For Monday, February 12th, 2024
HST would be having such fun ('fun' being relative to Hunter) with these assholes today.
My favorite Gonzo journalist. Would have loved to hear his take on the craziness today.
By the time I read "Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail 72," I knew that HST and Gore Vidal were the American prophets who not only saw clearly but were talented enough to translate their visions into prose. By 1972, the US had turned a colonial war in Vietnam into a struggle for democracy, and we first glimpsed what would become routine, the whipping up of our passions in order to divert monies better spent on city water mains to the military, which only became stronger and more ravenous. Both sides had played the patriotism card, but only the GOP would never stop playing it. To paraphrase Eddie Izzard, "Do you have a flag pin?"
Taken together, the first para sounds almost like Obama's inauguration, while the second para seems very 2021..
" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.''
"So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill … and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
I guess this is the place... in some kind of middle of a vast flat landscape, midway between the high desert and the funky low swamp, a signless American crossroads. Midnight. A whiff of smoke holding just the traces of sulfur and a burnt-up credit card. The figure steps forward, out of a shadow that shouldn't have been there.
"You know the terms."
-- "Yeah. Of course."
He's holding the scroll the stack of papers the scroll the ancient bound codex the stack of papers the ipad the scroll... hard to tell in the shifting half-light, y'know?
"So. What is it you want?"
I've been clutching the beatup old paperback for the last half hour, an old coffeestained parking ticket holding the page, the paragraphs lined along the margin with a cheap pen.
-- "This. I want to write like this. Novels. Journalism. Travel books. This good. This big. This weird."
He takes the book and starts to read, aloud.
"Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time..."
He pauses, looks at me. Goes back to the book, but silent this time, until he gets to the end.
"....and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
"This. You want this."
-- "Yup. Whatever you gave him, that's what I want too."
"Yeah." Long pause. Looks at me. "Yeah."
He shakes his head, and looks up at the moonless star-filled night.
"Yeah. Thing is, it wasn't me give him that."
Another brief look up, then the hands me back my book.
"Good luck, kid," and he's gone.
Some of us could argue that we're still dealing with that wave. More's the pity.
I loved that book.