F&LILV Question #4 - The Younger Generation and Hunter

by Hunter S. Thompson

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Unread postby bluebird » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:07 pm

Gypsylee wrote:
[/quote]Doing your thing in the middle of "normal" society. As minor as my "rebellion" is now at this time in my life, it is noticed! My family definitely sees the change. That makes me happy. Not sure how happy they are, but I feel very good about it!!!

I have the same sort of feeling going on, Gypsylee!!

I had heard of Hunter years ago but hadn't read anything until seeing F&LILV. Seeing the movie and reading the book and contracting JDOCD found me searching for "all things HST" (along with "all things JD."
I think his words speak to me because of what DITHOT said...

DITHOT wrote:
His rebelliousness is appealing to those who haven't given up on change and still believe it is possible to correct the wrongs in the world.

Someone said -- It's never too late to become who you might have been.....

bluebird


The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Unread postby bluebird » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:08 pm

Sorry, the quote code went crazy on me.
bluebird :-?
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:43 pm

All well thought out answers so far, everybody! :cool: Not a surprise.

I'm thinking it is more an attitude also, which an adult or a younger person can have. Maybe that attitude is more typical in youth. However, for me he brought back memories of the times he has written about. They were exciting times for me--even though I couldn't really participate. I was too young, really. I was there in spirit. I think that spirit has stayed with me, maybe squashed at times. I've always been somewhat of a rebel. So that part of him appeals to me. But I agree with this too:


Endora wrote:Would you say that the extreme highs and dreadful lows that the book describes applies more to the young? It's difficult to keep your life on an even keel when so much changes for you in your teens. Coming to terms with failures both in yourself and in others is a hard education. And I am sure that the bleak undercurrent of the book mirrors those same feelings in a lot of young people.

Therefore, I would say this is a book that the young would appreciate, but those of us looking at it from the longer perpective of age could also force a wry smile at the author's youthful hopefulness.


It reminds me of something that I read yesterday in Hell's Angels about the youth of the day. It may just apply to the youth of the 60's.

The Hell’s Angels are not visionaries, but diehards, and if they are the forerunners or the vanguard of anything it is not the “moral revolution” in vogue on college campuses, but a fast-growing legion of your unemployables whose untapped energy will inevitably find the same kind of destructive outlet that “outlaws” like the Hell’s Angels have been finding for years. The difference between the student radicals and the Hell’s Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future. Their only common ground is their disdain for the present, or the status quo.

Again, I think it is just a certain attitude or "personality" (as V put it). There were plenty of Berkeley students who weren't radicals who followed the status quo. However, maybe the younger generation is more prone to iconoclasm because they are searching.
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:25 pm

bluebird wrote:Gypsylee wrote:
Doing your thing in the middle of "normal" society. As minor as my "rebellion" is now at this time in my life, it is noticed! My family definitely sees the change. That makes me happy. Not sure how happy they are, but I feel very good about it!!!

I have the same sort of feeling going on, Gypsylee!!

Someone said -- It's never too late to become who you might have been.....

bluebird


[/quote]

Now I like THAT quote bluebird. I went through a divorce after 19 years of marriage and found myself going back to my baseline to discover who I was meant to be. My ex never really knew me. Didn't want to. So it's been quite an adventure as of late discovering all sorts of new things about myself.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby ThirdArm » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:18 pm

IMHO, I think Hunter's appeal is more a generational thing. I'm a baby boomer and I come from a long line of politically active people. However, the political action stopped with me. I had my son when I was 17 and while the rest of my generation was out burning bras and lord knows what else, I was dealing with diapers.

My point to all that is, people younger than myself now look back on the 60s and 70s with a nostalgia they haven't really earned because they weren't even born yet. They see in HST's works something entirely different from what I do. It's good that they are reading him, but it shouldn't be romanticised. The 60s and 70s weren't all that easy to live in.
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Unread postby Theresa » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:54 pm

I’ll chime in here and say I had never heard of Hunter, either. Although I was born at the tail end of the baby boomer generation, the events and experiences that he wrote about were unknown to me. I was raised in a family where politics were never discussed, so I have no reference points to ground me in the late 60’s – early 70’s political culture.

