Talkin' 'bout my self

Generation of Swine

Who knows what tomorrow brings? Political pundits ought to. Granted they rarely do, but then their collective mediocrity is no excuse for the individual self-proclaimed "expert". We need someone to give us surety, to tackle these problems head-on and tell us what will happen: tell us and nobody else, because only we are listening. We need what every generation needs: its Hunter S Thompson.

In this collection of his columns from the San Francisco Examiner, Thompson recounts his experiences in an era that Bill Hicks once likened to all the artists in America shooting darts into an enormous Republican elephant. He popularizes and explains tricky political and sporting issues impressively---as usual discussing Hunter S Thompson as much as he does current affairs---and spices up the stodgy analysis with vignettes from his eccentric personal life: his brief career in salvaging a beached yacht; the explosion of a home-made, car-sized bomb in the middle of the desert; and the claiming of a gold Mercedes as security on a bet, which he immediately trades for another car, so sure he is of the outcome.

Thompson is tired and out of sorts in this volume: like some Bowie space creature, he's far from his spiritual home of the 60s and 70s, and struggles to find his feet. The Democratic sands shift confusingly, Gary Hart's campaign crumbles to dust before he can even blink, and eventually nothing is certain. Not even football, as he finds himself pursued by the owner of the Mercedes as the bet turns sour. Gambler to the core, Thompson is no better a seer of political futures than the next man, and in interpreting the odds, as in his writing and his inventiveness, HST has passed his prime.