Bibliokleptomaniacs Dig God… and Beatniks


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

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

2. The Virgin Suicides

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

3. The works of Martin Amis

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
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

Title says it all.

10. Travel guidebooks

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?






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?

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.


HIWAY AMERICA-These coders used 13,000 old photos to make a Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s


These coders used 13,000 old photos to make a Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s

Above: OldSF.

Image Credit: Screenshot

If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to travel back in time and walk the streets of San Francisco, this might be the closest you’ll get.

Two developers, Dan Vanderkam and Raven Keller, had the brilliant idea to take all the old photographs from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collectionand put them on an interactive map. This map functions similarly to Google Street View, except when you zoom in on a particular place, it gives you photos from as far back as 1850.

The project, called OldSF, lets you manipulate a slider to change the range of years (it goes from 1850 all the way up to 2000). Vanderkam and Keller have geocoded about 13,000 images.

Visit the site here, or look below for some of the best photos we saw from the 1800s, marked with their locations in the city. (All photos via San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library.)

Point Lobos Avenue and 43rd, Dick’s Saloon, 1890


Central Park, 8th and Mission, circa 1887


Group of people overlooking the Cliff House from Sutro Heights, 1890


Bush Street, west of Kearny, 1877


Palm Avenue in Jefferson Square, 1881


View from City Hall, looking south down 8th at Central Park, 1896


Woodward’s Gardens, 1864


California Street, looking east from Montgomery, 1865


Exterior of the What Cheer House on the south side of Sacramento, below Montgomery, 1865


Building on northeast corner of Front and California, 1890


Baldwin Hotel bar, 1880


Steuart Street, 1864


J. C. Flood Mansion, California Street, 1886


St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, southeast corner of Sacramento Street and Van Ness, 1895


Sacramento and Van Ness, 1887


Woodward’s Gardens, 1874


Miss Lake’s School for Young Ladies, corner Sutter and Octavia, 1890


Howard Street, looking east from 6th, 1866


1919 California Street, 1887


Southern Pacific passenger depot, 1879


Cablecar at South Park, 1865


Fire Engine No. 13 at 1458 Valencia, 1884


Shotwell Street near 20th, Snowfall, 1887


The Willows, 18th & Valencia, 1864


Musicians performing outside the “Haunted Swing” at the Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park, 1894


This story originally appeared on Copyright 2016

The Beatles – All You Need Is Love 50th at Our Galleries – June 2 – 11.


The Beatles – All You Need Is Love 50th at Our Galleries – June 2 – 11.

Come see this show in our Soho, NYC and Sunset Marquis, West Hollywood galleries June 2 – 11. Admission is Free. All prints available for sale.

The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love” across the world and these beautiful never-before-seen images by David Magnus show their global satellite broadcast in 1967.
Here’s are a few more details of that day 50 years ago…
On June 25, 1967, performers representing 19 countries from around the world appeared on Our World, the first international television production broadcast by satellite. An estimated 400 million viewers watched the two-and-a-half hour program, which featured talent including Pablo Picasso and Maria Callas and was closed out by a performance of “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles. The photographer David Magnus, a friend of and regular collaborator with the band, was on hand to take pictures of the historic gig.
Watch some of this amazing time on YouTube

  • The Beatles, 1967
  • George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Brian Epstein, 1967
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • The Beatles and Cello Player, London, 1967
  • The Beatles with George Martin, 1967
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • George Harrison, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • Mick Jagger and John Lennon, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon  Contact Sheet, London, 1967
  • Paul McCartney, Triptych,  Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • The Beatles, Live Broadcast Contact Sheet, London, 1967
  • The Beatles, Triptych, Abbey Road Studios, 1967
  • The Beatles Tea Break, London, 1967
  • The Beatles Tea Time, London, 1967
  • George Harrison and John Lennon,  Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • John Lennon, London, 1967
  • Brian Epstein, George Martin, and Geoff Emmrick, 1967
  • Brian Epstein, Pattie Boyd and George Harrison, Abbey Road Studios, 1967
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1967


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


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.


