F&LILV Question #5 - Not a Good Town for Psychedelics

by Hunter S. Thompson

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shame_about_rasins
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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:40 pm

Hallucinations are bad enough. But after a while you learn to cope with thinkgs like seeing your dead grandmother crawing up your leg with a knife in her teeth. Most acid fanciers can handle this type of thing.
But nobody can handle that other trip-the possibility that any freak with $1.98 can walk into the Circus-Circus and sudenly appear in the sky over downtown Las Vegas twelve times the size of God, howling anything that comes into his head. No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs. Reality itself is too twisted

Besides this part being Hillariously funny, I was just wondering if people thought that he was comparing LV to a drug or a drug trip? And what does this mean?
I am sorry if this is off topic, but I thought it might not be since it is just before the quote in question.
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Unread postby Sands » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:57 pm

Yes, I love that bit about your dead grandmother :lol: Conjures up a wonderful mental picture.

I don't know if he's comparing LV to a drug trip, but I think he's making the point that there are many different kinds of reality, and the ones you experience on drugs are not necessarily any weirder than some of the ones out there in the 'real world'. And also knowing that it's a hallucination maybe even makes it LESS unnerving. A bit like when you wake up from a dream and think 'Phew, thank god that was only a dream'.

As an aside, this reminded me of something a friend of mind, an old acid-head, once said. He said he'd never had hallucinations on acid, and someone else said 'What about all those purple deer you said you saw?' In total seriousness this guy said, 'No, they were really there, man.' True story!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:09 pm

Sands wrote:Yes, I love that bit about your dead grandmother :lol: Conjures up a wonderful mental picture.

I don't know if he's comparing LV to a drug trip, but I think he's making the point that there are many different kinds of reality, and the ones you experience on drugs are not necessarily any weirder than some of the ones out there in the 'real world'. And also knowing that it's a hallucination maybe even makes it LESS unnerving. A bit like when you wake up from a dream and think 'Phew, thank god that was only a dream'.

As an aside, this reminded me of something a friend of mind, an old acid-head, once said. He said he'd never had hallucinations on acid, and someone else said 'What about all those purple deer you said you saw?' In total seriousness this guy said, 'No, they were really there, man.' True story!


You mean you've never seen a purple deer, sands? :lol: I agree with you. I think Hunter was saying that your reality gets screwed up on drugs and you don't need drugs to have your reality screwed up in Vegas because it is so bizarre already. At least when you are hallucinating you know you are. In Vegas you just think you are or wish you were! :hypnotic:
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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:18 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Sands wrote:Yes, I love that bit about your dead grandmother :lol: Conjures up a wonderful mental picture.

I don't know if he's comparing LV to a drug trip, but I think he's making the point that there are many different kinds of reality, and the ones you experience on drugs are not necessarily any weirder than some of the ones out there in the 'real world'. And also knowing that it's a hallucination maybe even makes it LESS unnerving. A bit like when you wake up from a dream and think 'Phew, thank god that was only a dream'.

As an aside, this reminded me of something a friend of mind, an old acid-head, once said. He said he'd never had hallucinations on acid, and someone else said 'What about all those purple deer you said you saw?' In total seriousness this guy said, 'No, they were really there, man.' True story!


You mean you've never seen a purple deer, sands? :lol: I agree with you. I think Hunter was saying that your reality gets screwed up on drugs and you don't need drugs to have your reality screwed up in Vegas because it is so bizarre already. At least when you are hallucinating you know you are. In Vegas you just think you are or wish you were! :hypnotic:

THANKYOU!!
That is a great discription Sands thankyou, and I love the purple deer!!
Glad someone can explain it well DITHOT and Sands!!
before he came down it never snowed.........

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Unread postby abigail » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:28 pm

Sands wrote:As an aside, this reminded me of something a friend of mind, an old acid-head, once said. He said he'd never had hallucinations on acid, and someone else said 'What about all those purple deer you said you saw?' In total seriousness this guy said, 'No, they were really there, man.' True story!


:biglaugh: That's hilarious. Thank you for the laugh Sands!
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Unread postby bat » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:52 pm

You could say visiting Las Vegas is somewhat like a drug trip. It
is rather other-worldly by sights and in attitude.

I think Las Vegas on hallucinogens is rather fun. I guess it depends on how far you want to take things and how far from
reality you are comfortable being.

Of course I was much younger when I last attempted to mix the
two. Younger, more resiliant, and definitely fearless about consequences.

But back then the experience I expected from Vegas was very different than the experience I want now. Besides, I'm much more easily confused these days: the carpets alone in the casinos are enough to befuddle me.

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Unread postby bat » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:57 pm

I've never seen purple deer but I have seen canoes on my socks.

