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Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Welcome to the Big Darkness

By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

Hi, folks, my name is still Thompson, and I still drink gin with ER Nurses at night -- but in one particular way, I am a New Man, a different man, a more dangerous man than I was the last time we talked. And that was a few weeks ago, eh?

Indeed, I can walk again, and I like it, because last month I felt an acute spasmodic pain in my spine when I walked. There was nothing cute about it, no socially redeeming factor. It just plain sucked.

But I have just returned from an extremely intense few weeks at the world-renowned Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. (yes, the same city where Kobe Bryant ...), where I had radical surgery to repair what was beginning to give me some pain. Great pain on some days, and I finally decided to get rid of it.

I am no stranger to organ replacement, and I always find it refreshing, always a happy improvement over Pain.

I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing. I once gouged about two-thirds of my hip socket into mush for five consecutive years, until I finally felt enough pain to have the bastard replaced.

And Titanium turned out to be far more comfortable and flexible than the human spine anyway, especially mine. It is lighter, stronger and far more adaptable, in every way, than bone or steel or anything else in the human body -- and I am installing it in my own body as rapidly as possible without doing anything stupid.

My alloy spine replacement is about 70 percent finished, and after it's completed, I will take a break. And maybe have a look at this weird and degrading Kobe Bryant story, which interests me. The more I learn about this case, the more I understand that this is not about Rape at all. It is about money, pure money and nothing else. Nobody is going to jail in this case, but some people are going to Pay.

The downward spiral of Dumbness in America is about to hit a new low. You thought O.J. was bad? Wait until we get a taste of the K.B. scandal. It will be like a feeding frenzy and a long parade of cannibals.


Kobe Bryant
Kobe cheating on his wife? Rape allegations? It's only just begun, America.
When I went into the clinic last April 30, George Bush was about 50 points ahead of his closest Democratic opponent in next year's Presidential Election. When I finally escaped from the horrible place, less than three weeks late, Bush's job-approval ratings had been cut in half -- and even down into single digits, in some states -- and the Republican Party was panicked and on the run. It was a staggering reversal in a very short time, even shorter than it took for his equally crooked father to drop from 93 percent approval, down to as low as 43 percent and even 41 percent in the last doomed days of the first doomed Bush Administration. After that, he was Bill Clinton's punching bag.

Richard Nixon could tell us a lot about peaking too early. He was a master of it, because it beat him every time. He never learned and neither did Bush the Elder.

But wow! This goofy child president we have on our hands now. He is demonstrably a fool and a failure, and this is only the summer of '03. By the summer of 2004, he might not even be living in the White House. Gone, gone, like the snows of yesteryear.

The Rumsfield-Cheney axis has self-destructed right in front of our eyes, along with the once-proud Perle-Wolfowitz bund that is turning to wax. They somehow managed to blow it all, like a gang of kids on a looting spree, between January and July, or even less. It is genuinely incredible. The U.S. Treasury is empty, we are losing that stupid, fraudulent chickencrap War in Iraq, and every country in the world except a handful of Corrupt Brits despises us. We are losers, and that is the one unforgiveable sin in America.

Beyond that, we have lost the respect of the world and lost two disastrous wars in three years. Afghanistan is lost, Iraq is a permanent war Zone, our national Economy is crashing all around us, the Pentagon's "war strategy" has failed miserably, nobody has any money to spend, and our once-mighty U.S. America is paralyzed by Mutinies in Iraq and even Fort Bragg.

BUY THE BOOK
Click here to buy Hunter S. Thompson's latest book, "Kingdom of Fear."

The American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime, and our prospects for the immediate future are even worse. I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it. Our highway system is crumbling, our police are dishonest, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security, once the envy of the world, has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam, Afghanistan, the disastrous Gaza Strip and ignominious defeat all over the world.

The Stock Market will never come back, our Armies will never again be No. 1, and our children will drink filthy water for the rest of our lives.

The Bush family must be very proud of themselves today, but I am not. Big Darkness, soon come. Take my word for it.

DR. THOMPSON IS BACK WITH US NOW, AND READY TO RUMBLE. HE IS FREE OF THE HIDEOUS PAIN THAT HAS PLAGUED HIM AND HIS LOVED ONES SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. BUT IT IS GONE NOW. THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

To be continued very soon.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His books include "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "The Curse of Lono," "Generation of Swine," "Songs of the Doomed," "Screwjack," "Better Than Sex," "The Proud Highway," "The Rum Diary," and "Fear and Loathing in America." His latest book, "Kingdom of Fear," 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," appears regularly on Page 2.