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August 26, 2008

Thank You Hillary

Okay. Did you see Hillary’s speech?  if that isn’t high voltage Leadership, I don’t know what is. Barack must indeed be pleased, she just got him many millions of votes.  You go girl. Thank you Hillary.




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Wind In the Sails!


"Ships in the harbor are safe,” someone once said,  “but this is not what ships are made for.”  And sometimes relationships become not partnerships in life’s great adventure but excuses to stop ourselves from growing, taking risks, and living life to the fullest.
           –Arianna Huffington, On Becoming Fearless.

This is the first page that I opened of Arianna’s book that was being offered to bloggers that I picked up at her “Huffington Post Oasis: to unplug and recharge” new age Yoga,  massage and meditation quiet zone on the third floor of the crazy zoo that is the Big Tent.

Jerri and I went there earlier, where Arianna was swarmed by flashing bulbs, cameras, reporters and bloggers all wanting to talk to her about, well, everything. It was like watching the Marilyn Monroe/ Katharine Graham of the DNC. She maneuvered gracefully and through the crowd and gave her time and attention as if each reporter was the only one in the room.

Anyway, why am I bringing up the sailboat image that jumped out at me as I thumbed through my new copy of Arianna’s book? Because Ted Kennedy’s speech and the video tribute to him with the sailboat did move me, unexpectedly.  My blog entries on my own blog, and Huffington post don’t hide the fact I’ve been a Hillary supporter ever since I started researching her history with the press.  Like many pragmatists,  I decided, reluctantly to support Obama the day Hillary dropped out. 

But the pieces are coming together now, and Kennedy’s and Jimmy Carter’s video address did put some wind back into the sails.  So Here’s to setting sail for the future with Obama at the helm.

But he is going to have to find a message, and find it QUICK. Hopefully he will say "this election is not about me, it’s about you." as many times as Bill Clinton said "bridge" in his acceptance speech in 1992.  Who knows.

Until next time, your friend, getting on board,

Anita Thompson


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August 24, 2008

Re-Create ’68?

Hi. It’s Sunday night and we just finished dinner here at Jerri’s house where Lynn Goldsmith has now joined us for the week. As the actual Convention inches closer, and I finished the final exam today for Journalism, I’m starting to feel those pangs again without Hunter. So, it’s a blessing to be witnessing this (hopefully) historic DNC with two amazing women and listen to them talk, over a shared Pad Thai stir fry tonight, about their experiences at the1969 protest in Washington. [more…]

They both bused in from University of Michigan, although they didn’t know each other at the time, to join the rest of the 600,000+ protesters to protest the Vietnam War. This was a year after Chicago 1968 ,which is a shared experience that although turned into a bloody nightmare, was a special time in America. Of course, the following year would end in the massacre at Kent State.

But so intense was the1968 DNC nightmare that there seems to be a nostalgia that surrounds it, and makes those of us who were not alive or around at the time almost envy it. Why? The group in charge of today’s protest even call themselves “recreate 68. “.
I listened to Jerri and Lynn talk about their experiences, who are now both successful women who remember that era of American history. It was indeed bizarre to listen to the stories of 1968, ‘69, ’70, not just from Hunter over the years, but now with Lynn and Jerri, while surrounded with DNC press gift bags sponsored by Qwest, AT&T; and other mega brands.Jerri and Lynn work full time for those values of the 60s, despite the fact that the DNC is a corporate event.

As I watch the journalist bloggers and photographers, videographers, protesters, even tourists in Denver this weekend, it brings up one of Hunter’s passages:

There is probably some long-standing “rule” among writers, journalists, and other word-mongers that says: “When you start stealing from your own work, you’re in bad trouble.” And it may be true. I am growing extremely weary of writing constantly about politics. My brain has become a steam-vat; my body is turning to wax and bad flab; impotence looms; my fingernails are growing at a fantastic rate of speed – they are turning into claws…People are beginning to notice, I think, but fuck them. I am beginning to notice some of their problems too…
— Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

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August 23, 2008

Brooding on Biden

Okay, I just arrived to Jerri’s house, driving from Owl Farm through a massive rain storm through the Rocky Mountains.

Yes, I’ve been brooding about our new VP candidate. The only people I’ve seen doing back flips over the Biden affair are Joe Biden and John McCain. A million unlikely voters got text messages at 3am with the "The VP Announcement!" Yeah!!! They opened their texts and saw…What? Joe Biden?  Oh. And went back to sleep.

If Joe Biden had his way all these years with the laws he’s been writing, Hunter would have been in jail.

I posted my first entry for Jeralyn’s Talkleft.com. with more on the topic of, jesus, what is this presidential campaign going to be like without Hunter…

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August 20, 2008

Burning Bridges

Glenda from NYC sent me this link  (thanks Glenda)– which reminded me of the whole burning bridges issue.

One thing I learned from Hunter — that I still have a hard time remembering — is that some bridges are meant to be burned, particularly if it’s a bridge to nowhere. 

Most of my life, I tried to be liked by everybody. I failed of course, but spent years trying nonetheless. DUMB! First, it’s impossible to be liked by everybody, second, what I didn’t realize all those years is that it’s a badge of honor to be loathed by certain people. Although Hunter was a master at it, to try it myself only occurred to me after Hunter died.

Until I was 33 yrs old, I was one of those, yes… people pleasers. Ugh. Looking back, what a colossal waste of time! Hunter would tell me, but maybe I was just too young? Who knows. Hunter learned the value of being disliked by a select group of people at a very early age. But then again, he was a genius.  Me, two decades older than he was, I’m only just starting to get the hang of it. But I do recommend it!

Anyway, I’m at the library again studying for my last exams — to be followed by the Convention!  As Nikita Krushchev famously said, "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river." Thus, some bridges should be burned for the greater good.

From Hunter’s intro to Campaign trail, which is quoted in the review:


Unlike most other correspondents, I could afford to burn all my bridges behind me — because I was only there for a year, and the last thing I cared about was establishing long-term connections on Capitol Hill. I went there for two reasons: (1) to learn as much as possible about the mechanics and realities of a presidential campaign, and (2) to write about it in the same way I’d write about anything else — as close to the bone as I could get, and to hell with the consequences.
— Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72


In 2003, British novelist A.L. Kennedy named Hunter S. Thompson’s 1972 campaign book one of the 10 most offensive books in history — on a list that also included Lolita, Wuthering Heights , and Don Quixote.  This week on the Barnes & Noble Review (www.bn.com/review), Cameron Martin considers Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, in light of the current presidential campaign.

“Next week’s Democratic Convention is in Denver, Colorado, just 220 miles from Thompson’s former home in Aspen. The creator of Gonzo Journalism won’t be there in person, but his addictive spirit will certainly make an appearance,” writes Martin.

Martin explores the impact that covering the 1972 elections had on Thompson’s life, including fanning the flames of his lifelong fascination with politics and solidifying his place as a venomous opponent to both “liberal elitists” and “conservative stalwarts.”

Okay. Until next time, your friend, building and burning bridges,

Anita Thompson



Here’s a link to Robert Stacy McCain’s analysis re: Obama VP, and a little McGovern history (or debacle) from Frank Mankiewicz (thanks Stacy) Nice to read a TIME interview from 1972!

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August 16, 2008

Wesley Clark…

If not Hillary, then please man, pick Wesley Clark. Not a lot of people are aware that Hunter and I were big supporters of Wesley Clark before John Kerry got the nomination. After seeing McCain and Obama tonight answering questions from a California church, I am worried. But will be less worried if Obama picks Wesley Clark. As I watched Senator Slick McSame, I reached over my laptop, opened Hunter’s drawer to check on the little keychain that says “Wesley” that I gave Hunter about 5 years ago. Shucks. It’s still there. Hunter respected Gen Clark, and so do I, and so does most of the world.

Jesus, at that time, we also worried that Bush would switch Condi Rice as VP (at a time when Cheney seemed like was going to resign b/c of the “health” issues). Although maybe that wouldn’t be so bad! The Republican conservatives might explode into pieces if he picks a woman as VP.

Who knows?

80 days until the election.

OKAY, start placing your bets…

See you in Denver,

Anita Thompson

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August 15, 2008


Here’s link of Huffpo column re: John McCain in Aspen on Huffintonpost.com

Afternoon Update: Apparently I’m already getting bitchy emails from some blog readers who are irritated that I’m not more “Hunter S. Thompson-Like” on this Campaign Trail.

Let me just remind you that
1. I’m not a professional journalist,
2. I’m not “on the campaign trail”,
3. I don’t act or write like Hunter,
4.nor do I encourage others to write like him.
Just be yourself… and I’ll keep being myself — THAT’s the Gonzo Way.
Thank You!

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McCain In Aspen

First of all, it’s my Dad’s birthday this week, so please wish darling Alex a Happy B-day! He lives in Kiev with my little sister and sweetheart Olga, and we all are thinking of ya’ll!! I just posted for Huffpo: (will post link in the AM) and here is a little of what a  Polish/Ukrainian/American/Gonzo pseudo-journalist had to say about McCain. Hmmm


ASPEN, Colo. – It was a Sunshiny day indeed at the Aspen Institute with Senator John McCain supporters crawling out of their hummers and Range Rovers to hear his speech and fundraising quotes. I live in Woody Creek, so I’ve been coming to Institute speeches for years.


Hunter was a teenage girl trapped in the body of an elderly dope fiend, and His Holiness is a teenage girl trapped in the body of a Dalai Lama. What I saw Thursday is that John McCain is not a “creepy old white-haired guy” at all. He’s simply a slick politician trapped in the body of a politician.


