Showing posts with label Hunter S. Thompson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hunter S. Thompson. Show all posts

Thursday, December 23, 2010

If Pat Robertson is Mad, Why is He So Influential?

Hunter S. Dyer: Southern Writer and Religious Gypsy

The infamous reporter Dr. Hunter S. Thompson postulated the existence of a 'linkhorn gene' in his book about the Hell's Angels, "The Hells Angels a Strange and Terrible Saga", which he thinks would account for all of the weird [pronounced we'ahd in the Scots English] behavior surrounding people of Scots-Irish ancestry.  It would account for a lot of the historical prodigies, disasters, victories and senseless tragedies, that primal element and raw material which makes the heroic people of Michener's celebrated book, The Texans, such a captivating read.  Just think of Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears, or his numerous gunfights with men who insulted his beloved wife.

We have only to look at a few celebrities to get an anecdotal sense of the truish quality of Thompson's idea.   There's Mel Gibson.  Can't you just see him mounted on a thirty thousand dollar American motorcycle with a youngish but buxom female on the back, on his way through the deserts of Nevada?  Maybe not, but his intense faint blue eyes and madcap grin give him a special, familiar, wild look that might make you involuntarily say, "Leif the Lucky":

Gibson's Linkhorn Look

Mel Gibson, a Viking, a wildman, and a rather devotional and repentant sinner, could be seen as an exemplaire of many other  historical and legendary characters as well, as if he were related to those people you read about in the male-dominated, white European annals of le histoire.  Was the linkhorn gene only present in Scotland and Ireland?  We know for a fact that it emigrated to the United States.  We'd like to think that it was also present in the strains of fine, Norse stock, but also in the highlands of Central Europe, in Tyrolean and Switzerland, like Ferdinand Schiess, who fought at the Battle of Rourke's Drift and earned a Victoria's Cross, or the tragic Tyrolean hero, Andreas Hofer, who fought against the French and was rewarded with execution by the people he was fighting for...

We also think of Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and the Catholic convert, Longstreet or the famous William Quantrill who led irregular forces against the Union.

The linkhorn as Hunter S. describes it is an ancient strain, one could say it goes back in time to the great and frozen North, and down to the sunny valleys and fields of Italy and beyond to the shores of distant Palestine during the Crusades, where Robert the Bruce's heart was thrown in the breach by Sir James Douglas to inspire the Scots Crusaders, to fight ferociously to get to the other side of a breach at the battle of Teba in Spain.  Sir James fell, but he died carrying out his promise.

Like a lot of things, that divine madness of the linkhorn can be felt in the glorious splendour of the Gothic Cathedrals of Europe, the far flung adventures of the wild Men of the North, their brilliant establishments, Universities and Monasteries.  Things so beautiful and noble it might make you weep with shame to think that they were held in low regard by low men who are no better than thrallls to worldliness and pride.  But there is also a side to the linkhorn gene that can't be denied, where the loftiness and beauty of their aspirations are turned into the lowest and strangest most perverse contortions.   One doesn't have to go much further than to look at southern evangelicals for that, where true religion, patriotism and often love of family is twisted into strange shapes and guises, and for all of its strangeness, still finds a place in the hearts of many who are won over by their persuasiveness and glamor.  Evil wouldn't be much if it didn't have some of the attractiveness of good, and Pat Robertson has been mad for a long time, a veritable linkhorn of the highest order to compete with others like William Walker, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  Certainly, these are great men in their own right who've accomplished great things, for the Devil himself could lead a third of the Anglic Host out of Heaven.  Tom Roeser has a little to say about Pat Robertson, and here it is.

Make me a promise, will you?   When I get as goofy as Pat Robertson will  you get hold of my wife and have her lead me away from the computer?  Promise?  All right.   Odds are I’ll be senile.   Which is not Pat’s problem.   He’s always been weird.
         Robertson’s two years younger than I (born in 1930) but he’s had that vacant-minded chuckle even when he’s talking seriously… and misty eyes… that  tell you he’s a brick short of a load.    Yesterday he came out for legalizing marijuana.   Yeah Pat, just what we need now. We got incipient war in Korea, Iran with the bomb, the Russians stoking Iran with nuclear enrichment, China virtually owning us, Charlie Krauthammer seeing Obama cresting, gays going in the military and ordered to shower with the straights and now this ex-Southern Baptist charismatic preacher (charismatic preaching an anomaly to Baptists anyhow) sees the most important thing is to start Americans legally puffing.
Lt. Anthony William Vivian Loyd