In the Wake of Gonzo

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In the Wake of Gonzo ...

    In the Wake of Gonzo

    Written by: Ethan Deruisa Clarke

    Junior Paper


    Advisor: Professor Michael P. Goldman


    In the Wake of Gonzo

    Ethan Clarke

    Junior Paper



    *This CANNOT be a history paper. Everything (almost everything) you write and

    describe about Thompson, Leary, etc must be reflected in their literature. You‘re

    probably going to want to use a lot of quotes and or paraphrasing.

Prologue-Gonzo Intro to paper

    ―We where somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs

    began to take hold‖ (p.3). I remember saying something about irony as I passed the joint to Chuck. But my thoughts were soon distracted by the smoke floating slowly through the beam of my projector like the ghost of Thomson himself drifting freely in and around that ominous light at the end of the tunnel. Tires screeched as Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro swerved across the projector screen in their big red ―shark‖ and the three of us raised shots of rum in unison; ―To Hunter!‖ And on we went into the glorious night. This

    was not the first wake I had been a part of, but it was certainly the first of its kind. A celebration of the life of a man I had never met and could only begin to understand. And yet there we were, watching Thompson self proclaimed journey into the heart of the American Dream unfold before our eyes the day after his suicide.

    We were paying our respects to more than just someone whom we admired. We were also paying tribute to the concluding chapter of a very special period in history, a lost era of hope that Hunter S. Thompson managed to capture and pass onto us in a very powerful way. This paper is dedicated to that form pioneered by Thompson which the world has come to know as Gonzo Journalism. If anything, Gonzo is about pushing beyond established limits in order to create a unique experience. In light of Hunter‘s

    recent death, I believe this it a critical time to reflect on Gonzo in terms of its influences on today‘s world. Specifically, I am interested in its ability to transcend the medium of

    literature in order to push the boundaries of a much newer and more unexplored medium of communication: Film.

    In 1998, the controversial and long overdue film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson‘s most successful Gonzo work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was released

    to an American audience that that was all but speechless. In almost every case, reviewers and theatre goers either praised the film as a brilliant work of art or rejected it as an obscene waste of time and money. In the midst of this face-off, the question remained: was the film something Hunter himself would have wanted us to see, or was it an inaccurately (and perhaps hopelessly) compressed version of a masterpiece, tailored to the supposed preferences of a modern audience in order to turn a profit? What we discover is that there are a number of distinct aspects of Hunter‘s ―Gonzo‖ style of journalism that present problems for a movie director. Reinventing Gonzo for the screen requires changes, both structurally and artistically. The end product may still be entertaining and powerful—in other words, ―good‖—but the inherent differences in

    media make a pure translation impossible. True Gonzo journalism will forever remain a literary form. The film, while unable to produce the exact same effect as Gonzo, does


    capture much of its essence, and perhaps enhances the story through the elements of cinema.

    Before we can discuss the films successes and failures in bringing Hunter‘s

    Gonzo style book to the big screen, we must first come to a deeper understand of what Gonzo journalism really is. We start at traditional journalism, which is a reporters attempt at describing exactly what they are observing. What we today consider ―good‖ journalism is that which conveys the most accurate picture of reality in an easily readable manner, giving the best descriptions that it can. Gonzo Journalism, on the other hand, accepts that objective journalism is impossiblewe see this today in criticisms of the

    ―liberal‖ media. Many news sources, magazines, and other publications are said to be ―rightist‖ or ―leftist‖ in nature. I think that this is definitely true—no editor or

    management of a media group can help but feed their own opinions into their work. Hunter argues that since this is the case, why not embellish upon the opinions of the journalist? The reader should know exactly where the author stands. When this is the case, accuracy is no longer critical. Thompson would add to his stories anything that would accentuate the general mood he was in or the general feel of the situation. He would argue that the best works of fiction are more accurate than any non-fiction.

    What is so special about Hunter S. Thompson‘s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    (apart from conveying an incredible experience from an incredible time and place) is that it is the greatest and most successful attempt at this ―Gonzo‖ style Journalism.

    -----―the true Gonzo reporter needs the talent of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor. Because the writer must be a participant in the scene...The eye and mind of the journalist would be functioning as a camera‖. P 142- 143 in Perry?

