of Miami in the daylight hours than anywhere else in America.

Rude people will now & then ask me why I think I know so much about Politics. I tell them it's because I'm Smart. ... But that is a lie: The real reason is because I'm an incurable Gambling addict.

The gambling habit is no different from any other acquired addiction (Crack, Nicotine, Flogging, Lying, etc.) -- in that there are always two (2) very different types of addicts, the User & the Binger. The binge gambler is doomed from the start & so is a binge Flogger, like the infamous Marquis de Sade.

It was not the Vice, but the Binge, that destroyed him. If de Sade had learned Moderation -- if he could have kept his brutal Floggings down to one or two a week, even three -- the cops might have left him alone. But no, the Marquis wouldn't listen, so his legacy was to go down as the most Vicious Pervert in history.

At least people are still interested in de Sade's crazed excesses. ... Al Gore will not be so lucky. He was Wrong from the Start & will forever be known as "the Loser" of the doomed 2000 Election. Bush is an Unhappy winner. He will be beaten like a rat in a waste-basket & he will age 14 years in the next Four.

The Bush family has already Corrupted the Presidency & the U.S. Supreme Court. Millions of Americans will never again be Confident that their vote will be counted in any election. All we need now is the squalid Spectacle of Jeb Bush on TV, saying "I am Not a Crook."

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," will appear each Monday on Page 2.




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