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Fear and Loathing – A Dual Review

So I got a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on BluRay a couple of weeks ago. And I decided to watch it, and it surprised me. What, at first glance, looks like a simple movie about two guys going on a drug fueled rampage through Sin City actually becomes a movie about the death of The American Dream. At least, the dream as far as the young people of the Sixties understood it. There is far more going on here for the characters than just abusing drugs and everyone around them. There is a reaction about what a world that looked like it was all about to go right going very, very wrong. This all comes together in The Wave Speech, which may be one of the only places where the whole thing is actually articulated.

I decided to get the book after watching the movie and give it a read. The book is like the movie, only more so in some places. The problem is, I got to a point in the book where it started to be work. It stopped being a story, or a novel, and became Literature and as such, was work to finish. Still, an interesting read. There are of course, two problems for someone of my age and generation.

Problem One: My generation has never known The American Dream as anything but a joke. We have always had the idea scoffed at, and we in turn scoff at it. Horatio Alger’s dream had long since become the Great American Fever Dream by the time we understood it and has since evolved into the Great American Nightmare. We don’t even understand Alger, we just know he’s dangerous and wrong.

Problem Two: Gonzo Journalism, while an interesting idea at first, became something incredibly dangerous. We might say it’s cool to say the fiction can tell more truth than the facts, but then we turn around and complain about Fox News and its loose interpretation of the word Accuracy. What are they doing if not forming a “truer” version of events? Well, truer for them anyway.

I think my generation grew up with the dark side of every bright shining dream. We’ve seen the potential, and we’ve seen what became of it. Any wonder why we’re so cynical?

February 7, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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