I've seen a charge of late about those who view themselves as liberal and/or environmentalists being "self loathers". And when chadk introduced the thread about the american dream, I paid special attention to see if this accusation reared it's ugly head - and of course, it did. I have chewed over this claim for quite a while. It interests me because I would consider myself guilty of being both a liberal and somewhat environmentally conscious. And while loathing may be a bit strong, I wondered if there might be some validity to this statement. For regardless of how one views over-consumption, if you have a family like I do, it's damn near impossible to not get caught up in the trappings of american-style materialism or, as Marx put it "the fetishism of commodities. But does that make you a hypocrite ala John Kerry who spoke of conservation but lives a lavish lifestlye? Would it be better for the psyche to simply give up the small and mostly insignificant things you do for the environment and join the guilt free smorgasbord of possessing everything under the sun that makes our quasi capitalistic system so superior? Then I read the following quote from Rolling Stone contributing editor Mikal Gilmore concerning one Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, and I immediately felt better about my alleged loathing: "However, the fear and loathing Thompson was writing about – a dread of both interior demons and the psychic landscape of the nation around him – wasn’t merely his own; he was also giving voice to the mind-set of a generation that had held high ideals and was now crashing hard against the walls of American reality. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was a requiem – crazed, angry and funny, and not at all pretty. “(What) is sane?” Thompson wrote near the story’s end. “Especially here ‘in our own country’ – in the doomstruck era of Nixon. We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the Sixties. Uppers are going out of style…All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy peace and understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours, too… a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody – or at least some force – is tending that light at the end of the tunnel…Whatever sells today is what ever fucks you up – whatever short-circuits your brain and grounds it out for the longest possible time.” Thompson’s fear and loathing was about disillusion – the feelings that gnawed at you after a dream that proved only a hallucination. It was also about the terror of losing that illusion and having no refuge." What do you guys think?