I enjoy Hunter’s writings now – they’re very witty and show a viewpoint of the times and culture that is enjoyable to read. But they do not influence me in any way to be rebellious or adventurous; in fact – as funny as it was – reading F&L made me want to run screaming in the other direction. Maybe that’s because I didn’t read his writings when I was younger, maybe it’s just because I just can’t relate to his topics. Maybe it’s because my political leanings are extremely different that his. I don’t know.

I just know that I don’t entirely understand what it is about him and his writings that make such an impression on everyone here. I guess that’s why I’m here…to learn.

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Unread postby Larkwoodgirl » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:40 pm

I was a subscriber to Rolling Stone way back when. I read Hunter's work at that time. I was in my early 20's. Although I found Hunter's writing style riveting, I honestly have to say that I just didn't get him it at the time. The years have given me the additional perspective needed to really understand (in terms of political and social ramificatons) what Hunter was really trying to say. I actually appreciate him a lot more now than I did then.

People in Hunter's generation lived through the emotional turmoil of the times. (Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate, the Chicago democratic convention, and the Kent State shootings). The country was deeply divided.

When the Vietnam war ended and Nixon left the white house, I think people wanted to forget the turmoil and uncertainty of the times and move on. In doing so, artists and writers (like Hunter) whose work directly reflected those times, fell out of favor. People just did not want to look back.

I think younger generations are given the advantage of distant perspective. They don't have the "baggage" so to speak. It is easier to be objective about events from afar than it is from inside the firey midst of things.

Hunter had a rebellious spirit, a brilliant mind, and a blazing disregard for authority. I think that combination would make Hunter's work immediately appealing to youger generations. He appeals to me for those same reasons.
Last edited by Larkwoodgirl on Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby abigail » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:06 pm

I was born in the early 70's and cannot relate to the specific subject matter of Fear and Loathing on a personal level like those of you who grew up in the 60's can. For me, Hunter's writing embodies the spirit of authenticity and individuality. His writing style and manner are just as important to me as the substance of his work. He was a maverick. A "rebel" is only a rebel because the mainstream labels him or her as such for being different. Hunter wasn't subversive for the sake of seeking out that label; he simply lived as he chose to live regardless of public opinion. He was honest.

I think his honesty and courage to live authentically - to embrace his individuality - are what attract a younger audience to his work. I think younger people struggle with wanting to fit in; yet they also yearn to be unabashedly authentic without regard to how that true self might diverge from the norm. Hunter lends a voice to the quiet outsider who is afraid to make waves. To embrace the spirit of his work is not to mimic his drug use or reckless lifestyle (or even his political leanings, for that matter) but to channel it and apply it to ones own life in whatever way is personally appropriate. His writing is incredibly empowering for a young person who is trying to find his or her own voice.
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "
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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:14 pm

abigail wrote:Hunter lends a voice to the quiet outsider who is afraid to make waves.


I just read something remarkably like that recently, abigail - but I can't remember where. Something to the effect that we can't all drive our cars through plate glass windows, but Hunter did it for us. (Someone else will remember, I hope. I thought it was the recent RS article, but I didn't see it there on a quick glance.)
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:39 pm

lumineuse wrote:
abigail wrote:Hunter lends a voice to the quiet outsider who is afraid to make waves.


I just read something remarkably like that recently, abigail - but I can't remember where. Something to the effect that we can't all drive our cars through plate glass windows, but Hunter did it for us. (Someone else will remember, I hope. I thought it was the recent RS article, but I didn't see it there on a quick glance.)


