Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When the going gets tough

"When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro." Hunter S. Thompson

A rite of passage for young males, post acknowledgement of the existence of girls and the first driver's license, most likely before the first nip of corn squeezin's comes one's first trip to the bookstore in search for non school assigned literature. For most, it's a dance with the forbidden, a taste of the provocative. With luck, understanding and good breeding that dance with the outlier never leaves.

Chosen wisely, your first pick may influence the rest of your life. Mine did. By the time the National Lampoon turned stale, Hunter Thompson's novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was serialized in Rolling Stone. He had me at hello, I never looked back and never regretted the ride.

In the era of Richard Nixon, Thompson's worldview and willingness to pop the ego balloons of the rich while pointing fingers at the criminals driving the bus of state and their lackey's provided incredibly solid education to the machinations of American government at its highest levels. Looking back at how politics has changed over the last 40 years Thompson appears a naif.


We didn't always agree, no one could always agree with Hunter. I do miss him though.

Happy Birthday Hunter, wherever you are.

Toad





10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro."

That's the best thing I've ever read in my entire life. Makes it easier to understand Lynn Yeager a little bit better, she's my patron saint.

-Flo

Anonymous said...

It was William S. Burroughs for me, but Hunter soon followed, and I feel the same way about him, he really was one of the greats.

Erika

Old Polo said...

Thats the question, "where is Hunter...?". Last I heard he had his ashes shot from a cannon somewhere. Gotta admire his style. Thanks Toad.

Toad said...

Burroughs was a local guy, remembered as a classmate by the parents of friends, hence too parochial. I didn't "discover" him until very much later.

OP I suspect Elvis found HST in some dark corner of eternity and they spend their days blasting the empties with very powerful pea shooters.

Old Polo said...

heh heh heh. Put a smile on my face old friend.

NCJack said...

"Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972" is still one of the best poly sci tracts you can read, and should be followed up with "The Boys on the Bus", about the campaign press coverage. Written by a Tim Crouse, who was sent out by Wenner to "carry Thompson's bail money"

Anonymous said...

'"Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972' is still one of the best poly sci tracts you can read..."

I've never read HT. I need to get started. Is "F & L on the C T 1972" where I should begin? I'm a girl and I'm old, give me a good place to start.

-F

NCJack said...

Lady Anon, read "F&L in Las Vegas" first, then "Campaign Trail". After those, "Hell's Angels: the Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang" (which is actually first chronologically, but hard to get, and doesn't get as gonzo as the former two)

Anonymous said...

"Lady Anon, read 'F&L in Las Vegas' first, then 'Campaign Trail.'"

Alright, good. Good. Thanks NC...

-F

Toad said...

HST's partner in crime was British artist Ralph Steadman. His artistic merit is not to everyone's taste, but his writing is surprisingly good. I especially enjoyed Still Life With Bottle.
http://www.ralphsteadman.com/

NCJack as always, is spot on.