Rolling Stone : Fear and Loathing at 25

I stumbled across this article rather unintentionally while I was railing on another forum about Rolling Stone’s ineptitude.  I probably had seen it when it was originally written (in 1996). Or maybe not, depending upon whether I felt the same way about that Rag in ’96 that I do now. I don’t remember. 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas addresses the great themes of late-20th-century literature — anomie, being and nothingness, existential terror. But two things separate Hunter Thompson from the common herd of modern-lit angst peddlers. First, Thompson is a better writer. He flips Kafka over on his  back like some big insect. He makes Genet sound like a children’s-book author — Fuzzy Bunny and His Puppy Pals Blow Me. Compared with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Albert Camus’ The Stranger becomes a lame jail-house whine, and all of Sartre is just some French doofus sitting around in a cafe, saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

The article is authored by none other than P.J. O’Rourke and contains an interview with the Good Doctor himself.

In response to P.J.’s comment that there was a certain “lemminglike quality to the ’60s,” Thompson replied:

I happened to see the ’80s as that. And God knows what the hell the ’90s are. They are just brazen with rules. Rules are worshiped — to the point where football and basketball referees are becoming celebrities. And the compulsion, the lust, to be on TV: It may be the governing instinct of our times. We’re into a new world. We’re at the decadence. I keep saying there will be no year 2000.

It’s a good read, and a reminder to pull out my tattered copy for its yearly read.  Rolling Stone has some of it online here as well. OK, so maybe they’re not all bad.

But they have to be kidding me about the Yoko reviews.


Source: Rolling Stone : Fear and Loathing at 25