“It was fatalism with a loophole, and all you had to do to make it work was never miss a sign. Survival by coordination, as it were. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can see it coming and jump aside.”—Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary (via codybrockel)
“The capacity of these vicious assholes we elected to be in charge of our lives for four years to commit terminal damage to our lives and our souls and our loved ones is far beyond Nixon’s. Shit! Nixon was the creator of many of the once-proud historical landmarks that these dumb bastards are savagely destroying now: the Clean Air Act of 1970; Campaign Finance Reform; the endangered species act; opening a Real-Politik dialogue with China; and on and on.”—Hunter S. Thompson (via runaramble)
maybe this question's been asked a hundred times before but then i'd be the 101st; have you got a picture with acceptable quality of the tshirt of hitchiker guy in f&l ? I NEED IT! tried to find it but fckn google disappointed me... :/
You’re in luck, I have literally never been asked this question, ever! Lemme screencap it/watch Fear and Loathing for the millionth time like I needed an excuse, then I’ll post a pic or two for ya. Sound good?
UPDATE: This is the best my shitty computer can come up with. I hope it works for you!
“When Muhammad Ali declined to be drafted and forced to kill ‘gooks’ in Vietnam he said, ‘I ain’t got nothin’ against them Viet Cong. No Cong ever called me Nigger.’”—Hunter S. Thompson (via runaramble)
“The kids are turned off from politics, they say. Most of ‘em don’t even want to hear about it. All they want to do these days is lie around on waterbeds and smoke that goddamn marrywanna… yeah, and just between you and me Fred that’s probably all for the best.”—Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 (via july311994)
“It was the tension between these two poles —a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other— that kept me going.”—Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary (via alucinacionconsensuada)
Winston Churchill said, ‘The first casualty of War is always Truth.’ Churchill also said, ‘In wartime, Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of Lies.’
That wisdom will not be much comfort to babies born last week.
The first news they will get in this world will be News subjected to Military Censorship. That is a given in wartime, along with massive campaigns of deliberately planted ‘Dis-information.’ That is routine behavior in Wartime— for all countries and all combatants—and it makes life difficult for people who value real news. Count on it. That is what Churchill meant when he talked about Truth being the first casualty of War.
”—Hunter S. Thompson, September 19, 2001 (via runaramble)
“I’m sure I must have sounded like a fool and a borderline psychotic most of that year, when I talked to people who thought they knew who and where they were at the time … but looking back, I see that if I wasn’t Right, at least I wasn’t Wrong, and in that context I was forced to learn from my confusion … which took awhile, and there’s still no proof that what I finally learned was Right, but there’s not a hell of a lot of evidence to show that I’m Wrong either.”—
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968-1976 (via m File)
“If I could think of a way to do it right now, I’d head back to Louisville, sit on the porch drinking beer, drive around Cherokee Park for a few nights, and try to sink back as far as I could into the world that did its best to make me. It’s not hard to get tired of interminable palms and poinciana, and I could do at the moment with a single elm tree on a midnight street in the Highlands.”—Hunter S. Thompson (via mrspaulmccartney)
“It is all well and good for children and acid freaks to still believe in Santa Claus — but it is still a profoundly morbid day for us working professionals. It is unsettling to know that one out of every twenty people you meet on Xmas will be dead this time next year… Some people can accept this, and some can’t. That is why God made whiskey, and also why Wild Turkey comes in $300 shaped canisters during most of the Christmas season.”—"Fear and Loathing in Elko" Rolling Stone (23 January 1992)
“In a scene where nobody with any ambition is really what he appears to be, there’s not much risk in acting like a king-hell freak.”—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (via diego-herrera)
Here is the start of a new feature, where I compare and rank in order four things, from worst to first, that are similar enough to fall under one category. Basically, if you live in New England like me, and you’ve seen the show Phantom Gourmet, where they “taste test” steak sauces and cookies and other foods to see which is the best — well, that’s the same thing I’m doing here, except with music, and/or any other topic I see fit to cover.
Today’s topic: the Essential Top 4 Hunter S. Thompson books. First, a little background….
Basically, at one time, Hunter S. Thompson was my favorite writer, although as I have aged I have noticed that I am reading his books less and less — this was probably not intentional, but as time wore on, his works progressively seemed more and more half-finished, which is something that might appeal to a younger generation, to the point where his final book (Hey Rube) is nothing more than a sprawling collage of Thompson-isms and repeated quotes. But it’s undeniable that the man’s catalog, as a whole, is unique — just the fact that Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which in some respects, amounts to nothing more than two back-to-back party runs from L.A. to Vegas, is now required reading for American Lit students, is somewhat unbelievable.
