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The Jackrabbit

Hi.  Hope you’re having a good Monday. I’m back at the Pitkin County Library, where it’s quiet and there are no ringing phones.   Last Friday, a friend referred to Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, which made me want to re-read it again.  Here is something Hunter wrote in the intro about how he covered that presidential campaign, and hence, created the book.  And if you have the slightest bit of gonzo in your blood, you will no doubt relate to this following passage:


“There is a comfortable kind of consistency in this kind of finish, because that’s the way all the rest of the book was written.  From December ’71 to January ’73 – in airport bars, all-night coffee shops and dreary hotel rooms all over the country – there is hardly a paragraph in this jangled saga that wasn’t produced in last-minute frenzy.  There was never enough time.  Every deadline was a crisis.  All around me were experienced professional journalists meeting deadlines far more frequent than mine, but I was never able to learn from their example.  Reporters like Bill Greider from the Washington Post and Jim Naughton of the New York Times, for instance, had to file long, detailed and relatively complex stories every day – while my own deadline fell every two weeks – but neither one of them ever seemed in a hurry about getting their work done, and from time to time they would try to console me about the terrible pressure I always seemed to be laboring under.

            Any $100-an-hour psychiatrist could probably explain this problem to me, in thirteen or fourteen sessions, but I don’t have time for that.  No doubt it has something to do with a deep-seated personality defect, or maybe a kink in whatever blood vessel leads into the pineal gland…  On the other hand, it might easily be something as simple and basically perverse as whatever instinct it is that causes a jackrabbit to wait until the last possible second to dart across the road in front of a speeding car.”


So that’s the wisdom for today, for all you adrenaline junkies.  More from Campaign Trail tomorrow.

Anita Thompson

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