‘Buy the Ticket. Take the Ride’ is a documentary film on Hunter S, Thompson. And, as it was his anniversary yesterday I thought it would be a fitting tribute to post it up in recognition of a man who inspired a whole generation of journalists, created the genre of gonzo journalism and wrote some classic books including Hell’s Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and The Great Shark.
The film contains rare archive clips and a selection of interviews with John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Ed Bradley and a bizarre opening sequence with the inimitable Gary Busey.
Thompson’s mythical status was to dog him all his life and eventually took its toll – his gun totting alter ego Raoul Duke became all too much, a point he made during a BBC documentary in 1978:
I’m never sure which one people want me to be [Thompson or Duke], and sometimes they conflict… I am living a normal life, but beside me is this myth, growing larger and getting more and more warped. When I get invited to Universities to speak, I’m not sure who they’re inviting, Duke or Thompson… I suppose that my plans are to figure out some new identity, kill off one life and start another.
So enjoy the film and if you haven’t read any of his work go out and get some. And while we’re on the subject here are 10 of his memorable quotes:
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
One of them is knowing the difference between Morality and Wisdom. Morality is temporary, Wisdom is permanent… Ho ho. Take that one to bed with you tonight.
No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.
I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing.
Too strange to live, too rare to die.
Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.
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. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life interesting.
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile…
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.
Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place.
Via Dangerous Minds
158 total views, 2 today