The cool thing about Thompson is he was the embodiment of every free lance journalist’s dream, by making the mainstream come to him, in effect, with his loony outsider approach. He was your free-spirited, drink and drug-addled, gambling-addicted uncle — you know, the cool uncle (each family seems to have at least one), who seemingly did whatever he wanted, and got away with it. This, of course, eventually caught up with Hunter, in more ways than one, pretty much trapping him in that Fear And Loathing/sketch-piece mold as far as his writing style went, so that his output after the early 70’s was really nothing more than collections of assorted newspaper articles and/or his prodigious habit of letter writing (or, in the case of Better Than Sex, a collection of angry faxes).
And, as Hunter himself said so many times, “and so much for all of that”. This list is really nothing more than a short one on what I think are the essential pieces of the HST collection — not that I hate anything else he wrote (at most, I have a slight dislike for Hey Rube), but these are the must-read books, for any casual fan looking to broaden his horizons HST-style.
This was not really Thompson’s first official book — that honor goes to The Rum Diary, which went unpublished until the late 90’s — but Hell’s Angels was the first one to get published, and gather national exposure, although the general tone is noticeably different than later works. Hell’s Angels was more along the lines of journalistic expose, as Thompson “hung out” with the Oakland chapter of the gang for around a year, trying to get at the psyche and motivation behind the biker/outlaw lifestyle. This is not boring or uninteresting in the least, just different, because it’s intended to be more scholarly, although I do have to say that Hell’s Angels should never be your first Thompson read — it’s almost better to start with the “Gonzo” stuff, and then work your way back to this more-normal volume of non-fiction.
Although the story of Hell’s Angels as being public menaces seems very dated nowadays (in the mid-60’s this was a much bigger deal), you do get a general sense that not only does the author, in some ways, connect with the club’s outsider lifestyle, but he also correctly points out that the bikers are just the first wave of malcontents eating away at the edges of our society, foreshadowing gang warfare that started in the 70’s and 80’s.
The first in the “Gonzo Papers” series is the best, in my opinion, providing a roughly equal mix of Gonzo and pre-Gonzo articles for consumption. In fact, the title article, which chronicled a “vacation” to Mexico, is on some levels, even crazier and funnier than Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas ever was, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many excellent pieces to choose from, including an article about Super Bowl 8 (which was loosely portrayed in the movie Where The Buffalo Roam), a whole volume of classic/angry Watergate-era screeds on the Nixon adminstration, and the initial Gonzo article, The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved.
If you’re wondering about the other Gonzo Papers, volume 2 is basically a collection of columns Thompson wrote for the San Francisco Examiner, volume 3 plays out much like Great Shark Hunt, but with far more disjointed pieces, and volume 4 (Better Than Sex) was essentially a book of reactionary faxes to various Democratic Party members and Rolling Stone writers, throughout the early 90’s. All of the above range from decent to very good, but somehow, contain not much of the magic surrounding the first volume.
On certain days, I really think Campaign Trail ‘72 is a more multi-faceted, and therefore, a more truthful piece of “Gonzo” than Las Vegas, but it’s hard to argue with the indifference of those not so politically inclined (although, part of the reason to read an HST book in the first place is an interest in politics). So while it may have less overall appeal, Campaign Trail ‘72 is brilliant, a mix of the hard-boiled journalism of Hell’s Angels with unfettered Gonzo rants — for example, check out the “October” section, where Hunter mails in a classic screed against Nixon and what was, to him, an apatheic political climate, which obviously is a timely and timeless message.
Basically, Hunter covered the entire ‘72 Presidential campaign, including all the primaries and both conventions, and despite his usual weird tangents, he manages to describe the detailed ins and outs of political maneuvering, and does it on a layman’s level, so it’s continously informative and entertaining. Early on, Thompson gets drawn into the ill-fated George McGovern campaign, so his commentary is biased, but he writes about it so well the blatant favoritism doesn’t take away from the quality of the book.
In the end, Campaign Trail ‘72 is not just a great piece of Gonzo journalism, but it should be required reading for all those with any sort of political inclanations.
In the end, Las Vegas has to occupy the top spot on this list, doesn’t it? Nothing but a cult favorite when it first came out, the legend has slowly grown, and become ingrained into mainstream culture, as the last remaining relic from the idealistic 60’s, even though the point of the book was about how those ideals had been destroyed and/or sold up the river, or even gambled away in Las Vegas.
This is the one place where all the disjointed, stitched-together magic of Gonzo, which had been hinted at so well in the Kentucky Derby piece, was on full display, sort of like a great team playing its’ best game in the Super Bowl. The language itself is something to behold, almost as if the intention was to write something where possibly every sentence written would be memorable. It is, like most great pop albums, relatively short in that high on quality control, low on filler sense. (via uponfurthurreview)