1. Fear and Loathing, the book

    1.1.1. Talk about the book, and how it incorporated Gonzo.

    1.1.2. How did F & L succeed and fail (in terms of Gonzo as art as well as


    2. Fear and Loathing, the Film

    2.1. Potential to take the original work further: is able to directly appeal to two senses,

    as well as simultaneously incorporating the work of multiple artists from various

    mediums of art. Allude to the conflict that this can create, as in the case of the

    script dispute.

    2.1.1. How does music enhance the book

    In the jacket for the Criterion special edition of Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas, we find

    Thompson‘s Instructions for Reading Gonzo Journalism, published in 1971, in which he


    ―Gonzo Journalism-like quadraphonic sound-exists on many levels: it is not so

    much ‗written‘ as preformed-and because of this, the end result must be

    experienced instead of merely ‗read.‘ Beyond that, it should be experienced

    under circumstances approximating-as closely as possible-the conditions

    surrounding the original performance…read straight through, at high speed,


    from start to finish, in a large room full of speakers, amplifiers & other

    appropriate sound equipment…‖

    Perhaps these instructions played a role in inspiring the eventual decision to put Fear and

    Loathing in Los Vegas in the theatre. One obvious advantage of film media over

    literature is that it allows for direct auditory stimulation, rather than the necessary translation of words into sounds. The director of the film is able to convey the exact message he intends, leaving little up to the imagination. The choice of a good soundtrack is therefore critically important for any film, especially one in a genre that revolves around strong stimulation of the senses. In the case of Fear and Loathing, however, Gilliam‘s job was relatively simple. In most cases, he followed the musical cues laid out

    by Thompson in the novel (there are many), adding here and there, and extending the pieces when he felt necessary. Gilliam‘s choice of music adds to the overall spirit of ―Gonzo‖ journalism, and greatly enhances the quality of the film.

    As mentioned above, the use of drugs as a means to change one‘s perception and conscious thought is a key theme of this style of journalism. The novel opens with a drug scenewith Duke and Gonzo riding down the freeway towards Los Angeles, each with a head full of various narcotics. Immediately, the music accompanies this scene, beginning with a psychedelic chorus of soloing instrumentsmirroring the thoughts going through

    the heads of each character. Interestingly, this was preceded by a very light version of ―My Favorite Things‖—played during the opening credits. The purpose for this piece may have been to directly contrast the scene that would followa juxtaposition that

    serves the film well, intensifying its introduction.

    One very interesting aspect of this film is the interplay between diegetic and non-diegetic music (that which is actually part of the plot, and that which is more of background music that only the audience of the film can hear). From the initial chaotic mega-solo, the music moves into ―One Toke Over the Line‖ by Brewer and Shipley. Intriguingly, this piece is diegeticit is actually part of the plot itself. In fact, Gonzo at one point sings along with the lyrics, albeit a very poor rendition of the song. By actually incorporating the tune itself into the artwork, the director is able to allow the audience to hear a song that some readers simply might not have known. The lyrics for the piece are also very appropriate for the scene—Duke and Gonzo are absolutely ―one toke over the

    line‖, to the point where they terrify a would-be hitchhiker (Tobey Maguire).

    Of course, this is not the only use of diegetic music. Later in the film, we hear Jefferson Airplane‘s ―White Rabbit‖ as Dr. Gonzo is in the middle of an acid trip in his bathtub. The song is playing on a small tape recorder, which Raoul Duke threatens to drop into the tub at its climax. We know that the song is part of the plot from the literature itself, but the feeling the audience gets from actually hearing the music in the movie is very different. The piece has been used in a psychedelic drug context in a number of films before Fear and Loathing, and its appearance here serves to emphasize

    the depth and seriousness of Gonzo‘s trip. Again, for those audience members who may not recognize the song on paper, the film‘s rendition may familiarize them with the tune, or open them up to a completely new experience that they would not have gotten from the novel.

    Some of the music in the film might be referred to as ―semi-diegetic‖. It is referenced,

    but either no mention is made of the song actually being played, or it is played in a different part of the plot. One song selection, ―Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis


Blues Again‖, by Bob Dylan, is a particularly good choice, as it contains lyrics that add

    to the plot, reinforcing the thoughts of the main character, Duke. This song is played as he is attempting to outrun a police officer on his way back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. Interestingly, some of the lyrics ―Aww, Mama, is this really the end‖ are part of the title to a completely different chapter in the book, when Duke thinks he is hearing the song from a jukebox. An analogy can be drawn between Mobile and Las Vegas, and Memphis and L.A. Duke questions whether being pulled over might be ―the end‖ for

    him, and after he is sent back to Vegas by Gonzo, he feels as though he is stuck there.

    In short, the musical selections in the film are probably the exact ones Hunter Thompson would have made, since most are drawn from the literature itself. By following Hunter‘s ―score‖ in a sense, the director has in no way used music to corrupt the vision and message of Gonzo. On the contrary, the extension of the lyrics, along with the mood created by the actual tones of the music, serve to enhance the overall effect of this style of journalism.

    2.1.2. How Does Acting Enhance the book

    The incredible cast in Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas is perhaps the

    films greatest achievment. Even down to the minor characters, such as the Hitchhiker played by Toby Mcguire, each actor strikingly resembles one Steagmans original characaturers while still coming off as both entertaining and comletely beleivable. Of particular interest is the casting for the primary roles, Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo. The

    original character of Dr. Gonzo was based off of Thompson‘s real life friend, Oscar Zeta Ocasta. In his book, Thompson describes Dr. Gonzo as an overweight Samoan, changing the details of his identity for the sake of privacy. To his surprise, Oscar was outraged that he had changed his identity because it prevented him from assuming the role as the star of the now famous book. After Fear and Loathing’s 1971 release in the Rolling Stone,

    Oscar drove from LA to the magazine‘s office in San Francisco were he made it clear,

    ―Dr. Gonzo isn‘t any 300-pound Samoan. He was me, a 250-pound Chicano

    attorney.‖(167) Flash foreword to the 1998 release of Gilliam's Fear and Loathing and

    we find that Oscar, believed to be long dead, finally got a tribute to be proud of. Played by fellow Hispanic Benicio Del Toro (not a Samoan), the role of Dr. Gonzo was brought

    to life in an incredible feat of acting. To begin with, Toro gained 40 pounds for the role, and along with his puffed out appearance he totes an unkempt afro appears regularly in a three piece suit. This look accurately reflects pictures of Ocasta, but even more striking is his performance.

    Dr. Gonzo - ―honed a paranoid glare sharper than the hunting knife he regularly brandishes.‖

    "He's like an acting animal, this guy who comes out of the forest to make movies better. He's fearless, and he has a very distinctive imagination for character. He's one of the few actors who can make flamboyant choices that never just say, 'Look at me.' He's not showy. If he stands out, it's only because the rest of the people haven't risen as high to the bar." Sean Penn, The Pledge/The Indian Runner Director


    And finding an actor who could pull of the role of Hunter S. Thompson was no easy task. In 1980, Bill Murray made an embarrassing attempt in Art Linson’s Thompson inspired film, Where the Buffalo Roam. But for the role of Fear and Loathing’s Thompson alias Raul Duke, Johnny Depp was chosen, and this may have been the best production decision made for the film. Depp is a brilliant and incredibly hard working actor. In his preparation for the role he spent four months living with Thompson during which he studied every aspect of his behavior from mannerisms to vocal inflection. Once he

    moved out, he continued their communication through a series of a dozen or so fax correspondences. In the special features of the Criterion edition we have the opportunity to watch Depp as he reads each of these letters out loud and it is amazing to observe how Depp has not only mastered Thompson’s pattern of speech, but also his style of language. Indeed, by the halfway point in his reading, the two sides of the conversation are almost indecipherable without particular attention to the details of what the author is responding to.

    Depps physical appearance further enhances the illusion, with his retreating hairline, jaunty cigarette holder, sporty pitch helmet, orange aviator shades, and an assortment of Hawaiian T-shirts and jackets literally borrowed straight out of

    Thompson’s 70s wardrobe. As the wardrobe specialist would comment on the special

    features, ―Long sentences, complicated clothing.‖ And Depp does not just look and talk

    like Thomson, he also perfects the walk as well, moving across the screen in comedic yet accurate Thompson style, “as though someone had just pulled the plug on his power source”. Completing the picture is Thompon's attitude, described in one review as "a detached cool of a 19th-centurey explorer or a 20s bon vivant.” (p.2) By the time the

    production on the film began, Thompson and Depp had both a deep respect for one another as artists as well as a close personal freidnship. This freindship was important because it allowed Thompson to openly express his vision and his feelings of the film directly to Depp, insuring the most genuine performance possible.

