Monday, May 12, 2008

A Kingdom of Fear Interview with Dr. Gonzo

Thanks for allowing me to do another interview (using excerpts from your book), Dr. Gonzo.
"Yes sir, I thought. The too much fun club is back in business. Let us rumble."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 273}

OK, let's start here. Why, Kingdom of Fear?
"I like this book, and I especially like the title, which pretty well sums up the foul nature of life in the U.S.A. in these first few bloody years of the post-American century. Only a fool or a whore would call it anything else."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page xix}

What value does fear play in a person's life?
"I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 30}

Since Kingdom of Fear is considered an autobiography, let me ask, after three decades as a public figure what do you think of how you're portrayed in the media?
"The media perception of me has always been pretty broad. As broad as the media itself. As a journalist, I somehow managed to break most of the rules and still succeed. It's a hard thing for most of today's journeyman journalists to understand, but only because they can't do it. The smart ones understood immediately. The best people in journalism I've never had any quarrel with. I am a journalist and I've never met, as a group, any tribe I'd rather be a part of or that are any more fun to be with --- despire the various punks and sycophants of the press."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 187}

What drug have you enjoyed most, Doc?
"I've always had and still do have an ambition to write fiction. I've never had any real ambition within journalism, but events and fate and my own sense of fun keep taking me back for money, political reasons, and because I am a warrior. I haven't found a drug yet that can get you anywhere near as high as sitting at a desk writing, trying to imagine a story no matter how bizarre it is, as much as going out and getting into the weirdness of reality and doing a little time on The Proud Highway."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 189}

That sounds like Salvador Dali saying, I don't do drugs. I am drugs. What effect do you think doing drugs has had on you?
"Drugs usually enhance or strengthen my perceptions and reactions, for good or ill. They've given me the resilience to withstand repeated shocks to my innocence gland. The brutal reality of politics along would probably be intolerable without drugs. They've given me the strength to deal with those shocking realities guaranteed to shatter anyone's beliefs in the higher idealistic shibboleths of our time and the 'American Century.' Anyone who covers this beat for twenty years --- and my beat is 'The Death of the American Dream' --- needs every goddamned crutch he can find."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 187}

You witnessed history in the making, and traveled the world. What makes for a good hotel?
"I go to hotels for business reasons, not to relax and have fun. Sometimes it ends up that way, but you can't count on it. The way I look at it, business is business, and the only things that really matter in hotels are privacy, fresh oysters, and good telephones."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 232}

Do any of those history making moments stand out for you?
"The invasion of Grenada was one of those low-risk, high-gain, cost-plus operations that every West Point graduate dreams of. Unleash the whole weight of the U.S. military arsenal on a small island in the Caribbean and call it a great victory. Bash the buggers silly; bomb the insane; walk heavy, talk wild, and kick ass in every direction. That's how it went in Grenada."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 209}

You spoke about a lot of different people you've known in Kingdom of Fear. How would you sum up your group of friends?
"Well, shucks, folks. I guess I'm just lucky. It's just amazing, isn't it?

Right. And Ted Williams was lucky too.

Whoops. And so much for hubris, eh? I was never able to swing a baseball bat like Ted Williams, and I will never be able to write a song like 'Mr. Tambourine Man.' But what the hell? Neither one of those Yo-yos could write
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, either.... At the top of the mountain, we are all Snow Leopards. Anybody who can do one thing better than anyone else in the world is a natural friend of mine."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 272}

Government surveillance has become a part of daily life. Do you think this will make people paranoid?
"Smart people understand that there is no such thing as paranoia. It is just another mask for ignorance. The Truth, when you finally chase it down, is almost always far worse than your darkest vision and fears."
- Hunter S. Thompson
{page 220}


The Wandering Author said...

I think the last one is my favourite; it is so appropriate right now.

Anonymous said...

VanvogtAnyone who has followed and enjoyed the works of Hunter S. Thompson is sure to enjoy this post. What Kilroy has done here is to let us savor an interview with HST one more time. Brilliant!