Thursday, August 28, 2008

The High Watermark

One of my idols has always been Hunter S Thompson. To put it simply he had a way with language that made it jump. His words weren't written by some dead person or translated from another language. They were alive. Hunter's word's lept from his typewriter onto paper and made your brain dance with a tempo and pace that was as furious as the man himself.

It's quite difficult to look up to a man who committed suicide, you kind of have to look past a few things in order to have that kind of a hero. But Hunter would have known that. Hunter looked up to Hemingway, another famous American writer who committed suicide. There are some conspiracy theorists who think that Hunter did not commit suicide, but I cannot imagine that they would have let him go this long and nail him after his brief flirtations with fame. Maybe it's old payback. Maybe I'm next for even talking about it.

Most people know about "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for it's ridiculous drug addled humor. But it's lesser known title is "The Death of the American Dream." "The Wave Speech" is where Hunter is talking about the end of the 60s, the end of the movement. When the 60s turned into the 70s and the counterculture morphed back into the establishment.
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 — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

It is sad that Hunter couldn't take any more of the Bush years. One can only suppose that after trying to show people the truth for years to see W Bush elected twice was a travesty. Utter disappointment in democracy is the only way to describe it. That is why I wish that he could have seen Obama's speech last night. We are building that sense again. The sense that we are winning. That we will be riding a wave that cannot be stopped.

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