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Unread postby Theresa » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:35 pm

A friend of mine just got back from Vegas this week, so I’ve gotten to hear about some of the sights and surrealism of Fremont Street and the Strip. Flashing neon, street performers, lots of showgirls in full regalia standing on the sidewalk posing for pictures with the tourists, female impersonators, constant noise -- all of this going on 24 hours a day -- sensory overload.

Now imagine all that while under the influence. :-O

Oh, I guess we don’t need to imagine it…Hunter was pretty descriptive in describing it.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:38 pm

I can't even imagine. It's sensory overload without any mind altering substances! :mort3:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:48 pm

theresa wrote:A friend of mine just got back from Vegas this week, so I’ve gotten to hear about some of the sights and surrealism of Fremont Street and the Strip. Flashing neon, street performers, lots of showgirls in full regalia standing on the sidewalk posing for pictures with the tourists, female impersonators, constant noise -- all of this going on 24 hours a day -- sensory overload.

Now imagine all that while under the influence. :-O

Oh, I guess we don’t need to imagine it…Hunter was pretty descriptive in describing it.


Part of the fun of Hunter--living vicariously.
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Unread postby Endora » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:44 am

Sands wrote:
fansmom wrote:Oddly enough, my brother, who is currently living in a yurt at a Buddhist retreat center in Colorado, loves Vegas.


:rotflmao:

I can see it might appeal to that Zen sense of absurdity! Or maybe it's just that the trappings of the material world that Buddhists are trying to get away from are reassuringly obvious somewhere like that, rather than being sneaky and subtle.


Sands, I think you're right. Las Vegas, which I visited a few years back when we lived briefly in Ca, struck me as one of the most honest places on earth. There seemed to be no disguise of the fact that it's there as a temple to making money. That's what it does, and if we take its success as any guide to how well it works, it works perfectly. After all, it's not about entertainment, that's merely an aside. It's a triumph of consumptionism. Look at its location, one of the driest places on the planet, look at the costs involved in this enormous money making machine. As you say, hardly sneaky or subtle!
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Unread postby Larkwoodgirl » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:47 am

I don't really have much to add to this except to say that Las Vegas is its own hallucination. To me it epitomizes the worst excesses of the American culture. I can honestly say, going there made me feel like an alilen. It has a constant bright neon facade that prevents anything that exists in the shadows from ever emerging. I am certain that there a a lot of seaminess in those shadows.

I did not enjoy my visit at all. Never want to go back.
""We shall never cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T.S. Eliot

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:11 am

Just a few words in defense of Las Vegas... :blush: My brother-in-law and family lived there for a few years. He said the part you think of as Las Vegas, the strip with the hotels and casinos, is only about 6, or so, blocks long. He said the rest of the town is quite normal and they loved living there. The schools were great (their tax base must be enourmous :-O ), the people are very nice and you can get to the mountains very quickly for a change of scenery. For those that haven't visited, there is some sense of normalcy there!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:47 am

Larkwoodgirl wrote:Las Vegas is its own hallucination.


This is true. Visually, it's like a mirage in the middle of the desert. :hypnotic:

And DITHOT, glad to hear that there is some normalcy there.
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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:51 am

bat wrote:You could say visiting Las Vegas is somewhat like a drug trip. It
is rather other-worldly by sights and in attitude.

I think Las Vegas on hallucinogens is rather fun. I guess it depends on how far you want to take things and how far from
reality you are comfortable being.

Of course I was much younger when I last attempted to mix the
two. Younger, more resiliant, and definitely fearless about consequences.

But back then the experience I expected from Vegas was very different than the experience I want now. Besides, I'm much more easily confused these days: the carpets alone in the casinos are enough to befuddle me.


Thanks to bat, we have an answer from someone who can address both sides of the equation here--who has not only both been to Las Vegas and experienced hallucinogens, but has done hallucinogens in Las Vegas.

My own answer is limited because I have never been to Las Vegas.

One of the things I recognize in this passage is that Duke is employing one of the familiar tropes of hallucinogenic discourse, the description of a place or scene on the scale of "how it would be to trip in" (is it just bizarre enough to be extra fun to trip in? even more bizarre, so that only the most macho and experienced hallucinogen-user should dare to try it? really off the charts so that no one should even think of tripping there?). Of course, the upshot of this practice is a kind of braggadocio, because the speaker is often saying "I tripped in the untrippable place." If you remember hanging out with people who liked to share their acid experiences, you know that this is very common behavior (to the point where I am embarrassing myself by recalling it!).

Oh, and I used all the esoteric language to show that my brain was not unrecoverably fried (or maybe I showed that it was!) back in the early 1970s.

trope: figure of speech; conventional rhetorical practice
discourse: all the writing and speaking about a particular subject, or associated with a particular group, profession, etc.

For example, "thud" has become a trope in Zoner discourse.

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