June 10, 2004

the city is a funny place something like a circus or a sewer

* From a December 23, 1985 dispatch by Hunter S.
Thompson:

"Most nights are slow in the politics business, but every once in a while you get a fast one, a blast of while treachery and weirdness that not even the hard boys can handle.

"It is an evil trade, on most days, and nobody smart will defend it...except maybe Ronald Reagan, who seems dumber than three mules. But he is, after all, the President. He can drop bombs on any town in the world and have anyone who bothers him arrested.

"That is not a bad gig, in this world, and it raises certain questions about dumbness. It is like calling Herschel Walker a fool for earning a million dollars a year for doing nothing at all.

"There is no need for the president of the United States to be smart.

"He can be hovering on the grim cusp of brain death and still be the most powerful man in the world. He can arrest the chief of the Mafia and sell the Washington Monument to Arabs and nobody will question his
judgment."

* Gore Videl interviewed. excerpt:

"I remember years ago, Time magazine, in one of its numerous attacks on me, on my first book of essays, which was heaven knows when, 30, 40 years ago, I refer to the American empire and things that we were doing that were not very good across the world, and I referred to the empire. And Time magazine dismissed me. It was an awful review. I pointed out that we had troops and so on in over 1,000 other places around the world. That seems imperial to me, but there we are. Ever since then, I have loved the word, because it just drives them crazy.

"But we are a world empire, hated by all, and not to mention the least, our own people, since we don't have any money left for anything. So, you started to go somewhere and I had written about Bush that he's like a kind of crazy kid in a dream, and he thinks he's invulnerable, and he's marching along through a dry forest, and he's lighting matches, dropping them, watching the fires, dropping another one. I had always assumed, like all good Americans, that he was a hypocrite, particularly on religious matters. Suddenly, it began to hit me, he may be another Reagan. He may really believe these are the end of times. What difference does it make? The world's going to end anyway. Why save the environment? Save it for what, you know? We're all going to be upstairs as sunbeams for Jesus. If he's one of those – well, those of us who can afford it will emigrate, and the others will be with Jesus in a higher sphere.

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