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‘Most smart people tend to feel queasy when the conversation turns to things like “certain death” and “total failure” and the idea of “a doomed generation”. But not me. I am comfortable with these themes.’
Hunter S. Thompson, celebrated author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has been writing a weekly column for the San Francisco Examiner for the last two years. Those columns are collected here to offer a chronicle of the adventures of a Generation of Swine.
The incomparable ‘Dr Gonzo’ has journeyed no small distance in search of intelligent life and reports back, instead, on the demented state of current events. He keeps tabs on the 1998 presidential race, quotes from the Bible (reference books in hotel rooms are supplied exclusively by the Gideons) and asks why the President appears to be a hundred and twenty-eight years old.
‘He is working from a dementia that no one in his right mind would want to share. It is the dementia, however, that makes Thompson great’ Playboy
‘His hallucinated vision strikes one as having been, after all, the sanest’ Nelson Algren
Thompson may be correct in assuming that the greed and immorality pervading the American social landscape are obscene, but his surreal, half-demented style has hardened into a pose. These columns from the San Francisco Examiner prove only that journalism can become dated quickly. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas calls Colonel Khadafy smarter than Ronald Reagan and takes potshots at television news, Gary Hart, Ed Meese, evangelists, Michael Dukakis, Pat Robertson and the Iran-contra hearings. He predicts that the Democrats will self-destruct in the 1988 presidential campaign. People he dislikes are described as ``money-sucking animals,'' ``brainless freaks,'' ``geeks,'' ``greed-crazed lunatics'' and so on. Thompson's flaccid diatribes seem designed to instill a sense of smug superiority in the reader.