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The American Dream

Hi, Natalia Here. A few days ago, The New York Times published a piece on the rising rate of naturalizations of citizens, and covered some July 4th ceremonies, including a group of 1,000 people that got naturalized at Disney World.  Anita was terrified that this was written in passing as if nobody even noticed that instead of a courthouse, people were gathering to start their lives as American citizens at Disney World of all places.  This prompted her to mention some letters that Hunter wrote to Jim Silberman in the 70’s concerning the American Dream, and more specifically the death thereof. He was trying to put a focus to this concept in order to make it into a book, and was having a hard time doing so.  He ended up drawing a lot from his experiences in order to find inspiration. I’ve included a quote from one of the letters:

What kind of bullshit, delusions or common ego-disease had cast me in this weird role—as a mescaline-addled campaign manager for a 29-year-old Texas lawyer & dope-smoking bike freak in a Rocky Mountain ski resort? I  gave it a lot of thought that night—while we waited for the ward-tallies—and finally I traced it back to that night in September, 1960, when I quit my expatriate-hitch-hiker’s role long enough to climb down from a freeway in Oregon and watch the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on TV in a tiny village near Salem. That was when I first understood that the world of Ike and Nixon was vulnerable… and that Nixon, along with all the rotting bullshit he stood for, might conceivably be beaten. I was 21 then, and it had never occurred to me that politics in America had anything to do with human beings.


Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America



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