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October 28, 2007

How Long O Lord…

The Rockies Loss in The World Series had little to no impact on me, and I haven’t received any heartache emails from readers, so I won’t bemoan it. But the recent Washington Post review of the book about Hunter, edited by Jann Wenner was very upsetting to some people.  Please! Don’t be offended by the review, or the book.  Notice that the Gonzo dagger has a double edge. The courage that readers imbibe from Hunter’s work through his dedication to the craft, his friends and his convictions are unshakable.

But the other side of the gonzo knife is inevitable: some will hate Hunter and everything he stood for. A journalist named Stacey McCain, from the Washington Times put it nicely after reading the review: “Envy is the ugliest emotion…”  

 Yes, it is only natural that there will be those who magnify a few nasty martyr comments about Hunter from ex-girlfriends, or ex-wives or ex-secretaries, ex-editors or family, in an effort to degrade Hunter and his legacy. The last half of the book is meant to satisfy the lascivious and angry cravings of a paying public (which one can argue was done out of love for Hunter, but is the reason I decided NOT to take part in the book).  So it takes a smart and more astute reviewer to decode how the book was put together.

If you are one of the people upset by the review, you don’t need me to remind you, because you already know, that Hunter’s work will be in libraries and taught in Universities and passed among friends & family around the world long after all the critics, naysayers, and yes… after ALL of us are dead. 

But forever, there are those who will try to warp the gonzo work of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman to make a buck… So the wisdom for today comes from our beloved Ralph, who has lifted my spirits on so many occasions that I’ll never be able to repay him. When I’m feeling helpless to defend Hunter, or when I say something stupid, he invariably reminds me about the humor and better instincts in life…  One bit of fabulous wisdom he recently emailed me was regarding my studies of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels:

There is a saying: ‘Beware of bearded men in sealed trains bearing 
ideologies’ which was how Lenin was brought into Russia from 
Switzerland to start his Revolution. But we cannot blame Marx and 
Engels for that…..

Ralph Steadman, a few days ago.

Anyway, that is my pep talk to those of you who have expressed concern about the review of the book about Hunter. Sensationalism is a very profitable industry, and we do, despite Marx and Engels’ wishes, live in a Capitalist society.

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson


October 23, 2007

The 7 Lessons Of Hunter S. Thompson

Hi.I am back in the Bronx.  It was an interesting flight home via a Vail Pass Blizzard in my rented little chevy cobalt. But we made it, and now, back in NY, I have my face planted in the school books.


Today’s HST wisdom comes from The Gonzo Way: After Doug Brinkley’s introduction, the chapters go as follows:

Lesson 1.

 Learning – That’s What It’s All About.

Lesson 2:

It’s Wrong When It Stops Being Fun.

Lesson 3:

Politics Is The Art of Controlling Your  Environment.

Lesson 4:

We Is The Most Important Word in Politics.

Lesson 5:

 Truth Is Easier.

Lesson 6:

 Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride.

Lesson 7:

Never Apologize, Never Explain.


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson



I didn’t make much progress, unfortunately, regarding the photos of the scene of Hunter’s death.  But, hopefully I will be meeting with Hunter’s son and the Sheriff on my next vist. There has been a lot of  resurrected speculation about a conspiracy regarding Hunter’s work on the possible U.S. government’s knowledge of 9/11. I am not referring to that. I am simply referring to the photos that I recently received from the coroner’s office that don’t match what we were told about the hours surrounding Hunter’s death — no conspiracy theory.  




October 18, 2007

The Truth Is Easier

Hello. I’m back at home for the weekend. My flight to Denver was uneventful and I drove through the city on the way to the Rocky Mountains under clear skies. There were ominous clouds over the white dusted peaks, but my rented little blue Chevy Cobalt made if just fine through the snowstorm that hit as I crossed Vail pass. By the time I got to Owl Farm, it was indeed a winter wonderland.  Andrew and Jonathan were wearing sweaters and shivering when they got home from the newsroom, but I built a fire that warmed the house, us and the animals within 30 minutes.


