Feb 172011
Authors: Chadwick Bowman

Editor’s note. The following column has strong Hunter S. Thompson references. If you haven’t read “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” you may be lost initially.

Infamous Colorado writer and a prominent voice who tried to explain the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson often spoke of the American Dream and how the savage journey to the heart of it takes us through “bat country.”

Today, as students, we speak and act upon the same under-taking. In a toned down, less drug-infused fashion of course, but the premise is the same. There is something about being dragged through “bat country” while still trying to maintain some sense of what we set out to do in the first place.

With my own aspirations on my mind, I shared a Jäger with a friend, Sean Kennedy, at Old Chicago’s in Old Town. We talked about future endeavors and ambitions and the uncertainty that comes along with being our age.

Ironically, in this very same column space two weeks ago I was ranting and raving about the music scene in Old Town –– a scene bolstered by enjoyable venues, talented artists and people who seek them out.

Sean is the lead singer of a band referenced in that column space, Tickle Me Pink. One week ago, much to my dismay, the band decided to split, not due to a “prototypical” band member fall-out, but due to the pursuit of the American Dream.

Many of us young and vibrant hopefuls yearn for bigger and brighter days, epitomized by Tickle Me Pink. I can think of nothing more ambitious than rock star ambitions.

But the Jäger had me thinking, if I reflect back to the days of transformation when those dreams seem unattainable – a.k.a “bat country” – then think about how the unknown can lead to a thriving future. It almost seems worth it.

While living on the Big Island, I thought at one point I would never leave, destined to write fiction from the beach. But when you run out of money and are restless for mountains and snow, you leave.

Now, as hard as I try to understand our awkward little section of Fort Collins that is Old Town, I again feel I may never leave.

Sean and the band will perform their last show in Denver in March, and after that, each brash, tattooed member of TMP moves their separate ways. The last six-and-a-half years, the band has managed the highly documented peaks and valleys of the day-to-day grind that is the music industry –– “bat country.”

The rationalization is TMP is still young as are we, and we are still on Thompson’s savage journey to the heart of the American Dream.

I think Dr. Thompson would like Sean who wrote and sang “I can feel this strange life leading to a great life where everything begins, where everything makes sense.” –– “bat country.”

Editorial Editor Chadwick Bowman is a senior sociology and journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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