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October 14, 2008

Hunter’s Moon

My darling research assistant Brandon Wenerd sent me this email today, which should lift your spirits too. Bob Weir is quoting a sentiment of Hunter’s which is also in Hey Rube, that if every Dead Head had voted, we wouldn’t be in this mess:

Hey there!

Tonight is the “Hunter’s Moon,” or the first full moon after the fall equinox. Back in more primitive times, the Hunter’s Moon was a time of epic harvest feasts for some Native American tribes. It is believed that, on this day, stealthy hunters, huntress, and herdsmen used the pale moonlight to track the animal footsteps in fallow fields in order to sustain the tribe for the winter. However, after covering the Grateful Dead/Allman’s concert last night here in State College on the eve of the 2008 Hunter’s Moon, I believe the lunar celebration has taken on a new meaning. After five hours of dancing to blissful blues, vintage psychedelia, and cheering for an assortment of campaign rhetoric, the 15,000-plus crowd hushed as Bob Weir took to the microphone. “I believe it was a good friend of ours, the late, great Hunter S. Thompson that said something back in 2004 that really caught our eye. Hunter said, ‘If every Deadhead in the state of Flordia would have voted on election day in 2000, we would be living in a very different world…Think about it.” The crowd roared with enthuasism before they launched into Touch of Grey, giving the chorus of “I will survive” a moment of very real clarity and perspective. When an arena full of Deadheads from all walks of life traveled from all across the country to Central Pennsylvania and raved to life at Hunter’s quote on the urgency of ‘The Grateful Dead Vote’, I realized that last night was truly a brave, new type of Hunter’s Moon celebration, complete with a profound sense of tangiable urgency to all the unabashed “freaks in the freak kingdom.”

Anyway, I thought you’d be interested in that, since it just transpired last night and was an offical Obama “campaign event.” It was a great night and a fantastic moment.

Met Ben Corbett and his amegio, “The Colonel” last night when covering the Grateful Dead reunion here in State College. What a great guy! His article for The Boulder Weekly and High Times is going to run sometime later this week. My piece will run in Voices of Central Pennsylvania’s November issue. Just wanted to pass all this on. Hope all is well.


Yes, all is well. Brandon may not remember the message that he and Ben left on my voice mail from the rally. It sounded like they were having a GREAT time! Very sweet guys!

Anyway, all is going well for now in NY. I’m studying for midterms. I did go to American Studies Open House with several of the professors from the various departments today. My professor of United States Intellectual History class, Casey Blake, spoke fondly of the times he has taught Hunter’s Vegas, and Campaign Trail ’72.

Anyway, back to the books for now,
your friend,
Anita Thompson

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October 13, 2008

You Know That I Would Now If Only I Could

A brand new baby was born yesterday
Just in time
Papa cried, baby cried
Said "Your tears are like mine"
I heard some words
From a friend on the phone
That didn’t sound so good
The doctor gave him two weeks to live
I’d give him more if I could

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

Down the middle drops one more
Grain of sand
They say that
New life makes losing life easier to understand
Words are kind
They helped ease the mind
I’ll miss my old friend
And though you gotta go
We’ll keep a piece of your soul
One goes out
One comes in

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

Jack Johnson , If I Could

I’ve been getting emails for some time wondering what Hunter would say about this election. We know his love of politics, also his loathing of politics, and yes, I would say he’d be for Obama. He did vote for Nader in 2000, but it was because Colorado was so far Right in the polls that a vote for Nader was a vote for that 5% we were all hoping Nader would get (which would have meant federal matching funds for campaigning… the pseudo birth of a third party)… We all know what a failure that was.

Then in 2004, he was initially for Wesley Clark (he and Michael Moore shared that sentiment) and eventually wrote in support of John Kerry.

This election cycle has become increasingly painful for those of us who were close to him, and for many of you who were close to his writing around election time. I go in and out of excitement and extreme personal depression and back again  in a Hunterless roller coaster. But with a lot of hard work, and luck, I hope that we will take back the White House.

Perhaps the most important message Hunter taught us about Politics is that it is an art, for ALL of us. "Politics is the art of controlling your environment."  Thus, to answer your emails, I would say, it is an art not just for politicians, but you…personally. So, do what you can to control your environment, particularly if you’re in a swing state, right? Make calls, do the rounds: get involved.

I’ve gotta run to class, but didn’t want you to think I was ignoring emails. But remember, I’m not a professional journalist, I don’t try to write or act like Hunter, but I do try to follow his wisdom, which is to be my own person — advice he gave to everyone. So, those disappointed in my style — that is NOT Hunter’s style, please check out Hey Rube, or Better Than Sex, Fear and Loathing on The Campaign Trail for past campaign coverage… but definately get busy with your own life…and make some calls for the Obama campaign, or write a blog or something. Again, you can always open a page of Hunter’s work if you want your spirit lifted. In those pages, he will live forever.  Regardless, I do feel your pain. I wish I could bring him back too…

Okay, your friend,

Anita Thompson



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October 08, 2008

GonzoStore Update

Peter B (your friendly Gonzo Webmaster) here with a long awaited update from GonzoStore.  GonzoStore now offers a limited edition Gold and Silver Gonzo Logo Lapel Pin. This 3D gold and silver collector’s pin is limited to 500 numbered casts. In addition to the pin, GonzoStore also has a limited supply of archive issues of the Woody Creeker magazine – both the Spring 2008 and the Democratic Convention (Fall 2008) issues. All three items are in limited supply, but available. pin-3wc.jpg

 I couldn’t finish a blog post without mentioning election related issue: voter registration numbers are breaking records in states around the country this year, but thousands of eligible voters have still not registered to vote.   The deadline for mailing in registration applications in 21 states was this past Monday, October 6th. If you’re a new voter, be sure to mail your application on time!.  The deadline in Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina and the Virgin Islands is Saturday, the 4th. Alaska’s deadline was the 5th.  The remaining state deadlines are scattered throughout October.  Eight states allow registration on the same day as the election, in case you forget to register beforehand. Those states are: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  North Dakota is the only state that doesn’t require voters to register in order to cast a ballot. (thanks to Kim Zetter on the Wired blog for the info).

