Tag Archives: NOVEL

#Ginsberg in the 50s

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Ginsberg in the 50s

GINSBERGAginzy

A brief excerpt from David Burner’s Making Peace with the Sixties (Princeton University Press, 1996):

Ginsberg’s stay in the mental ward was not intended to help him realize his desire for life to be a “sweet humane surprise.” Ginsberg tried to conform, returned after several months to Paterson, dated women, and found a job. He was miserable until he moved to California in 1954 and began seeing a $1 an hour psychiatrist at the university in Berkeley. In San Francisco Ginsberg saw another psychiatrist, Philip Hicks, who asked him what he would like to do. “Doctor,” as Ginsberg recalls his answer, “I don’t think you’re going to find this very healthy and clear,”

but I really would like to stop working forever–never work again, never do anything like the kind of work I’m doing now–and do nothing but write poetry and have leisure to spend the day outdoors and go to museums and see friends. And I’d like to keep living with someone — maybe even a man — and explore relationships that way. And cultivate my perceptions, cultivate the visionary thing in me. Just a literary and quiet city-hermit existence. Then he said “Well, why don’t you?” I asked him what the American Psychoanalytic Association would say about that, and he said . . . if that is what you really feel would please you, what in the world is stopping you from doing it?

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GREG’S FIRST TIME

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GREG’S FIRST TIME

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Things were going slowly at the Mobil, it was pouring down rain, and there were few customers that day. Greg was grateful for that. He was tall and lanky, with an awkward way about him. His thinning beige hair was cut into a mullet and he had a ring in his left ear. He was wearing dirty green overalls. His name above the pocket was half ripped off, GR—in embroidered yellow thread.

 

            He stood in the garage doorway watching the rain stream down the gutter.

What a boring day this is, and it’s my 21st birthday of all things and here I am at 21 and look at me-I am a gas station attendant, fuck this shit. He thought as he flipped through a “Car and Driver magazine, looking at all the cars he would never drive.

 

Jim was in the back of the, garage under a black Civic fiddling around.

           

             “Hey Jim take a break and lets have a coffee break.””

            “What Greg? I can’t hear you. Turn down the boom box.”

 

Greg turned off the radio and repeated himself. Jim rolled out from under the car, and stood up. He was a big guy, and creaked when he stood up.

           

            “Still pouring huh?”

            “Yes it’s a shitty day alright.”

 

There was a row of dilapidated row homes and a Korean market next to them. A

delivery truck was unloading goods for the market. A tubby  woman with a tiny dog was rushing through the rain with a stripped umbrella, yelling at the pooch

 

            “Go make poo poo Twiddles.”

Greg and Jim looked at each other.

            “Stupid little scrawny piece of shit.”  Greg yelled, then ran inside and burst out laughing. The woman who by now was squatting down next to Twiddles with a plastic bag about to pick up the steamy shit looked up, and almost lost her balance.

           

       “You young men should leave me and Twiddles alone, do you hear me? I will complain to your boss if you yell anything else to insult my doggie and me.”

 She gave an angry scowl to the two men, and hurried away down the empty street -shit in hand.

           

It was almost 5pm. And both men were looking to get home. They locked the doors, just as Greg was climbing into his car, a blue station wagon pulled up. The windows were pulled down.

            “Happy Birthday.” Came from front and back of the car. Greg looked closer, and saw all his friends from the bowling alley.

            “What’s up guys-how do you know it’s my birthday?”

            “It’s more than that Greg, it’s your 21st-the all-important day of your life, and everything is legal-if you know what we mean. There was a roar of laughter from inside the car.

            “Come on in Greg and Jim, wes going to celebrate this joyous occasion.

 

Greg and Jim stuffed themselves into the already bursting wagon. The smell of pot and beer filled the car.

           

             “Can I have a toke on that fellas.”

            “Sure Greg.”

            “Where are we going?”                                                                                2

            “To Noddy’s for your first legal drink!”

            “Great guys that will be fun.”

Greg was somewhat high. 

They parked outside of Noddys and headed inside the bar. Many of the regulars were there, Johnny the Cab, Peter the Pizza Pie, Dave the Dry Cleaner, and others Greg knew from high school. In the corner were a bunch of girls giggling.They ordered beer and hamburgers with cheese fries. Noddy was keeping an eye on them, and the young girls. When young people barely over the age limit came into his bar they usually got rowdy.

The  giggling girls were appealing to the young men, and soon their tables were pulled together. They kept ordering beer then added shots. They became raucous as ever, spilling beer all around them. The guys were getting hooked up with the girls, and one particularly pretty girl with short blond hair and the bluest eyes Greg had ever seen cuddled up to him.

