Hunter S Thompson fears and loathes the government, the establishment, our material culture, and all of our society’s contradictions. Yet he goes to Las Vegas to try to find the American dream which is the encapsulation of all of these things that he fears and loathes. Because he fears and loathes these aspects of society, he arms and protects himself with drugs. The drugs make it easier to deal with the pain because they anesthetize his experience. Of course, there are certain side effects. I tend to view all serious drug and alcohol use as a kind of escapism from reality. But since reality is so dark and unforgiving, it makes me wonder who is really crazy? The regular people that just shuffle through their 8 to 6 jobs they hate just so they could buy things they don’t need or the other people that just escape. In case anybody’s interested, I’m not really either. I see both drugs/booze/antidepressants and unfulfilling jobs for money as indulgences. I’d rather do something I like for less money so that I could like myself.