What great and thoughtful answers today! Keep up the great discussion!lumineuse, I remember that quote too and I thought it was a very good way to describe his appeal. I have read so much over the past month getting ready for the discussion that I can't remember where I read it either. I should take better notes...
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:48 pm

abigail wrote:I was born in the early 70's and cannot relate to the specific subject matter of Fear and Loathing on a personal level like those of you who grew up in the 60's can. For me, Hunter's writing embodies the spirit of authenticity and individuality. His writing style and manner are just as important to me as the substance of his work. He was a maverick. A "rebel" is only a rebel because the mainstream labels him or her as such for being different. Hunter wasn't subversive for the sake of seeking out that label; he simply lived as he chose to live regardless of public opinion. He was honest.

I think his honesty and courage to live authentically - to embrace his individuality - are what attract a younger audience to his work. I think younger people struggle with wanting to fit in; yet they also yearn to be unabashedly authentic without regard to how that true self might diverge from the norm. Hunter lends a voice to the quiet outsider who is afraid to make waves. To embrace the spirit of his work is not to mimic his drug use or reckless lifestyle (or even his political leanings, for that matter) but to channel it and apply it to ones own life in whatever way is personally appropriate. His writing is incredibly empowering for a young person who is trying to find his or her own voice.


Abigail I think you have said what I've been trying to figure out how to say all day; and you have done it so eloquently. In a way, for young people or for people like me who didn't have a voice at the time, he said it.
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Unread postby abigail » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:55 pm

lumineuse wrote:I just read something remarkably like that recently, abigail - but I can't remember where. Something to the effect that we can't all drive our cars through plate glass windows, but Hunter did it for us.

I love that. :grin: I love his zip. I don't recall that article. I hope someone finds it, I'd love to read it.

Abigail I think you have said what I've been trying to figure out how to say all day; and you have done it so eloquently. In a way, for young people or for people like me who didn't have a voice at the time, he said it.

Thanks Liz! :blush:
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:20 pm

I found the quote we have been talking about. It was from Douglas Brinkley's recent article he wrote for Rolling Stone about Hunter's memorial service. Very well said too. :cool:


As I chatted with some of these pilgrims -- all in awe of the fifteen-story Gonzo tower standing across Woody Creek Road surrounded by a forested canyon wall -- it dawned on me that Hunter had become the Patron Saint of Righteous Rage for the voiceless outcast. Like Jesse James or Billy the Kid, Hunter took on the Bad Boy persona of the average guy's avenger. He wouldn't take s**t from uppity bosses or dishonest police or corrupt lawyers or phony agents like most of us do. With a fierce vengeance, he lashed out, creating chaos from the mundane, psychedelic sparks out of the terminally placid. Most of us would never drive our Jeep through plate-glass windows or whiff rotten cocaine in a Huddle House parking lot . . . so Hunter did it for us. Mayhem was his calling.
Last edited by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas on Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:32 pm

Larkwoodgirl wrote:People in Hunter's generation lived through the emotional turmoil of the times. (Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate, the Chicago democratic convention, and the Kent State shootings). The country was deeply divided.

When the Vietnam war ended and Nixon left the white house, I think people wanted to forget the turmoil and uncertainty of the times and move on. In doing so, artists and writers (like Hunter) whose work directly reflected those times, fell out of favor. People just did not want to look back.

Or, if they did look back, they wanted to look back to their childhood years, the 40's and 50's. These were years of fervent patriotism, conservative spending (their parents had weathered the Depression), and conservative values and morals. Authoritarianism was the norm. Children obeyed their parents, students buckled under to teachers (keep those shirttails in!--sorry, Johnny, no mooning!), churches ruled with an iron hand (confession every week). With that came a certain security to those who had endured the war years. Then when President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King were killed, riots were breaking out, and all the other things that Larkwoodgirl and others mentioned exploded into the world, Hunter's contemporaries ("the terminally placid") probably ached for the calm years they remembered. Maverick Hunter for some reason was all for breaking forward. And I guess it was a good thing that he, in his own inimitable way, helped a different generation form something new. (Please excuse anything that doesn't make sense... :eyebrow: )
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:39 pm

It all makes sense to me, Betty Sue. :cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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