May 27, 2009


"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt."

This note came fours days before Hunter S. Thompson shot himself in the head in his Owl Farm home in Woody Creek, Colorado at 5:42 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2005. Renowned for Gonzo journalism and his leading role in the New Journalism movement, Thompson was also described as callous, erratic and self-destructive as the result of his heavy drinking and hallucinogenic drug use.

After reading an article the Guardian recently did about media workers being the heaviest drinking professionals in England, knocking back the equivalent of more than four bottle of wine or more than 19 pints of beer a week, I got to thinking about writers and alcohol.

Unfortunately, Thompson is just one of too many 20th-century writers who seemed to find their creativity in a bottle. Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis, Scott Fitzgerald, George Sterling, Dylan Thomas and John Steinbeck — some of the greatest writers of all time and they all drank.

Is there a link between creativity and alcohol? Do writers drink more than other people? If so, does the nature of the profession result in alcoholism or are some prone to the disease drawn to the profession?

Seems chicken-and-the-eggish. I don't know the answers. Just some drink for thought... just be sure to roll your ice cubes in chlorophyll before you start sipping.


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