when the going gets weird…

And then we saw this, from AP, just as we were finishing the paper tonight:

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) _ Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home, his son said. He was 67.

“Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,” Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News. Sheriff’s officials did not return calls to The Associated Press late Sunday.

Juan Thompson found his father’s body. Thompson’s wife, Anita, was not home at the time.

Besides the 1972 drug-hazed classic about Thompson’s time in Las Vegas, he is credited with pioneering New Journalism — or “gonzo journalism” — in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story.

An acute observer of the decadence and depravity in American life, Thompson wrote such books as “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail” in 1973 and the collections “Generation of Swine” and “Songs of the Doomed.” His first ever novel, “The Rum Diary,” written in 1959, was first published in 1998.

Other books include “Hell’s Angels” and “The Proud Highway.” His most recent effort was “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and The Downward Spiral of Dumbness.”

Fuck.

There will be more from Uncle Crappy about HST tomorrow. For now, let’s leave it at this: I owe my career to “Campaign Trail,” and I owe my political sense to HST.

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