F&LILV Question #15 ~ Thompson and Twain

by Hunter S. Thompson

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fansmom
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:29 pm

Naomi wrote:"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

I want that on a t-shirt!

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:01 pm

Abigail & Naomi, Wow! Again, we can count on our Noodlemantras to go the step further--to enlighten us in areas we wouldn't have necessarily persued on our own. Thank you both. :thanks!:

Abigail, I never really took the time to learn more about Hunter's admiration of Ali. Now I understand. And I definitely agree with you on Hunter's economy of writing. :cool:

Great quotes, Naomi. Welcome back, stranger! :wave:

And Fansmom, I'm with you on the tee.
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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Theresa
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Unread postby Theresa » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:41 pm

I had to do a little reading up on Mark Twain for the Twain/Thompson connection...and found myself in Wikipedia. Interesting -- in a few of the passages, I could very easily remove Mark Twain's name and replace it with Hunter Thompson's and the sentiments would still ring true.

Here are a few excerpts from Wikipedia:


Twain began as a writer of light humorous verse; he ended as a grim, almost profane chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and acts of killing committed by mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism in a way almost unrivaled in world literature.

Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech, and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature, built on American themes and language.

In recent years, there have been occasional attempts to ban Huckleberry Finn from various libraries, because Twain's use of local color offends some people. Although Twain was against racism and imperialism far in front of public sentiment of his time, some with only superficial familiarity of his work have condemned it as racist for its accurate depiction of the language in common use in the United States in the 19th century. Expressions that were used casually and unselfconsciously then are often perceived today as racism (in present times, such racial epithets are far more visible and condemned). Twain himself would probably be amused by these attempts; in 1885, when a library in Massachusetts banned the book, he wrote to his publisher, "They have expelled Huck from their library as 'trash suitable only for the slums', that will sell 25,000 copies for us for sure."

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Unread postby lumineuse » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:45 pm

Thanks, abigail, Naomi, and theresa, for your research.

It's hard to believe that anyone who ever read and understood Huck Finn would think it was racist. It's a treasure that he preserved those colloquialisms in literature, even if they are politically incorrect today.
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Unread postby ThirdArm » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:02 pm

Another good question. I wouldn't have automatically linked Twain and Hunter, but they share the same distrust of authority and wrote to poke at it and criticize it. They both had humor in their writings.

I think it's interesting that the Twain quote, "Support your country, ect.." seems very Hunter-like. The two men were writing at a time the country was invading another one (the Philippines in Twain's time and Vietnam in Hunter's) and they both were critical of that.

About the "right word" and "almost right word," on a personal note, that one was one of my Dad's favorite quotes. I grew up hearing that and wasn't totally sure what it meant when I was a kid. But now, applying it to Hunter's writing, the examples that stand out for me (and I don't have the book in front of me) is his descriptions of the cops at the drug convention. There is also a little piece at the start of the convention when he's checking into the hotel and the man in front of him discovers that his reservation has been moved to another hotel. That entire little scene with Hunter's description of what was going through the desk clerk's mind was spot-on. I used to work a lot with the public and I know what they're like.

Sorry if I sound disconnected, I'm trying to write this down in between jobs at work. :blush:
~No doubt the years have changed me.~

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:04 pm

:applause: :applause: :applause: Wow, you guys really ran with this one and found some great comparisons. I think they were both men that respected the written word and found new ways to use it. They had a rebel outlook on life and loved their country but weren't afraid to point out things that they felt were going against the basic tenets of America's form of democracy. They were master at using humor to make a point. Thank you all for going that extra step and sharing what you found! :cool:

abigail, your ideas on "those eight words" really made me think and see some new ideas and symbolism.

Some of my favorite uses of the "right word/s":

Pg. 90... The entire passage that deals with the traffic cop..."Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop...

Pg. 87...You'd better take care of me, Lord...because if you don't you're going to have me on your hands."

