Archive for the ‘Hunter Thompson’ Category
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 1998). I saw this movie opening weekend just exactly as the good Doctor Gonzo would’ve liked me to: stoned out of my pretty little gourd. Too stoned, in fact, to realize that I was on a “date” and not a “seeing a movie together with my coworker occasion” until my date started talking about how much fun he was having on our date. I was noncomittal, highly platonic in all I said and did, and skedaddled straight home after the show.
I tried to go back again the following week with ancient friendoh Paolo and, though it had only been playing in our somewhat rural area for one week, Fear and Loathing had already been pulled from the screen. We saw The Truman Show instead, and, three quarters of the way through the film, someone began beating insistently on the other side of the rear exit door that faced the alley behind the theater. They were pretty violent and persistent — there were obvious kicks and muffled shouts — but finally went away.
However, the startling and dangerous impression the knocking and kicking left stayed with the crowd: when the movie ended, everyone sort of milled around instead of leaving the theater right away. No one openly said it, but I believe that none of us wanted to be the first out the door in case the knocker was still out there. He didn’t sound like someone who’d forgotten his jacket during the last show. But why, then, did not a single one of us get up and leave the theater before? Why did we all sit there during the knocking, just waiting with dread for whatever came next?
It was a weird and surreal experience, a reminder that by its very nature violence is an unpredictable eruption, and that in the face of such an eruption, many of us can only freeze with fear and indecision. We could not have looked more like sheep nervously peering out of their enclosure, on guard for a wolf. But what I’m saying is you can’t really ever guard against that, can you? It’s all bat country.
Ich bin mehr als einmal trunken gewesen, meine Leidenschaften waren nie weit vom Wahnsinn, und beides reut mich nicht: denn ich habe in meinem Maße begreifen lernen, wie man alle außerordentlichen Menschen, die etwas Großes, etwas Unmöglichscheinendes wirkten, von jeher für Trunkene und Wahnsinnige ausschreien musste.
giant picture via blogbroadway right here on the wordpress.
I have been more than once intoxicated, my passions have always bordered on extravagance: I am not ashamed to confess it; for I have learned, by my own experience, that all extraordinary men, who have accomplished great and astonishing actions, have ever been decried by the world as drunken or insane.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther.)
As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.
(Hunter S. Thompson)
But you did die, you can be rare as all git out but apparently no one is weird enough not to die, and you know I am not yet totally cool with how you decided to do it, but as Bukowski said, it is literally no one’s business but your own if you choose to go out on your own terms and I am attempting to accept that. It’s not something I can just *snap* and feel. I hope, as I do for everyone who dies this way, that you still felt just as strongly about your choice at the very moment that you passed on as you did when you originally engineered the passing and penned your explanatory note about football season, etc.
And I suppose any fan ought have expected nothing less.
R.I.P. and happy birthday.
Mixed-media self-portrait by Hunter S. Thompson, 1976.
Bin ich ein Gott? Mir wird so licht!
Am I a god? I see so clearly! / Light fills my mind!
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Act I, Scene 4, 439-40.)
The speaker of the first quote is Faust; the second speaker is Mephistopheles. I feel like both or either quote could be attributed to Hunter Thompson and no one would think that out of his ordinary style. I’ve been thinking a lot about him and the things his writing has always made me feel, I suppose it’s more acute than usual with his birthday coming up soon. R.I.P. is I guess all I can say.
“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile, and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together; not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely.”
(Hunter S. Thompson. Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time. New York: Summit Books, 1979.)
Doorway to “Values.” Get it.
“‘Happy,’ I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words like Love, that I never quite understood.
Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception—especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony.
I feel at home with these, because they’re scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest of a fool to use them with any confidence.”
(Hunter S. Thompson. The Rum Diary. London: Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1998.)
Set in San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Rum Diary is a semi-autobiographical but mainly fiction novel which the good doc wrote in the 60’s but did not publish until 1998, soon to be a major motion picture starring his good friend and somewhat of a mentee, Johnny Depp, who is probably excited as shit to get to do a project he believes in and not play Captain Jack Sparrow again. (Disney slipped a clause into his contract where they get to cut off his wife’s fingers if he doesn’t appear in their convoluted bullshit. Did You Know?)
Speaking of rum, I’m’a finish some housework, then grab a case of Diet Coke and scootch on down to C-town for some mandatory spirit-lifting, this-is-deep-shit, soul-plunging chitty chat time with Paolo and Miss D and this guy Sailor Jerry.
