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Fear and Justice in the Kingdom of Sex
  • October 09, 2011 : 20:10
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There is no way that we can talk about the fabulous Playboy era without remembering what was vicious and wrong and ugly in those years. Remember Joe McCarthy, that maniac sot of a senator from Wisconsin who raved and bullied and literally destroyed the lives of so many thousands of good and innocent people who were no more card-carrying Communists than I am? Yes, sir, that stupid alcoholic bastard literally seized control of our Criminal Justice System and filled our brains with Fear for half the decade. Even President Eisenhower was afraid of him, afraid of merely being accused of being involved in some evil Communist Conspiracy to destroy the whole U.S. government and even our "American way of life."

Does that sound vaguely familiar? Sort of like our current "War on Terrorism" or our hopelessly stupid and incompetent "National Security Emergency"? Yeah, without a doubt it does, and that worries me.

Another thing that worries me, Hef, is that ours will almost certainly be the first generation in the history of our country to turn America over to our sons and daughters in a far worse condition than when it was turned over to us. Horrible, eh? But it is true, and I spend a lot of time brooding on it, and sometimes even feeling ashamed.

How about you? Are you feeling responsible for our stark naked failure of a nation? I have already figured out my own answer to that question, and it is: No, we are not. Remember that the American Century ended on New Year's Eve of 1999, when most of the Population was half-mad with fear and widespread panic over the vaguest of rumors about a gigantic Power Failure that would black out at least 80 percent of the country at the exact moment of midnight, leaving us all completely blind and freezing with no water coming out of our pipes and no heat in the furnace.

Yes, sir, it was going to be the end of the world. Half of the people with all the guns, and the other half has all the money—but they can't get their hands on it because all the vaults are frozen shut because all the combination locks depend on electrical circuits, and they are short-circuited until further notice. Ho ho. I remember the senseless panic and fear and dread that was probably started by Enron and WorldCom and spread by the FBI and the Pentagon and the manufacturers of huge home electrical generators.

Many of my normally smart friends and neighbors were buying gasoline-powered electric power plants that were hideously expensive and profoundly dangerous to install and operate. Hell, I almost bought one myself, but I was too embarrassed to come out and admit in public that I was such a rube. In the end, however, I decided to take my chances and travel to Cuba for Xmas, where I stayed at the Hotel Nacional overlooking the sea and the Malecon and just ignored the goddamn thing—and I have never regretted it.

I had a long and honorable history with Richard Nixon. It was clearly antagonistic and occasionally savage on both sides of the ball—but it never, never got so brutal that it made me think about running for president of the USA. That was out of the question. It is a far, far better thing, I figured, just to run him out of the White House for reasons of his built-in anal-compulsive, genetically criminal personality traits. Why go to all the trouble and angst of actually running against him, when it is a lot more functional and permanent simply to put him on trial in that most public of arenas, the court of public opinion, and let nature take its course?

That was 30 years ago, and things have changed since then. For one, it is no longer possible to formally run for president unless you have at least $1 billion in "sinister political contributions" to grease the wheels of your "campaign." That is what it takes to get elected or—especially—reelected in this bright new century.

Think of it this way: There are a lot of people in this country who could lay their hands on a billion dollars today. Hell, Don Johnson drives around Europe with $8 billion in the trunk, bubba. But not one of them will be inclined to vote for you or anyone like you, because you are not the corrupt little monster who currently lives in the White House. You are obviously not on their side, and you have nothing to offer them.

Remembering Nixon now is like remembering the Age of Aquarius—free love and tie-dyed T-shirts. Ho ho. No more of that bullshit. Things are different, things have changed. We live in a new millennium.

Yes, sir. Hot damn! It's about time we woke up and got rid of that crude, old-timey Corruption that has ruined our lives and caused our children's brains to rot.

This is the worst political nightmare to erupt in this country that I have ever seen. If every Deadhead had voted for president in 2000, we would have a different country today. Maybe better, maybe worse, but definitely not the inconceivable disaster we have now. No money, no highways, no railroads, no airlines, no schools, no bridges and no hope for anything better. That is the No-Fun Club.

