It’s easy to criticize Hunter S. Thompson today. Bigot, homophobe, drug addict, alcoholic, quintessential shit disturber – the list is endless, really. But in his more or less less-addled moments of writing clarity, he did manage do some interesting things that have survived to this day, the most famous of which is his style of gonzo journalism (think of how Donald Trump speaks at rallies today, a complete lack of objectivity while seamlessly including himself in a first-person narrative to spin ridiculous tales).
However, Hunter S. Thompson could also pen some real diamonds in the rough that would shine through amid the other more harsh, biting and (at times) vulgar observances. One case in point being the quote below.
Before we get to that, though, I do have to say that one of my most enduring reading moments came when digesting Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream for my first time. I read large portions of it while going to and from work every day on the bus, and would consistently break out laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face. I was living in a small Korean city at the time and one of a handful of stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb foreigners there, so I’m sure I left a rosy impression on my fellow passengers (“Hey, do you think all Americans [sic, because obviously all Caucasians are Americans] are bat-shit crazy and cry while reading? Or can they simply not read and ride at the same time? Ha ha ha.”).
Nonetheless, if you haven’t read FALILV, do so. Soon and very soonly…
“History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of ‘history’ 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.”