But we woke up today to bad news that telecom industries will indeed receive immunity for helping with illegal spying. So The wisdom for today is from Kingdom of Fear from a letter in 2002 that Hunter wrote to the editor of the Independent London. I’m in a foul mood today, and thought about this letter and it made me feel sane again, though not a happy camper:


The news is bad today, in America and for America.  There is nothing good or hopeful about it – except for Nazis, warmongers, and rich greedheads – and it is getting worse and worse in logarithmic progressions since the fateful bombing of the World Trade Towers in New York.  That will always be the festering low-watermark in this nation’s violent history, but it was not the official birthday of the end of the American Century. 
            No. That occurred on the night of the presidential election in the year 2000, when the nexus of power in this country shifted from Washington D.C., to “the ranch” in Crawford, Texas.  The most disastrous day in American history was November 7, 2000.  That was when the takeover happened, when the generals and cops and right-wing Jesus freaks seized control of the White House, the U.S. Treasury, and our Law Enforcement machinery.
            So long to all that, eh? “Nothing will ever be the same again,” the whorish new President said at the time.  “As of now, we are in the grip of a National Security Emergency that will last for the rest of our lives.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear.


I’ve come home for the weekend to get some work done on the Woody Creeker (yes, it’s ready, now is a question of the controversial cover, and money to print. But soon come, oh ye of little faith…) I also came home to deal with the topic of my last blog entry. I recently received disturbing photos from the scene of Hunter’s death that turn everything I was told about that day, on its head.  This is not a conspiracy theory issue –don’t worry. It is simply a matter of what I was told and what the photos show. I’m sure there are logical explanations for everything. But, like I said, while maintaining peace, I want answers. And am not afraid to talk about it publicly if I have to – at least not anymore.

I am not obsessed, or more interested than any wife would be in this situation, but I  am continuing on with my life. So, I will keep up  with regular posts: HST wisdom, school work, (this week I am focusing on Karl Marx in one half of my brain, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the other…) But as Hunter said, The Truth is Easier, especially in the long run.  


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thomposn

October 12, 2007

Your Questions

Hi. The booksigning tonight at McNally Robinson was a good event and I had a nice dinner with friends after the talk. Wisdom for today is from The Proud Highway, where Hunter wrote about New York thus:

Living in New York is like discovering life all over again.  In all seriousness, living here has been like waking up in an endlessly fascinating and completely different world from everything I’ve ever known…

…New York is at once an education, an initiation, and a stimulant.  It gives one a perspective, I think, that would be impossible to get anywhere else in the world.  But god have mercy on those who can live with this perspective.

–Hunter S. Thompson in 1958, Proud Highway

Those of you who have read the AP story by Dan Elliot, along with Betsy Rothsteins’ article in the Hill, with worries about the documents that were found near Hunter’s body and photos of the scene, I will try to addressed in the near future. I am doing my best to find out what happened that day and evening before my husband’s death. Yes, those of you who also loved Hunter have a right to know what really happened, and when I know more, I will share that information with you. It has been very difficult for me to get answers about the photos I recently received from the scene. As Hunter’s wife, I am trying to maintain a balance of healing, peace with the family, which is very important to me, while getting answers to some very disturbing discoveries made by the deputies. The Sheriff, perhaps because he was too distraught at the loss of his dear friend, was unable to do an investigation at the time regarding the "codicil" found in the son’s handwriting, and the bizarre check cashed immediately after, and other issues. This is not an easy task in this delicate environment. So please be patient.  But yes, I have unanswered questions and am persuing them, while trying to maintain peace. Then hopefully, we can put the issue to rest.

Your friend,

Anita Thompson





Friday update

Peter B here with a quick update.  Anita attended another booksigning in New York Friday evening that went well.  The Associated Press has released an interview with Anita that is circulating through the news desks, CNN and Yahoo front page did a good story that headlined their entertainment section Friday on CNN.com here. 

