F&LILV Question #18 ~ The Fear

by Hunter S. Thompson

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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F&LILV Question #18 ~ The Fear

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:36 am

pg. 47 – 48 In the Circus-Circus

“I hate to say this,” said my attorney as we sat down at the Merry-Go-Round Bar on the second balcony, “but this place is getting to me. I think I‘m getting the Fear,”

“Nonsense,” I said. “We came out here to find the American Dream, and now that we’re right in the vortex you want to quit.” I grabbed his bicep and squeezed. “You must realize,” I said, “that we’ve found the main nerve.”

“I know,” he said. “That’s what gives me the Fear.”


What is the Fear?
(Still not the AD question… :blush: )
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 -
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Re: F&LILV Question #18 ~ The Fear

Unread postby Veronica » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:27 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:pg. 47 – 48 In the Circus-Circus

“I hate to say this,” said my attorney as we sat down at the Merry-Go-Round Bar on the second balcony, “but this place is getting to me. I think I‘m getting the Fear,”

“Nonsense,” I said. “We came out here to find the American Dream, and now that we’re right in the vortex you want to quit.” I grabbed his bicep and squeezed. “You must realize,” I said, “that we’ve found the main nerve.”

“I know,” he said. “That’s what gives me the Fear.”


What is the Fear?
(Still not the AD question… :blush: )


I think on the outside it is the fear of being stoned out of his mind in Vegas with all the madness going on around him, Head full of acid, hallucinations, unable to focus on what he is doing.

Maybe looking deeper into it the fear is the fact that he is getting away with walking around like this and everyone else doesnt seem to notice. the madness is normal in that place. Looking around at everyone and realizing how crazy the place is.
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if it's not, then it's not the end.

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Unread postby Endora » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:30 am

What is The Fear? Maybe it's the moment when you realise that this is it, this is all there is, it will not get better because there is no deeper meaning after all. Did they feel like this when they saw the shallowness of Vegas, that there was no purpose to any of the lives they saw there? That there was no grand plan after all, and that things don't necessarily get better? I somehow think it's linked to discovering a sense of one's own mortality, but this is another question I'll have to think over.
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Unread postby Veronica » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:40 am

Endora wrote:What is The Fear? Maybe it's the moment when you realise that this is it, this is all there is, it will not get better because there is no deeper meaning after all. Did they feel like this when they saw the shallowness of Vegas, that there was no purpose to any of the lives they saw there? That there was no grand plan after all, and that things don't necessarily get better? I somehow think it's linked to discovering a sense of one's own mortality, but this is another question I'll have to think over.


Not a good thing to realize but on the other hand looking at things that way, realizing that there is no secret. The American Dream is what you make it. there is nothing more, can give you a sense of freedom. That its time to enjoy what you have.
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Sep 23, 2005 5:07 pm

I think The Fear is a combinations of two things - the paranoia the increases with long term use of psychedelics, and the feeling that you are the verge of totally losing control. Like the scene at the hotel desk when the lady's face starts morphing. You know it's not real, but you can't help but react to it, and you are afraid of being obviously inappropriate and drawing attention to yourself.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:36 pm

I think the "fear" is the fear of being oppressed or stifled--the fear of losing one's freedom, being jailed, you name it. And Hunter gets the fear quite often. He had the fear in The Rum Diary too:

"Mr. Kemp, you seem like a reasonable man--just what is it about St. Louis that makes you want to flee? I'm not prying, you understand, I'm just a reporter and I'm from Tallahassee, myself, but they sent me out here to--"

Certainly, I just wish I could...ah....you know, I'd like to be able to tell you that...ah ....maybe I should say that I feel a rubber sack coming down on me...purely symbolic, you know...the venal ignorance of the fathers being visited on the sons...can you make something of that?"

"Well, ha-ha, I sort of know what you mean, Mr. Kemp. Back in Tallahassee it was a cotton sack, but I guess it was about the same size and --"

"Yeah, it's the goddamn sack--so I'm taking off and I guess I'll...ah..."..........

"Well, fella, I wish I could help you. God knows I don't want you to go back without a story and get fired. I know how it is--I'm a journalist myself, you know--but...well...I get The Fear...can you use that? St. Louis Gives Young Men The Fear--not a bad heading, eh?"


In response to a front page pic of himself and his buddies in the El Diario, after being caught red-handed doing something which I won't go into:

I was beginning to get the fear. "You better carry a gun," Moberg advised me. "They'll be after you now. I know those swine--they'll try to kill you." By six o'clock I was so depressed that I gave up trying to work, and went to Al's."
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby Raven » Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:22 pm

I know that having the fear could mean anything to anyone. but what if having the fear meant not feeling anymore, not caring? not giving a rats a##, about the world, your life etc.

I don't really know.

Raven the unknowing
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and the envious."
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:31 pm

Raven wrote:I know that having the fear could mean anything to anyone. but what if having the fear meant not feeling anymore, not caring? not giving a rats a##, about the world, your life etc.

I don't really know.

Raven the unknowing


Raven the unknowning was having an off night last night then. She sure seemed to have a lot of insight on The Green Light.

