Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone (Flashback)

Hi kiddies, Hunter here--my channeled alter ego, although I'm not sure if the moniker "ego" is applicable to either of us now, having both been reduced to pulp by the fickle fist of fate. Ever since my ghost ashes were lofted from that shamelessly raised salute in the desert, (with Bill Murray and Johnny Depp in attendance, along with various pseudo masochistic journalist types), I've been contemplating whether there'd be as much fear, loathing, and/or subsequent notoriety shat on my earthly existence as to afford a new collection of my work had I long ago traded whisky for a Rum Diary or Craft Beer, for carrot and beet juice. Consider this book FEAR AND LOATHING AT ROLLING STONE, for instance, (for which I have Jann Wenner to thank, and also Brilliance Audio for encouraging narrator Phil Gigante to attempt mimicking my rambling oratory style in reading some of my impassioned missives.) Would the text be as brilliant had I used a juicer instead of a swizzle stick? Sure, I might still be alive, Alter insists, but I reject the notion that even more brilliant exuberance might vault from my subconscious like a leaping ballerina in paisley tights. No. I rather fear the carrot. And I loath the rutabaga! (An occasional olive will quite suffice, thank you very much.) There is, you see, something to be said for going out early, and in style...and, of course, there's a price to pay for exposing the truth. So anyway, Alter has asked me to pit the new X Box One versus the PS 4, and to comment on God of War as a kind of summation of where American culture has gone, with movies like ENDER'S GAME showing the little brainiacs 'saving' humanity by being duped into slaughtering entire races of aliens through manipulating joysticks properly. My life's work, after all, was about the life and death of the American Dream, and now that I'm dead presumably I have a new perspective to share? Nice try. I'm not telling you zip about the afterlife, if that's what you're after. I fear the powers that be, and loath the idea of being without tap water, even if it is fluoridated. What I will say is that my favorite guilty pleasure was called 18 Wheeler---an old style arcade game in which you get to steer a gasoline tanker down freeways, bumping off bikers and crushing VW bugs on your way to racing a train to its crossing. Like Spielberg's first film. What's so mind-buggeringly cool about this is that the game is meant to support the rugged image of the American trucker, kinda like Kubrick hiring Reagan to ride that H-bomb while waving a Stetson in Dr. Strangelove. Now, I don't begrudge Alter for not jumping into this pool of blood with me for some synchronized acrobatics. Sure, his lonely route and philosophy has always been to mingle with the bastards, to show them up while outdoing them. But given he has sampled the madness, if not the LSD, I'd cut him some slack for riding a high horse. (I rode that mare hard and often enough, after running with the bulls.) The important thing is to expose the nonsense out there, and whether you do it by sloshing through the bullcrap with a bottle of Chivas Regal, or by using waders and sipping a wheat grass smoothie, the goal is the same: to kick some shit into the faces of the damned. Too few are doing that in this 'live and let die' slash 'get rich or kill tryin'' age. ...Just don't expect me to wait too long for that Food Truck, you sorry joker...even if it means getting cosy with the Prince of Darkness. If not Bob Woodward.
ON THE MOVE by Oliver Sachs

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