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October 31, 2006

The Devil’s Day

"These freaks should all be put to sleep," I said to Anita. "Let’s go out on the town and get weird."
"Wonderful," she chirped. "We will put on our costumes and throw eggs at foreigners. What are you going to wear?"

"Only this turban, and a jock strap," I said. "And some lipstick. They love lipstick."
 Anita was dressed up as the coach of the New York Giants. "They are Losers," she said. "It is OK to mock Losers, right?"
"Yes," I said, "It is righteous to mock Losers in this country. We are Number One."
"Thank you," she said. "You must be a sportswriter."

"You bet," I replied. "We are going to fly to Hawaii with Sean Penn next month. You will probably need a new Rolex."
"Yes." She nodded. "We will have to be inconspicuous for that kind of travel. Is he still Drinking?"
"No." I replied. "He is going into training for the Honolulu Marathon. Perhaps we should stop drinking too."
"Not today," she said with a wink. "Today is the Devil’s day."

She was right, of course — although some people will tell you that the Devil has had a lot of Days, recently. They see him behind every bush

–Hunter S. Thompson, Halloween, 2001, Hey Rube

That was Halloween a few years ago.  It was fun.  Before we went to town to get weird, Hunter and I put whiskey, candles and photos of our dead relatives on the table.  We set up a nice place for his mom, dad, brother, my grandma, and uncle with their photos spread around the round table in the living room in beautiful frames.  It was a fun party of the dead.  This year was more subdued.  I want to tell you about the guest trick-or-treater that’s visiting.

Late last night I was still working on one of my papers and walked into the kitchen for my tea, when I felt that there was somebody else in the apartment with me.  This was a new presence, in addition to Hunter, who is with me almost constantly.  I didn’t think much of it, until I walked into the living room and saw it walking across my hardwood floor.  I almost jumped, but instead became puzzled. “That’s a strange looking mouse.” I thought as I got closer. “That’s no mouse, that’s a the biggest cockroach I have ever seen!”  More like a Madagascar beetle.  He walked across the floor slowly, with a strut and an attitude.

I couldn’t kill him, I wouldn’t even know how since this is my first cockroach in NYC. So, I named him Henry.  He’s my new roommate. And he is sitting in the corner, staring at me still. 


Anyway, with the election coming up in 8 days, let’s post the Bill of Rights. Think of it as a reminder from Hunter. For those of us educated in our ever-so-sloppy public schools, here is a quick refresher:  When the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1789, which was wonderful finally establishing a strong federal government, seperated into three main brances, there was still a HUGE problem: No specific protections of personal and civil liberties…  So on December 15, 1791, ten amendments were added to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. What I’ll do is post one a day until election, when I’ll post the entire thing. Okay?

Until next time, your friends,

Anita and Henry.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
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Here is an article in Today’s Rocky Mountain News by Jeff Kass, about Hunter, me and Columbia.

Colorado paper



October 26, 2006

New York Buddha

Yes.  We will Sulk off the plane in Honolulu with the hopes & dreams of a whole generation in our hands.  I am already entered in the Marathon & I plan to enter Ralph in Pipeline Masters surfing competition…we will not win these weird events, but we didn’t win the Kentucky Derby either.
We did, however, PREVAIL.  Which is as different from winning as a forest is different from the trees. 
Did I say that?
Which means I have to go now, Alan.  The full moon is making me strange. 

—Hunter S. Thompson, from a letter to Alan Rinzler. Re: Curse of Lono.

I may have been too harsh on my fellow New Yorkers when I called them an angry, ambitious people, looking straight ahead and always in a blazing hurry.  I was wrong.  Now after two months, I realize, that blank stare ahead, combined with the swift walking is not necessarily anger or indifference, but a learned survival technique with the added benefit of the purest kind of Buddhist-like detachment. Apparently, every time you react to something by giving it your attention, you really are giving something of yourself –  regardless if it’s a loving gaze, or a contemptuous glare.  If New Yorkers gave their direct attention to everything that was asking for it as they walked out the door, down the street, through the subway, to the coffee shop, past billboards, pamphlets and money seekers, they would be exhausted by the time they got to the office, and totally beat by the time they made it home.  I know because it was happening to me — utter exhaustion every night.

As I sit here at my desk tonight, overlooking my Gotham neighborhood, I can still choose to hear the distant sounds of horns, dogs and helicopters (tuning in at this moment, I hear many cars, a garbage truck, now a horn, siren in the distance, another horn, hallway door slamming, motorcycle, brakes, quiet, two men laughing on the street below,  now a diesel truck, siren getting closer, now a plane in addition to the helicopter) it goes on and on.  It was just a few days ago that I realized for the first time, that the noise didn’t bother me anymore.  My brain is aware, but choosing not to react.  And, I can finally sleep all the way through the night…thank you lord Buddha.

I can even make it to campus without having a nervous breakdown.  Therefore, on my way, I must be staring blankly ahead too. So if you are new to New York, and you walk past and smile at me, don’t think I’m purposefully ignoring you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s all about being a New York Buddha.  You’ll understand soon.

Ralph’s book signing was a huge success.  He gave it up for the fans with a fine gonzo showing. Yes, he gave the readers his full attention.  And, they loved him and the book.  Doug and I decided to wait for him at the bar.  A nice place called “The Half Prince.”  When New Yorkers get off of work, they put on their blank stare, and rush down the street to order their gin-tonics or whatever Buddhist drink they choose to drink the mask off.  Ralph was in fine form, and a bad hangover was had by all.  

Until next time, your friend, looking ahead,

Anita Thompson

P.S. The first three articles of the Constitution were such a success, I think I’ll post the Bill Of Rights Next Time, okay?  Also, I’m writing a paper tonight about a guy named Toqueville, an aristocrat who came from France to observe and write about this country.  I’ll tell you a bit about what he saw.  He’s a very interesting guy.



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October 22, 2006

You Twisted Pigfucker

      A radio news bulletin says the National Guard is massacring students at Kent State and Nixon is still bombing Cambodia. The journalist is driving, ignoring his passenger who is now nearly naked after taking off most of his clothing, which he holds out the window, trying to wind-wash the Mace out of it. His eyes are bright red and his face and chest are soaked with the beer he’s been using to rinse the awful chemicals off his flesh. The front of his woolen trousers is soaked with vomit; his body is racked with fits of coughing and wild choking sobs. The journalist rams the big car through traffic and into a spot in front of the terminal, then he reaches over to open the door on the passenger’s side and shoves the Englishman out, snarling: "Bug off, you worthless faggot! You twisted pigfucker! [Crazed laughter.] If I weren’t sick I’d kick your ass all the way to Bowling Green — you scumsucking foreign geek. Mace is too good for you. . . We can do without your kind in Kentucky."

Hunter S. Thompson, Scanlan’s Monthly, vol. I, no. 4, June 1970 (The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved – now in The Great Shark Hunt)


That’s an interesting scene out of another era. Another Era? hmmm?

 My advice to you if you are curious about the relationship between the two men described above, is to go to Barnes & Noble this Tues at 7pm at 675 Sixth Ave.  Ralph Steadman will be there signing books and talking.


Doug Brinkley and I will be there with him.  See you there.


Until next time, your friend, who hasn’t forgotten about you, but who is juggling many things at once, and will be posting more frequently very very soon — promise.


Anita Thompson




October 15, 2006

Standing On Something Solid

Hi there.  I’ve come up for air to give you some HST wisdom about  the mountains of Ketchum, Idaho.  After Ernest Hemingway died, Hunter went there to learn a little more about one of his favorite writers and see what was so special about this place to cause Hemingway to spend so many years there, despite the action in places like Havana or Paris.
Standing on a corner in the middle of Ketchum it is easy to see the connection Hemingway must have made between this place and those he had known in the good years. Aside from the brute beauty of the mountains, he must have recognized an atavistic distinctness in the people that piqued his sense of dramatic possibilities. It is a raw and peaceful little village, especially in the off season with neither winter skiers nor summer fishermen to dilute the image. Only the main street is paved; most of the others are no more than dirt and gravel tracks that seem at times to run right through front yards.
      From such a vantage point a man tends to feel it is not so difficult, after all, to see the world clear and as a whole. Like many another writers, Hemingway did his best work when he felt he was standing on something solid — like an Idaho mountainside, or a sense of conviction.

–Hunter S. Thompson, writing from Ketchum, Idaho.   (writing for the Observer in 1964.  Later published in The Great Shark Hunt.)

Election day is 24 days away.  Remember to look at the ballot booklet that was sent to you in the mail.  In most states it is a little blue book.  Even if you don’t read it, get yourself to the polls, and drag as many friends as possible to the booth. Or even better, vote early.  You don’t have to be a political scientist to understand the gravity of the situation if we don’t take back congress on Nov 7th. You don’t even have to vote on all the issues, if necessary, when you’re in the voting booth, skip to Representative and Senator (your state may not have senate seat up for election this year) . Go ahead and be mad at me for oversimplifying, whatever, but this year, just vote DEMOCRAT… anything but republican. I think we will be digging ourselves out of a bigger hole for generations to come if Bush has another sympathetic Congress to let him have free reign his last two, very important Jesus years.

