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April 23, 2007

David Halberstam

I’m so so sorry. We lost another beloved today. David Halberstam was killed in a car crash this morning. You may know him from his many works including "The Best and The Brightest" where he wrote how the smart men in power led us to a disastrous no win war on the other side of the world. Or any of his pulitizer prize winning work.  He was one of Hunter’s people although their journalism styles were very different with a shared love for the truth and a elegant way of telling it.  He wrote an astute, beautiful introduction for Hunter’s second volume of Letters "Fear and Loathing in America". I’m sitting here at the architecture library where they don’t have a copy. But I’ll post some of it later. Again, I’m so sorry to report another loss.

Your friend,

Anita Thompson

What is Gonzo Journalism?

Goodmorning. It’s a beautiful spring day in Manhattan. The trees are blossoming, people are smiling with a hint of new tan on their faces from lying in the green grass of central park. Love is in the air. Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary with Hunter, my brain prepares for my last week of classes, but my heart is thinking about him more than ever.  I have 750 – 850 pages to read before finals but I’m not even worried about it. Not after taking a break to read from Shark Hunt – any story in there is good thearpy for me.

Lask week I was thinking heavily about journalism as I watched the media mishandle and warp the Virginia Tech story. I think Hunter would be disapointed by their handling of it,, but he wouldn’t be surprised.

So, with journalism and journalists on my mind,  I picked out a great one for you today. Hunter has given the definition of Gonzo Journalism many times, but this is one of my favorite explanations. It is from the jacket copy to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  was first published in Shark Hunt. I thought I’d share it with you on this Monday morning: 


  …Gonzo Journalism.  It is a style of “reporting” based on William Faulkner’s idea that the best fiction is far more true than journalism – and the best journalists have always known this.

            Which is not to say that Fiction is necessarily “more true” than Journalism – or vice versa – but that both “fiction” and “journalism” are artificial categories; and that both forms, at their best, are only two different means to the same end.  This is getting pretty heavy… so I should cut back and explain, at some point, the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a failed experiment in Gonzo Journalism.  My idea was to buy a fat notebook and record the whole thing, as it happened, then send in the notebook for publication – without editing.  That way, I felt, the eye & mind of the journalist would be functioning as a camera.  The writing would be selective & necessarily interpretive – but once the image was written, the words would be final; in the same way that a Cartier-Bresson photograph is always (he says) the full-frame negative.  No alterations in the dark-room, no cutting or cropping, no spotting…no editing.

            But this is a hard thing to do, and in the end I found myself imposing an essentially fictional framework on what began as a piece of straight/crazy journalism. True Gonzo reporting needs the talents of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor.  Because the writer must be a participant in the scene, while he’s writing it – or at least taping it, or even sketching it.  Or all three.  Probably the closest analogy to the ideal would be a film director/producer who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least a minor character.

– Hunter S. Thompson The Great Shark Hunt


Until Next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson


p.s. There are some more Gonzo memorial prints left and Peter will be posting an image and link on the left in the coming days. He has put the gonzo store back up and is ordering some great summer t-shirts and things.  


April 21, 2007

Hunter S. Thompson Gun Wisdom

Hello. In one of the blog emails sent today from Ben McNeely said "What would Hunter Thompson say about the the Va. Tech massacre?"   I’m not precient. But it is a good question. I ‘ve selected a few parts from some interviews that Hunter has done in the past that you might find interesting: 

Salon.com Interview – February 3, 2003

Salon.com: Indeed, your author blurb says you live in "a fortified compound near Aspen, Colorado." In what sense is it fortified and why does it need to be?
HST: Actually, I live in an extremely pastoral setting in an old log house. It’s a farm really. I moved here 30 years ago. I think the only fortification might be my reputation. If people believe they’re going to be shot, they might stay away.

Salon.com: Yes, I understand you’re a gun enthusiast, to put it euphemistically. But do you support more restrictive gun laws? Do you support a ban on assault weapons?

HST: I have one or two of those, but I got them before they were illegal. In that case, if I were sure that any tragedies and mass murders would be prevented, I’d give up my assault rifle. But I don’t really believe that. Do I have any illegal weapons? No. I have a .454 magnum revolver, which is huge, and it’s absolutely legal. One day I was wild-eyed out here with Johnny Depp, and we both ordered these guns from Freedom, Wyo., and got them the next day through FedEx. Mainly, I have rifles, pistols, shotguns; I have a lot of those. But everything I have is top quality; I don’t have any junk weapons. I wouldn’t have any military weapon around here, except as an artifact of some kind. Given Ashcroft and the clear blueprint of this administration to make everything illegal and everything suspicious — how about suspicion of being a terrorist sympathizer? Goddamn, talk about filling up your concentration camps. But, yeah, my police record is clean. This is not a fortified compound.

Salon.com: So, just to clarify, how do your views stack up with the NRA’s?

HST: I think I’m still a life member of the NRA. I formed a gun club out here, an official sporting club, and I got charter from the NRA. That made it legal to have guns here, to bring guns here, to have ammunition sent here, that sort of thing. I’ve found you can deal with the system a lot easier if you use their rules — by understanding their rules, by using their rules against them. I talk to a lot of lawyers. You know, I consider Pat Buchanan a friend. I don’t agree with him on many things. Personally, I enjoy him. I just like him. And I learn from Pat. One of the things I’m most proud of is that I never had anybody busted, arrested, jailed for my writing about them. I never had any — what’s that? — collateral damage.

Salon.com: 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–vis the law?

HST: 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–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.

The Book Report.com interview 

Question: How do you reconcile your liberal politics with gun ownership? Is that not a contradiction?

HST: I think George Washington owned guns. I’ve never seen any contradiction with that. I’m not a liberal, by the way. I think that’s what’s wrong with liberals. I believe I have every right to have guns. I just bought another huge weapon. A lot of people shouldn’t own guns. I should. I have a safety record. Guns are a lot of fun out here.

Bookpgsara: As somebody who likes guns and has taken part in his share of violence and anarchism. What do you think of Timothy McVeigh?

HST Oh boy. Well, if he did that — apparently the jury has spoken — if I were him, I’d prefer the death penalty. If he blew up that building and killed that many people, we have to accept that, just like we had to accept that OJ Simpson was declared not guilty. I’d rather be hung or shot or executed than spend my life in prison. If he did that he deserves to die. I can’t conceive of doing that kind of damage.

Bookpgsara: You can’t imagine that much violence?! Wow. You seem so mellow…how come you are so mellow? Have you just become an old softie?

I was always a softie. But it always helps to win. To be right. You can afford to be a little more mellow.


From Playboy article done by Tim Mohr 2004

On Firearms

My parents weren’t gun people. Growing up I didn’t know much of anything about guns except that my parents didn’t want me to have a .22. A BB gun was okay. But I found a .22 anyway. I would shoot at lights out of the back of my house, out my bedroom window. There was an alley between the houses. There were light bulbs on the brick garages in the alley. They had metal grilles protecting them, like jail bars, so it was kind of a trick to hit the bulbs.
It was extremely dangerous. Some kid who shouldn’t have had a gun, experimenting, shooting out of his bedroom, shooting down into the alley. I had no intention of doing anything other than putting out light bulbs. But I think about it now and think about what could have happened. The odds are going to catch up to you sometime if you keep shooting into the same passageway.
When I got to the military all I knew was the .22. The most accurate weapon in my house is an Olympic pellet gun — single shot, .17 caliber, pneumatic. I can hit a dime across the living room with it. It was given to me by the Mitchell brothers. I would pack it when I worked at their cinema. At the time it was the standard for Olympic shooting competitions.
For conditioning gunstocks, linseed is a good natural oil, but it has a tendency to be sticky. Tung oil is the thing.


Until next time, your friend

Anita Thompson




April 19, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut etching by Ralph

Ralph Steadman crafted a fine etching of Kurt Vonnegut.  Click on the thumbnail to view a larger pic.

etching of Kurt Vonnegut by Ralph Steadman 

Stay safe.

-Pete B
OFB webmaster

April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court Tipping

Yes, it’s true, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 against women’s right to choose today. Starting the process to chip away at Roe V. Wade. It’s very depressing. I’m on campus in the computer lab, finishing yet another paper, and I don’t have any of Hunter’s books with me.  But if I did, it would definitely be an occasion to read from Shark Hunt. In light of the ruling today, I would recommend "The So Called Jesus Freak Scare." 

The ruling overturned findings of several lower federal courts that had found the 2003 law banning partial birth abortions unconstitutional. Today’s ruling is also a change of course from a Supreme Court ruling in 2000, when the lineup of justices was more progressive, striking down a Nebraska law banning the procedure.

Justice Ginsburg, who dissented, was very disappointed.  She even took the highly unusual step of reading part of her dissent from the bench. I can’t imagine how painful it would be as a dissenting justice in this situation!

As for the fact that most abortions are performed early in pregnancy, and the majority’s assertion that alternatives to the prohibited procedure are available for later in pregnancies, Justice Ginsburg said adolescents and indigent women have more trouble obtaining an abortion early, so today’s ruling could put them at a disadvantage. Here’s a NY Times article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/18/us/18cnd-scotus.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin   Jerri Merritt from Talkleft.com tells us that Ruddy Gulianni agrees with the decision.  

Your friend,

Anita Thompson



April 17, 2007

Nikki Giovanni at Virginia Tech

Here is an article and clip of the poem that poet and professor Nikki Giovani wrote for the massive student body at Virginia Tech. I bet she teaches one hell of a class too.





April 15, 2007

A Man the World Could Not Slay

It is storming rain and cracking thunder tonight in Manhattan.  It hasn’t poured like this since we won the senate back.  The rain has been falling all day and now, at 10 pm, the thunder and lightning has finally started. To get the full effect,  I opened my windows and turned off all the lights.  It’s just me, the glow of my laptop and the lightning — wonderful.

I’d like to post two emails that I received today. Judy from North Carolina asks about the epigraph to The Rum Diary and Ken Kreie sent the lyrics from this Waylon and Willie Nelson song that he attached with a dedication to our friend, Kurt Vonnegut:

 Every time I go fishin’ it’d always start me wishin’
That I could be a child again
Take my 50 cents and go down to the local picture show
To watch my heroes rope and ride.

Most times they’d win but when they’d lose
It always made me cry
Ain’t nothing quite as sad
As watching your heroes die
One by one as they fall
Soon there’ll be no heroes at all.

Well, I guess the fish just ain’t bitin’
Just as well it don’t feel like fightin’
All in all it just ain’t that great a fishin’ day
That old newspaper headline
Kind of wrapped around this old heart of mine
Another big one got away.

And I can’t count the times he’s made me laugh
But this time he’s made me cry
There ain’t nothing quite as sad
As watching your heroes die
One by one as they fall
Soon there’ll be no heroes at all…

– Waylon & Willie

 And speaking of heroes, an astute reader named Judy Robb from North Carolina has emailed me regarding the epigraph for The Rum Diary.  I think the epigraph is also fitting for Kurt Vonnegut, so I decided to post a portion of her email here tonight too.  She asks about the significance of the epigraph.  After much thought, and consultation with one of my teachers, Jon Kenneth Williams of Columbia University, whom I interrupted as he was translating a Middle Welsh poem to English (yes, seemingly unrelated), agrees with me that the epigraph perhaps signifies the mourning of lost youth. "I thought you…a man the world could not slay."  Since the only significant female in the story is Chenault, who is the wildly flawed heroine, who is not lost in the end,  it most likely does not speak to the Kemp/Yeamon/ Chenault love, but incredulity in the face of mortality. 

It was always an adventure and a pleasure to watch Hunter decide on which epigraph to use for his books, but I never actually spoke to him about the Rum Diary epigraph! But we can certainly guess what his intentions were:  Here is the email from Judy:

The English translation for the Irish lament that is quoted as the epigraph for "The Rum Diary" is lament for Art O’Leary." The opening paragraph of "The Rum Diary" refers to the street on which Al’s Backyard is located as "Calle O’Leary." When I first read the opening paragraph of "The
Rum Diary", I was immediately struck by the choice of an Irish surname as a street name in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Was the choice of O’Leary as the street name possibly intended as a cross reference to the lament used as the epigraph?


"My rider of the bright eyes,
What happened you yesterday?
I thought you in my heart,
When I bought you your fine clothes,
A man the world could not slay."

–Dark Eileen O’Connell 1773

I have translated this passage from the lament back into the original Irish to the best of my limited ability!):

Mharcaigh na suile geala,
Cad e a thainig ort inne?
Nuair a cheannaigh me duit na headai breatha,
Fear nach dtiocfadh a mharu.

The above stanza was composed by "Dark" Eileen" O’Connell (Irish name: Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill) as part of the most famous lament/eulogy in all of Irish literature, "Caoineadh Airt UÍ Laoghaire" (translation: "Lament for Art O’Leary")

Eileen composed this 390 line lament after her 26-year-old Irish Catholic husband, Art O’Leary, was shot by the sheriff of County Cork, an Englishman, Abraham Morris, in 1773. Art O’Leary had been made an outlaw for refusing to sell his prizewinning horse ("a dark white steed, the peerless, whose
forehead bore a snow-white star") to Sheriff Morris for five pounds, as the penal Laws required any Catholic to do. The anti-Catholic Penal Laws in force in Ireland during the 18th century made it impossible for Catholics, who comprised 95% of the population, to hold any property worth five
pounds or more, and also denied them the right to receive an education or have a career in their own country.

After Art O’Leary was shot dead by Morris, his horse ran into Rathleigh, riderless and soaked in blood.  Eileen O’Connell mounted her husband’s horse and galloped back to Carraig an Ime, where she found her husband’s lifeless body.

Eileen composed this lament both to mourn Art O’Leary’s death as well  as to call for his murder to be avenged. It became part of the Irish oral tradition, as it was not written down until many years after it was composed in 1773.  Some critics consider "Lament for Art O’Leary" to be the most
passionate love poem in all of Irish literature and the most remarkable set of keening verses to have survived from the oral tradition.

Art O’Leary is buried in the sacred grounds of Kilcrea Friary in County Cork.  His grave bears the following inscription:

Lo Arthur Leary
Generous Handsome Brave
Slain in His Bloom
Lies in this Humble Grave
Died May 4th 1773 Aged 26 years

Ironically, Eileen was also the aunt of Daniel O’Connell, an Irish political hero who was known as "The Liberator" for his successful efforts to repeal British laws that penalized Catholics because of their religion, including the Penal Laws that served as the legal justification to compel Eileen’s husband to sell his horse. Daniel O’Connell is beloved as a national hero throughout Ireland, and the major street in Dublin, O’Connell Street, was named to honor his memory.

Anita, thanks for letting me share this information with you.  And I have to say thank you to another "rider of the bright eyes" who first turned me on to the works of HST–I have copied him on this email.

Judy Robb, Cary, NC


Thank you Judy for sharing the magnificent story, and to Eric, for introducing you to the work of our beloved Hunter.

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson




April 13, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut

As Ralph Steadman wrote in his email to me yesterday “Like your beloved Hunter- there goes another original"………using Kurt’s often used phrase: ‘Life is no way to treat an animal…’”

Ralph sent a drawing that he did of Kurt as an etching because Kurt said “I ain’t no oil painting.” ( I’m sorry, but for some reason I’m having difficulty downloading it, but will get it up ASAP.)

