It was announced this week that Rolling Stone Magazine is up for sale. At the same time, I have been watching Ken Burns’ documentary on Viet Nam…you know, that feeling when you found out about the invasion of Laos. Oddly connected, I think about the two parts of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that was published in Rolling Stone. Cynicism about human nature, suspicious of other people’s motives, this kind of misanthropy even extends to myself. Noble ideals, actions and words are often hypocritical—searching for the American Dream, Thompson, like most of us from there are covered with a healthy sense of irony–but we’re still struggling to figure out how to personally embody the beatific ideas we so easily espouse….below are a few snippets from Thompson’s ride [WARNING: OFFENSIVE ADULT LANGUAGE AND PROFANITY IN THE TEXT]:
Bad waves of paranoia, madness, fear and loathing, intolerable vibrations in this place. Get out! The weasels were closing in. I could smell the ugly brutes.
No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.
Good people drink good beer.
Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.
My attorney had never caught on to the notion espoused by some former drug users that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them. And neither have I, for that matter.
Psychedelics are almost irrelevant in a town where you can wander in a casino any time in the day or night and witness the crucifixion of a gorilla.
Take it from me, there’s nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.
The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits- a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.
No cop was ever born who isn’t a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed Controlled Drift all the way around one of those clover-leaf freeway interchanges. Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him… and then we will start apologizing and begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do when you’re running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your trail what you want to do then is accelerate.
In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
We must ride this strange torpedo out until the end.
But our trip was different. It was to be a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit.