Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Blood Stoned Days

When looking for an online version of “Fear and Loathing” to use for the previous post (that’d have been a lot of typing and I was sleepy and sad), I found many articles, but the one that really stuck out was “The Rolling Stone Interview”. It was that bullshit "The Rolling Stone Interview" tacked beside Thompson's name. As though reading it required someone to unroll red carpets from those sacred pages straight to my visual cortices. As though “Rolling Stone” meant something more than just an echo of a subversive element in America that no longer exists.

Do you think that anyone there actually believes that anyone else over the age of say, 21 takes that magazine seriously? I hate Cosmo but they’re not only aware of what they are, they celebrate it. I can respect that. But whenever I see Rolling Stone, I think “Hello, we’ll be selling you your youth culture today (which is pretty much a recycled version of your parent’s youth culture), you’ll be empowered more by the imagery, symbolism and superficial envelope pushing than you are by the music, which will later be sold to you on 6 CD compilation sets with clever names like “Doze Wer da Dayz”. You’ll play it a couple of Saturday nights a year and remember your glory days, tell all your friends how you were there first (nothing existed before you found it, and as long as we keep dangling that virgin cherry, those of you who are a little more resistant to our marketing will keep buying what we’re selling), and put it away on Sunday morning, get to your job Monday, which will require you to wear a tie (and you’ll be too broken by that point to argue), and at worst will be at a convenience store, you’ll probably have a couple of kids (but you’re fulfilled!) and your cholesterol levels will be higher than twice your IQ. Thank you, that’ll be $4.95, please.”

The only entities left that have the audacity to take themselves that seriously are writers and advertisers.

*Blood Stoned Days from "Hey Jack Kerouac" by 10,000 Maniacs.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Meat Hook Reality


The post below was written (a lot of it pasted) at around 2:00 AM on the day of Hunter Thompson’s suicide. I had been awake doing some research and stumbled upon the AP site that bled the news to the rest of us. I thought for sure it was an accident. Then I realized that it wasn't. The suddenness of death makes one feel awkward and stilted and even tears seem trite. And suicide is the only cliché that still takes a bite.

Now, having had a couple of days to ruminate, I can understand why a man like Thompson wanted to end his life on his own terms. Of course, I cannot say for sure whether there was a deeper meaning in his actions. I can say for sure that it was just as I wrote him off as being a hedonistic jerk-off (the first time I read anything by him, which was Generation of Swine), he'd pop out with this incredible, eloquent insight, skewering humanity with an ice pick; the kind that makes other writers well up at the sheer magnitude of the beauty in his perspective. He was one of the few human beings who not only existed within the full range of human emotion, he exploded within it.


The following is an excerpt from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and one of my favorite things that Hunter Thompson (or anyone for that matter) wrote.

Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Has it been five years? Six? It seems like a lifetime -- 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. 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.

There was madness in any direction, at any hour... 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. 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.

We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the sixties.Uppers are going out of style.This was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling “consciousness expansion” without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him too seriously. After West Point and the priesthood, LSD must have seemed entirely logical to him...but there is not much satisfaction in knowing that he blew it very badly for himself, because he took too many others down with him. Not that they didn’t deserve it: No doubt They all Got What Was Coming To Them. All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped to create ...a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody—or at least some force —is tending That Light at the end of the tunnel.

Hunter S. Thompson 1937-2005

Monday, February 14, 2005

Gay W. Hookers

I got really irritated after the election. First, I am really disgusted with people who have "No Blood for Oil" stickers on their fucking mini-vans. And they don't see the irony. Secondly, it wasn't so much that W got re-elected. It was (and still is) because some people actually believe what he says. Why not just admit to being capitalistic pigs who want to keep breeding, driving their fat asses around in their enormous cars and wearing $100.00 sneakers made by an 8-year-old whose only other option was to become a prostitute and die of AIDS by age 11? Ok, ok that would never do. Once people (or a people in this case) fully admit to being greedy, selfish bastards, they're kind of obligated to do something about it. Come to think of it, people generally don't admit that they are flawed until they are doing something about it. The point is, people don't tend constructively self-analyze until they've lost the things that distracted them from the fact that they were total shits to begin with.

Something made me perk up today. Something so completely, absurdly funny that I spat hummus on my poor cat before I could contain myself.

That special something was a story that is now all over the internet about a little fellow named Jeff Gannon. You might remember Gannon from a while back when it was discovered that he was a reporter hired by the W's to ask the Big Man insipid, non-fuckuppable questions (ten bucks says that Karl Rove's fingers were crossed the whole time). The shenanigans were revealed...and so was Gannon. Like, in the biblical sense.

So fitting, don't you think?

I try to be very careful about which bandwagon I ride. I figure, if this turns out to be a joke, hoax, or even a lie, it made me laugh about something that usually makes me extremely sad. That's worth getting my pigtails yanked.