Here is a note that Hunter wrote to Mr. Vonnegut on June 28, 1973.


            I’ve been meaning to send you a note about your review (in Harper’s) of my Campaign ’72 book ever since Russ Barnard told me about it on the phone about 3 months ago.  As you’ve doubtless seen, Straight Arrow has used your words mercilessly ever since – and I suppose I should apologize for that, because it seems a bit greedy & grasping.  For good or ill…although in retrospect the “ill-factor” seems negligible.
            Only the intent, eh?  Like Nixon.
            Anyway, I thought I should tell you that I have about 500 reviews of my books lying around the house, here (most of them astoundingly positive, for all the wrong reasons), but if I had to pick an epitaph, right now, out of all that gibberish – the one paragraph that cuts through it all & comes closest to what I’d like to think I was saying was your closing graph in the Harper’s review – inre: “Hunter Thompson’s Disease.”
            No point jabbering any further about it, except to emphasize the good, high feeling that came on me when I read it.

            I was planning to have a drink with you in Miami, but things got weird.  Maybe we can make a human connection when I come east in mid-July to have a look at the Watergate situation….

…Okay for now. In closing, let me assure you that my health – at least for the moment – is extremely good, on paper.  I just went through a total physical examination , and the doc was baffled at the lack of ominous signs, symptoms, etc.  The findings seem to insult everything he spent 12 years learning…
…Which gives me a boot, of sorts, but as a Doctor I know better.  He just hasn’t found the right combination of tests, yet.  The D. Gray syndrome is not in his books.
            Which gives me a bit more time, if nothing else.  If you drift west, let me know in time to invite you to pass some time out here on the Owl Farm.  Meanwhile, thanx again for the good eye & good instinct.
— Hunter S. Thompson  Fear and Loathing in America


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson


p.s. check out the nytimes blog re: Hillary. I must say, I love Obama, but I am leaning more and more toward Hillary every day.

April 10, 2007

Executive Privilege

I’m back at Owl Farm. Yesterday, on the way to the airport, I looked at my itinerary that said “US Air” for my 1:36pm flight to NY. I made it just in time… to the WRONG CONCORSE, where I learned that US Air uses United planes to fly to Laguardia (something they didn’t teach me at Columbia). So, I RAN to the B concorse with my rolling carry on wheels zooming, but missed the UNITED flight by 4 minutes.  That lack of knowledge left me on failed standby for the next 8 hours.  I ended up driving home in a rented "subaru outback" from Denver last night and will try it all again on Wed.  So, unfortunately, I’m missing all my Tuesday classes. One huge bummer is that professor Rosalind Rosenberg is lecturing on Watergate today! And I’m missing it! Damn.

I turned to Better Than Sex  for wisdom on Watergate and Nixon. Also, you may already know that within the pages of Shark Hunt is actually an entire book on Watergate, if you want to brush up on American history tragedies (and victories). 

Before I forget… I need to ask you for help. Does anyone have any film of a pilgrimage to Woody Creek? I’ve seen people with video cameras at the Tavern.  If you have anything, please email me email@owlfarmblog.com and let me know ASAP.  Thanks.

Anyway, it’s serendipitous that my professor is lecturing on Watergate today, while the current president is waiving his “executive privilege” around to Congress who is asking to investigate the purging of 9 federal prosecutors (because they were refusing to press bogus charges against Democrats and/or other tactics to help Republicans win elections). Bush is saying that if his staff testifies, then it will inhibit them from giving him candid advice in the future. And he is trying to invoke “executive privilege” just as Nixon did. The Watergate tapes were recordings of a president’s private discussions with top advisers, the essence of confidential presidential communications. Mr. Bush, by contrast, is trying to shield communications that occurred among members of his staff.

