F&LILV Question #22 - The Wave

by Hunter S. Thompson

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luvdepp
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Unread postby luvdepp » Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:40 pm

Liz wrote:
Sands wrote: So maybe when something becomes a recognisable 'wave' it needs to break in order for real change to keep happening. Because once everyone's just riding the wave instead of swimming for themselves you've just got another status quo. Dylan was brave enough to swim against the tide and so was Hunter, and maybe that kind of individual bravery is worth a million people just riding the wave.

Sorry to rant, but this has really got my brain buzzing.

EDIT: Of course Johnny is another of those brave souls prepared to swim against the tide


I can feel those brainwaves through cyberspace, Sands. And you took the words right out of my mouth (re: Johnny)--maybe not the exact words because you are more articulate than I.

I thought of another bandwagon that everyone got on and rammed down our throats--feminism. I always felt the pressure to conform to the new ideals of feminism. Don't get me wrong. I am in total support of feminism. But I didn't fit into the mold anymore when I left my career to raise my kids. I always felt that feminism was about being an individual and having the right to pursue my own dreams--which may or may not be a high-powered career. I feel I am pursuing exactly what I want to pursue and feel very fortunate that I can do so.


Great post Sands. Very interesting take on Bob Dylan. I taped the special on him and can't wait to watch it now.

I agree with you Liz, on feminism. I thought it to mean the freedom to make your own choices about your life. When my kids were young and I was a stay at home mom, there was constant friction between the stay-at-home and the working-outside-the-home mothers. A constant feeling of having to justify your choices. That's not what freedom is all about. And I think Sands is correct in saying that there was that pressure to "conform" to the radical views of the 60's or be considered part of the establishment. If everyone conformed though, they wouldn't be so radical would they?
"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 KYwoman » Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:41 pm

Wow, you guys are rockin'. I haven't weighed in, because you all have said it and then some! Far out!

I think Hunter was very disillusioned at the time of this writing and he reflected in the Wave Speech what he and many others were feeling at the time. The hippie trippin', flower-power, anti-war, pro-environment movement was starting to loose it's grip and things were getting ugly. Protesters were killed at Kent State, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, the war was escalating and Nixon was President. Also, Hunter was at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago where of course things got really bad, quickly. Seems like 1968 marked the beginning of the end, IMHO.
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Unread postby Sands » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:06 pm

So glad to hear I wasn't the only one to have those problems with feminism - I happily gave my support to those women who wanted careers, but felt kind of let down when they didn't support my choice to stay at home with my kids. It breaks my heart to hear my daughter say that she doesn't feel she has any other choice than to be a working mother. That's no more liberated than my mother's generation in my book. (Sorry, off-topic, but has anyone read Germaine Greer's book 'The Whole Woman'? It's a kind of update to 'The Female Eunuch'. Great book.)

Another bit of JD synchronicity popped up in that Dylan film. He said that 'On The Road' was an early influence and quoted that bit about 'the only people for me are the mad ones ...' Of course there's another connection with Hunter since Mr Tambourine Man was the song he wanted played at his send-off.
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Unread postby CarrieKY » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:33 pm

What a group of intelligent women. I am humbled.

When I graduated from high school in 1969 (sex, drugs, beer & wine, we're the class of '69) the antiwar movement was in full swing in Cincinnati, as well as extreme racial tension. We had severe racial riots during the summer of '68. We watched in horror as friends were shown on TV after the Kent State massacre. Friends went away to Vietnam....never to return. Out of the 300 or so I graduated with, 15 died in Vietnam. It wasn't pretty.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. I can readily identify with all that's being discussed tonight, but in reality, it was all happening so far away from me....SF hippies may as well been on the moon! In fact, Moonies were in Cincinnati in 1970, but none of the people Hunter writes about.

I certainly shared the enthusiasm of the anti-war movement, of the post-cold war era, of feminism and the fear of the return to conservatism. I still do. The wave broke, and rolled back out to sea, but hopefully, it left enough of a mark to have meant something.

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:59 pm

CarrieKY wrote:What a group of intelligent women. I am humbled.

When I graduated from high school in 1969 (sex, drugs, beer & wine, we're the class of '69) the antiwar movement was in full swing in Cincinnati, as well as extreme racial tension. We had severe racial riots during the summer of '68. We watched in horror as friends were shown on TV after the Kent State massacre. Friends went away to Vietnam....never to return. Out of the 300 or so I graduated with, 15 died in Vietnam. It wasn't pretty.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. I can readily identify with all that's being discussed tonight, but in reality, it was all happening so far away from me....SF hippies may as well been on the moon! In fact, Moonies were in Cincinnati in 1970, but none of the people Hunter writes about.

I certainly shared the enthusiasm of the anti-war movement, of the post-cold war era, of feminism and the fear of the return to conservatism. I still do. The wave broke, and rolled back out to sea, but hopefully, it left enough of a mark to have meant something.


