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Hunter S. Thompson and the 1960's

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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-24-05 11:07 PM
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Hunter S. Thompson and the 1960's
Excerpt from "Fear and Loathing":
"Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a main era - -the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle - -that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - -on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - -the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

This passage of the book begs the question of me: is this an expression of pessimism at the perceived failures of the 1960's activists? Additionally, do those of you who lived through the era feel that the current youth are apathetic?
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disillusioned1 Donating Member (280 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-24-05 11:14 PM
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1. The current youth aren't apathetic
They're waiting for the draft. Deja vu.
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Melynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-24-05 11:35 PM
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2. Yep, Hunter nails the pessimism and defeatism of the 70's
that's why "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is such a classic.

Regarding the "failures of the 60's activists" I would say that the counter culture didn't fail so much as it was destroyed by large forces in the culture, such as the military industrial complex, big business, etc who would do anything to beat back the counter culture.
For example, the assassinations of MLK and RFK. The death of those two leaders destroyed the progressive movement in America that was on the verge of gaining power in 1968.

For a few months in early 1968 is seemed that a new movement was going take control of America and make some serious changes. LBJ quit the presidential race and the White House was up for grabs. The two main contenders were Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy, which means that some sort of progressive would be President. Then the assassinations happen along with the police riots at the Chicago Democratic convention and Nixon's election and it was back to business as usual. I believe that is what Hunter is writing about in excerpt from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

I don't think that today's youth is anymore apathetic than any other generation. The 60's youth generation was more involved than other generations because of the war. Young people have to find their place in their world, that's what they do. Some young people will be active in politics and some won't. I don't think they should be criticize for making a personal choice about whether to become involved in politics or not.

Anyway, that's my long winded answer to your question.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-24-05 11:51 PM
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3. my favorite quote from the book
and my favorite scene in the movie. Gives me chills every time. A hearty thanks to the good dr. :toast:
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