 As the New York Times editorial said today: In the End, the public may be the harshest judge of all. Executive privilege claims now occur, as one law review article put it, “in Nixon’s shadow.” Fairly or unfairly, Nixon, who resigned in disgrace shortly after the Supreme Court ruled, gave executive privilege a bad name, which it keeps to this day. If Mr. Bush battles Congress in court, he will be fighting not only legal precedents, but the nation’s collective memory about the last president to take this stand.

Nixon’s spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives — whether you’re me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin’s daughter or your fiancee’s 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don’t even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.

– Hunter S. Thompson Better Than Sex "He Was a Crook"


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

April 04, 2007

The Promised Land

It’s been raining here ALL DAY. It gave me a great excuse to stay in my apartment, even stay in my pajamas, to finish reading “The Promised Land” By Nicholas Lemann.  Doug Brinkley was happy that I read it because he told me I can’t understand the dynamic of America, unless I understand the black migration from the south to the north and how it did indeed change our country.  So, it was a perfect day to stay indoors and read.  Looking out at the rain, I thought about the crabby blog I posted yesterday and thought I’d check in with a smile today and post the following: 


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?”    

  Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process.

— Hunter S. Thompson , Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.


     Yes.  The freedom that Hunter expressed in life and in every line of his work was often made possible by the longtime friendship he cultivated with his attorneys.  Starting the tradition was of course Oscar Zeta Acosta, the famous “Samoan” attorney (Hunter Originally used that term to hide Oscars’ identity) who for years counseled Hunter on everything from how much mescaline should be eaten to what never to say to a police officer to morale boosters when Hunter ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County in 1971 on the Freak Power ticket.

     The list of Hunter’s lawyers grew rapidly over the years following Oscar: Hal Haddon, John Clancy, Michael Stepanian, Gerry Goldstein, Abe Hutt, John Van Ness, Keith Stroup. And non criminal lawyers such as George Tobia, Joe Edwards, and Morris Dees and new lawyer friends like Jerri Merritt and others.  My unpleasant blog yesterday was sort of a lash at the whole legal world stemming from an exhausting experience with it. My friend John Van Ness, has a great quote on his wall: “The main purpose of a lawyer is to protect the client from other members of the profession.” Indeed. It doesn’t change the fact that the best minds often come out of law school and the smartest, beautiful people I know happen to be in that business – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson




April 03, 2007

Veggie Stir-Fry

Hi!  I’m checking in after a brutally long and twisted day, that thank god, is almost over.  I triumphantly turned in a ten page paper on marijuana and prisons today, despite the fact that I’ve been tortured for three days straight by lawyers –and Jesus, maybe Hunter was right, they will soon rule the earth. The only hope for survival is to hire a team of them yourself.  It’s insane and terrifyingly simple: either hire them, or be killed by them.  If I weren’t so busy, I’d weep for my innocent days before I knew what a settlement contract was.

             This poor woman who tried and failed to sue the estate has hired a group of lawyers who’ve allowed her to fill up dozens of pages of requests to justify their wages. Becuase she was not owed any money, they’ve filled the pages with hopeful items such as stuffed lamb taxidermies, blow up dolls, alcohol flasks, beads, old bricks, plastic forks, rope, wire… the dusty scavenger hunt goes on for pages. Each item is designed to create several hours of agony — even trying, unsuccessfully, to make me relive those days after Hunter’s death, the worst in my life so far, to satisfy her niggling curiosity as to who sent whom condolence cards and what their addresses are.  It’s utter insanity that has actually been going on for half a year… and all because of a “settlement agreement.”  So, take my advice, NEVER, EVER assume a “settlement” means peace. Watch paperwork like a hawk, but more important, watch people like a hawk. Hunter predicted this would happen, and he was right about so many things, especially about people. 

