Every now and then a great writer finds his ideal subject. Herman Melville on whaling. F. Scott Fitzgerald on the American Dream. Joseph Heller on World War II. I would add to that list the crazed genius Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on the 1972 presidential campaign. With the 2012 race heating up right on schedule, now’s the time to crack open Thompson’s pre-internet, pre-cable TV masterpiece, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, and revel in the madness.
“Unlike most other correspondents,” Thompson writes in the book’s intro, “I could afford to burn all of my bridges behind me—because I was only there for a year, and the last thing I cared about was establishing long-term connections on Capitol Hill.”
Burn he did. On Democrat Hubert Humphrey: “When he ran for President four years ago he was a hack and a fool, but at least he was consistent. Now he talks like an eighty-year-old woman who just discovered speed.” On Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, also a Democrat: “Sending Muskie against Nixon would have been like sending a three-toed sloth out to seize turf from a wolverine.” And on Republican President Richard Nixon himself, who would go on to take 49 states and win by a landslide: “Our Barbie doll President…is also America’s answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string-warts, on nights when the moon comes too close…”
Yes, it’s over the top, way over the top. And, be warned, there’s a lot of offensive language, too. But Thompson was a first-rate journalist who mixed his feverish “Gonzo” fantasies with some of the best political and cultural reporting of that or any time. So if you want to know what the country was like back then, when the Vietnam War was still going on and the crimes of Watergate were actually being committed, if you want to feel what it was like, let Thompson be your guide.
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.
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