Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby zetreque on July 26th, 2014, 9:13 pm 

Today I coincidentally was listening to this song while looking at pictures from a vacation two years ago where I trekked along a somewhat reclusive coastline in Kauai.

https://soundcloud.com/adhsofficial/hoe ... -continues

I was looking through some pictures of laying in the sand as the waves rolled over me when the part of that song at 3:30 started with the lyrics being the bold print of the quote below:


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. 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 — that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.


Curious by these lyrics of waves in Las Vegas I looked it up to find Hunter S Thompson. While I'm sure I have heard of him before, I was learning about him for the first time.

Taken out of context and learning about this piece of writing starting from this location is interesting. It's a nice quote that seems to have a lot of different interpretations when taken out of context with the imagination running wild.

If anyone has an explanation behind what these water marks in Las Vegas is referring too, I am still not sure. The Novel appears to be about pursuing the "American Dream" and falling into heavy drug abuse.

waves.jpg
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Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby someguy1 on July 27th, 2014, 3:06 pm 

You should read the book. It's an easy one-sitting read.

Hunter Thompson did not fall into drugs. He dove into them.
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Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby Athena on July 27th, 2014, 6:59 pm 

This is just a guess but it is what I see....

Reminds me of a show about Ken Kesey who was also into drugs and had large following of friends also into drugs.

The 1960's was a wonderful time. The GI bill had our economy booming. GI's were given college educations, low interest loans for housing, and the VA is a great support system for those who need it. The college educations moved our technology along super fast, and so many people buying homes meant construction jobs, spreading suburbs with mini malls and freeways and this means jobs. Some of the technology, like electricity in every house, was realized before the war, but never developed because of a bad economy, and now our booming economy spread the new technology everywhere. Plus, all the appliances taking advantage of electricity, and furniture needed to fill the new homes meant more jobs. Technology developed during the war years, greatly increased our food supply and grocery stores became huge supermarkets. Fear of a return to the Great Depression became a celebration of economic boom and we even dared create entitlements for older Americans and start a war on poverty. We thought anything was possible even if we didn't do drugs. Now add drugs and the limits are really blown away, until the wave breaks, and the down side of drugs caused a crash.

Tidal waves leave a high water mark. Years later, perhaps no one alive saw the wave. Only with science can the past be known, what the land looked like before the wave, and how much damage was done. Life goes on, but it takes a very long time to recover and hopeful all is not destroyed by another tidal wave.
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Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby zetreque on July 27th, 2014, 7:36 pm 

Thanks for the comment Athena.

A metaphor for an economic boom, but with a lot more depth and complexity.

I forgot to mention in the original post that if you remove the names of specific locations and/or year, this quote can have an even greater effect.


It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. (removed) It 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. 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 (removed) 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.
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Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby Athena on July 28th, 2014, 11:28 am 

Should we mention the Beatles here? I miss the positive feeling they gave us and the USSR. Some people in the USSR said it was the Beatles who brought an end to the cold war. On the music scene this was a new time. Now it was the young writing the songs, instead older people writing them while young people sang what they were given to sing.

Young people had money as they never did before, and markets for them emerged. We are so youth oriented now, few us could remember when this was not the case.

When I got married, the most important thing in the world was to be grown up. That meant getting married and having children. Now I am blown away by TV shows with young adults who are not married. Women do other things besides go from father to husband and have children. But it seems like we lost faith in the idea that we can make the world a better place. I feel so sorry for following generations hit by recessions and no longer having the feeling that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.
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Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Postby zetreque on July 28th, 2014, 6:49 pm 

The Beatles were before my time, so it's hard for me to respond to that.

One of the problems is TV. Presidents of the country didn't have to look anything special before pictures. Now that everyone can see what is going on, youth sells. It's in our biology to be attracted to youth, health, and vitality which can be easily manipulated in the media.

When the Beatles came out, color TV was also making it's way around the world. That really changed things too.
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