In recently released footage, journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson can be seen exchanging gunfire with a neighbor. During a dispute that seems to be related to livestock, Thompson refers to his neighbor as a “son of a bitch” as he fires shots, presumably, in his direction. The video is also punctuated with political statements, added as voice-overs.
At the beginning of the clip, Thompson can be heard in an active verbal altercation with a neighbor. Thompson mentions “birdshot” and calls his neighbor and “asshole” while exchanging shots across an open field.
After that, Thompson can be heard on the voiceover. He begins by saying, “The people who did this declaration of independence and the constitution were good people.”
Thompson continues, “And it’s a good place. Here we are in the middle of it. Up on the mountain.”
He then provides the only piece of context regarding the dispute between himself and his neighbor, stating, “If this son of a bitch wants to bitch about his cows over here and shoot at me, well, it’s our country. It’s not theirs. It’s not a bunch of used car dealers from southern California.”
The video closes with a single statement from Thompson: “In a Democracy, you have to be a player.”
Thompson is best known for being the founder of the gonzo journalism moment, an approach that doesn’t claim to be objective and often includes the reporter in the story through the use of a first-person narrative style, as well as his novels including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.
He was also open about his political opinions, including his hatred for Richard Nixon, and lifestyle, which included drug use and acts of violence.
Thompson ultimately took his own life, shooting himself in the head while at his Owl Farm compound on February 20, 2005. A suicide note was found. He was 67-years-old.
At a private funeral, which was largely funded by his friend, actor Johnny Depp, Thompson’s ashes were fired from a cannon, with fireworks accompanying the event.
h/t Open Culture