Back in the late 90's, early 2000's, towards the end of it's prime, I was a member of Myspace. At the time, I didn't want my personal name and face out there for the world to see so when I created the account I just used Hunters name. Once the account was created I was able to explore this new world as this was my first exposure to social media. I kept finding myself looking at a great deal of tribute pages dedicated to specific people, celebrities, authors, musicians, criminals, anyone really. So I already had the name and I was obviously very into him at the time. I loved his work, I admired his life and the way he lived it. I owned and read all his books. I was strung out on drugs holed up in my uncles basement just bingeing on video games and immersing myself into the online world. We had seven computers in the two main rooms of that basement, one of the rooms had a bed in the corner where I crashed. I had nothing but time and the internet...and drugs. Lots of drugs.
Anyway, I found it easy to make the natural progression of turning my account into an HST Tribute page. AT first my focus was on the front page itself. Adding lots of pictures and descriptions and such. I got my page to look and flow the way I wanted to, then I started just posting some of Hunters letters and Essays and things. Eventually, I was posting a chapter a day, sometimes two, and working my way through the books. This all took place over the course of 2 or 3 years. I know I did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary completely before life for me changed and I found myself with less free time to devote to such a thing. While it was going, people were loving it. There was a lot of momentum and I sadly just let it die, not realizing the opportunity i had in front of me. It was the end of popularity in the platform anyway. I came back to do a chapter 6 months to a year later and it was like a ghost town. They all found a new platform.
Then there was Facebook. Everyone jumped the Myspace ship to start using Facebook. I found it difficult at the time to create the same presence and vibe that I was able to achieve on Facebook. So I gave up the Hunter tribute routine and started using my real name. Occasionally I used to log into my Myspace account just to look at my page and admire what once was. Eventually, I no longer was able to log into that account for some reason and can't find it if I search for it, but that's fine.
This again was all nearly 20 years ago. I did read his letters for a while after all this but eventually I stopped reading in general so I haven't seen any of it in years. Just recently when I started to think about Hunter again and my HST experience I remembered his essay that he wrote in high school. I believe it applies to most of us in the Cryptoshere and thought I would share it here.
By Hunter Thompson, 1955
Security . . . what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a Utopian goal or is it another word for rut?
Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, i mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of their life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosiac man. But is he a man? Has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the alter of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of freedom on the alter of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he had watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better. What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?
Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed, Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must be laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait of death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a tread-mill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.
As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
It's almost like he was writing the Cryptopian bible or some sort of recruitment propaganda. It speaks to me in so many ways and in so many different ways than it did to me back in the day, when I was a teenager.
What do you guys think about this essay, which man would you want to be?
What message do you get from this essay and how does it apply in your life?