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


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. Interview (2004-11-01)


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.


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.


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.


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.


Res Ipsa Loquitur.


Jerry Garcia Family Launches Online Visual Art Collection


Jerry Garcia Family Launches Online Visual Art Collection

March 02, 2017

Jerry Garcia’s family has announced the launch of a new online collection of visual art from the legendary Grateful Dead guitarist, offering up creations from throughout Garcia’s life alongside commentary from his daughter Trixie Garcia.

The Jerry Garcia Collection features both known work and some previously unseen art from the guitarist, who was an prolific visual artist along with his music career.

“I think it was just a way he was able to communicate with the world,” Trixie says in the introduction video, which can be seen below. “I always considered him kind of multilingual. He was fluent in all these different languages, and when words failed in one point, he had other options to express himself.”

Visit the gallery here and view some of the pieces below.

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Hunter S Thompson Discovered Evidence Of Explosives in WTC on 9/11




Hunter S Thompson Discovered Evidence Of Explosives in WTC on 9/11 Writer warned he’d be ‘suicided’ before mysterious death By: Jay Greenberg  |@NeonNettle on 4th February 2017 @ 11.55am © press Hunter S Thomson was writing about the 9/11 attacks when he died. American journalist and author, Hunter S. Thompson, was working on a story about the WTC collapse on 9/11 and had discovered evidence that the World Trade Center was brought down by explosives, and not planes, telling people that he would be ‘suicided’ right before his death.Speaking to an associate at the Toronto Globe on the night before he mysteriously died of a gunshot wound to the head in February 2005, he said that he had found “hard evidence” that the towers had been brought down by “explosives set off in the foundations” and that people were trying to stop him from publishing it.Thompson’s family had reported that he was happy before he died and that he hadn’t been depressed, suicidal, or in any sort of pain that would lead him to kill himself. Giant Solar Powered… Smartflower? Smartflower is a giant “sun flower” made of solar panels that generate energy for any home. Sponsored by Connatix According to the Toronto Globe: Hunter telephoned me on Feb. 19, the night before his death. He sounded scared. It wasn’t always easy to understand what he said, particularly over the phone, he mumbled, yet when there was something he really wanted you to understand, you did. He’d been working on a story about the World Trade Center attacks and had stumbled across what he felt was hard evidence showing the towers had been brought down not by the airplanes that flew into them but by explosive charges set off in their foundations. Now he thought someone was out to stop him publishing it: “They’re gonna make it look like suicide,” he said. “I know how these bastards think . . .” Prison Planet reports: Hunter S. Thompson … was indeed working on such a story.Now check out this February 25 Associated Press story about Thompson’s death. Sounds a lot like a professional hit with a silencer:”I was on the phone with him, he set the receiver down and he did it. I heard the clicking of the gun,” Anita Thompson told the Aspen Daily News in Friday’s editions.She said her husband had asked her to come home from a health club so they could work on his weekly ESPN column…Thompson said she heard a loud, muffled noise, but didn’t know what had happened. “I was waiting for him to get back on the phone,” she said.(Her account to Rocky Mountain News reporter Jeff Kass is slightly different: “I did not hear any bang,” she told Kass. She added that Thompson’s son, who was in the house at the time, believed that a book had fallen when he heard the shot, according to Kass’ report.)Mack White sums up the questions well:  Thompson’s family says he was not depressed, nor was he in enough to pain to kill himself. In fact, by all reports, he was quite happy. He was talking on the phone to his wife, getting ready to work on his column, when he decided it would be wise to kill himself, so that he could go out (we are told) while “still at the top of his form,” even though this would mean not finishing his column or his expose on 9/11 (potentially the most important thing he would ever write) (?)…This account says Thompson killed himself while sitting in a chair on his typewriter and yet the original account tells us that Thompson shot himself while talking to his wife on the phone in the kitchen. Why has the story changed and what is the significance of the word typed on the paper in light of the fact that Thompson said he would be ‘suicided’ before being able to release a major story on explosives bringing down the twin towers?