Actually, Raven, that is a really interesting idea. Could it be that Duke was struggling with that through the whole book? Could it be that he and Gonzo medicated themselves so they wouldn't have to feel or care anymore? But the thing is that they were taking some drugs that made them care too much at times--to the point of being paranoid, which created more fear.
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Unread postby Raven » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:02 pm

Liz wrote:
Raven wrote:I know that having the fear could mean anything to anyone. but what if having the fear meant not feeling anymore, not caring? not giving a rats a##, about the world, your life etc.

I don't really know.

Raven the unknowing


Raven the unknowning was having an off night last night then. She sure seemed to have a lot of insight on The Green Light.

Actually, Raven, that is a really interesting idea. Could it be that Duke was struggling with that through the whole book? Could it be that he and Gonzo medicated themselves so they wouldn't have to feel or care anymore? But the thing is that they were taking some drugs that made them care too much at times--to the point of being paranoid, which created more fear.


self medicating is a good way to numb yourself, and drugs can make you paranoid. hmmmmm I think you maybe on to something.

thanks Liz!
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and the envious."

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Unread postby dharma_bum » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:46 pm

Liz wrote:Could it be that Duke was struggling with that through the whole book? Could it be that he and Gonzo medicated themselves so they wouldn't have to feel or care anymore? But the thing is that they were taking some drugs that made them care too much at times--to the point of being paranoid, which created more fear.


My, my, my… we are all so EXISTENTIAL tonight.

Yes Liz, I think Duke struggled whether to numb his pain or confront it not knowing what might await him. What was the lesser of two evils—a bad adrenechrome high and the FEAR or the truth...

“We’re all wired into the survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the sixties. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling consciousness expansion, without ever giving a though for the grim meathook realities that were lying in wait for all those who took him seriously, all those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy peace and understanding for 3 bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a lifestyle that he helped create. A generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers who never understood the essential old mystic fallacy of the acid culture—a desperate assumption that somebody, or at least some force, is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Love wasn’t all you needed. Circus Circus was the meathook reality untouched by sixties idealism. And it was thriving. It gave me the FEAR.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:19 am

dharma_bum wrote:
Liz wrote:Could it be that Duke was struggling with that through the whole book? Could it be that he and Gonzo medicated themselves so they wouldn't have to feel or care anymore? But the thing is that they were taking some drugs that made them care too much at times--to the point of being paranoid, which created more fear.


My, my, my… we are all so EXISTENTIAL tonight.

Yes Liz, I think Duke struggled whether to numb his pain or confront it not knowing what might await him. What was the lesser of two evils—a bad adrenechrome high and the FEAR or the truth...

“We’re all wired into the survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the sixties. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling consciousness expansion, without ever giving a though for the grim meathook realities that were lying in wait for all those who took him seriously, all those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy peace and understanding for 3 bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a lifestyle that he helped create. A generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers who never understood the essential old mystic fallacy of the acid culture—a desperate assumption that somebody, or at least some force, is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Love wasn’t all you needed. Circus Circus was the meathook reality untouched by sixties idealism. And it was thriving. It gave me the FEAR.


We will be asking a question about that quote on or about Wednesday.

I must be seriously demented because I think I am the only one who is not freaked out by Circus Circus. I just asked my DH if he thought it was weird when we went there. He didn't really understand the question. :lol: Then he commented that it was kind of weird that there was a trapeze over the blackjack table. I resisted asking him if he remembered a wolverine. I guess maybe the difference for me is that we were focused on the kids' activities as opposed to being immersed in the casino itself.
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Unread postby Raven » Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:59 am

Well my first experience with Circus Circus, (1979/80)we were driving through Reno my new husband and my sister and BIL the guys went up stairs and won a ton of animals from the arcade, way to easy to win and we had free tickets from the koa camp ground to play the darn arcade. so I am trying to hang on to all my neat stuffed animals, I had Coyote, bugs etc and they were large! I think I had about 5 of them, anyway two teen age thugs started eye balling me, and following me around while my sis and I got a table to play keno. I am having to keep a hold of my SA's and giving them the evil eye back! creeps! don't be touching my animals!

we got away clean and I gave them all away to my friends children.

the trapeze over the casino made my head hurt, looking up and breathing all that smoke, yuck

Raven
"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid

and the envious."

John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys

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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:03 am

Liz wrote:
I was beginning to get the fear. "You better carry a gun," Moberg advised me. "They'll be after you now. I know those swine--they'll try to kill you." By six o'clock I was so depressed that I gave up trying to work, and went to Al's."

That is reather intereseting. Perhaps part of it hadsomething to do with the gun culture?
It is jsut the fact that they call it THE fear, that makes me think it has something deeper than the paranoia of the drugs, but I could be wrong.[/b]
before he came down it never snowed.........

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:22 am

My interpretation of The Fear was what we used to call The Establishment - authority, societal repression, "normalcy". I thought Gonzo felt that closing in and hence the Fear.

Noodlemantras, you won't see much of me this weekend. I have a house full of comapny in town for the Austin City Limits Music festival where we will be spending the majority of the next few days. Have a great weekend!
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 Endora » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:45 am

Raven, I think that you are getting pretty close with your idea that they thought that the fear was the sense of not caring or feeling any more. But I'd still say that they felt like that because they had realised that this was all there was, there were no hidden meanings, as I said above. But if you do look at it this way, the book is unbearably bleak.

Existential? You could say infinitum nihil.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood


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