Last night we had pizza and busted out the Scrabble diamond anniversary edition I’d got Paolo for his birthday and I only beat him by ten points in the very last part of the game. This is completely unacceptable because I need to crush him and use his bones for jelly on a piece of toast I’ve made of bread baked from the dust of his finely-ground flesh.
We’re a little competitive.
It’s a rivalry that began in 1986, which makes it a needless game of oneupmanship old enough to vote, buy alcohol, and be in the second year of a postgraduate degree. Shit, maybe it's time to bury the hatchet. I'm sure it would make Miss D happy, although she says she has gotten used to our bickering. She just shakes her head at us, the poor girl.
We'll see. Don't take any wooden nickels, have a super-duper-neato Saturday, and I'll catch you guys on the flip!
A touch of HST with your plastic red, white, and blue pinwheels on the graves of the veterans we will never get back and a nice hot dog and sale on sheets at the Macy’s. Happy Memorial Day.May 30, 2010
Hunter S. Thompson as sketched by Robert Rodriguez.
This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
It is American to be thin, you know.
The kids are turned off from politics, they say. Most of ’em don’t even want to hear about it. All they want to do these days is lie around on waterbeds and smoke that goddamn marrywanna… yeah, and just between you and me Fred thats probably all for the best.
Maybe, but I think it’d be great if you turned back on, because things really will fall in to ever greater shit the more apathetic orphans there are who set themselves adrift from current events. People in the past and up to the present have made great sacrifices for a comfortable standard of living in America and I believe strongly that we owe it to them to return the favor in the smallest ways we can, which include love, thanks, support …
… and also, and I think most importantly, we can demonstrate our empathy and gratitude by casting our votes on pertinent legislation and for compassionate and logical politicians who do not pander to the middle but appreciate a balance in their policymaking. I can get as terribly discouraged as anyone by the state of this wicked modern world but I also don’t want to give up hoping that we can make peace on earth an actuality.
The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time-and the only real difference now … is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.
Let’s don’t let that happen? And let’s don’t let this day be about materialism and stuffing our faces? I was so excited today at the end of Mass when our closing song was “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” and what was even better, it was kidlet’s first time hearing the song — she fell in love with it and she’s been belting it out about the house all day as we prepare for a barbeque for church and neighborhood friends. What a great hope that gives me for the future.
Please do buck the trends of apathy and, conversely, overly-stringent, empty-rhetoric-loving, non-specifics-seeking bandwagon-jumping and instead make compassionate, well-informed voter choices. Let’s respect the veterans we remember with love today while doing our best to make sure we make fewer graves on which to place flags and flowers in the future.
All quotes come from Fear and Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72. (Serialized in Rolling Stone, 1972, and pub. by Straight Arrow Books, 1973). HST followed the campaign of George McGovern. He also commented presciently that to win the American presidency it seemed one had to be some kind of rock star these days (this is a criticism of the ever-growing circus of presidential campaigns and not of the present president, himself.)
Tonight I’m meeting up to set off soosh bombasticos for probably the last time in a bad long while with Jonohs Welchos, Esq., aka the MWP, aka Junior Quizboy. (He didn’t know about that last one.) I’m also returning the last of the books he loaned to me over the course of our friendship, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Mother Night.
I’m inexpressibly sad that he’s moving away and I didn’t make better use of my time with him, but I’m glad to have got to benefit from his centered-yet-unpredictable company and sound advice even for a short time. My brief association with Jonohs has taught me many valuable things.
The Gentlemen and I first met Jonohs when he stepped in for Ronald as the quizmaster one trivia night at the pub — calendar check — last April, specifically April 27, 2009. Man. So much in my life has changed since then, but I definitely would not change having gotten to know Jon and become friends. I’m really going to miss the prospect of seeing him weekly. I guess the final lesson I’ve learned from getting close to a new friend as a fully-formed adult is not to take people’s presence in my life for granted. Even though I had a great time with him and he constantly surprised me by showing me new things I didn’t already know about the area, or had never tried, I still wish I’d made more use of our time together.
On that note, I’m going to go make something out of this cloud of frizz I call hair, and scootch by the bank to deposit a check from subbing — I’m treating the Man With the Plan, if he will allow it (we’ll see), to some serious soosh bombasticos. Have to make the best of the last time I will be able to get the secret menu stuff!, and I plan to guzzle “crispy” beers the size of his new-job-seeking head. Catch you on the flip side!