    2.1.3. What did Steadman‘s art add to Gonzo? How is Steadman‘s artwork

    incorporated into the film?

    The true origins of Gonzo Journalism can ultimately be traced back to English born artist, Ralph Steadman. Realizing what a perfect complement Steadman‘s artwork could be for

    Hunter‘s literature, the editor for Scanlan's originally paired the two together to cover the

    Kentucky Derby. But Hunter used more than just Steadman‘s artwork. As a foreigner, Steadman‘s naïve perception of the event made him an ideal looking glass through which

    Hunter could reinterpret the events before him. Hunter got Steadman drunk and then picked his brain and studied his bizarre illustrations. He wrote his observations as notes in his journal which after editing were successfully pieced together along with Steadman‘s surreal and disturbing drawings. The article was as successful as it was original, and thus, Gonzo was born. And the rest is history. Never before or since has there been a writer so closely associated his artists work. As Hunter became famous, it was Steadman‘s illustrations of him that took the spotlight. Some people believe that Steadman‘s drawings captured the state of Hunter‘s mind more accurately than his own writing. But most importantly, Steadman‘s art was the key link that allowed readers to

    not just read but experience Thompson‘s Gonzo journalism.


     Director Terry Gilliam was a good friend of Steadman and also recognized the important role his art played in conveying Gonzo. Therefore he went to great lengths to include his art in the film. The first thing we notice is that the films typeface for the title and the credits are based on Steadman‘s handwriting. Next we see his bat illustrations fluttering across the screen as Duke‘s acid trip sets in. Then, on the side of the road to Las

    Vegas, we see an odd cactus statue designed by Gilliam that originally appears in several drawings in the book. Next we see a Gilliam drawing on the T-shirt of the hitchhiker (Tobey Maguire) Duke and Gonzo pick up. This is all within the first five minutes of the film. In keeping with the book, the film becomes more and more visually stimulating as it progresses and consistently relies on Steadman‘s art as well as special effects inspired from his work in order to convey the heavily altered state of consciousness that dominates the psychedelic journey to the heart of the American dream. Interestingly, Steadman‘s art functions in a different way on screen than it does in Hunter‘s books and articles. Instead of having one picture that ties together a thousand of Thompson‘s words, the film is an even mixture of moving images, words, and music. Steadman‘s images are generally moved to the background where they enhance the real images of the film rather

    than completely dominating the visual experience. However, there is one noteworthy exception. During the cocktail lounge scene at the Mint Hotel, Duke exclaims, ―We‘re right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody‘s giving booze to these goddamn things!‖ In this scene, Gilliam takes Steadman‘s artwork to an incredible

    extreme, creating what New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden would call "...A fidelity to the author's hallucinatory imagery that until now seemed impossible to capture in a film. But here it is in all its splendiferous funhouse terror: the closest sensory approximation of an acid trip ever achieved by a mainstream movie..." -- Stephen Holden , (New York Times)

    An interesting yet little known fact is that Animator/filmmaker Ralph Bakshi once tried to make "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" into Ralph Steadman style animated movie. Bakshi is quoted as saying: "Hunter had given the rights to a girlfriend of his. I spent three days with her trying to talk her into me animating it - she wanted to make a live action of it - I kept telling her that a live action would look like a bad cartoon but an animated version would be a great one. She had a tremendous disdain for animators because it wasn't considered the top of Hollywood. Hunter also could not make her change her mind. So she made the pic with Johnny Depp (who is a great actor) and got the film I told her she would get - it would have been more real in a cartoon using Steadman's drawings."

3. Was the transition from book to film successful? +

    Hunter originally claimed that turning Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas into a film was a

    bad idea. In 1979 the BBC made a documentary called Fear and Loathing on the Road to

    Hollywood, during which they visited him at his Colorado ranch and interviewed him on the matter. Early in the documentary, the video shows Thompson holding a video camera to his eye while explaining why he was reluctant to allow his book to be turned into a film. He explained,

    ―I don‘t see how you could possibly make a true film. Just by bringing all this

    machinery in, you create a situation that is unnatural…and its not you, I think its


    one of the problems with film. The technology is not up to where you have to get

    to trigger reality. The technology warps reality.‖

    This statement on its own might seem like a perfectly straight foreword answer to our question. Hunter did not want to sacrifice the integrity of his word to the shortcomings of the film industry. But beneath the surface, this response is blatantly ironic in just about every way imaginable. Hunter, the writer famous for his ability to distort reality, clearly under the influence of cocaine and alcohol and holding a video camera to eye, explains on a film called Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood, later to be included as a

    special feature on the DVD of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which he would admit to

    watching every month, that he does not want to make a film of Fear and Loathing in Las

    Vegas, the story he wrote on as well as about the influence of reality warping drugs, because he feels that film warps reality.

