fear and loathing in las vegas

Fear and Loathing reads to me like the most extreme, and probably effective, anti-drug PSA I’ve ever read. The problem is, I know that if I had come across this seven years ago, I would’ve thought this was the manifesto for living.

Back when I was a professional writer, this life of jumping from destructive adventure to destructive adventure was the best way to live.

Now, as an adult who’s realized that a better way to live is just to sit at home and chill out, all of Thompson’s rudeness towards the average American just seems incredibly rude.

The graphic violence and drug use makes me very uncomfortable, and I’m not sure what the intention of it is. I understand that this is a retrospective on the 60s, and it feels that way, but it’s also subtle.

Objectively, I know this is a brilliant book. It made me so uncomfortable.

I like Thompson a lot for writing this, I just don’t know if I like this book… Painting the whiplash of the 60s as all the darkness of drugs and the sex as dark as this is is a brilliant stroke, but it’s hard for me to get a read on whether or not that was the intention.

I guess my interpretation is that in their search for the American Dream, the conclusion was really just that the dream of the 60s was a lie, and it just glorified and left behind people as terrible and messed up as Raoul Duke and his attorney.

But I just can’t get over how unlikable the characters are. Again, I’m aware they’re supposed to be that way, but it’s hard because there was no …contrast. There was no pure angel to contrast with.

Again, objectively, this is brilliant. Objectively, I love Hunter S. Thompson. Objectively, he is one of the best 20th century writers who is able to capture a moment and make it timlessly relevant. David Foster Wallace wishes.

Subjectively, maybe it was just too much for me. It wasn’t the right time. I don’t know what to take away from it… But, I wonder if that’s the genius of the message.

Not knowing what to take away from it is exactly how everyone must have felt when Nixon was elected at the end of the 60s.