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In Defense of Hippies

(crossposted from the front page of My Left Wing)First of all, the stereotype for hippies is about as reliable as the stereotype for any other people, that is to say not at all.  Hippy culture was never monolithic.  It encompassed well over half of every kind of kid there was in the late 60s and early 70s, and spanned every socio-economic strata of American society.  If you weren’t a hippy in those days, what you know and think about hippies is probably wrong.  It’s not your fault.  The media has distorted the reality as a part of the conservative culture wars.  They are, and have always been, threatened by hippies who never had any trouble seeing straight through them and who consistently called them on their bullshit.  Progressivism (or enlightened thinking), started well before the age of the hippies, but for that one seminal decade, hippies were its natural home (though not exclusively of course).

 What do you think when you hear the term hippy?  Most likely you think of spaced out goofballs without anything more than a tenuous connection to reality, mildly dangerous dope fiends who blather endlessly about inane bullshit, or hippy-dippy airheads without an intelligent thought or coherent idea worth noting.  That kind of outrageous distortion is what a conservative and unprincipled media is capable of doing.  Were there people who approached the stereotype somewhat?  Sure – somewhat, although practically no one is that goofy or detached from reality.  Was that a majority?  No, not even nearly so in my experience.  It was at most a distinct minority, and again none of them were as goofy as the conservative propaganda has many believing.  It’s all a rightwing `big lie’, just like the one about liberals being idiots, or pacifists being pushovers.  No truth to it, just a big ugly lie told over and over to `catapult the propaganda’.

I have often encountered strongly biased attitudes toward hippies.  Most of the time there’s not much point in saying anything.  Too often people don’t want to be educated about hippies.  Hippies are beneath them, an object of scorn or derision.  I understand that it’s usually just rightwing propaganda having its way.  You can’t avoid it and if you’re insufficiently discerning, if you don’t have your bullshit detectors on, why almost anyone could end up believing it.  The other day I came across this comment in a thread about the lack of activism on the part of today’s young people, which BTW thereisnospoon did a fine job of debunking in his thread Where are the Youth? I’ll tell you where they are!

We’ve grown up being too afraid to rock the boat. Many of us grew up learning that although Vietnam was a mistake and a bad war, the protestors were even worse. “Dirty hippies who spit on soldiers” is the last thing we want to be compared with.~ anonymous young kossack

The rightwing noise machine has our kids right where they want them.  Afraid to rock the boat and of becoming no better than `dirty hippies’ (who spit on soldiers).  There were some goofy hippies and there were some dirty hippies (though most weren’t), but I never saw ANYONE spit on a soldier.  Most soldiers related well to us and vice versa – especially the one’s who had been to Nam.  They always came off the boats shooting peace signs at us, and us to them.  They hated the war and we did too.  We were natural allies.  There was no spitting.Seeing the horror and fucked-upedness of Vietnam showed people that the hippies were right all along – and that our government was strictly bad news, full of fucking liars and chickenhawks who were willing to let them die for nothing.  Well, the more things change the more they stay the same.  And the one thing I can tell you all is that it is high time to rock the fucking boat!

Also, let me point out that `dirty’ people (as bad as that sounds) are merely people with dirt.  Being clean doesn’t make you a better person – only cleaner.  I’d much rather associate with Jim S., the dirty homeless man my son and I had lunch with recently (Nam vet, former heroin addict, borderline alcoholic with a strong core of human decency that shone right through all the dirt and pathos) than to get anywhere near the spit-shined K Street crowd or the gleaming, buttoned-down, slicked-up, squeaky clean neocons out to destroy humanity.  Quaint homilies aside, cleanliness does NOT equate to human decency – or Godliness.