    Clearly this argument, if legitimate at all, did little more than postpone the inevitable. The eventual adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for the big screen was a very

    intriguing experiment that Hunter eventually found irresistible. It was essentially the first attempt at communicating ―Gonzo‖ journalism through any medium other than writing. It not only had the potential to create a new window for the masses into Hunter‘s world, it

    was also an opportunity to perpetuate and perhaps even enhance the expressive form of ―Gonzo‖ that Thompson himself was struggling keep alive on his own. During the same BBC interview he laments how the fame of Duke Raul has begun to take over his life and has gotten in the way of his work. ―I find myself an appendage—I‘m no longer

    necessary—it‘d be much better if I died. My job is to find another identity—I‘m going to have to kill off one life and start another one.‖ In other words, he used to be able to stand in the background as an observer and make comments as a journalist. But now that his writing has become so famous, he is inevitably a part of the story he is there to report on. Ironically, he doesn‘t know how he is supposed to act in his interview. He explains, ―I have no idea whether you‘re making a film about Duke or Thompson.‖ And perhaps even more ironically, watching this documentary as a special feature on the movie, we must ask whether we are evaluating Thompson in terms of Duke from his book or Depp from the film? On the set of the movie, Hunter would later comment how in watching the films creation, he once again returned to his original roots as an observer. He even makes a cameo appearance in the film. During the Jefferson Airplane concert scene, Duke (Hunter‘s alias being played by Depp) and Hunter make eye contact before moving on. This is a beautiful illustration of the proverbial passing of ―Gonzo‖ torch that this film represented.

    But translating Hunter‘s unique book into film was proved to be no small challenge.

    As reviewer Steven Horn explains, ―The chaotic intensity of Thompson's writing is a

    challenge very few film directors could pull off. Beyond nailing the intricate details of two guys on a locomotive style 3-day drug binge in Las Vegas, the film also had to attempt to stitch together some sort of narrative.‖

    ( Truth be told, there really is no

    significant central plot to the book or moviejust a couple of guys sent to cover a

    motocross race and later, a drug convention. For these reasons, many people said that a successful film adaptation couldn‘t be done. Director Terry Gilliam‘s attempt followed twenty years of failed scripts and fruitless preproduction. Ultimately, the financial failure of his film adaptation suggests that they were right. Grossing a mere $10 million dollars,


    with a total production budget of $18 million, this staggering eight million dollar loss came as a shock from the director of the $57 million dollar grossing film, Twelve

    Monkeys (based on Chris Marker‘s 1963 film, La Jetee). But the story doesn‘t end there. The film has since experienced a substantial video revival and has ultimately become a cult classic. Responding to the new demand, Criterion has given a re-release of the film

     in a complete 2 disc treatment.

    Clearly the film was a financial failure. But bear in mind that we are critiquing the reinvention of a celebrated work of art. The revival and eventual cult classic status that this film has achieved suggests its success be assessed in terms of the art it is based on instead of just dollars made at the box office. Under these terms, we must ask: does the film truthfully represent and enhance the original vision or does it become something else entirely?

    In translating a book into a feature film, changes are inevitably made as words on a page are transformed into an audio visual experience to be sold in theatres-as Thompson‘s catch phrase put‘s it, ―buy the ticket, ride the ride‖. Are the differences between the book and the film more representative of the differences between the forms of media, or the change in culture that the film had to account for?

    It is also necessary to ―cut the fat‖ per-se, in order to adjust to the relatively short

    attention span of a theatre audience. But are these the same cuts that Hunter S. Thompson would have made? In other words, is the end result what Hunter himself would have wanted us to see, or is it an inaccurately (and perhaps hopelessly) compressed version of a masterpiece, tailored to the supposed preferences of a modern audience in order to turn a profit on an otherwise unprofitable film?