Remember the first three articles of the Constitution of The United States? 

             All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress 

             The executive Power shall be vested in a President …

            The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court…

 My point is not to insult your intelligence, but most of us who were educated in public schools weren’t really taught this at any length. Plus, it’s a good refresher, for me too.  Thirdly, to remind us that our founding fathers were so obsessed with this BALANCE OF POWER thing.  They spent years fighting and debating and agonizing and THINKING about it and even took the time to ESTABLISH A NEW DEMOCRACY, spelled out in those first 3 articles.  They first had to shed blood to get us out from under the control of the British Empire, surely, not with the intention of handing it all over one day to a single family from Texas under the iron grip of Haliburton, The Carlisle Group or the messy AOL Time Warner et cetera…


I feel like Mr. Jones…  I get the sense that at the moment, it ain’t balanced:  So, it’s a good idea for every one of us who can hold a pencil, to get to the polls on Nov. 7th and vote DEMOCRAT. But you already know that. 

  Jesus!!  Look at the time! How did I get on this tangent?  I’m supposed to be studying. I just logged on to say hello, and post some HST wisdom about a faraway  place in the Mountains of Ketchum Idaho. 

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

P.S. Here is a slightly longer sysnopsis of the first 3 articles that I just deleted from above for clarity. My computer won’t let me link for some reason, but if you are in the mood to read more, just do a search for the constitution (and the bill of rights) if you feel like brushing up, and have a nice day!!

            Section.1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
          Section 2.  The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People…(that’s you, which is determined by population of your state which is why there are so many more Representatives than Senators)… .
            Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years, and each Senator shall have one vote.  (each election cycle, 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election. That’s why you don’t vote for a new Senator every election)


            Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.  He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term…
            Section  2. (goes on to explain the process of each state appointing electors equal to the number of Senators and Representatives to which each state may be entitled in congress etc…  I don’t have time to list it all now, but will include a link at the bottom of the blog, okay?)


            Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as a Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.  The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour (sic), and (goes on to explain that they will be paid for their work)

            Section 2. (goes on the explain the jurisdiction of the Supreme court, which has everything to do with interpreting the constitutionality of laws made by congress or the States etc…)





October 11, 2006

Voting Wisdom

Hi everyone, it’s Laura again.
      Anita will start posting again in a few days. Until then, I will be putting up some of Hunter’s words as Anita calls them in to me. So, not to worry, Anita’s midterms won’t be getting in the way of your HST wisdom fix.
      Today’s quote comes from the last page of Hey Rube and is especially pertinent with the next election looming less than a month away.

“Politics is the Art of Controlling Your Environment”
That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that “it doesn’t matter who’s President” has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World–or been beaten and gassed by police for trespassing on public property–or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons–or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.

–Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

October 09, 2006

Midterms and an Editor’s Letter

Hi everyone, this is Laura Doty, the Owl Farm intern. Anita’s internet is down and she is studying furiously for her midterms, so she probably won’t be able to post any blog entries for the next few days. In the meantime, she asked me to post her editor’s letter from the special birthday edition of the Woody Creeker. Enjoy!