I think it meant something, CarrieKY. I have the SF hippie perspective--but only geographically speaking, and only beginning about '66 or '67. And some of you are saying it was dying before then. I was too young to have the real-time FSM perspective. But you, and maybe some others of you have the perspective of knowing people who were in Nam. Thank goodness I didn't. What I was feeling was all empathy. I can't imagine how I would have felt if my brother, father or boyfriend had been sent there. :-/
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:30 pm

I don't think you had to be in California to feel that you were part of the era. It started there and ended there first but it was a feeling that encompassed the country, especially through the colleges. Trust me, if it made it to Texas at the time it was a powerful force, Bubba. :lol: As the wave spread across America during the middle 60's it was still a powerful force.

As far as feminism goes, I thought it was about empowerment - the power to make a choice. I agree with you that it became divisive between those that worked outside the home and those that worked at home. What I do see today that is encouraging is the choices that the young women have. They don't think twice about having a career or not. As far as they are concerened it is an option that is freely open to them. That is a BIG change from my generation.


I certainly shared the enthusiasm of the anti-war movement, of the post-cold war era, of feminism and the fear of the return to conservatism. I still do. The wave broke, and rolled back out to sea, but hopefully, it left enough of a mark to have meant something.


Me too, Carrie. :cool:

FYI...More on the end of the era tomorrow...
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:51 pm

All I can say is WOW. I am blown away AGAIN by everyone, truly. Not a lot to add tonight that hasn’t been said.

Aside from being a truly lyrical passage, the wave seems set apart from the rest of the book because it's all about naked emotion and confession, while the rest of FALILV is about blunting feeling and fear of confronting essential truths.

I think the wave also represents the passage of anger, regret and resentment. I think Hunter had a lot of anger that not everyone who was a part of the long fine flash held up their end of the bargain… that in the end HIS generation could not even complete their single most important mission: ending the war. As 101 said, the best and the brightest burned out before the promise was fulfilled. So much wistful resignation over what might have been. … the high water mark, for me, is the reminder, the reason to keep on raging against the machine.

I think the wave’s power is it’s simplicity, it’s elegance and it’s timelessness. Las Vegas is still a place untouched by 60’s idealism and the high water mark--that all of us still seem to see-- is still a reason care.
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Unread postby gilly » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:42 am

As someone said ,those waves keep on coming :cloud9: ..That particular wave of optimism and hope for the future,may have petered out...but there is always another one following.I guess that's why I don't see the book in terms of hopelessness..to me it's hopeful, in a perverse sort of way..Hope springs eternal.. :cool:
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Unread postby JD101 » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:51 am

gilly wrote:As someone said ,those waves keep on coming :cloud9: ..That particular wave of optimism and hope for the future,may have petered out...but there is always another one following.I guess that's why I don't see the book in terms of hopelessness..to me it's hopeful, in a perverse sort of way..Hope springs eternal.. :cool:


I agree with you gilly. It may just be my natural optimism, but I see good things in our young people. My niece is 21 and she volunteered for Americorps after a year of college and when that gig was over she signed up as a Red Cross volunteer and is now in the Gulf Coast. She will most likely re-up when her time there is done. She and her friends are very community service minded and politically active. It's not all depravity and apathy as we see on TV. They may not be as loud as the kids in the 60's but they are there, quietly working from within to make changes.

I think Hunter was smart in using a wave metaphore. Waves change the face of the land they wash over. There has been a mindset change since the 60's. It did make an indelible impression. All you have to do is read books or watch movies from the 50's and earlier to see how much our thinking has shifted.
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:06 am

JD101 wrote:
gilly wrote:As someone said ,those waves keep on coming :cloud9: ..That particular wave of optimism and hope for the future,may have petered out...but there is always another one following.I guess that's why I don't see the book in terms of hopelessness..to me it's hopeful, in a perverse sort of way..Hope springs eternal.. :cool:


I agree with you gilly. It may just be my natural optimism, but I see good things in our young people. My niece is 21 and she volunteered for Americorps after a year of college and when that gig was over she signed up as a Red Cross volunteer and is now in the Gulf Coast. She will most likely re-up when her time there is done. She and her friends are very community service minded and politically active. It's not all depravity and apathy as we see on TV. They may not be as loud as the kids in the 60's but they are there, quietly working from within to make changes.

I think Hunter was smart in using a wave metaphore. Waves change the face of the land they wash over. There has been a mindset change since the 60's. It did make an indelible impression. All you have to do is read books or watch movies from the 50's and earlier to see how much our thinking has shifted.


That's a very cool thing that your neice is doing something selfless to make our planet a better place. I applaud all the young people who are doing that.

All summer long last summer I saw young people at concerts all over the US getting people to register to vote. I think there is a wellspring of energy from some going against the general apathy out there.

