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April 23, 2008

Bob Dylan, Hillary Clinton, Jesus, and a Gonzo Anniversary

Il y a des années, ils disaient que j’étais un prophète.
Je leur répondais"Non, je ne suis pas un prophète."
Ils me disaient "Si, tu l’es!"
Maintenant, je vais vers eux et je leur dis" c’est Jésus, la solution."
Et là, ils disent"Bob dylan, ce n’est PAS un prophète"

— Bob Dylan, 1980, quoted from a book, "Bob Dylan" by Silvain Vanot, that I bought on a Paris street for my dear friend Shelby.

When I arrived in France, not having spoken french in about 15 years (only taken it in school while living in Switzerland), my fench was about  the level of a 5/6 year-old. So, now, after a couple months here in Europe, traveling around and taking some French classes, I can proudly say that I can at least speak with the confidence of an teenager. Thus, I can’t tell exactly what Bob is saying in the above quote, but it might have something to do with not being able to prophesize that Hillary would happily win Pennsylvania in April 2008, Jesus is great, and one day, 28 years later, he would be wishing Hunter and Anita a Happy Wedding Anniversary.

I’m wrapping up my Europe trip. Besides brushing up on my french before going home to Owl Farm, and then to summer classes in NYC, it really has been good for me to expatriate for a couple months, I realized — and good to be away from my Hunter world, which started exactly 10 years ago, when I was 25 years old.

Among many other things, one thing I’ve learned is that I suck at dating. I didn’t have any idea how to do it when I met Hunter at 25, and am even worse now. I don’t want to turn into cat lady, but I might just prefer my own company. And maybe others also prefer that I keep to myself. Yikes. 

In Paris, I went out all the time with a fun group of friends, but here in Geneva, I like to be with myself and only myself. Read, jog, email, eat, sleep, yoga, read, jog, email, eat sleep etc…. Right now, as I look at my wedding ring, which I put back on today, Feist is playing on my iPod, and I’m content. My feelings for Hunter have not changed a bit since he died, and I have accepted that I will miss him forever. But I have an open heart, so the reason I’m not good at dating has nothing to do with him. It’s something else, but I just don’t know what.

The final mystery is oneself… who can calculate the mystery of one’s own soul?Oscar Wilde

Although I haven’t had tons, I’ve been so lucky with the love affairs I have had in my lifetime — don’t regret a single one. But, ugh, dating is something that should be illegal. It’s just awful. Anyway, on my wedding anniversay this year, I’m not at Owl Farm (which is very secure, after that quack incident); I’m here in Geneva, planning the last few weeks to take my niece and nephew to see a bit of Europe.

We’re starting in London after the Elle Magazine interview, then Paris, then Switzerland… depends on weather, but certainly to Lugano to show Brittany my high school, and see if I can get her to enroll. Doubtful, but I’ll try… Then… overnight train to Krakow for 3 days to see the Old City, Wieliczka Salt Mine, and, I’m going to take them to see Auschwitz, as some of our family members were in camps like this. Very awful, but important, I think, for them to see the good the bad, and yes, the ugly. Then we will go to Warsaw to see family for a 3 days, then back home –about 2 weeks. I’m very happy to spend the time with them here.

So all is well in my heart today, not just because of Hillary’s victory in Pennsylvania and it being the SOCCER MOMS UNITE vote. My trip was good, Da Capo is working on the galley of the book of Hunter’s Interviews which I edited this winter, and I think you will love. we should have gallies by this summer.  I’m honored that Christopher Hitchens is writing the Forward.  My family members are on their way, and well, not having a car (my little $600 Ford finally died before I left for Europe), I don’t personally have to worry that a barrell of oil costs $115.  At least not today.

I’m going to leave you with some of Hunter’s words about our little wedding. If you are planning a wedding, I highly recommend doing it this way: It’s the Gonzo Way:

It was done with fine style and secrecy in order to avoid the looting and drunken violence that local lawmen feared would inevitably have followed the ceremony.

I know nothing about planning even the simplest wedding, nothing at all, and neither does sweet Anita, who is now my Wife… So we did it the Buddhist way. We drove straight to the County Courthouse on a stormy Thursday morning and were happily married by noon.  Sheriff bob performed the ceremony, his wife [Louisa] took pictures, and a black priest from Sicily handled the video camera. It was fun.

Our honeymoon was even simpler. We drank heavily for a few hours with Chris Goldstein and accepted gifts from strangers, then we drove erratically back out to the Owl Farm and prepared for our own, very private celebration by building a huge fire, icing down a magnum of Cristal Champagne, and turning on the Lakers-Timberwolves game until we passed out and crawled to the bedroom.  Omnia Vincit Amor.

— Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube, 2003

Until next time, your friend, 

Anita Thompson

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April 20, 2008

Gentle Reminder

Johnny Depp called me from France last night and asked what I knew about Osama bin Laden.

"Nothing," I said. "Nothing at all. He is a ghost, for all I know. Why do you ask?"

"Because I am terrified of him," he said. "All of France is terrified.  I was in the American Embassy today when they caught some terrorists trying to blow it up.  I freaked out and rushed to the airport, but when I got there my flight was cancelled.  All flights to the U.S. were canceled. People went crazy with fear."

"Join the club," I told him. "Almost everybody went crazy over here."

"Never mind that," he said. "Who won the Jets-Colts game?"

"There was no game," I said. "All sport was canceled in this country — even Monday Night Football."

"No!" he said. "That’s impossible! I’ve never known a Monday night without a game on TV. What’s the stock market doing?" 

"Nothing yet," I said. "It’s been closed for six days."

"Ye gods," he muttered.  "No stock market, no football — this is Serious."

Just then I heard the lock on my gas tank rattling, so I rushed outside with the shotgun and fired both barrels into the darkness. Poachers! I thought.  Blow their heads off! This is War! I fired another blast in the general direction of the gas pump, then went inside to reload.

"Why are you shooting?" Anita screamed at me. "What are you shooting at?"

"The enemy," I said gruffly….

…Indeed. but the New York Stock Exchange opens in thirteen minutes, so I have to get a grip on somthing solid. The Other Shoe is about to drop, and it may be extremely heavy. The time has come to be strong. The fat is in the fire. Who knows what will happen now?

Not me, buster. That’s why I live out here in the mountains with a flag on my porch and loud Wagner music blaring out of my speakers. I feel lucky and have plenty of ammunition. That is God’s will, they say, and that is also why I shoot into the darkness at anything that moves."

— Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube (2001)

So, here I am, on my way home soon, and realized I need to address one specific blog reader today. The loads of anti-Hillary emails are fine. I can’t possibly reply to them all, but I do try to read all that come in. But Mr. Violent, you know who you are, should know that threats and photos of your guns and ammunition do not intimidate me one bit. These macho, idiotic, and may I add, ILLEGAL threats to me have been sent to the proper authorities and security has been beefed up.  Reminder to any other kooks out there that Owl Farm is still fortified, and Hunter taught me to use more than just the microwave. 

There are many right-wing, macho, non-"vegetarian" blogs out there. I suggest you read those instead. I will continue to write in my own personal voice. So kindly, Back Off. 


Anita Thompson


P.S. as for rest of the emails, yes I do plan to support Hillary from Owl Farm specifically, IF IF IF she wins the nomination. But yes, it’s an uphill battle and yes, I forgot to mention Pennsylvania. For those of you who want to make phone calls for her in the next 24 hours, you can sign up here.


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April 14, 2008


Oh God. On my lovely train ride back from Paris to Geneva, I read of the hell that broke loose over Obama’s pompous comments about rural Americans (Americans who also happen to vote in general elections, we’ve learned).

New York Times  reported it this way:

David Saunders, a Democratic strategist and rural advocate, advised John Edwards’s presidential campaign but is now neutral. He said he believed that Mr. Obama’s comments would offend rural voters.

“It could mean he’s rendered himself unelectable,” Mr. Saunders said. “This is a perfect example of why Democrats lose elections.”

 But, nobody can put it better than Hunter, specifically what he wrote in Hey Rube, about Gore not understanding the Republican machine, specifically in Florida:

Ho ho ho. Whre the fuck did he think he think he was – in some friendly Civics class? Hell no, he was in Florida, arguably the most vicious and corrupt state in the Union…

… The whole Presidential election, in fact, was rigged and fixed from the start.  It was a gigantic Media Event, scripted & staged for TV.  It happens every four years, at an every-increasing cost, & 90 percent of the money always goes for TV commercials. Of course, nobody would give a damn, except politics is beginning to smell like professional football, Dank & Nasty. And that’s a problem that could haunt America a lot longer than four years folks.

— Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

You know I’ve said, ad nauseam, how nice it would be to have a democrate, Hillary, who actually has the wisdom and experience to beat the republicans at their own game. But, we shall see, right? My friend Curtis made me laugh once when he said "No, I don’t belong to any organized political party, I’m a Democrat…" yep. 

A thoughtful blog reader emailed me the other day. Obama has given so many people "hope" with his gorgeous speeches, good looks, vitality and charm. He seems so great. And he is… but there is another side to Obama that is starting to show.  Brian, from Pennsylvania, was saddened by Obama’s attitude:

Well, I’ve been reading the parts of your blog about your support of Hillary through an "Obama filter" up till now. I mean, Obama seemed like a pretty solid lock to me. Good ideas on his website. Maybe they are.

Barack has some great ideas, I think. And he expresses them well. For example, his recent comment touching on the flap over his former pastor’s fulminations about race cut close, in a general way, to the truth:

"If White America were music, it’d be a John Philip Sousa march.  If Black America were music, it’d be a jazz orchestra, with blue notes." But, with his "bitter" comments about Pennsylvanians "clinging to God and guns," I’ve had to rethink.

My people on my father’s side are Scotch-Irish going back to Appalachia during and before the Revolutionary War. Nobody out of all that side of the family tree ever "clung" to anything. They stood up for what they believed in. For Obama to so characterize such folk nowadays seems out of touch. With what else human might he be out of touch?

Your friend, Brian

Well put, Brian. As you know, in my humble opinion, Hillary is the best candiate … Ta da… Enough for now. I’ve gotta run.

Though I MUST tell you about my last day in Paris. I skipped yoga and ditched French class early to spend a few hours in the Babylon exhibition at the Louvre. If you get the chance, I highly recommend this exhibition of aritifacts and explanations of the missing Babylon that has captured the imagination and even became one of the seven wonders of the world despite the fact that we have no actual architecture of the city to examine! It has been criticized as an evil city but also described as one of the holiest and most advanced places on earth. I could have spent the whole day, but only had an afternoon. Well worth it.

Of course, I had to say goodbye, once again, to our beloved Mona Lisa. Choosing to skip everything else in the museum that day, I did do an American-style power walk up to le deuxieme etage, 7th gallery to bid adieu to her beauty. It was a treat indeed.

Having a few hours before my evening train depature, it was necessary for me to at least walk to L’Hotel (Des Beaux Arts), Oscar Wilde’s last home. It was just going to be a place for me to have tea and say hello to Mr. Wildes’ spirit. But, the most incredible thing happened. It is as if nothing has changed since Nov 30th, 1900 (except the wallpaper is rather nice).

After my tea, two sweet hotel managers, wearing dark purple velvet blazers, green ties and bright smiles, showed me around.

But the most incredible journey was on my own… down to the wine cellar, where Wilde himself would make his selections. As I winded down stone stairwarys deep under the Paris ground, I started to sink into a serious time warp, like going down to a sunless sea. I studied the stone walls, the bottles, the ground, the musty air down there. It was, well, as if I had dropped a hit of acid… The sense of timelessness, Hunter, Wilde, Absinthe, and all of underground Paris history filled me to the brim. 

I have no idea how long I was down there, but it must have been quite a while, becuase when I came back up, and out the hotel front door, the sky was still blue, as before, but during my time underground, a heavy storm had passed over and drenched the streets with rain.

Still filled with my own private thoughts, I started to feel the ever present melancholy as I walked toward the train station, head down, looking at the wet cobblestone street. What did I see when I turned the corner and looked up? A HUGE BRIGHT RAINBOW ARCHING OVER NOTRE DAME!  It was like a scripted film. If only I were Oscar Wilde or Hunter, I would have the words to express to you what that moment was like.  

 That last day, filled with ancient Babylonian history, tea time at Des Beaux Arts, a wink to the Mona Lisa, journey under the earth to visit Mr. Wilde with Hunter in my heart, ended in Extreme Beauty.  If you havn’t already, I wish the same experience, in this liftetime, to you one day! All I can say is… Wow.

So now, I’m back in Geneva, finishing my classes here, and going back home to Owl Farm in a few weeks. Elle Magazine is flying me back in 10 days for an interview re: the release of the Gonzo Way in the UK, which should be fun. But it’s time to go home. I’m ready.

Okay. Take care. Your friend on her way home,

Anita Thompson

All comments are subject to review before being published.

April 06, 2008

Moulin Rouge

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to just love, and be loved in return.

– line from the movie Moulin Rouge (2001)

One night after watching that movie, I grabbed one of my old oil canvases from my oil painting days and painted (not even with paint, but with gesso) those words on the canvas. As cheesy as it might sound, it was fun, so Hunter and I hung it on the wall. I still have it. Those words splashed on a not-so-great mountain landscape in a huge gold frame. 

Anyway, I just bring this up because when I arrived in Paris last sunday, I gave the taxi driver my hotel address and as we drove up to my hotel (which I had no idea where it was) was in the Moulin Rouge district. Very easy to spot with the red windmill and the streets and streets of sex theatres. I also found out very quickly, that this area, also known as Montemarte area (because of Montemarte!) is one of the greatest sweetest areas of Paris. When I used to come in my earlier years with my family to visit Paris, we didn’t come to the bohemian hubs.

A few nights later, I moved a little closer to my school in the center of Paris. The room is as small as a closet, but it has a huge window that overlooks central Paris, and the whole Montemartre area and the top of Sacre-Coeur. C’est beautiful!

I’ve met some great people from both my french language school and yoga studio. This weekend I spent some time with two lovely artists Shelly De Vito (who instructed one of my yoga classes) and her husband, graphic and architectual artist (& chess champion) James. We had a nice dinner in Montemartre, talked about Shelly’s work in the theatre and  La Spirale d’Or which is a group of artists that work together internationally. It’s wonderful energy in this city. Their dear friend, author of The Lord of The Barnyard,  Tristan Egolf, who passed away in 2005, was deeply inspired by Hunter. It was good to talk about loved ones on the other side.

The school work, walking around Paris and the interview ms are some of the reasons I’ve been out of pocket. But I’m headed back to Geneva soon, then after a week or so with my niece and nephew, will fly back home to Owl Farm. The Woody Creeker should be in the mail now. The home crew had some problems getting it out the door. But they should be sent out by now. If not, I’ll fly home sooner. 

We’ll also catch up on the Hillary/Obama issues. The news coverage here in Europe is much different than it is in the States. I have no idea what is going on with Britnie Spears, but BBC keeps me up to the minute news on the Zimbabwe elections, Tibetan protests, Bush/Putin AND Sarkozy/Brown Brotherhoods and the weather all over the world. I haven’t heard a word about Hillary, Obama, McCain until I log on and check my NYTimes, Post, etc….

Will check in soon. I’m tired tonight, and now a little depressed. It rained all day. I went to Hotel De Ville on Ralph’s advice to see a photo exhibit a day early  to attend a rally that organizers staged to try to push the French governement to force the release or at least medical aid of Ingrid Betancourt. What that woman has gone through all these years, I can only imagine.

Otherwise, Paris is fantastic. I only wish… well anyway…

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

p.s. My wonderful brother Peter, after correcting many typos in the blog last night, emailed this to me this morning:  

The Moulin Rouge quote, just like all the other songs in the film, is not original.  It’s a Nat King Cole song (originally written by Eden Ahbez in 1948) called Nature Boy:

Written by Eden Ahbez

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return"


P.P.S. For those of you who have noticed I tend to have typos in my blogs; my disclaimer is that I have been diagnosed with Irlene syndrome, (severe light sensitivity). So, words on a page blur and move around unless I’m wearing my dark filtering glasses, which only help, but doesn’t solve the problem. It’s often misdiagnosed as dyslexia, but in my case, and the case of an estimated 2 million Americans is photophobia. That’s another reason nobody ever asks me to proofread their writing. It’s not that I don’t care, I simply don’t SEE letters/words correctly. Sorry!!! 


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