Yesterday was different than the other Institute speeches because I had a press badge instead of a ticket, and I came to hear this Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services (and yes, he’s also the presumptive Republican Nominee) talk about how he might handle this Russian Crisis.


My little sister and father live in Kiev, and my mother’s side living throughout Poland, thus, I’m more than a little stressed. Walter Isaacson and John McCain  went back and forth with  some more campaign talk and because Thursday was the 73rd birthday of Social Security, Isaacson did ask him why not treat Social Security Investment like Energy investment, by putting everything on the table to consider. McCain said yes. But when the topic of tax increases for Social Security comes up. No Way. Isaacson comes back with a “but that’s not putting everything on the table.” McSlick replies with “I can’t be for tax increases.”



So, what’s a rookie pseudo-journalist like me to do? I’m crammed in the back with my people, the press, whom I’ve grown to love in the years working with Hunter. I was sitting with David Frey, Andrew Travers of the Daily News, and managing editor of my Woody Creeker Magazine, Kit Seelye from The New York Times, CBS News’ Ryan Corsaro, Stone from The Aspen Free Press, and Charles Babington from the AP. I know there will be no way in hell I’ll be able to ask McCain a question (more on Poland and Ukraine), as we are roped off way in the back corner. Earlier (before the bizarre music for McCain’s entrance began,) a lovely young girl with a badge walked up to us, and I thought, how sweet, she’s going to ask if we have everything we need. No she said we must leave our chairs immediately and move to the back. Wow. A lot has changed since Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail’ 72. Or has it? I wish I could just make one call to Hunter. I got the sense that most of the press also miss his voice and courage to walk past the out-of-bound lines.


Your friend in Woody Creek,


Anita Thompson

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August 11, 2008

Mr Jones

This is indeed a tense time for us all who watch the former KGB operative tell the U.N. to kiss off as Russian troops roll in to Georgia with 2500+ troops, fighter jets, tanks, bombs, bombs, bombs and more bombs despite Georgia’s plea for a Cease Fire. Well, shucks, what’s a bully to do when the whole world is yelling at you to stop the invasion.
Maybe the same thing one would do when Moqtada al-Sadr offered a dismantling of his Mahdi Army if we agree to a timetable of leaving Iraq. Remember, as Ravij Chandrasekaran reported on extensively,  was that despite his fiery rhetoric, what Moqtada really wanted, was a seat on the Governing Counsel….But CPA staffers, including viceroy Jerry Bremer rarely traveled into Sadre city and didn’t know how popular he had become.  And SCRI and Dawa, the two largest Shiite parties, were able to convince those powers that be that he shouldn’t be there. So, in August 2003 he (Moqtada al-Sadre) formed a militia called the Mahdi Army to protect himself and to gain respect from other Shiite leaders. By February of 2004, he was a HUGE threat. You don’t need me to remind us of what happened in Sadre City: The first city-wide disaster when we realized, as we were trapped, that Iraqis were never going to give us those promised roses.  
Well shucks, I’m not a military or foreign affairs expert. But I must disclose that I do come from a family that doesn’t exactly trust the Russian Government, being the granddaughter of an Officer in the Polish Underground Resistance against the KGB. Particularly after the Soviets rounded up the Polish Military Officers around Warsaw and those in exile in England in 1946. My grandfather, Boleslaw, was able to escape the KGB prison camp 6 weeks later and fought in the underground resistance for the following 10 years.
The KGB terrorized my mom’s family the entire time, until he died of cancer, in an undisclosed hospital 10 years later (a free man!). Anyway,  the Soviets were monstrous then, and it appears that they just can’t stomach the breakup of the Soviet Union. If Georgia were rich with only sheep-herders, instead of oil, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conflict. But I don’t know.
Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones. I certainly don’t know. And yes, Hunter would have something for us to think about right now. But it is appalling either way.  
The last time I saw Walter Isaacson while he interviewed   the 15th United States Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte.  It was so depressing to hear the dep. Sec .of State saying it would be a “pity” if international peace talks fall apart. Maybe he just had too many glasses of wine at lunch.  (the previous event, I watched the Dalai Lama single  Walter out and thank him for creating a “dialogue” between the Tibetan monks and the Chinese scholars, at least at the Institute.  His Holiness said that it was “very helpful”  after his speech that this would have to be the “Age Of Dialogue.”

Yes,  this was BEFORE Russia invaded Georgia. So here we are,  less than a month later, watching the Russians roll in after Georgia has agreed to cease fire in South Ossetia and plea for a total cease-fire of Russian troops – with the only response being more bombs. It is all very depressing. Particularly given this presidential election climate.

