In 1971, Hunter S Thompson looked back on his time in San Francisco in the mid-1960s in one wistful passage from his most famous specimen of gonzo journalism, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He recalled it as “the kind of peak that never comes again”. Sixties idealism came and went. In the midst of a hideous drug binge, Thompson stood at his hotel window in Sin City, faced west, and declared that “with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” The counter-culture was quickly absorbed back into the mainstream, bringing escapism devoid of conviction with it.
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