Category Archives: words

Bibliokleptomaniacs Dig God… and Beatniks

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Bibliokleptomaniacs Dig God… and Beatniks

Bookworms are an interesting sort. Some compulsively hoard literary nuggets until their shelves sag and creak, yet never bother to actually read their collection. Others can barely tear themselves away from the freshly-vacuumed bookstore corner in which they devour the newest Malcolm Gladwell for fear that the trip home will forever interrupt their cozy date. There are bookworms with Kindles, and bookworms juggling the four paperbacks they’re reading at once. There are bookworms who get turned on by first editions, and bookworms keen on newer, abstract renditions. There are bookworms who follow the Tao of Oprah, and others who only listen to Deepak Chopra.

But perhaps the most intriguing bookworm of all is the bibliokleptomaniac, or what we like to call the kleptobrainiac. These people are book thieves, the nerdiest outlaws this side of Hogwarts. Fascinated? Appalled? Exposed? Find out what the most shoplifted books of modern times are after the jump.

In Margo Rabb’s recent New York Times essay, we learn that only 40 percent of books that are read are paid for, and only 28 percent are purchased new. What about the rest? They’re shared, lent, given away or stealthily taken by a customer with a case of the happy hands.

Depending on who you ask, the number one shoplifted book of modern times is either The Bible or The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. After these two, (and like these two) the top 10 list is male-penned. In fact, according to store owners surveyed by Rabb, the most-nicked books share two things: fiction as a genre and a male author.

1. The Bible

bible
In tough times, both religion and shoplifting spike in popularity.

2. The Virgin Suicides

vsuicides
A modern goth novel about suicide pacts. Another sign of the times? We hope not.

3. The works of Martin Amis

money
Dubbed “The New Unpleasantness” by the New York Times, English novelist Amis rails again the excesses of modern capitalism. A comfort read?

4. The works of Charles Bukowski

Notes of a Dirty Old Man
A “laureate of American lowlife” and prolific writer, Bukowski also knew how to stick it to the man.

5. The works of William S. Burroughs
naked_lunch.uk.calder.1964
A Harvard grad, heroin dealer, and seedy bar frequenter, Burroughs was still getting an allowance from his parents when he was in his forties.

6. The works of Raymond Carver
raymond carver
Oh, just another alcoholic genius with a knack for short stories. Sensing a trend here?

7. The works of Don DeLillo

libra delillo
Post-modern novelist who quit his fancy job at Ogilvy because he “just didn’t want to work anymore.”

8. The works of Jack Kerouac

on the road
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” – Jack Kerouac …Like paying for books, right?

9. Steal This Book

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Title says it all.

10. Travel guidebooks

travel-guide-books
The thieves seem to be directionally-challenged nomads.

Brooklyn store manager Zack Zook seems to think the reason for the apparent sexism exhibited by book thieves is just part of the bro-code. “It’s mostly younger men stealing the books,” he told Rabb, “They think it’s an existential rite of passage to steal their homeboy.”

Book theft is seen as the biggest form of sacrilege to some devout word-lovers (after burning/throwing them away, of course). Others, like the author from Boulder who got caught swiping his own book, feel entitled to the works. While we’ll never know how Kerouac would feel about someone shoving his book down their pants, we would like to know how you feel. Have you ever nabbed yourself a book? If not, which one tempts you?

SUM HIPPIE JOKES

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NBHY

Q: How can you tell a hippie has been at your house?

A: He’s still there.

Q: What did he say when you told him to leave?

A: Namaste.


Q: What’s the difference between a hippie chick and a joint?

A: The joint won’t make it all the way around the circle.


Q: How do you starve a hippie?

A: Hide his drug money under the soap.


Q: What did the Deadhead say when he ran out of weed?

A: Man, this music sucks!


Q: What do hippie chicks and hockey players have in common?

A: They both shower and change pads after 3 periods.


So this guy got his dog really high. He tells the dog “Play dead.” And the dog says, “Nah man, play Floyd!”

Q: Why do hippies wave their arms around when they dance?

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A: To keep the music out of their eyes.

Q: Why didn’t the lifeguard save the hippie from drowning?

A: He was too far out!

