"Hell. If I were 22 years old in this country today I’d
be wearing earphones too. No news is good news."
S. Thompson, “Fear and Justice” Playboy, January 2004
on it. Count on anyone over fifty-five trying to sell you that something
happened back there. Count the disguises. The variety of cultural
diplomats as you could count the needle pricks in their freshly
botulised mouths and eye sockets. The surgical surrogates with fresh
tattooed eyebrows. A.A. guidebook contributors who gave up their
art too young to have remembered what it meant to give up anything.
The Harvard “C” student and former baseball team owner
named Bush that so earnestly lacks in the area of oratory that he
got it right when he stammered “There’s and old
saying in Tennessee I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee….but
it says fool me once…shame onnn….shame on you…you
fool me can’t get fooled again.” Always on borrowed
time these kind. So much, that it seems reasonable many have set
about blessing themselves with the promise of heaven; summarily
trading one version of their adolescence imaginings with another.
Count them as they spin in the mass grave of political suicides
for which footage remains unavailable. Count them as they turn away
from the mirror. Do so in search of an America that never was.
we prepared for press for the March 2005 edition, Hunter S. Thompson,
Louisville, Kentucky prodigal, took his life. Took his life out loud
it is in said, while his wife listened. I was eighteen when a friend
from the aforementioned age demographic turned me on to “Fear
and Loathing in Las Vegas”. I read it in a day. Passed it around
to my friends as we set about the work of divining why “Where
the Buffalo Roam”, one of two cinematic adaptations of the book,
was completely inadequate. We settled on the drugs. The next I seen
Thompson was when he, along with the star of the second cinematic
adaptation of his book, Johnny Depp, spoke at a Literary Renaissance
event in Louisville. That Thompson was speaking in his home town was
not lost on me. That he was speaking before a Louisville based Beat
Poet cult was neither. He groveled, growled, made people laugh and
paid careful attention to remind the audience to be wary of their
heroes. This despite who they were looking back to. In the swath of
Thompson obituaries swelling up through the news cycle, the concurrent
themes of Thompson as literary hero and the following quote from Fear
and loathing in Las Vegas are predominate. Just in case you haven’t
read the quote:
“We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a
high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can
go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right
kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark— the place
where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” -Hunter
S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
Now three things about mega-media
corporations you should etch into the glass of your TV screens and
monitors. First, they all get it from the same place, so bias is in
the origin. Second, they usually employ someone less than 40 years
old to write obituaries. A sort of a right of passage for staff writers.
Last, mega-media outlets pre-fabricate their coverage of the mort
celeb years in advance so they can be first to say someone is
dead. A slimy and subversive illusion that acts to support their proclaimed
prowess to get you the story first, held together by a cadre of bachelor
degree level designers who sit around ruminating, rummaging through
archival footage. No one pre-fabricated an obit-u-active in the case
of Thompson. Some might say because his star had faded, or perhaps,
that he rejected the journalistic establishment. Neither hold up as
his legendary antics are sure to outlive his body, soon to be shot
from a cannon as the media takes aim to write stream of conscious
eulogies. The story of how we end up with a literary hero sketched
from a wistful passage of an otherwise important body of works is
how they are counting on you and me.
The loathing is in the facts of a life
lived. Thompson ran for sheriff shaving his head so he could call
his republican opponent a "long haired". Thompson rode with,
and was nearly beat to death working to document the Hell's Angels.
had an infamous relationship with Richard Nixon. Thompson also
worked at a Mitchell
Brothers (creators of the famed Behind the Green Door) porn theatre.
I choose to remember Thompson for what I do remember of reading his
books, the drugs and the monsters. Knowing Rimbaud,
de Quincey and Mary
Shelley before him; Thompson did the work, took up recording the
monsters that lurk in us each. Monsters that rise up like a Ralph
Steadman portrait when sense falls away and you are left with
yourself. When all delusions fail and one is brought to the brutal
reminder: Count on the time you will no longer be counting, but will
be counted. The unfortunate carrion of an undeserving hoard.
February took a walk towards literary
digressions. This month, we return with feature writer La Tasha N
Nevada Diggs as she cast siren like spells cutting through the linguistic
hopscotch of identity and the media memes. We also take up hermetic
linguistics with a lecture given by Peter
Lamborn Wilson in our audio archive while featured visual artist,
photographer Max Skeans, brings story telling of another kind. Appropriate
to the past month’s events, new editions to the electronic library
The Gambler, and, Oscar
Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Not to disappoint those
of you who only read periodicals for the slick trivia bits with an
• TAKING THE FIGHT TO OUR ENEMIES
A recent Harris poll indicated the percentage of people who believed
the highjackers of 9/11 were Iraqis has increased. From October 2004
to February 2005, the number of respondents who believed the highjackers
of 9/11 were Iraqi increased from 37% in October 2004 to 44% in February
2005. The 9/11 Congressional report, published late last summer, found
none of the 9/11 high-jackers were Iraqi.
• A BETTER WAY TO SPEND VALENTINES DAY :THIRD PARTY
In another poll, this one certainly rigged--- Dr. Phil, whose website
regular, and, certainly unscientific polls, found an inordinate number
of couples had considered swinging this past Valentine’s day.
According to semantikon sources, the drphil.com poll “Have You
Considered Swinging?” was re-engineered by members of the Redclouds
Bulletin Board, an amateur adult website. Members who organized
the campaign to make room for company called on redclouds members
to hit the site casting multiple votes successfully shifting the poll
from a 60-40 spilt to the “No” column to a 60-40 split
to the “Yes” column. None of the involved parties contacted
have made comment.
YOU GO FORWARD, WE GO BACKWARDS…
Members on both sides of the political wound that has widened since
the re-election of George W. Bush who fear the end is near have
a new way to validate their apocalyptic malaise. The site raptureletters.com,
offers concerned visitors the option to prepare a pre-fabricated
e-mail that will be automatically sent to loved ones when god takes
the faithful before the tribulation.
THE BODY POLITIC
an organization which worked to re-elect George W. Bush in 2004,
are busy straddling their aisle baggage with a PR campaign thanking
“Hollywood Liberals” for the re-election of “W”.
The group, which has been buying up billboards featuring the disembodied
likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Moore have been asking for
donations to make signs for a planned rally to show their appreciation
at this years Oscar Awards. Leaves one to wonder why they are not
thanking the nearly 100 Million voters who didn’t vote in
the 2004 election. So much for a 1/5 mandate.
at semantikon dot com