Larry King is going to spend tonight wondering who might have killed Jon-Benet Ramsey. I thought about doing the same. But then I realized that that is bullshit.

What does Katrina mean to you, one year on? Sticking with my mourning of Hunter S. Thompson, I’d say the following kind of sums up how I feel about Katrina. Or rather, it summarizes the enigmatic something that is missing from the American character than allowed New Orleans to drown.

There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die. Who knows? If there is in fact, a heaven and a hell, all we know for sure is that hell will be a visciously overcrowded version of Phoenix— a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everybody seems vaguely happy, except those who know in their hearts what is missing… And being driven slowly and quietly into the kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get….

* Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s (1988)

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