Q:How do you hide money from a hippie?

Put it under the soap

Q: Why did so many hippies move to Oregon?

A: They heard there was no work there.

How do you get 20 hippies into a phone booth? Throw in a joint.
How do you get them out? Throw in a bar of soap.

KYg7ZG

TOM WAITS READS 2 BUKOWSKI POEMS

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tom1

https://youtu.be/bHOHi5ueo0A

 

The laughing heart (Tom Waits reads a Charles Bukowski poem)

buk1

https://youtu.be/W-vdPkESLZs

Tom Waits reads Nirvana by Charles Bukowski

#tom_waits#ana_christy#charles_bukowski#poetry#beatnikhiway.com#counterculture

COOL PEOPLE – Talk Like Frank Sinatra

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 frank 1

#Frank Sinatra Greatest Hits – Frank Sinatra Colletion

https://youtu.be/F-_wqPQl4Fs

Talk Like Frank Sinatra

July 17, 2015
Manly Skills
Talk Like Frank Sinatra
vintage Frank Sinatra

Old Blue Eyes. The Chairman of the Board. Frank Sinatra was the epitome of American male coolness. When he walked into any room, his confident swagger created an electric charge. Women wanted to be with him and men wanted to be him.

Part of Sinatra’s manly and cool presence came from the way he talked. See, Frank had a way of livening up every part of life, even the English language. He peppered casual conversations with phrases and words that to the uninitiated sounded like a bunch of gibberish. Yet it left people intrigued, and wanting to be part of the seemingly exclusive fraternity that used this secret lingo. It not only created a magnetic attraction, but simply sounded damn cool.

Below is a dictionary of the secret man language of Frank Sinatra. Throw a few of these words into your conversations among friends. You’ll probably get a few raised eyebrows but like Frank, you’ll add spark to even the most mundane interactions.
Bag — As in “my bag,” a person’s particular interest.
Barn burner — A very stylish, classy woman.
Beard — A male friend who acts as a “cover,” usually for extramarital affairs.
Beetle — A girl who dresses in flashy clothes.
Big-leaguer — A resourceful man who can handle any situation.
Bird — A euphemism sometimes used in reference to the pelvic section.
Bombsvillle — Any kind of failure in life.
Broad — Affectionate term for a girl or woman with sex appeal.
Bum — A person who is despised, most frequently linked to people in the media.
Bunter — A man who fails in almost everything he does, the opposite of gasser.
Charley — A general term for anyone whose name has been forgotten. See also Sam.
Chick — A young and invariably pretty girl.
Clam-bake — A party or get-together.
Clyde — A word used to cover a multitude of personal observations: viz, “I don’t like her clyde,” means, “I don’t like her voice,” etc.
Cool — A term of admiration for a person or place. An alternative word meaning the same thing is crazy.
Creep — A man who is disliked for any reason whatsoever.
Crumb — Someone for whom it is impossible to show respect.
Dame — A generally derogatory term for a probably unattractive woman. The word dog is also sometimes substituted.
Dig — A term of appreciation for a person or thing, as in “I dig her.”
Dying — As in, “I’m dying,” which means, “I’m slightly upset.”
End — A word to signify that someone or something is the very best.
Endsville — A term to express total failure, and similar to bombsville. See ville.
Fink — A man who cannot be relied upon, whose loyalties are suspect.
First base — The start of something, usually applied in terms of failure when someone has failed to reach it.
Fracture — As in, “That fractures me,” meaning, “That’s an amusing joke.”
Gas — A great situation as in, “The day was a gas.”
Gasoline — A term for alcohol, more specifically, Frank’s favorite drink, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky.
Gasser — A man or woman highly admired, considered to be the best or, “The End!”
Gofer — Someone who does menial jobs or runs errands, as in, “go for drinks,” etc.
Good night all — A term of invective to change the subject of conversation.
Groove — As in “in the groove,” a term of admiration or approval.
Harvey — A man or woman who acts in a stupid or naive fashion; sometimes shortened to a “Harve.”
Hacked — A word used to describe someone who is angry, as in, “He’s hacked off.”
Hello! — A cry of surprise to no one in particular when a beautiful woman is seen.
Hunker — A jack-of-all-trades rather like the gofer.
Jokes — A term used to describe an actor’s lines in a film script.
Let’s lose Charley — A term used among intimates who want to get rid of a bore in their company.
Locked-up — As in “all locked-up,” a term for a forthcoming date or engagement, private or public.
Loser — Anyone who has made a mess of their life, drinks too much, makes enemies, etc.
Mish-mash — Similar to loser but refers specifically to a woman who is mixed up.
Mouse — Usually a small, very feminine girl who invites being cuddled.
Nowhere — A term of failure, usually applied to a person, viz, “He’s nowhere.”
Odds — Used in connection with important decisions, as in, “The odds aren’t right,” meaning not to go somewhere, accept anything, or buy something.
Original loser — A man or woman without talent; sometimes more fully expressed as, “He (she) is the original Major Bowes Amateur Hour loser.”
Platinum — Having a big heart, generous. “You’re platinum, pussycat!”
Player — Term for a man who is a gambler by nature, who makes friends easily, and never gives up trying.
Punks — Any undesirable person, in particular mobsters, gangsters, or criminals.
Quin — Derisive term for any girl or woman who is an easy pick-up.
Rain — As in, “I think it’s going to rain,” indicating that it is time to leave a dull gathering or party.
Ring-a-ding — A term of approval for a beautiful girl, viz, “What a ring-a-ding broad!”
Sam — Used in the same way as Charley for a person whose name has been forgotten, most often applied to females.
Scam — To cheat at gambling, as in, “Hey, what’s the scam?”
Scramsville — To run off.
Sharp — A person who dresses well and with style.
Smashed — A word used to describe someone who is drunk. On occasions it has been replaced with “pissed.”
Square — A person of limited character, not unlike a Harvey.
Swing — To hang out and drink, smoke, sing, generally get real loose.
Tomato — As in “a ripe tomato,” a woman ready for seduction or even marriage.
Twirl — A girl who loves dancing. An alternative word with the same meaning is a “Twist.”
Ville — A suffix used to indicate changes in any given situation. See endsville, etc.
Wow-ee wow wow — An expression of glee, joyful anticipation, and a euphemism for lubricious fun.
Music Suggestions

