Hunter S. Thompson and William Gibson have one large element of their writing in common, and it's that both are very precise on brand names and the physicality of objects. I was going to suggest that they diverge on drug and substance names, but even this isn't true. Both are very specific about the types, origin, and effects of controlled (and uncontrolled) substances. What happens in the story is as important as what it happens with, make, model, origin of manufacture, and what happens when you press the red button.
Because I've got a lot to do, instead of going to the tournament today (again), I've stayed home and naturally, I've spent it reading instead of working. Of course, why not? I have a hefty roster of books to move through, and I have been enjoying them. On Wednesday, I stopped in to Half-Price books, browsing its rather anemic Philosophy section. There was one bookcase near the door dedicated to it, next to the 4 or 5 cases touting used volumes of new-age religion. My theory : philosophers are not selling their books back and new age spirituality is overtaking philosophy. Both are likely to be true. There is nothing new about this at all.
I bought Ralph Steadman's "The Jokes Over : Ralph Steadman on Hunter S. Thompson" on a lark, because they did not have a bevy of Hunter's work for sale. I had to mosey on over to Barnes and Noble, where they tried to sell me a 20 dollar book card that gives me a discount. If I didn't buy something around 75% of my books from Half Price these days, I would of jumped on it. As it is, I still might. Even 25% is a hefty number. Who knows how many books I have read these last few months already?
Yesterday, I went to the draft tournament and went 2-2 with an absolute wreck of a deck. I placed something like 12th out of 16, only saving my last two games because I was playing against a couple of teenage megalomaniacs with vacent eyes and awful voices. "What." I thought. "It looks like their mother dressed them." and I think she might of. I saw her later, beaten and terrible, with a bent nose and a small stick that she beat those boys about the heads and shoulders with. What a terrible life they must lead, and that is where they must of picked up their terrible habits. I had to denounce one in front of the store when he attempted to cheat for the third or fourth time.
"No!" I shouted. He looked genuinely shocked. Nobody up till now had commented. I felt bad, but I didn't know what else to do. Explaining calmly hadn't worked, and besides knocking him about, I couldn't think of any better way to stop him from doing whatever he please, short of asking him to be ejected from the store. "Better a battered ego" I thought "then outright rejection. He will get over this." But he still lost.
Next Friday is the last Standard tournament that my deck will be able to be registered for. I have not gotten to play (and lose) with it in any sanctioned format as of yet, and I want to do it before next Saturday's pre-release, so I am strongly thinking about attending over my regular duties. This is long and awful, so I will cut it for you. You don't need this crap plugging up your friends list. It is bad enough I post so much as it is, I understand.
( Magic Crap below the cut. )
Anyhow, I was thinking, 'what is it I'd like to play?' when I came upon a quote in the book from an underground journalist.
Hunter S. Thompson is best known for being a drug aficionado and a representative of a weird, fundamentally proto-counter culture. But he engaged fully the political engines that roar across the United States, favored large firearms and ran with packs of wild Hell's Angels. He wrote sports editorials almost until he died or, rather, removed himself from play with so much debris across the table.
He was then promptly fired out of a cannon, out of defiance of both air pollution laws and Nixon himself.
"Man." I thought. "I want to play underground gonzo journalists in the World of Darkness."
That would be far out. I'd even play it 'straight'. Sure, the world is a terrible place, but at least my life would be interesting.
Huh. It looks like I have already created and used a Hunter s. Thompson tag for something. You never know with me, I guess.
Before I became disillusioned with much of the process, I was something of a political junkie. According to the late Hunter S. Thompson, politics can be a seasonal thing. It's exhausting, and can easily become a cause in itself. This is where all those evil cynical old politicians come from, of course. They sell out to the greedheads and Swine and leave the rest of us wondering how things could get so bad. I was pretty cynical myself, during the Clinton administration, but honestly, nothing could prepair me for what was coming next.