* * *

      With great pleasure, I present to you the third issue of the Woody Creeker. If we didn’t convince you in the previous two issues that this is the “best local magazine in the world,” as Ralph Steadman so eloquently put it, then this one should do the trick.
      This magazine shows a glimpse of Woody Creek’s past, present, and, I think, its future—which is rich and bright, thanks to the intellect and vitality of the various characters that make up the Woody Creek family.
      Introducing the issue, Gaylord Guenin shows his love of this place with a penny, while George Stranahan shares with us the photo and the story of the first time he and my husband blew up a car with dynamite at Owl Farm. Then his daughter, Molly, tells us about the Stranahan history and growing up in a place like Woody Creek.
      With the appropriate drum roll, I am so happy to introduce you to the first of an important series we’re doing titled…yes…The New Order: Women of Woody Creek. Every issue we’ll be interviewing the powerful female side of what makes this beatnick-cowboy Shangri-La tick: its women. The interviews will give you an idea of why Woody Creek is so interesting. Also included here are Women on Top…of Dirt Bikes, by Peg O’Brien, and your Celtic magic fix by Linda Luke.
      Don’t worry; there is a balance to this issue indeed, as I am happy to present Hunter’s star lawyer—Hal Haddon—with a look inside his private world, accompanied by a look inside the mind of Ralph Steadman, who painted Hal’s portrait especially for this issue. We have David Amran on Hunter, Dwight Shellman on the Bill of Rights enforced by the locals, and John Van Ness on Lawyers, Guns and Money.
      July 18, 2006 was Hunter’s 69th birthday. We had a fabulous celebration for him here at Owl Farm, and to celebrate inside the covers of the Woody Creeker, we have “Fire in the Nuts,” a story that only 176 people have ever read outside the kitchen. Hunter penned the story while living in New York and struggling to become a writer—finding his own voice. “Fire in the Nuts” is a story about Harrison Feiler—a miserable failure of a writer who, as you will see, displays a host of grim personality flaws. The irony in this tale is that Hunter, the man who created this miserably unsuccessful character, enjoyed a success in his profession that very few writers ever even glimpse: 50 years after Hunter wrote that story, his work is required reading in high school and college courses and is the topic of master’s theses and Ph.D. dissertations around the world. And the world debut of this very story is printed here in your very own copy of the magazine inspired by his spirit and the community he loved…. the Woody Creeker.

Enjoy the stories, and keep reading.
Your friend in Woody Creek,
Anita Thompson

October 05, 2006

With No Attorney

… and here I am, with no attorney, slumped on a red plastic stool in Wild Bill’s Tavern, nervously sipping a Budweiser in a bar just coming awake to an early morning rush of pimps and pinball hustlers… with a huge Red Shark just outside the door so full of felonies that I’m afraid to even look at it.

But I can’t abandon the fucker.  The only hope is to somehow get it across three hundred miles of open road between here and Sanctuary.  But, sweet Jesus, I am tired!  I’m scared.  I’m crazy.   This culture has beaten me down.  What the fuck am I doing out here?  This is not even the story I was supposed to be working on. 

 –Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. 

Oh, Hunter.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Until next time, Your friend,

Anita Thompson

October 03, 2006

Novice Air Policeman

      EGLIN AFB, FLORIDA-(Nov8)-S/Sgt. Manmountain Dense, a novice Air Policeman, was severely injured here today, when a wine bottle exploded inside the AP gatehouse at the west entrance to the base. Dense was incoherent for several hours after the disaster, but managed to make a statement which led investigators to believe the bottle was hurled from a speeding car which approached the gatehouse on the wrong side of the road, coming from the general direction of the SEPARATION CENTER.  
      Further investigation revealed that, only minutes before the incident at the gatehouse, a reportedly "fanatical" airman had received his separation papers and was rumored to have set out in the direction of the gatehouse at a high speed in a mufflerless car with no brakes. An immediate search was begun for Hunter S. Thompson, one-time sports editor of the base newspaper and well-known "morale problem." Thompson was known to have a sometimes over-powering affinity for wine and was described by a recent arrival in the base sanatorium as "just the type of bastard who would do a thing like that."
–Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt.

  Hunter was a military man.  He actually started his career as a Sports writer at Eglin Airforce Base.  When he was honorably discharged, he wrote this little passage which is printed in The Great Shark Hunt. I was thinking about Hunter’s military life today, and figured I should post something about it. 

Doug Brinkley says hello.  He is on the home stretch of the third letters book.  It looks great.  It will be out by February!  (The Gonzo Way will be out right after in March) 

Anyway, I’m getting used to the NY life b/c I made an attitude adjustment.  I now look at it more like living at sea. There are a few life-rafts, like my apartment, the library, my classrooms and a few restaurants & cafes where I can catch my breath.  The rest of the city is an ocean of people & cars & horns in a constant state of motion.  Millions of ambitious & angry people, running around — not smiling — just running sometimes with, sometimes against the current, but always in a hurry. Just like any other ocean, there is the floating debris; the lost souls — homeless people (those that I’ve talked to are extremely kind), looking at the pavement and walking SLOWLY.  They are the only people NOT in hurry despite the whirlwind around them.  NY could drive anyone crazy, but the trick, I think, is to remember to keep coming up for air, which for me usually means getting on the phone or email — like right now –I’m taking a breath to write to my gonzo friends. 
 I’m studying as much as humanly possible considering my rusty study skills. Even when I’m studying with earplugs, I’m aware of the undercurrent of activity outside my window — almost like crashing waves, but not as romantic.
Until next time, your friend up for air,
Anita Thompson
p.s. Congratulations Johnny!!




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