Need some more help capturing that Sinatra swagger? Listen to some tunes from Old Blue Eyes.

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My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra
The Very Best of #Frank Sinatra


Sources
The Frank Sinatra Scrapbook: His Life and Times in Words and Pictures

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The 10 greatest Stephen King horror novels according to Goodreads

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The 10 greatest Stephen King horror novels according to Goodreads

Although dismissed by critics for much of his career—one New York Times review called him “a writer of fairly engaging and preposterous claptrap” — Stephen King is by any measure one of the greatest horror writers of all time. The author of fifty novels, nearly two hundred short stories and nine collections of short fiction, he is as productive as he is versatile. With so much fiction to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

Happily, help is at hand thanks to the online book community Goodreads. As of July this book lovers’ heaven had an incredible 20 million members, the vast majority of whom spend huge amounts of time reading and reviewing. One author who understandably gets lots of attention is Stephen King. Here’s his ten greatest horror hits according to the Goodreads five star rating system.

1.  The Stand – score: 4.3

The Stand might not be the first novel you think of when you contemplate horror, but this post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy, an expansion of King’s earlier short story “Night Surf”, is Goodreads’s top choice. First published in 1978 and later re-released in 1990 as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition, it’s a genuine King masterpiece.

Goodreads top review says: “You know what’s really scary? Getting sick while you’re reading the first part of The Stand. Just try running a fever, going through a box of tissues and guzzling the better part of a bottle of Theraflu while Stephen King describes the grisly deaths of almost everyone on Earth from a superflu. On top of feeling like crap, you’ll be terrified. Bonus!”

2. It – score: 4.06

Published in 1986, It is a horror novel in every sense of the word. Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again. The novel is famed for starring one of the scariest clowns in literature.

Goodreads top review says: “This is a brilliant novel, beautifully told in crisp, clear prose, with truly unforgettable characters and situations. It is the essence of good fiction; the truth inside the lie. King knows his way around the corners; and has that undefinable look in the eye, the dreamy look of a child.”