 -Pete B 

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Joe Biden Channeling Hunter

My friend and former teacher, Jon Kenneth Williams, sent me this link from Washington Post where Biden talks about the Fear and Loathing on the campaign trail:

"You know, the idea here that somehow these guys are once again injecting fear and loathing into this campaign is … I think it’s mildly dangerous," Biden said. "Here you have out there these kinds of, you know, incitements out there — guy introducing Barack using his middle name as if it’s some epitaph or something," Biden told a crowd more than a thousand at a rally in Tampa, apparently meaning to use the word "epithet."

Dangerous indeed!

Jon gets a kick out of the malapropism. But maybe it will eventually be McCain’s epitaph! Now THAT’S channeling.

Your friend,

Anita Thompson


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October 06, 2008

Dear John McCain,

Dear John McCain,

This is a sincere Thank You note for being the man to put my heart, soul, time and money back into politics.

My beloved late husband, Hunter S. Thompson, gave me the political bug years ago. And to honor his spirit, I was asked to blog for several exciting websites during the Denver Convention. I accepted, but because I was a Hillary supporter, I was going through the motions with thinly veiled apathy and losing steam fast.

My story is not uncommon. I was one of the millions who were hoping for that Clinton/(Obama) ticket. With that failure, it got worse as the months went by. I got depressed, and even sick, my self-esteem tanked, and interest in either party was slipping away.
Then whamo! With your VP pick, the Obama/Biden ticket is not just the better of the two parties, it is a bright and shining star next to the arrogant and stupid Sarah Palin you put in our faces.

So thank you John McCain for picking a woman who represents the worst-case scenario: A cute wild buffoon who is proud to be dumb. You put a twisted mirror up to all of us who strive to work hard, keep learning and become better women.

Because of your choice for VP, I have arranged for some time away from my studies at Columbia University and fly home during election week to volunteer for Obama.

So thank you for putting the spring back in my step, my money, time and spirit to Obama & Biden that was not there before. Thank you again, you beautiful little man.

Most Sincerely,

Anita Thompson

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Yoga, Truth and More Looting of the Treasury

Good morning. it’s way too early again. But I’m awake, coughing up bits of lung, sniffling, wheezing, fever  and thinking about how I have to skip yoga and worry about my classes, the economy and if the airlines will be in business to get me home for Halloween.  Hell, why not worry about the weather too.  Ugh. Maybe I should take some Nyquil, or however you spell it. Anyway, here is a Huffington post  from my adventures with a Yogi in Philadelphia this weekend:




Your coughing, aching, sneezing, sniffling so you can rest medicine, friend, Anita Thompson

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October 01, 2008

Wall Street, Ohio Kids, and McPalin

Good morning! it’s 5:45 am here in New York, 62 degrees in Central park. I shot out of bed this morning from strange dreams and NPR on the radio to voices of students who camped out in Ohio, ready to utilize the early voting machines. Very exciting. The organizers in Ohio are at their best. They’re "not going to make the same mistakes they made in 2004" said one organizer.  The financial crisis seems to be working to Obama’s advantage on all fronts:  beware of course, as Saul Alinsky, the father Chicago style grassroots organizing was quoted by Hunter:

"Don’t worry, boys, we’ll weather this storm of approval and come out as hated as ever." –Saul Alinsky to his staff shortly before his death, June 1972

Before that, he wrote in Rules for Radicals, outlining his strategy in organizing, writing in the prologue:

There’s another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.

So, what will happen if and when a bill is finally passed by congress to bail out the corporations, banks and as of this morning, some Detroit auto workers? Some people are saying that the Vice Presidential debates will have a huge impact. I don’t know about that. McPalin seeems more like pure entertainment than anything else. But then again, I guess we shouldn’t underestimate Palin, despite her moose-in-the-headlights performances in interviews so far:

Our friend Kit Seelye (who attended Hunter’s memorial after taking a ride with me in the 200 foot high crane basket earlier that day), has been following McCain. She was also the one who pulled many gonzo truth telling tactics and brought to light the fact that McCain was not in the building when Obama was answering the questions that day in the first Q&A. Kit has now researched Palin’s Alaskan gubernatorial debates:

Perhaps her strength in debating was coming across like an average person who understood the average person’s needs and would not be expected to have detailed policy prescriptions.

She also neutralized some of her conservative social views. She said intelligent design should be taught in schools — along with evolution. She said she favored the teaching of abstinence — along with the teaching of sex education. “Let the kids debate both sides,” she said.

She was not a particularly aggressive debater, and she rarely took an opportunity to challenge her opponents. But when pressed, she could be tough. In a roundtable discussion in October on the “Bob and Mark Show,” Mr. Halcro suggested that Ms. Palin had not attended enough debates.

“It’s been a year today that I’ve been on the campaign trail,” Ms. Palin responded, “attending many, many more forums, more debates, than either one of you, Tony and Andrew, because I had a primary opponent. You know, you got to have the balls to take it on in the early part of a campaign, and not just go right to the big show.”

read the rest of KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, New York Times here.

Anyway, I’m lacing up my tennies for a jog, to procrastinate finishing the not-so-exciting essay I fell asleeep reading last night…

Until next time, your friend off to jog in Riverside Park, far far away from Wall Street!

Anita Thompson


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