Another big slam on the hippies is about all the drugs they used.  First, let’s face the fact that on this issue, as with so many others, our overly conservative culture is shockingly hypocritical.  The fact is that people have always used drugs and always will.  It’s just a question of whose drugs are in and whose drugs are out at any given time.  You can’t smoke pot, but drinking yourself to death is just fine.  Alcohol, one of the very worst drugs, destroys millions of lives each year–and it’s perfectly legal.  Fancy that.  The next worst drugs after alcohol are crystal meth, heroin, pcp, and pharmaceuticals in general.  These substances are very destructive.  They attack the person who uses them.  My father is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit because the Vioxx he took for three years gave him a near fatal stroke.   Some pharmaceuticals are milder than others–but it’s all bad medicine.  The good medicines are organic: plants, fungi, cacti, which are often illegal.  Plants like cannabis, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and peyote are strongly outlawed in most countries these days, yet traditional peoples often viewed these substances as medicine as well as allies, friends and guides to assist them on their spiritual journeys.  Pharmaceutical companies hate medicines that people can grow themselves or find in the forest.  It cuts into their obscene profits from the poisons they push.  In 1971 Richard Milhouse Nixon declared the `War on Drugs’.  Tricky Dick had a pathological hatred of `drugs’, and yet swilled scotch like a drunken monkey.  His so-called `War on Drugs’ has caused irreparable harm to our society, torn families apart, ruined millions of individual lives, and overwhelmed our courts and prisons.  We should have listened to the hippies.  Drugs should be legal, rehab should be free, and education and harm reduction should be our focus.

There was a time when the pull to become a hippy was damn near universal for my generation.  When this simple song came out, it spoke directly to us all.

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people thereFor those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

~ written by ‘Poppa’ John Phillips, recorded by Scott McKenzie

There really was a strange vibration all across the nation.  We all felt it – me and all of my friends, and millions upon millions of others.  You didn’t really have to decide to become a hippy, you either felt the vibe or you didn’t.

Most of the hippies I knew were extremely bright, full of intellectual curiosity and life – and were just a lot of fun to be around.  Think of college kids today, now imagine them as much more liberal (and progressive), much more keen to engage the larger world in a profound way, and inhabiting a time of great cultural and spiritual upheaval. Throw in some recreational drugs, a massive dose of primal rock-n-roll, an `establishment’ that stunk to high heaven and of which we wanted no part, the paranoia of a bloody shooting war in Vietnam and an active draft, and you begin to get a picture of what hippies were really like.  In school they were more often the smart kids than the dumb ones.  They tended to be intellectuals, or in some cases just different – although there was also room for the underachievers as we were pretty much equal opportunity employers (so to speak).

Hippies attracted kids who were offbeat or not readily accepted in other cliques, kids who looked a little strange or thought a little differently.  Why?  Because hippies were tolerant and accepting people who would try to love you even if the reasons why they should were not abundantly apparent.  Love, peace, and kindness were our highest ethics.  Almost anyone could find a home with the hippies as long as they were non-violent.  That’s what made the hippy sections of large cities so damned interesting – the sheer variety of colorful characters who felt at home there.  Hippies were welcoming and generous people.  They cared about humanity for humanity’s sake.  You didn’t have to be an important person, a successful person, wealthy, accomplished, learned, or whatever.  You could be any of those things or none of those things.  It was enough to be a person.  The idea was to be a good and decent person, an authentic person, a person unlike those who thought it was okay to drop bombs on people.

Plastic people, ooh baby now, you’re such a drag!  ~ Frank Zappa

`Plastic people’ was what we called those who were so superficial and lame that they never questioned anything they were told by the `authorities’ – the same sort of folks sometimes referred to as sheeple these days.  Hippies were different – we questioned everything.  We believed that everyone should think for themselves.  Contrary to popular belief, virtually all of the best and brightest of our generation were hippies.  If you were between the ages of 15 and 30 between 1965 and 1975, and you were smart and had a soul, you were most likely a hippy.