 

            “What’s your name?” Asked Greg.

            “Patty”

            “ Patty, where you from?”

“Randolph, I usually go to another bar, but your friends invited me here for your birthday. It’s your 21st am I right?”

“Yeah it is but I Don’t ark to new people easy.”

“I have it all under control. Let me do the steering okay?”

Greg was puzzled with the pretty girl’s talk and shifted on his barstool.

“I have to go soon Patty maybe another time, I gotta go.”

“Come on now Greg relax, you just got here.”

 She rubbed his thigh with her leg. Greg turned red. He didn’t know what the heck to do. He’d always been shy and had a hard time meeting girls. She started to play with his hair. Greg was getting very nervous, but tried to look cool around them, anyway they were all doing their thing and weren’t looking.

             “You’re cute.” She said kissing his cheek, trying to reach his mouth.

            “Let me just kiss you.”

 He tilted his head and she kissed his mouth. She tasted of strawberries. Her big blues looked into his. He felt himself growing under his overalls.

   She whispered in his ear. “Let’s go upstairs, Noddy has a spare room he lets us use it  if  we are too drunk to drive.”

            “I can’t.” Greg stuttered.  “If I am guessing what you mean?”

“We’ll have fun Greg, I promise” She took his hand and pulled him up.

His body tangled with the expectation of that he knew not what to expect.

            “Come on, we have to sneak up, or the bartender will notice us.”

She took his hand and led his around the corner. They passed Mary in the kitchen, and crept up the creaky stairs.

             “Here Greg this door on the right.” She opened it and they went in.

 There was a big bed, with plaid pillows and comforter. She, despite his nervousness got him undressed and soon they were both under the covers kissing. Much of his nervousness disappeared as the kisses were turning him on. She climbed on top of him pressing his shoulders to the bed.

              “What are you doing he moaned.”                                              3

            “Around the world.”

            “What’s that?” He said worriedly.

            “For you a bit of everything.”

            “No fucking way, is that right?”

            “Yeah Greg for you everything.”

  She road him like a stallion, and he moaned and growled when her titties brushed his mouth. She changed positions, and while keeping him from cuming she performed everything she knew and more. Greg was soaring in ecstasy, he wanted it to last forever, but he could no longer do that than change a tire on a car.

He heaved and she moaned, and their orgasms lit the room.

              “Happy Birthday Greg from all your friends!” She got on her elbow and  lit two cigarettes handing one to him. Then laughed, tickling the bottom of his feet.

            “This was your first time.?”

            “Yes said Greg, and my first cigarette!”

 bonhommes-17

An excerpt from “Noddy’s Bar & Grill” Ana Christy.

RALPH STEADMAN

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RALPH STEADMAN WEBSITE
http://www.ralphsteadman.com/ralph-steadman-biography/

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      The Joke’s Over: Ralph Steadman on Hunter S. Thompson

by Ralph SteadmanKurt Vonnegut (Foreword)
The Joke’s Over: Ralph Steadman on Hunter S. Thompson   3.83 of 5 stars   3.83
In the spring of 1970, artist Ralph Steadman went to America in search of work and found more than he bargained for. At the Kentucky Derby he met a former associate of the Hell�s Angels, one Hunter S. Thompson. Their working relationship resulted in the now-legendary Gonzo Journalism.
Â
The Joke�s Over tells of a remarkable collaboration that documented the turbulent year

…more

In the spring of 1970, artist Ralph Steadman went to America in search of work and found more than he bargained for. At the Kentucky Derby he met a former associate of the Hell�s Angels, one Hunter S. Thompson. Their working relationship resulted in the now-legendary Gonzo Journalism.
Â
The Joke�s Over tells of a remarkable collaboration that documented the turbulent years of the civil rights movement, the Nixon years, Watergate, and the many bizarre and great events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century. When Thompson committed suicide in 2005, it was the end of a unique friendship filled with both betrayal and under­standing.
 A rollicking, no-holds-barred memoir, The Joke�s Over is the definitive inside story of the Gonzo years.
In the spring of 1970, artist Ralph Steadman went to America in search of work and found more than he bargained for. At the Kentucky Derby he met a former associate of the Hell�s Angels, one Hunter S. Thompson. Their working relationship resulted in the now-legendary Gonzo Journalism.
Â
The Joke�s Over tells of a remarkable collaboration that documented the turbulent year

…more

In the spring of 1970, artist Ralph Steadman went to America in search of work and found more than he bargained for. At the Kentucky Derby he met a former associate of the Hell�s Angels, one Hunter S. Thompson. Their working relationship resulted in the now-legendary Gonzo Journalism.
Â
The Joke�s Over tells of a remarkable collaboration that documented the turbulent years of the civil rights movement, the Nixon years, Watergate, and the many bizarre and great events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century. When Thompson committed suicide in 2005, it was the end of a unique friendship filled with both betrayal and under­standing.
 A rollicking, no-holds-barred memoir, The Joke�s Over is the definitive inside story of the Gonzo years.

