I wrote this in my notebook after a month-long orgy of The Gonzo Papers. My apologies to people whose opinions on this subject are actually educated.
Hunter Thompson’s 1970s were characterized by the fact that the cohesive otherness of the 1960s’ counterculture was revealed under sober scrutiny to be without purpose or content.
The 70s became the era of trying to leverage the energies of the 60s for concrete social and cultural causes. The anger and resentment that characterized the decade were a natural result of realizing the futility of such leverage in the face of the non-practical and non-sustainable ideals of the hippies.
But after enough time, even this anger proved non-sustainable, and faced with repeated setbacks in the pursuit of their goals (Vietnam, sexual liberation, organic living) and the newly mobilized TV political machine, the sweaty intelligent rage of the 70s soured into the brooding, cynical twilight of the 80s.
The Less Than Zero aesthetic was now the only option for a counterculture whose fangs had been blunted by repeated impacts against a power structure too entrenched in greenback bunkers to be pried out.