It was fun being a hippy.  We were like a large extended family.  We sheltered each other, fed each other, and helped each other.  We raised money to pay for free clinics, food co-ops, and bail funds for busted hippies.  We acted as a real and unusually caring community.  There were crash pads if you needed a place to stay, free food was generally available, and people took care of each other as the need arose.

As a hippy you could go into any large city, find the hippy part of town, and instantly connect to like-minded brethren – though all were strangers.

Let me acknowledge that I am generalizing somewhat because hippies were not all alike by any stretch of the imagination – yet we tended to have certain things in common, certain philosophies.  We opposed war, the one in Vietnam that was ongoing at the time, and all others as well.  We believed it was possible for civilized people to work things out without resorting to violence.  We believed in tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.  We advocated peace, love, and understanding.

What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

~ Nick Lowe

The hippies I knew and respected most were among the most serious people I would ever meet.  They were radically curious and unwilling to accept false or facile answers to tough questions.  We were very serious young people who took our responsibility to understand the world accurately and to act upon it in a profoundly positive way very seriously indeed – much more seriously than a majority of our non-hippy peers I dare say.

But mostly we were brothers and sisters embracing an ethic of gentleness and kindness, and who felt a deeply human and humane connection to one another.  My closest friends, hippies all (or freaks as we came to call ourselves), as I look back on them in all their joyful idealism, were among the noblest creatures to ever grace this planet.

1967 is the year the hippy movement took root in the USA, though it had been building for years.  I turned 15 that year and was already dialed in.  I knew all about Timothy Leary (turn on, tune in, drop out), had read all about pot and couldn’t wait to start smokin’ it.  I worshipped the Beatles and the Stones and all the other rock gods.I was a hippy waiting to happen, and when the wave came I caught it.  I smoked, dropped acid, and took mescaline.  I left home, dropped out of school, and hit the road hitchhiking across the country to get a realeducation.

Everywhere I went I had an instant connection to other hippies.  We all instantly recognized each other (most of us were sort of hard to miss 😀 ).  Flashing a peace sign was like showing ID.  It said `Hey!  I’m one of the cool ones!’  Most hippies were generous and kind to a fault.  Most anybody you met would offer you a place to stay for a day or two, and treat you like an honored guest whilst you were amongst them.

Hippies would always pick me up hitchhiking, and usually get me stoned, feed me, whatever.  There was a powerful sense of brotherhood between hippies.  It was a trip…like having family you never met in every city.  There was a ton of goodwill between us.  We all believed in peace and love after all.

The height of my hippy career was Woodstock in August of 69…three days of peace and music…I can still feel the love.  🙂  I haven’t felt a sense of brotherhood like that since those days went by the wayside.

Though I don’t much look like it these days, I will always think of myself as a hippie.  It was the best damn thing I ever was.

~ Easy Livin’, coolest hippie I ever knew

Hippies had a major impact on the broader culture.  For all of those who hated us, others were inspired by us – people such as artists, musicians, and intellectuals.  Popular art was strongly affected by the counter culture.

We also influenced the fine art of the day – or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we shared influences.

Our numerous wonderful and colorful influences on American culture were appreciated by many, but not all.  Conservatives, whom the culture was trying desperately to break away from, hated us.  We saw them for what they were and we called a spade a spade.  We called them pigs because that’s what they were (and still are).  They didn’t much like that – or us for that matter.  They hated the truth about themselves or about anything else – and they hated us for telling it.  Because of their grip on the propaganda machine, their voices dominated and we faced horrible discrimination as a result.  Ironically, this only served to strengthen our bonds with black Americans, Native Americans, gay Americans and all others who experienced the same sort of treatment.  We embraced Truth, Love, and Peace.  Nothing is more threatening to those who live on Lies, Hatred, and War.  We preached against materialism while their whole world ran on it.  Greed and materialism was what they were all about and we told them so.  We filled them with fear and loathing, and they were merciless towards us.

