Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Book Reviews: From political histories to bad comics, to bad comics of political histories. And the occasional rant about fiction and writing.

Mimsy Review: Better Than Sex

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, June 17, 2001

Nobody sane goes to a national political convention unless they get paid for it, or get an offer they can’t refuse. I had both of these, but even then I said no.

“Confessions of a Political Junkie”. The world ain’t what it used to be, and before this thing is over, you’ll wish you weren’t either.

AuthorHunter S. Thompson
Length272 pages
Book Rating5

Welcome to the world of the personal fax. Thompson covers the whole election from his 500-channel satellite TV receive and his Canon 881-X Laser Color World-Scan fax machine, sending rambling letters to the candidates and the press, and occasionally receiving replies or just making them up. My favorite purportedly from Ed Turner (that’s “Ted Turner” to you and me):

The 90s will be the NO FUN DECADE--no booze, no smokes, no sunbathing, no breast ballooners, no breathing, no snide jokes, no racial epithets (that’s epitaph with a lisp), no breathing, no sex, greed is out and orangy-gooey is in, people staying at home with their families (sure to lead to more 10 pt type heads MAN SLAUGHTERS ENTIRE FAMILY OF EIGHT). It is up to us to find those in the underground who are keeping sin alive. It’s a big job and we can do it. Our first column--Mother Teresa Makes Puppy Chili.

Half of the faxes are headed up by the fourth amendment (“the right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, etc.”), and the other half by the line “Forget the shrimp, honey, I’m coming home with the crabs”.

And about Bill Clinton, the parable of the snake: “Lady, you knew I was a snake when you first picked me up.” Or perhaps that was a story for Bill, about the press?

The book begins with a quote from the only Burroughs book I’ve ever read, “The Soft Machine”: “Trace a line of goose pimples up the thin young arm. Slide the needle in...”.

And this, written in 1994, well before Monica Lewinsky: “There was angst in his Little Rock headquarters about the possibility that Gennifer Flowers might be just the tip of the iceberg. The Man from Hope was clearly a sex addict of some kind--and although his denials might work for a while, his staff knew they had a serious adulterer on their hands, and he was not about to go into re-hab.”

The subtitle is “Confessions of a Political Junkie”, and the majority of this book is the 1992 presidential race, Bill Clinton vs. George Bush vs. Ross Perot, the Gary Hart of the right. And, later, Clinton’s inability to capitalize on being elected president; the illegal alien controversies which ended up not being controversial at all, unfortunately for working mothers.

And finally, ending, with a flashback to Richard Nixon, who died in April 1994, because “no book about campaign junkies and politics addicts would be complete without including Richard Nixon.” And including the line, “Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly.”

If you’re a fan of Thompson’s political writings, you absolutely must have this book; the man is back in form.

Better Than Sex

Hunter S. Thompson

Recommendation: Purchase