Scattershot Notes

Contrary to my stated intention, @TAC actually has cut into Tory Anarchist blogging, at least a little bit. But then, this blog is more of a place for stray thoughts, so I don’t feel too shabby if I let it go for a few days. I don’t plan to let it go as long as I have sometimes done in the past, though. (Especially since I was a little intimidated — flattered, but intimidated — to see the Tory Anarchist quoted, at some length, in Bill Kauffman’s new book, Ain’t My America.)

Right now the stray thought on my mind is a theme: movement making. I have a post up at @TAC talking about the Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee movements, taking a few cues from Doug Wead. (And as an aside: while I identify Wead as an influential evangelical and former Bush I staffer, he also happens to have been the Arizona Republican congressional candidate whom Barry Goldwater famouly refused to endorse in 1992, was when BG was vociferously dissenting form the religious right’s influence on the Arizona party. BG endorsed Democrat Karan English instead.) I’m also at work on an article for the print magazine on post-campaign developments with the Ron Paul movement.

In my spare moments, I’ve been reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. The Thompson cult is too hip for my tastes — and many a young writer has been ruined trying to emulate the godfather of gonzo — but I’m enjoying the book a great deal. George McGovern is the hero of the book, and since McGovern is also one of the good guys in Kauffman’s book (which I’ll eventually be reviewing, the fact that I’m quoted therein notwithstanding) means that I suppose Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail counts as research. My Ron Paul campaign colleague Jonathan Bydlak was the one who recommended the book to me — a good call.


8 thoughts on “Scattershot Notes

  1. xenos April 4, 2008 / 7:32 am

    Everybody today compares Matt Taibbi to Thompson, and as much as Taibbi claims to hate that comparison (he grew up idolizing Mencken), I think it fits rather well. Check out his work (also as a political correspondent for Rolling Stone) if you haven’t already.

  2. dylan waco April 4, 2008 / 8:11 am

    Taibbi was a much more interesting writer, when he was a less transparent shill for the Democrats.

    Dan..will you guys be adding a comment function on the TAC blog?


  3. John W. Payne April 4, 2008 / 11:04 am

    Although I suppose I might count as a member of the HST cult–I have a t-shirt endorsing his run for sheriff for God’s sake–most of the people who belong to said cult probably haven’t read *Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail*. It’s too political and, over three and a half decades after the fact, abstruse for most people under 55. In fact, many of them probably haven’t read much Thompson at all; mostly they are vapid hippies that just know he was that writer guy who did tons of drugs, and that’s cool, know what I mean, bro?

    But you are spot on about writers ruining themselves by trying to emulate Thompson. I last tried that when I was 16, and I left it there where it belongs. Thompson was sui generis, trying to emulate his style will only lead to suffering. In my view, a writer shouldn’t consciously try to ape anyone but instead find their own voice.

  4. brooklyncopperhead April 4, 2008 / 2:19 pm

    I like Taibbi but he has a hugely inflated ego if he thinks he’s more Mencken than Thompson.

  5. Daniel McCarthy April 4, 2008 / 2:26 pm

    I think Taibbi’s former eXile colleague Mark Ames is the really talented one. I agree with Dylan: I liked Taibbi better a few years back. He’s several steps down from HST, let alone the Olympian Mencken.

    Interesting to hear that HST fans may not rank *Campaign Trail* so highly. It’s actually been the HST book that’s most often been commended to me, though considering my line of work that’s maybe not surprising.

    No plans for comments on @TAC. I’d like to add them, in the best of worlds, but the headaches might not be worth it, especially considering the trouble certain other right-of-center sites have been having with their comments lately.

  6. Scott Lahti April 4, 2008 / 3:13 pm

    Which River Cities of the center-right blogosphere have had “trouble” with a capital C for Comments lately? Could it be…

  7. xenos April 4, 2008 / 3:23 pm

    Wow, as a great admirer of Mencken I am confident I did not compare Taibbi to H.L. Mencken. I said he grew up idolizing Mencken. I was only trying to say that he doesn’t seem to worship HST or try to do things as HST would, as some people who write about him like to think. That’s all.

    And Taibbi a shill for the Democrats? That’s kind of funny. What shilling is he doing for them? Is calling them cowardly idiots a new kind of shilling?

  8. dylan waco April 5, 2008 / 3:10 am

    Taibbi calls the Democrats he openly cheerleads for them in spite of this. In a way he’s sort of the Ann Coulter of the Democrats. He can be witty and funny and highly critical, but he’s not straying from the plantation. Coulter had Mitt Romeny. Taibbi’s fallen hero was John Edwards and it was really, really obvious.


    I don’t blame you guys for not allowing comments. I’ll be reading anyhow. It has been great reading so far. Keep up the good work.


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