RALPH STEADMAN WORKING WITH HUNTER S., BY VANITY FAIR

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2012/10/artist-ralph-steadman-working-with-hunter-s-thompso

Matt Taibbi on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson

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Q&A: Matt Taibbi on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson’s influence, and Why Barack Obama Isn’t a Great Shark

The Rolling Stone writer penned the introduction for the latest edition of the bookMatt Taibbi, like many journalists, grew up idolizing Hunter S. Thompson. But Taibbi, unlike many journalists, got Hunter S. Thompson’s job.

The similarities between the two Rolling Stone scribes do not stop there, even though Taibbi himself argues he’s nothing like Thompson. Both made their name pointing out hypocrisies and flaws in the U.S. government. Both thrived (one still is) at a time of turmoil in our country’s history. Both even managed to love the same sport, the game of football. And now both have their name on the cover of the same book. Taibbi was given the responsibility of writing a new introduction to the 40th-anniversary edition of one of Thompson’s seminal works, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, which releases today.

In his introduction, Taibbi highlights the importance of Thompson’s writing, calling him the “most instantly trustworthy” American narrator since Mark Twain, and argues that the book still continues to define the way we think about the dramas of politics. Taibbi stopped by The Village Voice office (where he was a summer intern in 1987) to chat about Thompson’s influence, how Thompson lives up to his own cliche, and why Obama would disappoint Thompson, were Thompson still alive.

Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Matt Taibbi

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When did you first read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72?
I remember my father [Emmy-winning journalist Mike Taibbi] telling me about when Thompson was writing the pieces in Rolling Stone at the time–not the book, but the monthly dispatches. It was such a unique thing because everybody was waiting for it at the end of every month. I didn’t read the book till I was pretty old. I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was in high school, and I probably read this when I was a senior in college.

Did you ever meet him?
No, but I talked to him on the phone once. That was close as I came. I was going to be hired by a publishing company to edit a compilation of gonzo journalism, and I was really broke at the time. So I sat down to really think about this project, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that gonzo journalism just means Hunter Thompson. There aren’t other examples of gonzo journalism. I tried to put something together, but then I called Thompson up and basically explained the dilemma: “I got stuck with this assignment, and what do you think of it, because if you’re not into it, I’m probably not into it.” And he goes [adopting a deep, gravelly voice], “That’s a shitty assignment. How badly do you need the money?” And I said, “Pretty badly.” And he said, “Well, I don’t envy you.” And that’s how he left it, so I decided not to do it.

You wrote in the introduction that Campaign Trail has become the bible for political reporting. Do you think it was the writing, the campaign itself, or did the stars just align?
I think it’s a lot of different reasons. Obviously, the writing has something to do with it, but as I talk about in the introduction, he created these archetypal characters that everyone has sort’ve used since as templates to compare each new slate of candidates and characters to. Almost every campaign has the bad guy, the hopeless do-gooding ideologue. I caught myself doing it when I covered the 2004 campaign, when Dennis Kucinich became my McGovern character. No writer wants to be caught copying another writer, but it just bleeds into your consciousness because we’ve all read that book so many times. There have been some other campaign books, like The Boys on the Bus, The Selling of the President, and all that, but none of them really, none of them really…

None of them start with a guy driving down a highway with a gun.
Right, exactly. It just made the whole thing accessible to people who don’t even care about politics. It’s iconic.

In the intro, you say Thompson is the most trustworthy American narrator since Mark Twain. What is it about his prose that gives you that feeling? I think many people feel that way, yet everyone always wonders if he’s making some stuff up.
Oh, he’s definitely embellishing. That’s not what you care about. I have no doubt that a lot of the things in that book didn’t happen that way. Writing is all about feeling your audience and maintaining a connection with them, and being able to anticipate what they’re going to respond to, what they’re going to think is funny, what they’re going to find sympathetic, what they’re going to find unsympathetic. Hunter just had this unbelievable innate ability–like a lot of great public speakers do. If you’ve ever seen somebody who’s a great public speaker, they can feel the crowd and they know exactly how to move people this way or that way. And he’s kind of like that. He had this ability to grab his whole audience, drag them through this story, and you never really find yourself stepping back and saying, “Eh, well.” Once you’re in, you’re in the whole way through with him.
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