3. The Shining – score: 4.03

This 1977 classic follows Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic and writer, and his family, through a terrifying winter as they care for a deserted Colorado hotel whose history is anything but bucolic. The title was apparently inspired by the John Lennon song “Instant Karma!”, which contained the line “We all shine on…” Originally conceived as a five-act tragedy play, the story evolved into a five-act novel that also included many of King’s own personal demons. In 1980, Stanley Kubrick’s film version became an instant cult classic.

Goodreads top review says : “While reading “The Shining,” I revisited my kid fears– as if walking through a bell-bottomed-shaped portal into the shag carpet of the seventies. King evoked my vulnerability and reminded me of what it felt like to be a powerless child in a universe where everybody is stronger and more experienced than I.”

4. Misery – score. 3.99

Published in 1988, the novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. After an automobile accident, Paul meets his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes. His nurse-and captor, she wants Paul to write his greatest work just for her, and she will do whatever it takes to make this happen. Of the inspiration behind Annie, King once said, “There was never any question. Annie was my drug problem, and she was my number-one fan. God, she never wanted to leave.”

Goodreads top review says: “I first read Misery when I was seventeen years old. I started it about eight o’clock that evening, and finished it about four in the morning. Heart pounding, bleary eyed and afraid to open my closet door lest Annie Wilkes was waiting there for me with an axe or chainsaw raised over her head.”

5. Salem’s Lot – score. 3.91

Published in 1975, Salem’s Lot follows a writer named Ben Mears as he returns to the town where he lived as a boy, Jerusalem’s Lot, or ‘Salem’s Lot for short. To his dismay he discovers that the residents are all becoming vampires. The title King originally chose for the book was Second Coming, but he later decided on Jerusalem’s Lot, because his wife, novelist Tabitha King, thought the original title sounded too much like a “bad sex story”. In 1987 he told Phil Konstantin in The Highway Patrolman magazine: “In a way it is my favorite story, mostly because of what it says about small towns. They are kind of a dying organism right now. The story seems sort of down home to me. I have a special cold spot in my heart for it!”

Goodreads top review says: “Vampire stories have been around for a long time – But leave it to Stephen King to turn the terror up a notch, add a whole new layer to it. How? In addition to showing us the monsters of the night, he also brings into the picture the monsters and the darkness that are already with us, that live in the deep dark recesses of everyone’s soul.”

6. Duma Key – score. 3.87

The newest book on the list, Duma Key was published in 2008 and reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. In the book, a construction site accident takes Edgar Freemantle’s right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him enraged as he begins his rehabilitation in a beach house on Duma Key in Florida.

Goodreads top review says: “Duma Key is not just a novel for the fans, but a cathartic response from King over his near-death accident in 1999; no doubt he relived his agonizing recovery while writing about Freemantle, and yet it is because of this firsthand experience, that Duma Key feels much more personal and empathetic.”

7. The Dead Zone – score. 3.83

Dedicated to his son Owen, the Dead Zone features Johnny Smith, a young boy who  is injured in an accident and enters a coma for nearly five years. When he emerges, he can see horrifying secrets but cannot identify all the details in his “dead zone”, an area of his brain that suffered permanent damage as the result of his accident.

Goodreads review says: “I have been really surprised, especially as I read The Dead Zone, this isn’t more of a popular read, especially with King readers. Johnny Smith’s character and his ability were done very well. I really liked all of the characters, especially Johnny and his parents.”

8. Carrie – score 3.82

King’s first published novel, released in 1974,  it revolves around “Carrie N. White”, a shy high school girl who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tease her, causing one of the worst disasters in American history in the process. It is one of the most frequently banned books in US schools.

Goodreads review says: “This is one of those books where you’re just like, dude, how did you even come up with these thoughts? I mean, I think we take it all for granted now but honestly, this book is amazing. This novel was insane and fearless and obviously written by someone who had this story in him that needed to gush out like Carrie’s menstrual blood and crazy telekinetic angst. This is one of the books I think of when I get depressed about the idea of workshopped writing and the internal observing critic and all the rest of that limiting quality-control type stuff.”

9. Bag of Bones – score 3.79

Bag of Bones, published in 1998, focuses on an author who suffers severe writer’s block and delusions at an isolated lake house four years after the death of his wife. It’s a tale of grief and lost love’s enduring bonds, which went on to win the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.

Goodreads top review says “Don’t get me wrong, I love IT and The Stand and the Gunslinger septulogy, all the crazy outlandish horror and fantasy that is SK’s bread and butter. But I adore Bag of Bones and think it is one of his absolute best. It’s very intimate, very down to earth, with the supernatural downplayed.”

10. Pet Sematary – score – 3.77

Released in 1983, it was later made into a film of the same name. The original idea came in 1978 when King was teaching at the University of Maine at Orono, and his family rented a house on a busy road in Orrington. The road claimed the lives of a number of pets, and the neighborhood children created a pet cemetery in a field near the Kings’ home. King wrote the novel based on their experiences, but feeling he had gone too far with the subject matter of the book, it became the first novel he “put away”.

Goodreads top review says “The painful, hard thing about Stephen King’s writing is that so often, he takes something real, something that people can experience in the real world, and builds the supernatural stuff onto that. In The Shining, there’s Jack’s alcoholism; in The Talisman, there’s Jack/Jason’s mother’s cancer; The Stand plays on our fears of something, somewhere, in one of those labs, getting out of control; in Pet Sematary, it’s the death of a child. So much of the book is completely real and believable.”

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Dear Coach: Jack Kerouac to Timothy Leary

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Dear Coach: Jack Kerouac to Timothy Leary

The following missives decribe Kerouac’s reaction to the magic mushroom extract, taken the day President Kennedy was inaugurated. The first, a postcard, is in the form of a brief poem, and there then followed a letter more descriptive of the experience.

Dear Leery

By God you were Right
  Why did Donlin send you 
              Or was it Newman?
                Joy the 23rd Loves you I guess
                      I mean if He knew you
                         Not that He is spellt with 
                                 Capital Letters
                                             Like in Blake
                                             
                         But bless you   (later)
                         Jack Kerouac
                         
“Dear Tim (coach)
I wrote yo stupid drunken letter, I mean postcard, addressed to Harvard Psychology Dept. which you may get. But Allen reminds me you want notes on my reaction to Sacred Mushroomsextract. Why not I make it in the form of a letter, here and now, without planning, and you can extract what you need for your article and researches. (Allen also suggested I send you my notes on Mescaline but I only have one copy now, will type it later for you, but in any case Mescaline is not the same as mushrooms, as you know)You say that Montezuma was high on sacred mushrooms andtherefore did not resist Cortez but I don’t think that wasthe whole story, because under mushrooms I felt myself more in the mood for self-defense than I am usually (because of a vow of kindness in the spirit of Buddhism made soberly years ago,and also old teachings of sacred young brother who died in 1926). No, in fact on mushrooms I feltqutie strong, quite angry in fact at the atheists for fighting Christianity (communism so-called vs. capitalism so-called, it says in the paper, but it’s really atheism vs. gnosticism.) (right?)Mainly I felt like a floating Kahn on a magic carpet with my interesting lieutenants and gods… some ancient feeling about old geheuls in the grass, and temples, exactly also like the sensation I got drunk on pulque floating in the Xochimilco gardens on barges laden with flowers and singers… some old Golden Age dream of man, very nice. But that is the element of hallucination in this acid called mushrooms (Amanita?) The bad physical side-effects involved (for me) stiffening of elbow and knee joints, a swelling of the eyelid, shortness of breath or rather anxiety about breathing itself. No heart palpitations like in mescaline, however. I felt that Donlin was asking for too many ‘fives’ all the time (in the trade they’d say he has an oil-burning habit, or is a “hog”)—But under the sympathetic influence of the drug or whatever it is called I kept agreeing with all his demands. In that sense there’s a lot of brainwash implicit in SM’s. So I do think we took too much. Yet there were no evil side effects.In fact I came home and had the first serious long talk with my mother, for 3 days and 3 nights (not consecutive) but we sat talking about everything yet went about the routine of washing, sleeping, eating, cleaning up the yard and house, and returning to long talk chairs at proper time. That was great. I learned I loved her more than I thought. The mushroom high carried on for exactly till wednesday Jan. 18th (and remember I first chewed the first pills Friday night the 13th). I kept it alive by drinking Christian Brothers port on the rocks. Suddenly on Friday the 20th (day of Inauguration) it started all up again, on port, but very mushroomy, and that was a swinging day, yakking in bars, bookstores, homes around northport (which I never do).

My report is endless, exactly. But here, remember what we were saying? “What? What did you say?” (to have a mumble repeated, the mumble being of excruciating importance.) And “Who are you?” “Are you sure?” “I’m not here.” — “What are we doing here?”— “Where are we?”—- “What’s going on?”—“Am I going to die?” — “No” — “I can’t see you, you’re a ghost” — “You’re the Holy Ghost” — “walking on water wasn’t built in a day” — “We’re just laying around here doing nothin” — “Even if I knew how to break your leg (utilizing Zen koan about Baso (T’ang master d. 788)) “even if I knew how to break your leg I wouldn’t do it?— besides you haven’t got a leg. Who said you had a leg? You? Who are you? I can’t see you? You’re not there! I don’t see nuttin! I hate you! Why? Because I love you!” “I love you anyway.”

We were at the extremest point of goofing on clouds watching the movie of existence. remember?)

Owing to the residue of Sacred Mushroom hallucination I woke up briefly the other quiet morning (Thursday 19th) feeling that everybody in my neighborhood was sleeping trustfully around me because they knew I was the Master of Trust in Heaven (for instance).

Everybody seemed innocent. Ladcadio became St. Innocent the Patriarch of Holy Russia. Donlin became the Paraclete, whom you waved over my head by an astounding show of physical strength (remember?) It was a defninite Satori. Full of psychic clairvoyance (but you must remember that this is not half as good as the peaceful ecstacy of simple Samadhi trance as I described that in Dharma Bums). When I yelled out the window at the three Porto Rican teenage boys walking in the snow “Avante Con Dios!” I had no idea where the word “avante” came from, Allen said it meant “forward with.” Clairvoyance there. I saw you, Leary, as a Jesuit Father. Donlin called you Doctor Leary. I saw Allen as Sariputra (the Indian saint). My old idea of St. Peter (about Peter Orlovsky) was strengthened. I saw Peter’s sister Marie as Ste. Catherine. Bob Kaufman as a Michoacan Indian chief. I saw Communists all around us (especially that Ben Rosenbluth, and others). Pearl became a Lotus of indescribable beauty sitting there in the form of a Buddha woman Bhikkushini. When someone mentioned people being electricity I said “Consolidated Coils.” Divine run-outs in my head, like when I went to pee I said to the toilet “It’s all your fault!” and could never leave the group without feeling that they were still with me (in the toilet.) Finally told my mother “C’est la Sainte Esprit” and she agreed. My old conviction that nothing ever happened was strengthened (ow). I felt like a silly agnel (angel) but now I know I’m only a mutterer in old paths, as before. I kept saying, however, to all kinds of people “What an interesting person you are!” and it was true. Finally I said “I think I’ll take a shit out the window” in desperation, it was impossible to go on in such ecstasy and excitement. Jokes were the Sacred Jokes of Heaven. The low dog of Dublin, Bob Donlin, was there by design, I’d say, to keep the good old Irish jokes going, otherwise we would all have been too serious, I say.

In sum, also, there is temporary addiction but no withdrawl symptoms whatever. The faculty of remembering names and what one has learned, is heightened so fantastically that we could develop the greatest scholars and scientists in the world with this stuff. (By the way, does Wm. Lederer the stuttering genius at Harvard, take it?) (He stutters with a method, most eerie). There’s no harm in Sacred Mushrooms if taken in moderation as a rule and much good will come of it. (For instance, I remembered historical details I’d completely forgotten before the mushrooms, and names names millions of names and categories and data.

well okay
Touch football sometime?
Jack

levity.com

Back to the Document Gallery

Hunter S. Thompson on Outlaws | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

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About That Time #Hunter S. Thompson Joined Hells Angels, For Journalism

Edgy animation memorializes Studs Terkel’s interview with the great Hunter S. Thompson.

Hunter S. Thompson on Outlaws | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

https://youtu.be/P3QoKqEHS8s

Few figures rank above Studs Terkel and Hunter S. Thompson in the pantheon of American journalism greats. So what, exactly, could be better than Terkel interviewing Thompson? Oh, that’s right: Terkel interviewing Thompson about his time studying the Hells Angels.

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Not to mention a wry cartoon animation of the interview from the PBS web series “Blank on Blank,” which debuted Tuesday. The old-school illustrations capture Thompson’s self-deprecating yet hardbitten tone, as he reveals details about his time with the Hells Angels, and lessons he learned from getting repeatedly “stomped.”

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Terkel conducted a radio interview with Thompson in 1967, as Thompson was poised to take off as a superstar of gonzo journalism. He had just written Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, a book that stemmed from a breakout article he’d contributed to The Nation magazine.

“Hunter Thompson, our guest, is a new kind of journalist,” Terkel said upon introducing him. “The journalist who is not detached […] in fact he was almost an honorary member, or a dishonored member of the the Oakland Hells Angels.”

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Thompson speaks sympathetically about the Hells Angels, without whitewashing their violent predilections. “I think the Angels came out of World War Two,” he posits to Terkel. “This whole kind of alienated, violent, subculture of people wandering around looking for either an opportunity, or if not an opportunity then vengeance for not getting an opportunity.”

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Though he ruefully recalls falling victim to “bylaw number 10 or 11 […] ‘When an Angel punches a non-Angel all other Angels will participate'” — apparently he once made the fatal mistake of giving a member a hard time for beating his wife — Thompson even sees himself in the frustrated bikers. He confesses to a tendency toward throwing “beer bottles into bar mirrors” and admits enjoying the visceral rush he found in speeding down the highway on a powerful motorcycle.

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Thompson only sped down the open road with the Hells Angels for around a year, but he told Terkel he learned about broader society during that time. “I wouldn’t just call Hells Angels in Oakland the only violent part of our society,” he said. “The Angels reflect not only the lower segments of the society but the higher, where violence takes a much more sophisticated and respectable form.”

He wasn’t just referring to easy marks, like political wheeler and dealer Lyndon B. Johnson, whom he named as having great Hells Angel potential. “I learned a lot about myself just writing about the Angels,” he admitted. “I was seeing a very ugly side of myself a lot of times.”

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In the mid-Sixties, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson spent about a year with the world’s most notorious biker gang to write the book Hell’s Angels, which came out in 1967. He spoke with radio broadcaster Studs Terkel that year for an interview that PBS has now animated whimsically for its Blank on Blank series.

“The Angels claim that they don’t look for trouble,” Thompson said in the interview. “They just try to live peaceful lives and be left alone, but on the other hand they go out and put themselves into situations deliberately and constantly that are either going to humiliate somebody else or cause them to avoid humiliation by fighting.”

But he went on to question their desire for peace, explaining that one of the gang’s bylaws stipulated that “when an Angel punches a non-Angel, all other Angels will participate.” He also said that he was on the receiving end of their wrath. “All during this stomping, I could see the guy who had originally teed off on me that just out of nowhere, with no warning, circling around with a rock [that] must have weighed about 20 pounds,” the journalist said. “I tried to keep my eyes on him because I didn’t want to have my skull fractured.”

Later in the interview, Thompson confided that, like the Angels’ claims, he was then trying to keep a peaceful existence – for his own safety. “I keep my mouth shut now,” he said. “I’ve turned into a professional coward.”

The year Hell’s Angels hit bookstore shelves, the first issue of Rolling Stone also came out. Thompson would go on to become one of the magazine’s most venerated contributors, penning “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and covering everything from the Nixon-McGovern presidential campaigns in 1972 to Bill Clinton 20 years later for the magazine. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005. An online archive of his Rolling Stone writing is available here.

Blank on Blank animates archival interviews with musicians, actors and other notable people. Recent installments have included Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Tupac Shakur and Jim Morrison.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/see-hunter-s-thompson-talk-hells-angels-in-newly-animated-interview-20150728#ixzz3hPHTeXzX
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