I’ll listen to McCain on Thursday and post (hopefully with better research) on Huffingtonpost.com, to see what he has to say about it.  Arianna has given Obama some VERY good advice about how to handle this one.
But… it’s not all bad here.  I do have very good news on the local front.  Our sweetheart George Recile is coming to town for Aspen Jazz fest! He’ll be here with our friends Tony Garnier, Don Herron, Stu Kimball, Denny Freeman and yes, our dearest Bob Dylan will lead. . Yes! Did you buy tickets yet?

 Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

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August 07, 2008

Hunter S. Thompson and Mark Twain

The Friends of the Library of Montgomery County System, in Maryland, have reclassified Hunter’s work from Journalism/Politics to Classics. Hunter and Mark Twain are now shelved side by side.

Thank you Tom Beach for letting us know.

I’m a little emotional, and so proud that I simply don’t have any words for this. 


Anita Thompson



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August 03, 2008

Heaven’s Angels

Guess what? The exam went really well actually yesterday, despite a soar throat and fever..(3 hrs of sleep will do that  to me now). So, today  I’m a happy camper.

I’m also a happy camper because I’ve decided to live in, and probably write about a convent in NYC. I grew up catholic, but practiced a form of buddhism for years, and now practice a form of meditative yoga, and thought, hell, why not get to know my birth religion and its sisters a little better?  I Have not been accepted to the convent yet, but will hear soon. I’ll still be the Anita you know (I’m not turning into a nun). They have a vow of silence after certain hours, which is exactly what is necessary for my Fall semester which is JAM PACKED and I need to study. And if Hunter could hang with  Hell’s Angels for a while, I can hang with Heaven’s Angels for a while too, and dig it!

Anyway, darling Brandon just transcribed some never-before published words by Hunter that will be included in Ancient Gonzo Wisdom.  This book  is fantastic — more unpublished material than any book on the market since Hunter’s last book. We are very fortunate to have found so many obscure  interviews from 1967-2005.  Looking Great!


Here’s a clip:

Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson

*Manuscript additions – August 1, 2008

Interview with Peter Gzowski on 90 Minutes Live – April 12, 1977 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Peter Gzowski: Welcome Back. Even though a lot of journalists are acquiring a kind of stardom of their own these days, its pretty rare when one of them becomes, even in the eyes of his most devoted readers or followers, almost more interesting himself than the people and the events that he writes about. One such person is my next guest. He’s the author that went to live with the Hells Angels of California and then in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine turned the same kind of eye on American and world politics. Would you welcome him, please – Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

Gzowski: Doctor…

HST: Doctor, thank-you, yes.

Gzowski: You call yourself a doctor when you write…

HST: Well I’m a doctor.

Gzowski: A doctor of?

HST: Divinity.

Gzowski: Who gave you a doctor of divinity?

HST: I worked for it… in night school.

Gzowski: Did you really?

HST: Yeah… Oh, it’s true. The Catholic Church in Aspen challenged my authority to perform marriages but they lost… and the priests lucked out.

P.S. I want to say some nice things about William McKeen’s book that just came out. I can’t get logged on to amazon for some reason. But if some could please post this on MCKeen’s site on Amazon, I’d be most grateful!

Of all the "Biographies" about Hunter that have come out in the last year, this is definitely  the best. William was a friend to Hunter, had an academic history with him, and his book shows his interest in Hunter’s work, more so than just tawdry gossip. It has far fewer inaccuracies than the others. William also managed to put out the book while dealing with his own health issues. So Huge congratulations to him. As Hunter’s wife, I highly recommend this book to you!


until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

morning update: Thanks Rory Feehan for posting on Amazon for me!

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August 02, 2008

Send Lawyers Guns and Money

Well Well Well. It’s 2am, I’m not quite finished studying for Int law exam tomorrow. but did turn in my brief a few hours ago. One thing I"m learning about International Law is that A) we are THE MOST LITIGIOUS country in the World and B) no matter where you are, if you didn’t protect yourself in a solid contract, it’s still best to have LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY.

So I’ll post Warren’s lyrics  here. And blast it in the car tomorrow on  way to my exam to burn into my brain things like Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 2003(CISG). 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), International concessions such as BOTs and BOOs and all sorts of things  i’m trying to keep straight. I must admit, I did get a big ego from my last exam, but now, I’m more nervous about this one. Wish me luck. Then I have to do a brief about a case from 1993 based in Saudi Arabia Where the US Supreme Court ruled for the Saudi’s becuase of the language of FSIA.

So: Here’s an appropriate ending to the eveing, now that it’s 2:20am:

Well, I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians, too

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

I’m the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I’m down on my luck
And I’m down on my luck
And I’m down on my luck

Now I’m hiding in Honduras
I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan

Send lawyers, guns and money…

— Warren Zevon

Until next time, your friend, who’s a little tired and a little nervous!

Anita Thompson

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