Have a good weekend!
-Peter B


October 09, 2007

Book Signing This Friday! You’re Invited…

NYC:  This Friday at 7pm,  Anita Thompson will be reading from “The Gonzo Way” at McNally Robinson on Prince Street. She will be answering  your questions regarding Hunter,  the upcoming Johnny Depp movies based on “The Rum Diary” , "Going Going Gonzo," and other import projects, including her decision not to participate in the upcoming  book edited by Jann Wenner.  She will also be answering questions about the exciting future of Owl Farm, the Gonzo legacy and any other questions you would like to ask, but never had the chance! She and the staff look forward to seeing you this Friday at 7pm…  

For your HST daily wisdom fix, Anita would like to post from Shark Hunt… About Gonzo Journalism:

  …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


October 04, 2007

Introducing…The New wePod!



I’ve been plagiarizing all my life.  It’s called learning.

— Hunter S. Thompson, in the kitchen. 

Guess what? I went to the Apple Store today on 5th Ave and got myself an iPod nano. During the decision process as to which one I should buy, the sales clerk told me that the 4 gigabyte iPod nano "only holds about a thousand songs." I cocked my head sideways for a second, to grasp what he was implying. He suggested I get the $200 nano with double the gigs. It made it glaringly obvious how time has passed me by since I bought my first walkman in 1989.  When I started to walk away with my new 4gig purchace,  the nice young girl behind me said "ya know, those don’t hold more than 1000 songs."

They had staff all around the crazy place just to help us geriatric customers figure out how to work our new iPods, and make them get along with our computers.  One helpful kid downloaded all the proper software, instructions… everything on to my laptop, then onto my Nano. Now, I have my whole music library on this tiny little thing in my pocket that played beautifully the entire train ride home (with my mega noise-reducing headphones). Which didn’t skip a beat…pretty neat.

The $50 savings of buying the 4 gig, instead of the 8, gave me a good exuse to buy some other songs such as Springstein’s new albumn (only because my friend Doug Brinkley HIGHLY recommended it) another version of Dylan’s "Lay Lady Lay," & "Hard Rain", and two seperate versions of Elton John’s "Candle In The Wind" (don’t laugh, it’s one of my favorites). I also bought a few of Elvis Presley’s gospel songs just for good measure, along with my favorite, "I Never Loved Nobody Fully" – "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor.

 The whole iPod experience was pretty weird, particularly for me.  I am a luddite — not necessarily by choice, but just because technology moves much faster than I can keep pace with. The tech noted that I have an "older" model pc laptop – which I bought 11 months ago!

Anyway, so off I went, with my new puffy earphones, out of the glass Apple store, and into my iPod world. I walked down 5th Ave to the subway, totally blocking out the iWorld.

Maybe someday, some romantic at Apple will invent the "wePod." A device for friends to listen together. Sort of like a hot-fudge sunday served with not one, but two spoons. I often see couples on the subway, earphoned into their own seperate iPod worlds, genres apart from each other, but seemingly very happy indeed. Who knows. This is all very interesting. 

Speaking of combining technology and art, here is the a special video that a reader put together on Utube to honor "The Gonzo Way." (To "Mr. Tambourine Man", no less) It is really a beautiful gesture, and whoever did make it, I thank you!  I was touched, and I know Hunter would have loved it too. It’s fantastic.



Until next time, your iFriend,
Anita Thompson


p.s. yes, you may have noticed that I borrowed a little from Washington Irving’s "Rip Van Winkle…" I love the part when Van Winkle comes back after 20 years to see the changed painting of King George… but under it reads "GENERAL WASHINGTON."  He is asked by the harranguing crowd if he is a "Federalist" or "Democrat," …  "Alas! Gentemen," cried Rip, somwhat dismayed, "I am a poor quiet man, a native of the place, and loyal subject of the king, God bless him!" 

I have to say that I wasn’t just playing into it when I told you I downloaded Elvis. Hunter is the one who turned me on to Elvis Gospel (and also Billy Joe Shaver). And I’m the one who turned Hunter on to Eminem and Prodigy.

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