One of my absolute favorites, pg. 89: "No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten. It's all in Kesey's Bible...The Far Side of Reality."
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Unread postby luvdepp » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:15 pm

Wow! I have nothing really to add to this discussion that hasn't already been said, and very well said, by the way. Thanks for a great question today DITHOT and to everyone for their well thought out answers. Very interesting! I think I need to read some Mark Twain.:cool:
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby Veronica » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:15 pm

you girls have been busy! :disco:

Im too tired to think at the moment but have enjoyed everyones well thought out answers! thanks so much!!! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:42 pm

luvdepp wrote:Wow! I have nothing really to add to this discussion that hasn't already been said, and very well said, by the way. Thanks for a great question today DITHOT and to everyone for their well thought out answers. Very interesting! I think I need to read some Mark Twain.:cool:


I'm sure I'd view Twain's writing much differently now than I did at 14. Funny thing is that I was only one year older when I read Gatsby. That one stuck with me. :-?
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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Unread postby Theresa » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:46 pm

The right word....I love Hunter's use of capitalization to emphasize a point.

We would be attending the conference under false pretenses and dealing, from the start, with a crowd that was convened for the stated purpose of putting people like us in jail. We were the Menace -- not in disguise, but stone-obvious drug abusers, witha flagrantly cranked-up act that we intended to push all the way to the limit...not to prove any final, sociological point, and not even as a conscious mockery: It was mainly a matter of life-style, a sense of obligation and even duty.

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:46 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: One of my absolute favorites, pg. 89: "No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten. It's all in Kesey's Bible...The Far Side of Reality."


I just love that passage. :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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Unread postby bluebird » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:11 pm

IMHO, Hunter's work is filled with the "right" words...sometimes the "right" word is perfect because it completes the rhythm, the timing he wants.
Other times, it's just the right word....
Examples:
Pg. 29
"Tooling along the main drag on a Saturday night in Las Vegas, two good old boys in a fireapple-red convertible....."

What a great word!! Fireapple-red....
Another writer might have written fire engine red or apple red....
Not Hunter...

and, at the end of that sentence, he writes ...
"stoned, ripped, twisted . . . Good People."

The word Good (in caps) is so unexpected....but it works, just because it's unexpected. . . and maybe because it's true.

And, not to get too involved in The Wave section because it's filled with the right words over and over .... but in it is the perfect word that no matter how many times I read it or hear it ~~~ I catch my breath.
Pg 68
". . . and with the right kind of eyes . . ."

Hunter could have said "...look West and you can almost see..."
But he didn't. You have to have the "right" kind of eyes.

OK, enough.
bluebird
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:35 pm

bluebird wrote:IMHO, Hunter's work is filled with the "right" words...sometimes the "right" word is perfect because it completes the rhythm, the timing he wants.
Other times, it's just the right word....
Examples:
Pg. 29
"Tooling along the main drag on a Saturday night in Las Vegas, two good old boys in a fireapple-red convertible....."

What a great word!! Fireapple-red....
Another writer might have written fire engine red or apple red....
Not Hunter...

and, at the end of that sentence, he writes ...
"stoned, ripped, twisted . . . Good People."

The word Good (in caps) is so unexpected....but it works, just because it's unexpected. . . and maybe because it's true.

And, not to get too involved in The Wave section because it's filled with the right words over and over .... but in it is the perfect word that no matter how many times I read it or hear it ~~~ I catch my breath.
Pg 68
". . . and with the right kind of eyes . . ."

Hunter could have said "...look West and you can almost see..."
But he didn't. You have to have the "right" kind of eyes.

OK, enough.
bluebird


And Bluebird, I have to catch my breath. I hadn't thought about Good people, even though it's my signature. It is a surprise. That's why I like it. It makes you do a double take. Wait a minute. Did he really say that? Kind of off the wall, but cool. :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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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:05 pm

theresa, I love the capitalization too!

"A week in Vegas is like stumbling into a Time Warp..."

There is another one where he writes it was time for an "Agonizing Reappraisal" of the situation...

There are more I can't put my hands on right now!
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:14 pm

Hi ONBCers! I am very tired tonight, but I have really appreciated reading all the interesting and apt Twain and Hunter quotes many of you have found. Since I can't think of anything to add, I thought instead I'd hunt up a delectable Hunter quote full of lightning words to show my appreciation, but the ones I found from Hunter's most recent political columns all made Johnny's dumb puppy remark look like the Pledge of Allegiance, so instead I leave you with one of Hunter's columns from ESPN, which has nothing to do with Twain, but struck lightning with me because it contains a reference to Col Depp!

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/st ... son/040413


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