I started posting articles on the Disinfo website when I was still in college at UC Santa Cruz. I was the editor of the student satirical newspaper at the time and I was writing a lot of occulturally-themed stuff, so I began submitting the articles to Disinfo, and Alex Burns, the editor, graciously accepted them. The first was an interview with Grant Morrison that I had done, and I continued with interviews of other underground culture types - Daniel Johnston, Momus, Jim Carroll, etc. - as well as general articles about things I was interested in. I spun that into an internship which required me moving to New York, and later into a full-time job after I spent a year finishing school and gallivanting around the planet.
It seemed like a project that was just waiting to happen, and I knew if I didn't jump on it right away somebody else probably would. I wanted to express a movement that I was seeing bubbling up among my friends, in occult circles and in various forward-thinking corners of the Internet, which was this post-Chaos Magick impulse of "great, we've grown up in this culture saturated with the secrets of magic that have all been released and made public and are now available in every Borders - now how do we assemble some kind of meaningful lifestyle out of this, how do we actually implement this in a way that improves the quality of life on this planet and isn't just the same old bullshit or playing of dress-up?" So it's my hope with Generation Hex to expand and further that dialogue, and turn on some new people in the process, of course.
I received a few hundred submissions and am really proud to say that a lot of it was just excellent, stellar material and I'm sorry I can't print it all. Maybe if there's positive reaction to this book than there can be a second one. There have been some naysayers, but for the most part I've just had very positive reactions to the idea of this project, especially from some of the "names" associated with magic, which I am grateful for and honored by.
Hunter Thompson was a great writer who should be remembered as a moral voice, the kind of moral voice this country very seldom produces despite being the Land of the Pure and Pinchfaced. If the bandwagon starts up decrying his lifestyle or the way he ended it or saying things like "see what happens...." ignore 'em 'cause they're talking sh'it.
Thompson and other writers of his generation saw through the fiction that journalism was supposed to be "objective." People need to realize that objectivity wasn't coined by journalists trying to figure out what the best way to convey unbiased information was; it was invented by publishers (in the 1830s) who figured out that you move more papers if you take out left or right bias, because then you can sell to both sides. Objectivity is a fiction that we still play lip service to-and what do we get? We get tricked by it. We get Fox News and "Fair and Balanced."
New Journalism, and Thompson, saw the hypocrisy in that, and the hypocrisy in this country, and spoke out about it in the best way possible: by speaking from the depths of who one really is. More young people need to take a deeper look at that kind of writing and way of being in the world, especially in this current "Get Medieval" moment we're going through.