Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Origin Of "Fear And Loathing"

(In a letter to his friend, William Kennedy, Thompson uses the term, "Fear and Loathing", perhaps for the first time, written on the Day John Kennedy was assasinated in Dallas)

November, 22, 1963
Woody Creek

I am tired enough to sleep here in this chair, but I have to be in town at 8:30 when Western Union opens so what the hell. Besides, I am afraid to sleep for fear of what I might learn when I wake up. There is no human being within 500 miles to whom I can communicate anything - much less the fear and loathin that is on me after today's murder. God knows I might go mad for lack of talk. I have become like a psychotic Sphinx - I want to kill because I can't talk.
I suppose you will say the rotten murder has no meaning for a true writer of fiction, and that the "real artist" in the "little magazines" are above such temporal things. I wish I could agree, but in fact I think what happened today is far more meaningful than the entire contents of the "little magazines" for the past 20 years. And the next 20, if we get that far.
We now enter the era of the shitrain, President Johnson and the hardening of the arteries. Neither your children nor mine will ever be able to grasp what Gatsby was after. No more of that. You misunderstand it of course, peeling back the first and most obvious layer. Take your "realism" to the garbage dump. Or the "little magazines." They are like a man who goes into a phone booth to pull his pod. Nada, nada.
The killing has put me in a state of shock. The rage is trebled. I was not prepared at this time for the death of hope, but here it is. Ignore it at your peril. I have written Semonin, that cheap book-store Marxist, that he had better tell his boys to buy bullets. And forget the dialectic. This is the end of reason, the dirtiest hour in our time. I mean to come down from the hills and enter the fray. Tomorrow a cabled job request to "The Reporter." Failing that, the "Observer." Beyond that, God knows, but it will have to be something. From now until the 1964 elections every man with balls should be on the firing line. The vote will be the most critical in the history of man. No matter what, today is the end of an era. No more fair play. From now on it is dirty pool and judo in the clinches. The savage nuts have shattered the great myth of American decency. They can count me in - I feel ready for a dirty game.
Fiction is dead. Mailer is an antique curiosity. The stakes are now too high and the time too short. What, O what, does Eudora Welty have to say? Fuck that crowd. The only hope now is to swing hard with the right hand, while hanging on to sanity with the left. Politics will become a cockfight and reason will go by the
boards. There will have to be somebody to carry the flag.
My concept of the new novel would have fit this situation, but now I see no hope for getting it done, if indeed, any publishing houses survive the Nazis scramble that is sure to come. How could we have known, or even guessed? I think we have come to that point.
Send word if you still exist -

(From "The Proud Highway: Saga Of A Desperate Southern Gentlemen")

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

RIP Hunter S Thompson

[This is a] forced march through my personal history. I don't think many people could sit calmly while boxes of intimate - and in some cases no doubt incriminating - correspondence were dredged up from sealed basement vaults. But I did, Bubba, but always from afar, from the greatest distance, trying not to cause trouble - and because I wanted to stay in the shadows and act like I was dead, and others tried to act the same way. "Mistah Thompson, he dead..." We all understood that their work and their lives and their long-range professional Fate would be a lot easier if I went out on a slick Ducati motorcylce one night and never came back.

-From the Author's note for "The Proud Highway"

Thompson, is the reason I became interested in politics in the first place.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert: pseudo-journalist, right wing hack, snappy dresser.

I love stories like this. A guy, who is not a journalist, get's waved into the White House briefing room on a regular basis, uses a phony name, and even gets to ask the President himself a question in a rare prime-time press conference. This guy who went by the name Jeff Gannon, claiming to be a "reporter" for something called Talon News, and who's real name was Jim Guckert, get's in to the White House, but a real reporter, Maureen Dowd, who has covered the White House since 1986, get's her press credintials held up for months by the Bush people ostensibly to do another securtiy check.

What were they checking for, and how tight could security be if one guy is using a fake name. Of course Guckert didn't use a fake name to get in, let's hope. But really what's worse, the fact that he got in, and the White House knew he was using a fake name, or, he got in, and they didn't know. Besides not actually being a journalist, Guckert had to use a fake name to hide his "other" hobby. And what is that? Gay porn!