And you are totally correct that our books and movies are nothing like the offerings in th 1950s or even in the early 60s. Womens' roles are certainly changed. But to echo a few of your previous postings, I kind of wish I had felt comfortable to have children and be a stay-at-home mom. I didn't feel that I had any other choice but to go to college and work. I don't think everything about the Womens' Movement has been a good thing. And to top it off, women still get paid way less than men do for the same job. Somehow I don't think we really came out ahead.

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Unread postby JD101 » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:35 am

QueenofKings wrote:
JD101 wrote:
gilly wrote:As someone said ,those waves keep on coming :cloud9: ..That particular wave of optimism and hope for the future,may have petered out...but there is always another one following.I guess that's why I don't see the book in terms of hopelessness..to me it's hopeful, in a perverse sort of way..Hope springs eternal.. :cool:


I agree with you gilly. It may just be my natural optimism, but I see good things in our young people. My niece is 21 and she volunteered for Americorps after a year of college and when that gig was over she signed up as a Red Cross volunteer and is now in the Gulf Coast. She will most likely re-up when her time there is done. She and her friends are very community service minded and politically active. It's not all depravity and apathy as we see on TV. They may not be as loud as the kids in the 60's but they are there, quietly working from within to make changes.

I think Hunter was smart in using a wave metaphore. Waves change the face of the land they wash over. There has been a mindset change since the 60's. It did make an indelible impression. All you have to do is read books or watch movies from the 50's and earlier to see how much our thinking has shifted.


That's a very cool thing that your neice is doing something selfless to make our planet a better place. I applaud all the young people who are doing that.

All summer long last summer I saw young people at concerts all over the US getting people to register to vote. I think there is a wellspring of energy from some going against the general apathy out there.

And you are totally correct that our books and movies are nothing like the offerings in th 1950s or even in the early 60s. Womens' roles are certainly changed. But to echo a few of your previous postings, I kind of wish I had felt comfortable to have children and be a stay-at-home mom. I didn't feel that I had any other choice but to go to college and work. I don't think everything about the Womens' Movement has been a good thing. And to top it off, women still get paid way less than men do for the same job. Somehow I don't think we really came out ahead.


Yeah, but we've come a long way, baby!

I have to say I've never expierenced the issues with the women's movement that some have expressed here because I didn't have my kids till my late thirties in the mid 90's. Working has always been a matter of economic survival for me, as it was for my mother. There was never a choice involved. My problem with the women's movement was their elitist tendancies. They didn't addressed the needs of lower economic groups. The women of this group have always worked, often leaving children alone (latch key kids) for hours at a time. It's still an issue today.

I do think the women's movement was good and did what it needed to do to get the idea of a woman's worth across to the mainstream and media. Now we can yell and be pissed off that we are still not paid equal to a man... because of the feminist movement. Before that, there was no voice.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:41 am

JD101 wrote: I think Hunter was smart in using a wave metaphore. Waves change the face of the land they wash over. There has been a mindset change since the 60's. It did make an indelible impression. All you have to do is read books or watch movies from the 50's and earlier to see how much our thinking has shifted.


Very well said, JD101. And I totally agree with you. I will give an example albeit an extreme one. My father was telling me about the putting tournament he entered and how this particular woman won the tournie. He, in all seriousness, gave me what he thought was sound advice from someone who knows all. The advice was: Never beat a man in a game. He will just resent you. My father knows how to set me off and that did it. But that's another story. My first thought was, "what planet have you been living on for the last 30 years?" Maybe there is a shred of truth to his advice--I'm thinking just in the case of the working world. However, whatever the Women's Movement did has made me feel that I have just as much right to win a game as a man and that I don't feel like he will feel threatened by it. And I think that is what really matters--how I feel about myself--how much confidence I have as a woman. If not for the Women's Movement we might still have that 50's mentality. So QofK in that sense I think that we have came out ahead.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:50 am

Back to my pendulum analogy. I think a new ideas have to start out way off to one side or the other to get noticed. Sometime, after the pendulum settles somewhere in the middle, there has been a change or an impression left from all the activity that has altered the way things were done or perceived before the new idea came along. There is good and bad in all change and the struggle becomes keeping the good and finding the balance.

I just have to say :applause: :applause: :applause: :thanks!: (that would be a standing ovation) for all your wonderful insights and discussion so far! You guys... :zoner: :rocknroll:
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:13 am

I have to concur, DITHOT. It never ceases to amaze me at how knowledgeable and perceptive all of you are. You guys are awesome! :notworthy:
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 Endora » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:57 am

How I have enjoyed reading all the posts here since last night- wish I'd had the energy to stay up and post after No Direction Home, as Sands did. Sands, I felt the same way, I couldn't believe that people here(and remember, we are in a country that prides itself on its tolerance) harrassed Dylan so for merely moving on or changing stle from acoustic to electric. I was ashamed that people here could act like that. But the point that he was a start of The Wave is a good one. I looked out a cd and played this in the car today:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.


There are certauinly similarities to the wave speech, would you say that this is more hopeful, though?
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