The legacy of the hippies:

– There’s nothing funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding.
– Peace is better than War, Love is better than Hate, and Understanding is better than Ignorance.
– An opened mind is a useful approach to life.
– People deserve to be loved, accepted, and cared for.
– Drug warriors and laws against drugs do infinitely more harm than drugs themselves.
– People should be totally free as long as they aren’t hurting or causing harm to anyone.
– We should all have more respect, empathy, and concern for one another.
– War and violence suck and have no place in civilized society!
– Our government lies like a fucking rug and must be restrained by the people.
– The excesses of capitalism must likewise be restrained by the people.
– It is easier to mock, scorn, or trivialize than it is to understand, but understanding is worth the effort.




History is fascinating and it seems like we’re uncovering more of it every day.  Here is yet another collection of photos you may have never seen before.


Miss America 1924.
Vikki “The Back” Dougan, 1957. She was the inspiration for the cartoon femme fatale, Jessica Rabbit.

Annie Oakley.

For the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985, 300,000 people crossed it on foot.  The weight caused the bridge to sag by five feet.

The blood-stained gloves that Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theater.
Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1969.

Helen Keller meets Charlie Chaplin.
The first aerial photograph of Lower Manhattan taken in 1924.

From 1924, this is Belva Annan.  Her murder trial records inspired the musical “Chicago.”
A Plexiglas “ghost” car in 1940.

Amy Johnson was one of the first women to gain a pilot’s license and won fame when she flew solo from Britain to Australia in 1930.  Later she flew solo to India and Japan and became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic East to West.  Johnson volunteered to fly for The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in World War II, but her plane was shot down over the River Thames and she was killed.
14 inch shells on the deck of the USS New Mexico in 1944.

Victorian sideshow performers.
Mountain climbing in questionable attire near Chamonix in the 1890’s

An x-ray of Hitler’s skull.
Rip, a rescue dog who found one hundred victims of air raids in London between 1940 and 1941. He received the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945.

A very young Lucille Ball.

Atlanta, Georgia in 1864.

Jessie Tarbox, a photojournalist in the 1900’s.
Proving to the public that London’s double-decker buses are not a tipping hazard in 1933


History is fascinating and it seems like we’re uncovering more of it every day.  Here is yet another collection of photos you may have never seen before.


Miss America 1924.
Vikki “The Back” Dougan, 1957. She was the inspiration for the cartoon femme fatale, Jessica Rabbit.

Annie Oakley.

For the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985, 300,000 people crossed it on foot.  The weight caused the bridge to sag by five feet.

The blood-stained gloves that Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theater.
Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1969.

Helen Keller meets Charlie Chaplin.
The first aerial photograph of Lower Manhattan taken in 1924.

From 1924, this is Belva Annan.  Her murder trial records inspired the musical “Chicago.”
A Plexiglas “ghost” car in 1940.

Amy Johnson was one of the first women to gain a pilot’s license and won fame when she flew solo from Britain to Australia in 1930.  Later she flew solo to India and Japan and became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic East to West.  Johnson volunteered to fly for The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in World War II, but her plane was shot down over the River Thames and she was killed.
14 inch shells on the deck of the USS New Mexico in 1944.

Victorian sideshow performers.
Mountain climbing in questionable attire near Chamonix in the 1890’s

An x-ray of Hitler’s skull.
Rip, a rescue dog who found one hundred victims of air raids in London between 1940 and 1941. He received the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945.

A very young Lucille Ball.

Atlanta, Georgia in 1864.

Jessie Tarbox, a photojournalist in the 1900’s.
Proving to the public that London’s double-decker buses are not a tipping hazard

Allegra Sleep Fine Art

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