Before we get down to the business of fear and loathing, we’d like to send a big thank you out to all those who have contributed to our Kickstarter campaign so far.  If you’d like to contribute, you can do it here.

In 1973, Studs sat down with author and “master of gonzo journalism,” Hunter S. Thompson, to talk about his latest book, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.  

One of the themes that Studs and Thompson frequently return to is the sense of surrealism in “real” life, and the first half of their conversation is a very good example of that experience.  It starts out with a trip down the Studs rabbit hole (while Studs and Thompson share a beer): Studs plays part of an earlier interview with Thompson, which includes part of another earlier interview with local enforcer. And shortly afterward, Thompson tells the story of how his snake was killed by a security guard at Random House.

This might sound like a rather silly interview, but in fact it is a very serious conversation about the direction in which our country was heading.  After Thompson recounted his experience of talking to Richard Nixon about football, Studs responds, “Isn’t this what we’re faced with now?… That fantasy and fact become one.”  Summing up his observations of the campaign, Thompson says, “Power corrupts… but it’s also a fantastic high.”

About halfway through the interview, Thompson tells of 1200 disabled Vietnam veterans assembling in front of the Republican campaign headquarters in Miami to protest.  A colleague of his recorded* the man speaking on behalf of the veterans, Ron Kovic.  In 1973, neither Studs nor Thompson had heard of him; but a few years later he would go on to write Born on the Fourth of July.

This is a fascinating conversation about surreal politics in the real world.

*Courtesy of Pacifica Radio Archives

 

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