Ala71 has a feature on her blog called "In The Sandbox" which shows a picture of some young, good-looking GI. I know it's for the ladies who visit her blog, but it just so happens Guckert was doing the same thing at Of course, his focus were other guys. Which is curious because one of the articles he wrote during the campaign was called "Kerry Could Be First Gay President". The only purpose being to ramp up the homophobic euphoria that already exist in the extreme right wing of the country. I'm sure most of these people never visited or, two more Jeff Guckert sites. So much for family values, and so much for telling the truth.

This White House lies to get us into war, and lies to get partisan hacks into the press room. Even closeted gay partisan hacks who aren't journalist.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Going to see Wilco changes my life. You have to be down with the Jeff Tweedy catharsis to "get" it. There is no rock band today like them. I saw them last night at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis and I am freaked out. And this is my third Wilco show.
I mean fourth.

holy shit

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Thanks Tom D. for this:

How to Fox-proof your cable box

(Rush & Molloy) Attention, blue-state parents. Are you worried about what your children are seeing on TV? Have you caught them ogling Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity as they engage in explicit acts of love with Bush administration policies? Now you can protect your little liberals from hard-core right-wing positions the same way you censor cable porn. For just $8.95, The FOXBlocker eliminates the risk of exposure to Fox News Channel. Sam Kimery and Joshua Montgomery, who are marketing the device, say it employs the technology already used to filter adult content. And every time someone orders one of the gizmos from , Fox advertisers receive E-mail telling them that another consumer has just said no to Rupert Murdoch's brand of "fair and balanced news." "We hope that companies will see people actually paying to block channels that won't offer alternative views, and then rethink how they spend their advertising dollars," Montgomery tells Variety V Life magazine. Is Fox worried about this new product? "I mean, clearly, it's not working," a Fox News rep told us. "Our ratings continue to skyrocket."

Sunday, February 06, 2005

As The Eagle Soars

John Ashcroft wrote this song without knowing what was going to happen today....

If those....If Donovan....shit....

They have to win.

Go Eagles!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

10 Lessons From Robert S. McNamara*

1. The human race will not eliminate war in this century, but we can reduce the brutality of war - the level of killing - by adhering to the pricnciples of a "Just War", in particular to the principle of "proportionality."

2. The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will lead to the destruction of nations.

3. We are the most powerful nation in the world economically, politically, and militarily - and we are likely to remain so for decades ahead. But we are not omniscient. If we cannot persuade other nations with similar interests and similar values of the merits of our proposed use of that power, we should not proceed unilaterally except in the unlikely requirement to defend directly the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.

4. Moral principles are often ambiguous guides to foreign policy and defense policy, but surely we can agree that we should establish as a major goal of U.S. foreign policy and, indeed, of foreign plicies across the globe the avoidance in this century of the carnage - 160 million dead - caused by conflict in the 20th century.

5. We, the richest nation in the world, have failed in our responsibility, to our own poor and to the disadvantaged across the world to help them advance their welfare in the most fundemental terms of nutrition, literacy, health, and employment.

6. Corporate executives must recognize there is no cntratdiction between a soft heart and a hard head. Of course, they have responsibilities to stockholders, but they also have responsibilities to their employees, their customers and to society as a whole.

7. President Kennedy believed a primary responsibility of a president - indeed, "the" primary responsibility of a president - is to keep the nation out of war, if at all possible.

8. War is a blunt instrument by which to settle disputes between or within nations, and economic sanctions are rarely effective. Therefore, we should build a system of jurisprudence based on the International Court - that the U.S. has refused to support - which would hold individuals responsible for crimes against humanity.

9. If we are to deal effectively with terrorism across the globe, we must develope a sense of empathy - I don't meant "sympathy" but rather "understanding" - to counter their attacks on us and the Western World.

10. One of the greatest challenges we face tody is the risk that terrorist will obtain access to weapons of mass destruction as a result of the breakdown of the Non-Proliferation Regime. We in the U.S. are contributing to that breakdown.

(*These "lessons" are listed on the dvd version of Errol Morris' "The Fog of War", a film everyone interested in Americas cold war years should see.)