The Edge … There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others–the living–are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.

-Hunter S Thompson, Songs of the Doomed


… [was] Frank Mankiewicz … talking in the past, present or future when he said … that he learned from Robert Kennedy that “the practice of American politics … can be both joyous and honorable.” … I think it’s important not to avoid the idea that reality in America might in fact be beyond the point where even the most joyous and honorable kind of politics can have any real effect on it. And I think we should also take a serious look at the health/prognosis for the whole idea of Participatory Democracy, in America or anywhere else.

-Hunter S Thompson, Songs of the Doomed

See, I didn’t realize until about halfway through the campaign that people believed this stuff. I assumed that like the people I was around, and like myself, they were getting their primary coverage of the campaign from newspapers, television, radio, the traditional media.

I think that people took it seriously because politics, particularly presidential campaigns and the President and the White house, have always been sacred cows in this country, almost as if the President ruled by divine right. Especially since the start of the age of television.
Some people have that kind of respect for these people. I don’t, any more than I have respect for police and chambers of commerce. I have respect for quite a few things, quite a few people. Politicians just don’t happen to be among them. Just because a person can subject himself to the degradations of a lifetime in politics and finally end up in the White House is certainly no reason to respect him, as Nixon has recently given us elegant evidence to confirm.

-Hunter S Thompson, Songs of the Doomed

[S]o far we hadn’t seen that special kind of face that I felt we would need for a lead drawing. It was a face I’d seen a thousand times at every Derby I’d ever been to. I saw it, in my head, as the mask of the whiskey gentry–a pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams and a terminal identity crisis; the inevitable result of too much inbreeding in a closed and ignorant culture.

Pink faces with a stylish Southern sag … burnt out early or maybe just not much to burn in the first place. Not much energy in the faces, not much curiosity. Suffering in silence, nowhere to go after thirty in this life, just hang on and humor the children. Let the young enjoy themselves while they can. Why not?

-Hunter S Thompson, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved

Old England is an imaginary place, a landscape built from words, woodcuts, films, paintings, picturesque engravings. It is a place imagined by people, and people do not live very long or look very hard. We are very bad at scale. The things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. We are bad at time, too. We cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. Nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. We live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. We take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.

-Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers. At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.

-Sören Kierkegaard, The Last Years: Journals 1853-5 quoted in Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels