Category Archives: writing

A Tribute to Hunter S. Thompson – God’s Own Outlaw Journalist

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I have recently had more than one occasion to quote from the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, a favorite writer from back in the day who is recently deceased from a lethal overdose of harsh reality.

I was just a sprout when I read Hell’s Angels, Thompson’s first major commercial success.  I found the writing extremely entertaining, the author’s skill with language uncanny.  I had no idea that he was just getting warmed up for what would become a phenomenal gale of journalistic and literary hyper-excellence the likes of which the world had never seen.  By the sheer power of his writing he lifted himself into a whole new category in which he remains the sole member.  We’ll not likely see another like him.

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The only other important thing to be said about FEAR & LOATHING at this time is that it was fun to write, and that’s rare—for me, at least, because I’ve always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it’s a bit like fucking —which is fun only for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling. Nothing is fun when you have to do it—over and over, again and again—or else you’ll be evicted, and that gets old. So it’s a rare goddamn trip for a locked-in, rent-paying writer to get into a gig that, even in retrospect, was a kinghell, highlife fucking from start to finish… and then to actually get paid for writing this kind of manic gibberish seems genuinely weird; like getting paid for kicking Agnew in the balls. So maybe there’s hope. Or maybe I’m going mad…. In a nation ruled 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…. The Swine are gearing down for a serious workout this time around…. So much, then, for The Road—and for the last possibilities of running amok in Las Vegas… Well, at least, I’ll know I was there, neck deep in the madness, before the deal went down, and I got so high and wild that I felt like a two-ton Manta ray jumping all the way across the Bay of Bengal.

“Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” THE GREAT SHARK HUNT (NY: Simon & Schuster 1979), pp 109-110

Though not a stereotypical hippie (or anything else), Hunter shared our outsider point of view and related to our alienation and disgust with society.  He found shelter, acceptance and friendship among the hippies and affirmation that he wasn’t the only one who saw the larger culture as hopelessly self-destructive and unsustainable, not to mention batshit insane.

The hippies, who had never really believed they were the wave of the future anyway, saw the election results as brutal confirmation of the futility of fighting the establishment on its own terms. There had to be a whole new scene, they said, and the only way to do it was to make the big move—either figuratively or literally—from Berkeley to the Haight-Ashbury, from pragmatism to mysticism, from politics to dope…. The thrust is no longer for ‘change’ or ‘progress’ or ‘revolution,’ but merely to escape, to live on the far perimeter of a world that might have been.

May 1967, “The Hashbury is the Capital of the Hippies,” from THE GREAT SHARK HUNT (NY: Simon & Schuster 1979), pp 392-394

Hunter was loved, admired and held in awe by the hippie community.  He loved us too.

“We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river.”

Hunter S. Thompson

People of my generation speak a lot about the 60s and there are damned good reasons – especially now when they seem so instructive for the current times.  Here’s Hunter’s take on it.

It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…. History is hard to know, because of all the hired bull, but even without being sure of ‘history’ it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened…. There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda…. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights — or very early mornings — when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turnoff to take when I got to the other end… but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: no doubt at all about that. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…. And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

“Genius Round the World Stands Hand in Hand….”, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Vintage, 1971), pp 66–68

At a time when I hated both politicians and politics Hunter turned me on to the necessity of paying close attention to the clowns in that arena.

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.”

Hunter S. Thompson

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Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 (1973)

If the current polls are reliable… Nixon will be re-elected by a huge majority of Americans who feel he is not only more honest and more trustworthy than George McGovern, but also more likely to end the war in Vietnam. The polls also indicate that Nixon will get a comfortable majority of the Youth Vote. And that he might carry all fifty states…. 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. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes… understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose…. Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?

“September,” from FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ’72 (Warner Books, 1973), pp 413–414

Hunter had a way of cutting straight to the heart of any matter and making complicated truths seem simple and plain.

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.

Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979)

For all the stir he caused Hunter was poorly understood by many.  He spent a lot of time explaining himself to those who lacked sufficient perspective to grok his genius.

Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist, you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.

Associated Press interview (2003)

But speaking of rules, you’ve been arrested dozens of times in your life. Specific incidents aside, what’s common to these run-ins? Where do you stand vis-à-vis the law?

“Goddammit. Yeah, I have. First, there’s a huge difference between being arrested and being guilty. Second, see, the law changes and I don’t. How I stand vis-à-vis the law at any given moment depends on the law. The law can change from state to state, from nation to nation, from city to city. I guess I have to go by a higher law. How’s that? Yeah, I consider myself a road man for the lords of karma.”

Salon interview (2003-02-03)

If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.

BankRate.com Interview (2004-11-01)

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Now before I post this next excerpt let me just say that I do not believe that everyone should emulate Doctor Gonzo’s example and go hog wild on drugs.  I do believe however that we need to stop the insanity of prohibition and the horrendous and counter-productive ‘war on drugs’ as experience has shown that people have always used drugs and always will of the type and in the quantities that they so see fit and the laws, social admonitions and real-world consequences be damned.  Education, harm reduction and compassionate care make sense, none of the rest of it does.  It is just hypocrisy.  That being said, I do not believe that even Hunter S. Thompson could consume the drugs in the dosages and quantities he speaks of in his writing (though I do know he was legendary in this respect and even witnessed it to some extent).  To explain that last parenthetical, I once met the great Hunter S. Thompson and spent the better part of 24 hours with him and another friend known as Doctor John – but that is a book in itself and very much a story for another time.

The fact remains, and should be born in mind, that Hunter, like many good writers, was given to embellishment and hyperbole – though with Hunter it’s hard to know just where to draw that line.  And it bears mentioning here that he was, of course, a mutant.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971)

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”

No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of high-speed driving all over Los Angeles County — from Topanga to Watts, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug-collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

HST – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

As hilarious as that is, Hunter was at his best when he wrote about American politics.  No other subject was better suited to his switchblade wit, laser-vision and extraterrestrial wisdom.

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Welcome to the Big Darkness (July, 2003)

When I went into the clinic last April 30, George Bush was about 50 points ahead of his closest Democratic opponent in next year’s Presidential Election. When I finally escaped from the horrible place, less than three weeks late, Bush’s job-approval ratings had been cut in half — and even down into single digits, in some states — and the Republican Party was panicked and on the run. It was a staggering reversal in a very short time, even shorter than it took for his equally crooked father to drop from 93 percent approval, down to as low as 43 percent and even 41 percent in the last doomed days of the first doomed Bush Administration. After that, he was Bill Clinton’s punching bag.

Richard Nixon could tell us a lot about peaking too early. He was a master of it, because it beat him every time. He never learned and neither did Bush the Elder.

But wow! This goofy child president we have on our hands now. He is demonstrably a fool and a failure, and this is only the summer of ’03. By the summer of 2004, he might not even be living in the White House. Gone, gone, like the snows of yesteryear.

The Rumsfield-Cheney axis has self-destructed right in front of our eyes, along with the once-proud Perle-Wolfowitz bund that is turning to wax. They somehow managed to blow it all, like a gang of kids on a looting spree, between January and July, or even less. It is genuinely incredible. The U.S. Treasury is empty, we are losing that stupid, fraudulent chickencrap War in Iraq, and every country in the world except a handful of Corrupt Brits despises us. We are losers, and that is the one unforgiveable sin in America.

HST – Welcome to the Big Darkness

The following quotes are from the last four or five years of Hunter’s life.  Many of them address matters that are still very much with us…sad to say.

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now— with somebody— and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

“Kingdom of Fear” (2001-09-12)

It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy…. We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows?

“Kingdom of Fear” (2001-09-12)

This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed—for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now.

“When War Drums Roll” (2001-09-17)

The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild party for rich kids, compared to what’s coming now. The party’s over, folks. . . [Censorship of the news] is a given in wartime, along with massive campaigns of deliberately-planted “Dis-information”. That is routine behavior in Wartime— for all countries and all combatants— and it makes life difficult for people who value real news.

“When War Drums Roll” (2001-09-17)

This blizzard of mind-warping war propaganda out of Washington is building up steam. Monday is Anthrax, Tuesday is Bankruptcy, Friday is Child-Rape, Thursday is Bomb-scares, etc., etc., etc…. If we believed all the brutal, frat-boy threats coming out of the White House, we would be dead before Sunday. It is pure and savage terrorism reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

“Domestic terrorism at the Super Bowl” (2002-02-11)

We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.

“Extreme behavior in Aspen” (2003-02-03)

It is hard to ignore the prima facie dumbness that got us bogged down in this nasty war in the first place. This is not going to be like Daddy’s War, old sport. He actually won, and he still got run out of the White House nine months later.. . The whole thing sucks. It was wrong from the start, and it is getting wronger by the hour.

“Love in a Time of War” (2003-03-31)

Three journalists have died in Baghdad…. American troops are killing journalists in a profoundly foreign country, under cover of a war being fought for savage, greed-crazed reasons that most of them couldn’t explain or even understand.

What the hell is going on here? How could this once-proud nation have changed so much, so drastically, in only a little more than two years. In what seems like the blink of an eye, this George Bush has brought us from a prosperous nation at peace to a broke nation at war.

“A Sad Week in America” (2003-03-10)

Why are we seeing George Bush on TV every two hours for nine or ten days at a time, like some kind of mutated Mr. Rogers clone? Something is dangerously wrong in any country where a monumentally-failed backwoods politician can scare our national TV networks so totally that they will give him anything he wants.

“The Bush League” (2003-09-09)

I have never had much faith in our embattled child President’s decision-making powers…. I know that is not what you want to hear/read at this time, especially if you happen to be serving in the doomsday mess that is currently the U.S. Army.
I take no pleasure in being Right in my dark predictions about the fate of our military intervention in the heart of the Muslim world. It is immensely depressing to me. Nobody likes to be betting against the Home team.

“Fast and Furious” (2003-10-14)

If we get chased out of Iraq with our tail between our legs, that will be the fifth consecutive Third-world country with no hint of a Navy or an Air Force to have whipped us in the past 40 years.

“Am I Turning Into a Pervert?” (2003-11-18)

This is no time for the “leader of the free world” to be falling asleep at massively-popular sporting events. . .Was [Bush] drunk? Does he fear the sight of an uncovered nipple? Was he lying? Does he believe in his heart that there are more evangelical Christians in this country than football fans and sex-crazed yoyos with unstable minds? Is he really as dumb as he looks and acts? These are all unsatisfactory questions at a time like this.
Is it possible that he has already abandoned all hope of getting re-elected? Or does he plan to cancel the Election altogether by declaring a national military emergency with terrorists closing in from all sides, leaving him with no choice but to launch a huge bomb immediately?. . . Desperate men do desperate things, and stupid men do stupid things. We are in for a desperately stupid summer.

“Bush’s Disturbing Sleeping Disorder” (2004-02-18)

The 2004 presidential election will be a matter of life or death for the whole nation. We are sick today, and we will be even sicker tomorrow if this wretched half-bright swine of a president gets re-elected in November.

“The Big Finale Was a Big Disappointment” (2004-04-06)

Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these Abu Ghraib photographs did.

“Let’s Go to the Olympics!” (2004-05-18)

These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line. Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport.

“Let’s Go to the Olympics!” (2004-05-18)

Today, the Panzer-like Bush machine controls all three branches of our federal government, the first time that has happened since Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. And that makes it just about impossible to mount any kind of Congressional investigation of a firmly-entrenched president like George Bush. The time has come to get deeply into football. It is the only thing we have left that ain’t fixed.

“The pain of losing” Hey Rube, HST’s ESPN column (2004-11-09)

And finally some random quotes.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.

The last train out of any station will not be full of nice guys.

Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.

Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of ”the rat race” is not yet final.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson, 1937 – 2005

Any words one adds to his seem pitiful, anemic and undernourished.  Suffice it to say we were blessed with a rare genius and he will be missed profoundly by a world no longer good enough, true enough, big enough, or bold enough to contain him.

HST-When-the-fun-stopped

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.

~ Hunter S. Thompson’s Suicide note, February 20, 2005

Goodbye brother.  Rest in peace.

Mahalo.

Res Ipsa Loquitur.

HST-Too-Rare-to-Die

‘Call Me Burroughs’ pins down the extreme life of William Burroughs

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BOOK REVIEW

‘Call Me Burroughs’ pins down the extreme life of William Burroughs

Barry Miles’ William Burroughs biography ‘Call Me Burroughs’ is an extensive, fascinating biography of the ‘Naked Lunch’ author, including the William Tell shooting death of his wife and his life as countercultural spokesman.

February 05, 2014|By Jim Ruland
  • Cover of the book "Call Me Burroughs" by Barry Miles.
Cover of the book “Call Me Burroughs” by Barry Miles. (Twelve )

William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch” stands with Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl” as the seminal texts of the Beat Generation. With its harrowing scenes of junkie depravity, its view of postwar America was the most extreme of all the Beats. Yet few American literary figures have enjoyed more second acts than Burroughs. He was spokesman for the countercultural movement in the ’70s, begrudgingly bore the label Godfather of Punk in the ’80s, and was a spoken-word performer and visual artist until his death in 1997.

Barry Miles’ new biography, “Call Me Burroughs,” begins with the invention of the adding machine in 1888, which brought fortune to the Burroughs family and provided young master Bill a sizable allowance that he enjoyed until he was 50. Nice work if you can get it.

Wealthy or not, the 20th century childhood of a sensitive gay man was rarely easy, but Burroughs was fortunate to have received his awakening early. Alert to their son’s sensitivities, his parents sent him to an experimental school in northern New Mexico where the great outdoors was as much a part of the curriculum as French, Latin and Greek.

It was an all-boys school with an all-male staff that provided Bill with plenty of opportunities to confirm what he already knew about his sexual orientation. Getting caught resulted in immediate expulsion. Some semesters more teachers than students were sent home. The school was shut down when the government bought the land to build the Los Alamos National Laboratory, birthplace of the atom bomb. “It seemed to me right, somehow,” Burroughs quipped

#william.s.burroughs#Call Me Burroughs#biography#bool#ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com

HOW TO BOIL A DOG-SHORT STORY, ANA CHRISTY

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AngryDog

HOW TO BOIL A DOG

Frieda and Walt were young honeymooners looking for a place to live and Levittown, Pa. “tract houses” built by the thousands, 1,733 to be exact, were up for grabs. Bill Levitt had a brilliant idea he would build the houses quickly and cramped together. His intention was not to sell to “blacks” so whites would prominently inhabit them. It was the nineteen fifties. Frieda and Walt liked the proximity of the other houses close together; plenty of neighbors to chit chat to and borrow a saw or a lawn mower when the occasion arrived.
They fell in love with the “Cape Cod” style house on Division Avenue. They hugged each other in front of the friendly realtor and put down $100 on the 17,440 home, with its two bedrooms, a washer under the stairs, and sunny windows. Walt thought the aluminum siding was the best thing ever; he’d never have to paint the house, and the tiny lawn would need little upkeep. They were thrilled as they stood with the realtor on the short driveway. “When can we move in?” Inquired Walt. His wife was walking around the house, watching the neighbors watch them. On her third time around, panting a little she stopped and asked the realtor for the key. They stepped inside the little foyer, viewed the living room and kitchen, and then climbed the narrow stairs to the two bedrooms. “This is perfect don’t you think Walt?” “What ever you decide “little wifey” as he was prone to call her. It was his way of showing his love for her.
“Good luck” said the realtor and shook their hands rapidly. He had eight more houses to show and badly needed a cup of coffee and a Dingdong.
That was then, and Frieda and Walt had been married now for forty years and knew all the neighbors. Their two grown sons lived on Oak Tree Lane with their wives and children. It was so very cozy. Frieda had just retired from The Avalon Diner, and was filling her empty hours decorating and doing crafts. She put up her waitress legs and rested them while she watched cable. It felt good to be finally off her feet. Walt, also retired from a foreman’s job at The Uniform Factory spent his days at auctions, and at his watering hole “Randy’s Road House.”
Frieda was up early scrambling eggs and bacon and toast. It was Walt’s favorite breakfast Frieda noticed Walt had put more jiggle on his stomach, and had been encouraging him to cut out some of the grease. “I just can’t give up breakfast.” He pleaded. “Give me less dinner, I’ll try my best.” He pecked her on the cheek and pinched her butt. He had learned pinching from the “Travel Channel.” Where he learned those Italians pinched women’s butts on a regular basses. She giggled and pushed him out of the door. “Enjoy the auction Walt.” She watched him drive off in his Gremlin, smoke coming out of his pipe through the window.
She saw Mrs. Burstein come out of her house, which was the same as hers. She had a big bag of birdseed, and was tilting it into her bird feeder. A squirrel was watching, smiling to it’s little gray self, waiting for her to go in. Then he climbed up the pole and tipped the seeds on the grass and ate them in his tiny hands. Frieda was chilly by the window and gathered her pink chenille robe around her tiny middle. Her breath fogged up the window.
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Her sons Barry and Mike lived on a nearby street with their wives. Jill who was Barry’s wife was a secretary to the mayor. She was proud of her position and the mayor was proud of her. Barry sold old used cars, mostly Chryslers and Fords, things were brisk at the car dealership, but he made a meager wage and was jealous of his wife’s status. He worked long hours with people he disliked and wouldn’t in a million years have them over for his famous barbeques. His wife Jill encouraged her husband to go to night school and learn a trade. She was worried about him. They had some savings and Barry intended to take her somewhere special for their twentieth anniversary. He was beside himself with the surprise. Barry had trouble keeping a secret, but he kept his trap shut. He wondered if Jill had heard him talk in his sleep. He had been dreaming about “the trip” romancing her, making love in a big old hotel. He called his brother Mike at the Five and Dime. He was the manager. “Mike it’s Barry I have a secret, a good one, I need to share it with you, it’s about our anniversary.” Mike listened intently while pressing his phone into his ear, making it sore and possibly red. “I have to get off the phone Barry I have a dozen customers in line.” He lied. He was jealous of Barry and Jill, they seemed so together, always holding hands and smooching with wet lips on their old plaid couch. It sometimes made him nauseous, because he didn’t have what they had, romance and seemingly a lot of sex. “I’ll talk to you later okay?” Mike was a together kind of guy. Handsome as Michael Angelo’s “David,” flirted with the women customers He had even had clandestine affairs at the “Hot Stop Motel.” His wife Betty seemed not to notice, but she did.
She did know especially when he came home late sweating and red in the face. “Where were you, I rang the store and they said you left hours ago?” “I had to stock the inventory and it’s boring and time consuming.” He held her tight and she smelled the newly applied “Old Spice” She backed off with an angry look on her tight lipped face. “I know you’ve been cheating on me, admit it Mike.” “What’s for dinner?” He asked. “Answer me Mike, right now!” “I have never cheated on you.” “Sure you haven’t.” She yelled. “We haven’t had sex in over a month, why is that Mike?” He sat at the kitchen table knowing full well she saw the ruddiness in his cheeks. “Again dearest one, what’s for dinner?” “Glazed ham, red potatoes and tapioca. After dinner he led her up the small staircase to the bedroom. He turned her on, and he had sex for the second time in the same day. Lying back satisfied Betty said, “I believe you Mike, you could never have sex twice in one day. She nuzzled up to him, and they fell asleep.
Frieda went into her kitchen to make more coffee, when her scrawny little chiwawa Scrappy rushed yapping into the kitchen. Frieda hated the tiny dog. Walt had bought it for her last birthday, thinking all women liked little dogs. Not Frieda, she despised it, but couldn’t find it in her heart to tell Walt. She couldn’t stand it’s yapping and running around. She took her coffee over to the Formica table when Scrappy the nasty piece of shit wove around her legs. She wobbled, spilling her coffee over the original orange linoleum. She took out the mop and wiped up the spilled coffee. The dog got excited and lapped up the spillage, making Frieda wobble and fall again.. “God Damn it!” She yelled at Scrappy. “I hate you, you little pest. She tried to get up but kept slipping on the floor she had just waxed to it’s shiniest. She lay splayed unable to move. She despised the little dog.
3
Walt with Aluminum tied to his car strode over to “Randy’s Road House.” He needed “refreshments” His mouth was dusty and his thinning hair was greasy. The auction was in a muddy field and the pick-up trucks flung the dry dirt around. He had been on his feet all day buying up all the Aluminum he could tie to his car. It would bring a good price from a builder. He entered the dark bar with its flickering “Bud” sign. His buddies were there with a space in the middle waiting for him. He plonked himself down between Arthur and Jack, his buddies from way back. Arthur had served in Vietnam alongside Walt and they had a million stories to tell between them, while the other patrons listened fervently. Jack a former Linebacker for The Philadelphia Eagles talked “sports” and would often get into heated arguments about the game. They talked guy talk, hauling junk, sports, and women, not their wives. There were a couple of “lookers” as they called them. They were on their forth beer and had downed shots of whiskey. Joking around making fun of their possessive wives, and rightly so, everything was up for grabs in a bar like that. Walt had never cheated on his wife but had had plenty of opportunity. Busty Pam seated her ample butt down next to them. Her boobs swelled over the polished oak bar. “Hi fellas.” She said. “Wanna dance?” “Yes” they all said. So Busty Pam eased herself off the barstool. “Come on guys let’s do it.” They took it as an invite to sex, but no, Busty Pam led all three guys to the center of the bar. Walt was pulled by his sweatshirt, Arthur was led by his tie, he always wore a tie, no matter how ugly. Jack was grabbed by her free hand, and her long pink nails. The Jukebox was playing George Jones. They danced in a wobbly circle, despite the heehaws of the other drinkers. Busty Betty was liking being a tease, and they liked her “amorousness.” “Hey Fellas, want to go round back? I could make you real happy, real happy!” They reluctantly declined, but it was awful nice of her, even though she wanted some dough for her efforts. Her boobs rubbed up and down the horny guys, making them want to rush back home to their innocent wives. Perhaps get a “Porking” in where hopefully  their wives were waiting home in bed, a good old “in and out.” They said their goodbyes. Jack grabbed Busty Pam’s breast. Then they left saying their goodbyes.
Walt was anxious to get home to dinner. He wondered what culinary plate Frieda would serve him. She would put down two placemats shiny cutlery, and two napkins. His stomach rumbled like an old tractor. Then he would “Do” her.
Frieda lay on the floor unable to get up, it was by then noon and she cursed the nasty little dog, it kept yapping around her barking, it’s high pitch trill antagonized her eardrums. Frieda tried and tried to get up, but she couldn’t. The dog in his yappy state lifted its leg and peed on her face. “I am going to fucking kill you yap dog.” Pain shot through her left leg making her unable to get up, let alone move. “If I had my cell phone I could call for help, I have to pee real bad. Maybe I’ll pee on you!” The agitated dog tore at Frieda’s polyester pants and ripped a hole exposing her thigh. “You are a real fuck, Scrappy. Wait till I get up, Bozo Dog!” “When did Walt say he was coming home? After the bar, of course—what else!” She was getting mad at Walt even though he had no part of her stuck on the floor. The dog circled her and ran across her stomach a few times. “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE.” She yelled. She looked at the kitchen clock, it was one of those fifties clocks that was metal, looking like a starburst.
3
It was three o’clock. What was she going to do? She yelled out to Mrs. Bernstein hoping she was still over by the bird feeder identifying the birds with her “All American Birds.” book. She imagined. The crazy old coot! Someone was knocking at the door. Frieda took a deep breath and screamed at the top of her soft-spoken voice. There was another knock. “Please, please someone hear me.” She pleaded.
Her son Barry worried if his mom was all right. She always answered the door. She was supposed to be watching her favorite Soap Opera. He reached above the door and got the spare key. He opened the door and went in. “Mom are you here?” “Barry I am so glad you came, I am in the kitchen. “Mom I have the brochures on Paris, I bought the tickets yesterday. Jill doesn’t know yet. Mom, are you okay? What are you doing in the kitchen? You always come to the door.” “Barry I am stuck on the floor, that damn dog tripped me up.” Barry rushed into the kitchen and saw his mother in such a state, spread out on the floor. Her legs going this way and that. “Mom are you hurt?’ Barry looked at her with great concern. He grabbed her under the arms and pulled her up. ‘What’s that smell, it’s God damn awful?” “The dog peed on my face, Barry. Can you believe that? I am going to put him to sleep come tomorrow, believe me, I will. I hate the bloody thing.” “Calm down Mom,” he said. Are you hurt?” “Just my hip, I think it’s bruised, not broken.” He looked at her with concern in his eyes. “Mom you could have broken something.” Barry stroked her hair, it was all mussed up, and her lipstick was smeared across her face. “Barry go home now, please. I have a meal to prepare before your dad comes home. I am making something experimental tonight, just for Walt. You and Jill should come for dinner tomorrow and tell us all about your trip. Jill will be thrilled. Tell your brother to come over too. We’ll make a celebration out of it. I will make you guys’ favorite roast , mashed potatoes, gravy and canned peas. Thanks, Barry for helping me up, I was so scared.” He held her tightly and whispered “sorry” in her ear. “Is tomorrow at seven good for you? Call Mike, don’t forget we’ll give you a proper send-off. Lucky you going to Paris and all. Now go call your brother about tomorrow. I have cooking to do.” Barry left, concerned about his mother.
The following day Frieda put on her flowery apron, ready for business. She took out her biggest pot and cut up chunks of carrots, turnips, and potatoes. Then she opened cans of beef stock and added a bay leaf. Grabbing Scrappy by his neck she carried him like that to the sink. He was wriggling like a live chicken. With the greatest of pleasure and with a grin on her face, she wrung the dog’s neck till its eyes popped out, more than they already did and rolled into the sink. He tried to bite her as his last nasty stance. His blood squirted out. But she had gotten the better of him: he was dead. She skinned it with her Ginzu knife; the fur and skin peeled away with little effort. It clunked down the garbage disposal, making a sucking noise. She gutted Scrappy. His intestines fell out like sticky tubes. Then she took the shit out of the dog’s rectum, holding her nose. Frieda stuffed him into the pan and pushed him down with her wooden spoon. She boiled him for forty-five minutes until he was fork tender, and then added the vegetables. She put the lid on tight and went to see the last part of her soap opera. Walt would back for dinner soon, smelling of beer. She rubbed her sore hip and smiled wickedly. She set the table, putting out steak knives, in case. Placed flowers and bottles of wine in the center, and folded the pink napkins into swans. The pungency of the cooked dog filled the house to a degree of nausea.
Frieda smoothed her hair and smiled, This would be the best supper ever.
#ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com#short_story#writer#how_to_boil_a_dog

Charles Bukowski – Poems Insults!

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Charles Bukowski – Poems Insults! – Live Reading City Lights

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https://youtu.be/61t-Smksvvc

#ana_christy#bukowski#writer#poet#beatnikhiway.com

 

Short documentary about Hunter S. Thompson in the 1980s

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Short documentary about Hunter S. Thompson in the 1980s

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Hunter S. Thompson: The Crazy Never Die- Restored

https://youtu.be/yq1QhZ-Ecaw

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“The Crazy Never Die” is a 30-minute, straight-to-video documentary from the late 1980s about Hunter S. Thompson in which we see the good Doctor on the loose at several speaking engagements, The Examiner newspaper, the infamous Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell Theater strip club where he was night manager, Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, and inside the old Survival Research Laboratories compound!

Survival Research Labs’ director Mark Pauline told me: “This happened in 1987 around our ‘Delusions of Expediency’ show. I just remember that he was really stoned, and we basically tried to keep him from injuring himself or anyone else at the shop.”

Josh Roush lovingly restored a VHS tape of the documentary.

Much more in Roush’s post here: “AntiCurrent Video Archives Vol 4: Hunter S. Thompson- The Crazy Never Die

vWBLqw

A Very Grand Thing

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Harry_Colebourne_and_Winnie.jpg

A Very Grand Thing

En route to a training camp in Quebec during World War I, Canadian army lieutenant Harry Colebourn bought a bear cub for $20 from a hunter in White River, Ontario.

He named her Winnipeg, after his hometown, and smuggled her to England, where “Winnie” became the mascot of his militia regiment.

Eventually he donated her to the London Zoo, where she became a great favorite of Christopher Robin Milne, the son of a local playwright.

You know the rest.

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Quotes That Will Give You Chills

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 Quotes That Will Give You Chills

Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

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Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

BraveNewWorld FirstEdition.jpgI don’t doubt that Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World is on many a disinfonaut’s list of top novels. Apparently it’s one of Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg’s favorites too and now he has the green light to turn it into a television series for Syfy, per the Hollywood Reporter:

The Emmy-winning team behind Syfy’s Taken is reuniting for another science fiction classic.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is adapting Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World as a scripted series for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Brave New World — ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library — is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries.” Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations,” until one of the “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.

First published in 1932, Brave New World will be adapted by writer Les Bohem, who penned Taken, which won the 2003 Emmy for best miniseries and racked up six other nominations…

[continues at the Hollywood Reporter]

Where Death Shaped the Beats

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Where Death Shaped the Beats

John Cohen/Getty Images

The Beat writers, from left, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg in 1959. More Photos »

  • THE scene of the crime, Riverside Park at the foot of West 115th Street, is in full spring bloom, carpeted in the butter-colored flowers of lesser celandine. It was here 68 years ago, on a slope descending to the moonlit Hudson River, that Lucien Carr, 19, the Beat Generation’s charismatic, callow swami, buried a knife in the heart of David Kammerer, 33, his besotted, dauntless hometown stalker.
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A map of the Columbia University area with key locations involved in David Kammerer’s death. More Photos »

Carr is often characterized as muse to the Beats, but he was more than that. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were acolytes, captivated by Carr’s profane rants about bourgeois culture and the path to transcendence through pure creative expression — his “New Vision,” after “A Vision” by Yeats.

Carr’s “honor slaying” of Kammerer, as The Daily News called it, served as an emotional fulcrum forthe group a decade before Kerouac, Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs published their seminal works; the violent death in their midst lent credibility to the tortured-soul narrative they yearned for.

Columbia University was critical to that narrative, and its Beaux-Arts campus is featured in a film now in production, “Kill Your Darlings,” starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg. The university stood as a kind of crucible for the Beats, who were emerging “like a wild seed in a city garden,” wrote the Beat historian Bill Morgan. Many of their haunts in Morningside Heights remain (all within a few blocks of the 116th Street subway station on Broadway), including the venerable dorms where they lived — Hartley and what is now Wallach. Any pilgrim’s archeological Beat tour, inspired by the movie or not, must begin with the university itself, a useful antagonist in the iconoclasts’ quest for artistic self-actualization.

“They all loved to feel they were sleeping in the camp of the enemy somehow,” said Ben Marcus, a novelist and associate professor at Columbia’s School of the Arts. “As much as universities should be cauldrons of creativity and breeding grounds for new creative activity, the Beats needed to feel that they were being stifled by forces at the university.”

They seemed to enjoy the idea, he added, “that these forces were straitjacketing them, whether it was true or not.”

“Kill Your Darlings,” from Killer Films, an independent production company, tells a version of the story that can also be found in “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks,” a roman à clef written in 1945 by Kerouac and Burroughs but unpublished until 2008. (The title was derived from an apocryphal story concerning a radio newscast about a zoo fire.) In addition to Mr. Radcliffe, shedding his Harry Potter guise to play Ginsberg, the film stars Michael C. Hall, the agreeable serial killer Dexter on Showtime, as Kammerer; Jack Huston, from HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” as Kerouac; and a relative unknown, Dane DeHaan, as Carr.

Kammerer’s pederastic interest in Carr began when Kammerer was Carr’s Boy Scout leader in St. Louis, where both came from privileged backgrounds, according to Mr. Morgan’s “I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.”

Carr was a boy Aphrodite. In “Hippos” Kerouac called the Carr character “the kind of boy literary fags write sonnets to, which start out, ‘O raven-haired Grecian lad….’ ”

Kammerer, a whiskered redhead, taught physical education and English at Washington University. In about 1940, when Carr was 15, his mother, Marion, discovered a cache of “desperate” letters from the older man, according to James Campbell’s “This Is the Beat Generation.” She sent him to boarding school in Chicago, but Kammerer trailed him there — and then to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Bowdoin College in Maine; and, finally, Columbia.

The Beats began to form during Carr’s first semester there. He and Ginsberg, a freshman from New Jersey, lived in an overflow dorm at the nearby Union Theological Seminary. At Christmastime in 1943, according to Mr. Campbell’s book, Ginsberg heard Brahms wafting from Carr’s room and knocked to find out who was listening to the music he loved. Ginsberg was smitten. In his journal, he called Carr his first love and “sweet vision.”

That winter Carr introduced Ginsberg to Kammerer and Burroughs, who had been schoolmates in St. Louis and were neighbors in Greenwich Village.

Kerouac, another Columbian, was ushered in a few months later when he met Carr at the West End, the saloon at 2911 Broadway, a 60-yard dash away from Columbia’s College Walk. (Kerouac initially found Carr to be pretentious and obnoxious, although he used a more vulgar description in “Vanity of Duluoz,” another of Kerouac’s gauzy autobiographical novels.)

By then Ginsberg and Carr were living at Lucien Carr  at 404 West 115th Street (now a parking lot). Kammerer was an occasional visitor, sometimes stealing in through the fire escape to watch Carr sleep, according to an often-repeated anecdote in Beat biographies, including Mr. Morgan’s “Beat Generation in New York: A Walking Tour of Jack Kerouac’s City.” Kerouac stayed with his girlfriend, Edie Parker, in Apartment 62 at 421 West 118th Street, a plaster-frosted walkup off Amsterdam Avenue.

In August 1944 Kerouac and Carr schemed a Merchant Marine adventure to France, where — in the midst of war — they had an irrational plan to retrace the Paris footsteps of the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud, whom Carr regarded as a doppelganger.

The plan fell apart on Aug. 13, when they got drunk and were late getting to their ship, and the men rued their broken dream that night at the West End (now called Havana Central at the West End). Kerouac left Carr at midnight and crossed paths on campus near St. Paul’s Chapel with Kammerer, Carr’s relentless birddog.

Kammerer asked his usual question: “Where’s Lucien?”

Kerouac sent him to the West End.

“And I watch him rush off to his death,” Kerouac wrote in “Duluoz.”

Kammerer and Carr left the bar at 3 a.m. New York was sweltering, and they toddled downhill to Riverside Park for cool air.

An account of the crime in The New York Times at the time explained that Kammerer made “an offensive proposal.” The article continued:

“Carr said that he rejected it indignantly and that a fight ensued. Carr, a slight youth, 5 feet 9 tall and weighing 140 pounds, was no match for the burly former physical education instructor, who was 6 feet tall and weighed about 185 pounds.”

“In desperation,” the account added, “Carr pulled out of his pocket his Boy Scout knife, a relic of his boyhood, and plunged the blade twice in rapid succession into Kammerer’s chest.”

Had Carr run to the police, he probably would have been hailed as a hero against a pervert. But he did something quite different.

He rolled the body to the river’s edge, bound the limbs with shoe laces, stuffed rocks in the pockets, and watched his longtime lurker sink.

Carr hurried to Greenwich Village and reported his deed to Burroughs, who advised him to tell the police he was the victim of a sex fiend. Instead Carr woke Kerouac, who recounted that eye-opener in “Duluoz”:

“Well,” Carr said, “I disposed of the old man last night.”

He didn’t seem nettled. As much as anything, Carr seemed satisfied, by all accounts, that he had finally done something noteworthy. The two men walked up West 118th Street to Morningside Park, where Carr buried Kammerer’s eyeglasses, which he had pocketed as evidence of his feat.

He and Kerouac traipsed about Manhattan, dropping the Boy Scout knife in a subway grate on 125th Street. They visited the Museum of Modern Art, a hot dog stand in Times Square and a cinema where they watched “The Four Feathers.”

Carr finally walked into the district attorney’s office and announced the killing. Prosecutors thought he was crazy — “the imaginings of an overstrained mind,” The Times wrote. Carr sat there reading Yeats, to the bewilderment of police officers and crime reporters.

The police were convinced only when Carr led them to the buried glasses the next day, at about the time Kammerer’s body bobbed up off West 108th Street.

A week after the killing Ginsberg wrote the poem “Hymn to the Virgin,” which hinted at a complex relationship. Written to Carr in Kammerer’s voice, it begins, “Thou who art afraid to have me, lest thou lose me.” (Two months after the death Ginsberg took an apartment at 627 West 115th Street, about a hundred paces from the death site.)

Carr pleaded guilty to manslaughter. A judge had mercy on “young, good-looking Lucien,” as The Times called him, and sent Carr to the Elmira Reformatory, not prison. (Burroughs and Kerouac were confined briefly as accessories. While he was jailed Kerouac was escorted by the police to his courthouse wedding with Parker, and the newlyweds later moved to another Morningside Heights Beat pad, at 419 West 115th Street.)

Carr returned to New York after 18 months away and joined United Press (later United Press International), beginning a 47-year career there. (He had three sons with his first wife, Francesca von Hartz, including the novelist Caleb Carr.) He remained close to Ginsberg and Kerouac, even as he tried to scrub himself from Beat history. He insisted that Ginsberg remove his name from the dedication of “Howl,” and the publication of “Hippos” waited until after Carr died in 2005.

An archive of letters and postcards to Carr at Columbia’s Butler Library shows that Kerouac and Ginsberg continued to solicit his approval long after they became famous writers — Ginsberg in intimate, lyrical letters and Kerouac in wisecracking postcards.

Yet in his journal (published in his “Book of Martyrdom and Artifice”) Ginsberg wrote of Carr: “He must prove that he is a genius. He cannot do so in creative labor — for he has not the patience, says he, nor the time, says he, nor the occasion, says he. None of these reasons is correct. He seems not to have the talent.”

Carr certainly was a talented editor. A 2003 history of United Press International called him “the soul of the news service.” He did not talk about his life among the Beats or his crime, and former colleagues say Carr would have been livid about “Kill Your Darlings.”

Joseph A. Gambardello, a longtime newspaper editor, was a protégé of Carr’s at U.P.I. in the mid-1970s, when the news service was based in the Daily News Building on East 42nd Street.

“When I met him he was a hard-drinking, hardworking journalist,” Mr. Gambardello said. “He did not come across as a pretentious jackass at all.” He added, “The person I had read about with Kerouac and Ginsberg didn’t exist anymore.”

Carr occasionally sent Mr. Gambardello to Louie’s East, an adjacent bar, to fetch a “Lou Carr Special” — a lot of vodka, a little Coke.

He had gotten over Rimbaud.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 11, 2012

An article on Friday about the 1944 killing of David Kammerer by the Beat Generation figure Lucien Carr misspelled the given name of Carr’s mother, who discovered “desperate” letters from Kammerer to her son, according to “This Is the Beat Generation” by James Campbell. She was Marion Gratz Carr, not Marian. And a correction in this space on Saturday misspelled the surname of one of the two authors of a screenplay, “Kill Your Darlings” that is based on the killing. He is John Krokidas, not Krokidis. (Austin Bunn is his co-writer.)

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 7, 2012

An article on Friday about the 1944 killing of David Kammerer by the Beat Generation figure Lucien Carr misidentified the source of a screenplay based on the killing. The screenplay, “Kill Your Darlings,” now in production, was written by John Krokidas and Austin Bunn. They did not adapt it from “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks,” a roman à clef written in 1945 by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs that tells a similar version of the killing.

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