            So, when I got home, I thought I’d celebrate the fact that I did deliver the essay in the nick of time despite the grief. I ordered Chinese take-out and as always, reached for the fortune cookie first:  “Any day above ground is a good day.”  Yep, the lamest fortune cookie ever.  It was time for some REAL wisdom…. I opened up  “Fear and Loathing in America" to a random page.  It’s from a letter to Selma Shapiro in 1969.


I’ve never paid much attention to the Black/Jew/WASP problem; it strikes me as a waste of time and energy.  My prejudice is pretty general, far too broad and sweeping for any racial limitations.  It’s clear to me – and has been since the age of 10 or so – that most people are bastards, thieves and yes – even pigfuckers”

— Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America

The irony of all this is regarding the paper I wrote about marijuana laws and slave labor in prisons. If there were no lawyers, there would be many, many more people in jail.  Lawyers are indeed the last buttress between blue skies and iron bars.  Maybe that’s why it’s so painful to see hundreds of valuable lawyer hours spent negotiating blow up dolls. 

Until next time, your friend, eating veggie stir fry,

Anita Thompson




p.s.  A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people — or one in every 32 American adults – were in the system (locked up, on probation or on parole). And 2.2 million actually in prison or jail. We now imprison more people for drug law violations than all of Western Europe (I think has double the population of the United States.)






April 01, 2007

View From the Whitehouse

Goodmorning.  I went to bed with a heavy heart last night when my beloved UCLA got killed by Florida in the basketball NCAA Final Four.  The Gators played like highly organized, pumped up daddy-longlegs and UCLA just couldn’t cope. It was pitiful. I can’t say that I cried when I got home, but let’s just say I made none of my usual evening phone calls to friends, no reading, no homework, no humor — just turned out the lights and went to sleep. 

But I’m up now to do my morning job around Central Park, a routine I started last month, and thought I’d share this HST wisdom before I put on my tennies.  Hunter wrote it in 2002 during March Madness when the Bush’s people were airing marijuana warnings during NCAA commercial breaks:


            Surely I was not the only rabid basketball fan to feel joyous at the sight of a taxpayer-funded Marijuana message on all of our TV sets last week, in conjunction with CBS broadcast of the annual NCAA championship tournament.  It was relentless – popping up, as it did, at what seemed like every other time-out or crowded commercial break.

            The message itself was terrifying: Marijuana means Death, for You and many others, including the judge and who knows how many U.S. Marines.  It is a truly frightening thing to see on your TV basketball screen.  One toke over the line is no longer a harmless joke.  No sir, it is Felony Terrorism, under this brand new American Patriot “law” that came in with the new century, the new president, the new morality, etc., etc…

            College basketball is riddled with harmless dope-smokers, of course – no worse or better than any other segment of American society.  Wow!  Maybe that explains the diminishing quality of play in the Big Dance every year. Hell, yes!  These freakish young brutes are too stoned to compete in anything more serious than a public sex contest.  They are addicts.  Their brains have been fried.  They are doomed.  We have spawned a whole generation of lazy, brain-damaged show-offs.

            That is the view from the White House and most of the U.S. Congress these days.  It is World War III forever, by the look and the language of it, and the Meanness quotient of the U.S. image in the world is growing logarithmically with every passing day.

          Whoops!  No more of that stressful gibberish, eh?  Exactly.  We don’t need it.  Our world is full of exciting options – the Oscars, spring training, the NBA play-offs, heavy gold, the Gonzo Beauty pageant, the War, the Stock market…We are blessed.


— Hunter S. Thompson  Hey Rube


Until next time, your friend, lacing her sneakers,

Anita Thompson


p.s. Johnny Depp called last night and said he liked the bon-fire photos, but asked if the girls who read the blog would please send photos of themselves. With the permission of his beautiful wife Vanessa, said he would write a personal email and chat on the phone for 20 minutes with each girl who sends a photo by midnight tonight. 

p.p.s. (Just kidding, Happy April Fools)




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