Go down with the ship, sucker. You are now a dues-paying member of the No-Fun Club, and your life is getting worse every day. Hell, if I were 22 years old in this country today I'd be wearing earphones too. No news is good news.

But wait! Don't touch that dial. I have incredibly good news for You: This is your lucky day, numb-nuts, because there is a plan that will jerk You out of that horrible rut that you were plunged into by whores you can never know.

The only way out of the No-Fun Club is to have some serious fun. Go wild on a binge of some kind. Kick out the jams like a crazy animal. Get those shit-eating cobwebs out of your brain. Kick the shit out of people who are getting in your way. Whoop it up.

From my own experience, I'd have to say that the most fun I ever had with my clothes on was kicking Nixon out of the White House. The point is that running a criminal swine like George W. Bush out of Washington would be an adult dose of Fun.

I am a famously Patriotic American writer, and I am personally embarrassed by the fascist behavioral sink that these shit-eating greedheads from Texas have deliberately plunged us into. Those pigs deserve to be boiled in their own oil.

Whoops! What am I saying? Sorry. That outburst came out of nowhere. It just sort of popped out of me. Let's get back to Richard Nixon and all the evil eggs he laid in the White House: Rumsfeld… Cheney… Kissinger… Schlesinger… Admiral Poindexter. They were all in Nixon's inner circle. And then Reagan's. And then Old Man Bush's. And ye gods!… Now they are the closest advisors to Bush Junior. How long, O Lord, how long?

The second half of the American Century was almost entirely about the USA at War—continuous War. We were at war with the Chinese in what is now North Korea, and now, 50 years later, this nation is at War with many countries/nations/empires/religions/cults/gangs all over the world except a handful of poodles in England who will soon be gone. That much is certain. Tony Blair's flagrant obedience to the White House and the Pentagon is an embarrassment to the human race. His party is now a cluster of buttboys and warmongers who long ago sold England out to its onetime colony.

Ah, but so what? I am wandering back into politics, which we want to stay away from for as long as possible, and that is not very long in this country. We are a warlike nation that is obsessed with naked female breasts, and for that we thank you.

I feel like a charter member of the far-flung playboy mafia that has literally grown up with the magazine, part of the hard and elite corps of writers and editors and even beautifully naked women who made it happen and have kept it happening for more years than many of our current READERS have been alive. That is weird on its face for any magazine, and definitely for one that 50 years ago boldly published a stunning naked portrait of a Hollywood superstar in its first issue.

That was Big, very Big, in a culture and a country that believed in its own Puritan traditions and savagely punitive laws and nonforgiving way of life that had been handed down, decade after puritanical decade, from the insane cruelty and brutal superstition that spawned the infamous Salem witch trials, which formed the original basis of the same Criminal Justice System that governs us today.

We are a 227-year-old warrior nation that was born and bred on the same diet of social revenge and drastic punishment that have been the main pillars of all Christian churches since the beginning of time. This is dangerous nonsense to most people alive today, but it was decidedly not that way in 1953, when a shocking naked image of Marilyn Monroe was introduced to a profoundly uncertain American magazine audience, when the first Korean War was happening and when any naked woman in any Mainstream Magazine in this country was just about Impossible to expect or even conceive of without going to jail. It was out of the question. Nobody would dare to try to do a degenerate thing like that. On top of everything else, it was clearly against the law. Nobody could argue with that.

But you did, simply by printing the first issue of Playboy, defying every rule and tradition on the American political spectrum. Nobody was for Playboy, nobody supported it, nobody even expected it to publish a second issue, which remains one of the genuinely historic and singularly heroic accomplishments of the 20th century. Very few people thought it could possibly happen in this country, and even fewer dared to support it. Playboy was radical, bubba. It was way over the top, for sure, and it was just as surely doomed, because all the preachers said it was Wrong. Fuck those people. They were wrong. But their hearts will never change and neither will ours. So what? We are champions, and we can prove it.

Your friend,
Hunter

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read more: News, magazine, hugh hefner, hunter s thompson

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