    From an artistic standpoint, hiring Terry Gilliam as the director was probably one of the best choices made during the films production. Unfortunately, this decision may have come too late. Terry Gilliam took on the director‘s seat after Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy)

    left the picture due to creative differences. Concerned with tailoring the film for today‘s

    audience, Alex originally made heavy revisions to the screenplay that both Hunter and producer Laila Nabulsi felt jeopardized the integrity of the original work. Among the scenes he had edited was the famous ―high-water mark‖ scene, which he insisted on

    combining with a speach from Timothy Leary. Had he read the book more carefully he might have realized that Hunter saw Leary as part of the problem his book spoke out against. Hunter felt that Leary‘s ―trip‖ was flawed in the same way as every government,

    religion, and almost every other organization he lashed out against. They all deceived their followers into believing that there is a ―higher authority‖—some sort of guiding

    light that is leading them somewhere. The reality, according to Hunter, is that there is no central guiding force, only the illusion of one. Thompson was trying to teach people to lead themselves—not to follow any sort of authority or ―leader‖.

    When Gilliam signed on as director, he made the important decision to include the original passage in the screenplay, unedited.

    ―So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and

    look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water

    mark-that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back‖ (p.68).

    This decision was important because it signified Gilliam‘s respect for Hunter‘s original work. Gilliam studied the numerous earlier versions of the script in order to determine why they had failed. Eventually he decided it was best to just go with the real thing,


    saying to his co-writer Tony Grisoni, ―let‘s not write anything here at all…let‘s just chop it up and collage the whole thing together‖. This made an excellent start. After this first step, they began to write. But like the shooting itself, the writing was deliberately approached in what they considered to be a Gonzo style. ―Just go for it…don‘t sit and think and double think and rethink, just put it on the page.‖ In this way, the rough draft of the screenplay was put together in just eight days. The two came away at the and thinking it was crap. Then spent two more days of serious work and then they felt that they had finally cracked it. There where many additions as they went along. They made note of the fact that the book becomes more and more picturesque as it goes along. At a certain point, the editor makes an appearance saying that he is no longer making any attempt to keep any order to dukes writing, which Gillian says is an attempt to just let things run on. The directors had to give it shape and form. According to Gilliam, ―adrenacrome became the key…This was the drug that pushed things right over the limit, and that was Gonzos final vanishing act, leaving duke in a world that had completely turned inside out, upside-down, filled up, flooded‖ They are not sure if this is really hunters form of journalism, but the bok certainly inspired that sort of thinking for them. ―This allows us to at least pretend that we‘ve created a form and a structure that holds it together‖ They said that they went for pushing the limits of the movie to see how far they could go, which is certainly a major feature of the book, ―pushing beyond the limits to see where the limit is, because you don‘t know where the limit is until you‘ve gone beyond it.‖ They are not sure if they did go beyond it.

    Both the book and the movie open with the same line, ―We where somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold‖ (p.3).

    3.1. Cultural problems

    3.1.1. Is Gonzo simply outdated? (Godzilla vs. Gonzo) +

    3.1.2. Film audiences vs. readers. -

    3.1.3. Drug market Trends +

    3.1.4. The American Dream +

    Trends of the drug market 1960s to 1970s. p.202 in F+L in LV. Thompson‘s main

    point in these two pages is that now, what sells in the drug market is anything that fucks you up, as opposed to culture-specific drugs. One of the points you should make is that Thompson tried everything—he didn‘t conform to any specific state of mind or particular drug movement. Possibly use the ―two bags of grass…‖ quote as proof of this.

    While every generation goes through a stage of rebellion, the counter culture generation was sparked by a particular set of circumstances that may be repeating right now. During WWII, the United States was attacked in the Battle of Pearl Harbor, and the effect was thvery similar to the effects of the terrorist attacks of September 11. In both cases the

    nation responded as a unified home front and sent a great number of soldiers to fight overseas. At home and abroad, Americans embraces conformity in order to strengthen their unity. After the long and devastating WWII, people just wanted to settle down, have children, and raise them in peace and quite. The baby boom was on, and these children were born into an ultra conservative era. Naturally they rebelled against their parent‘s

    culture. And because of their sheer numbers, they had the power to get away with it. By the time this generation was called to fight in the Vietnam War, a large percentage of


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