Fear and Loathing in the Royal Festival Hall

rarely has the bookclub agreed so unanimously about a book and still found things to say about it. whenever we liked something in the past we’ve done the round of

– i liked it
– me too
– good story
– i liked the bit where they drink reindeer piss
– er… yes… so… who’s going to prod next weekend?

with Dr Thompson we started talking at approximately 6.23 and kept going till we said goodbye to senorita eme outside the dogstar. admittedly we talked about a lot of other things too but i forget what they were, though i’m reasonably confident that I didn’t promise anyone anything i couldn’t deliver to their door in a bright orange hefty bag… GARBAGE MEN DEMAND EQUAL TIME.. and i didn’t declare my love to anyone who wouldn’t reciprocate. and much as I hate to puncture our own mythology I have to admit that it was strangely restrained. the burden of being wild and crazy, making it a night of nights, deflated my natural exhuberance for all things wild and crazy. for sure, i disolved lining of my nose and the synapses of cerebral hemispheres with the unnatural stimulation of industrial strength chemicals, the nutty goodness of truffles and that old reliable solution ethanol.

but sitting there sedately in the shadow of Gonzo, I felt we were perhaps turning into our parents.. more than one person excuse themselves because it was a school night and I was never so sensible when I was at school, it was only your parents that enforced any curfew, they were right and doing what was good for you. I cannot claim to be so benevolent but i am not going to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to, maybe I do know better than you but I won’t beat you round the head with it, just in case your inclined to turn around and do the same to me, it’s slightly more than the Golden Rule, it’s I.R. Good ‘s meta-Golden Rule [i]”Treat your inferiors as you would like to be treated by your superiors”[/i] It’s the palpable failure of grasping, bullying cynics like Nixon and Bush that they have to claw their way to the top of the pile as thats the only place where there isn’t anyone mor unpleasant than you telling you what is what. so our quiet night was quite alright

besides I wonder how out of control HST ever is or was when it matters? he spent 1972 paying attention, wading through shit so we don’t have to and not stopping his nose to the stench, poking around in unpleasantness that makes us all wretch but which he is optimistic enough to think could be cleared away if we were to admit it was actually there. he wields a deft shovel. though no doubt he’d call it a spade because as our very own Hollis S Andy indentified, he writes with words that we don’t need to look up. sometimes they are so commonplace and yet so apposite that we don’t notice how hard it is to write that effortlessly. (and not have your readers tripping up over words like ‘apposite’. ) he’s a wonderful man and i just want to hug him. but I am glad that he’s still mad as hell and would probably hit me if i tried.


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