Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Hunter Thompson Mystery

Noah and Bernice have pointed out to me the cryptic nature of "Evil Journalista"'s last couple posts on this blog. The last goodbye one-- which I saw as referring to Hunter Thompson-- had to have been written either before he died, or not long after-- scarcely after, if at all, the news broke.

Could they have possibly come from him? It's an intriguing possibility.

I don't have enough time on-line to look into the matter myself, but would be interested to have others read E.J.'s last two posts and let us know what they think.

(FYI: As Jackie Corley knows, this person wanted to do an interview with us, but I refused my participation unless I or someone knew the person's identity.
These matters of identity seem to be a recurring theme!)

p.s. Before long I'll address the lit-world mystery concerning a well-known writer which when I uncovered it got my New Philistine a sliver of notoriety. Any narrative needs to have a climax or two, and that story might make a good one for this blog.

17 comments:

- Leopold said...

Apparently Thompson's books are now flying off the shelves. Am I the only one who finds this sick? I'm glad he's getting the attention, but he can't very well enjoy it when he's dead, can he? Where was the attention before he shot himself?

Like Bukowski and Keruoac dealt with probable mental illness and spent long bouts of their lives in squalor (by their choice or not) only now to have Keruoac's On the Road manuscript shipped around museums, placed behind glass so sensual socialists can sip wine and chat about their lit mags that would have never published him had he been annonymous...or even named?

It seems society really likes to watch artists fall: Hendrix and Cobain in the music industry. And what about that artist who do those economic flow charts - Interest skyrocketed after he offed himself.

While I think interest in alternative writers is good, I fear what's going to happen to Thompson's work in the future. Will it line the bookshelves, a cause du jour while actual living artists, continuing on in the same vein, are ignored, until they too make themselves a martyr for commercial art?

Jeff Potter said...

Popularity after death is one aspect of our Dead Culture. It's how death works. It's how dead things can be used and exploited.

Life can't be exploited, it's not a thing, it can't be measured as if it were a factory process. Life is the enemy of commerce. In a living culture, commerce will always be subordinated to life.

People don't get the distinctions that I make about Populism versus Pop or Mass Markets. A market doesn't have to be a mass market. A group isn't the same as a mob. One side of these equations functions as a thing, exploitable, the other side is alive. Things break and need replacing. The golden egg for commerce! --Only it's poisoned. Life gets stronger and perpetuates itself, drags no one down. It's sustainable. You can pass the same old life on and on and it's always fresh. But it's the opposite of novelty. You can always make a living with it, but never a killing.

It's like our anti-culture's obsession with medicine and doctors. Doesn't anyone realize that they don't even purport to know about health? You visit a Doc when death's a-knockin'. He doesn't know what health is. What do you do the first day of med-school? --Look at a cadaver. Med-school is learning about death and disease. Health cannot be caught, captured or guaranteed. The absence of disease is not health. But disease and death will always be boons to business.

A civilized person puts them way down the list of things of interest.

Jeff Potter said...

PS: That is, 'society' doesn't like to see artists fall. Only the mob does. Actual humans and societies always try to build up and learn from their artists, or they clash with them. Anything human. But the machine doesn't enter in. Whenever we see the mass dynamic we see the machine, the un-human, intruding and deluding---for profit, for death, for someone pulling the strings. Hence the zombie myth. It's real all right: watch the living dead buy their faddish books.

And watch the underground go to where the action is instead.

Noah Cicero said...

Here are the times we are speaking of: Look at Blandster part 1 for Evil Journalista's farewell comment.
The comment is at 10.14pm. The Wenclas blog is set for Mountain time. News broke earliest at 12:49am eastern time monday morning, the earliest we found was CNN.com. This implies that if you lived in the mountain time zone the news would have broke at 10:49 and it would have been too late unless you were Hunter S. Thompson.
But if you lived in the Pacific time zone you had 25 minutes to see it and comment on it.
But the question is does anybody remember seeing that comment on saturday night? Because Blandsters Part One was posted on saturday, if anyone remembers seeing it on saturday comment on this post or email me at cicero148@yahoo.com.
This is the last email Evil Jo sent Wenclas:

"Comrade-
Evil Journalista's Inspiration
and Christian Name are written
into his cipher.
He ties it all back,
to himself.
Whoever plays Evil Journalista
has his work cut out for him,
this year.
See you in the News!"

Bernice has found some things in that email. But I do not want to mention them, I will if you email me. I just want to see if people get the same things we did.
We use the Wittgenstein method of asking questions, we ask the same questions that got us to the conclusion to someone else and see if they come up with the same answers. It is the antithesis to a circle jerk. Of just telling everyone what we think and having it agreed upon because we went to a certain college.
There are three common themes in all of his comments and emails to people: Sports mainly football, literature and politics. Thompson's three favorite things.
Please read the last two posts and that email and say what you think.
Also concerning the Leopold and Potter comment: If anyone out there is waiting for me to die to buy a copy of The Human War, please buy it now! I would really like a dirt bike, I don't need a brand new one, a used one will be fine. So go to amazon.com, buy a copy of The Human War so I can get a dirt bike before I die. And buy some extra ones for gifts too so I can get a helmet.

Anonymous said...

Karl:

This is a great article by an ex-McWeenie acolyte, which I found via Jackie Corley's blog:

http://www.nerve.com/personalessays/calhoun/mcsweeneys/

I really like Ada's take on this, and especially how well it echoes Seymour Krim's devastating insider critiques of the whole de-balled, anti-artistic Partisan Review/post-WWII "NY Intellectual" crowd.

My favorite part of Ada's piece is her depiction of these snobbish, anti-creative cretins as basically de-sexed eunuchs in the sack. Ada, honey, I can assure you, if it were a Noah Cicero or Steve Kostecke or, hell, ME in that bed beside you, we would have rocked you until the break of dawn, cutie-pie. And we're not angry, either--not in that sick, passive-aggressive way you so brilliantly paint those McWeenie assholes.

Anyway, sorry to be OT, but Karl, it's a worthy article for a post. Good job, Ada!

Tim Hall

Anonymous said...

Karl:

This is a great article by an ex-McWeenie acolyte, which I found via Jackie Corley's blog:

http://www.nerve.com/personalessays/calhoun/mcsweeneys/

I really like Ada's take on this, and especially how well it echoes Seymour Krim's devastating insider critiques of the whole de-balled, anti-artistic Partisan Review/post-WWII "NY Intellectual" crowd.

My favorite part of Ada's piece is her depiction of these snobbish, anti-creative cretins as basically de-sexed eunuchs in the sack. Ada, honey, I can assure you, if it were a Noah Cicero or Steve Kostecke or, hell, ME in that bed beside you, we would have rocked you until the break of dawn, cutie-pie. And we're not angry, either--not in that sick, passive-aggressive way you so brilliantly paint those McWeenie assholes.

Anyway, sorry to be OT, but Karl, it's a worthy article for a post. Good job, Ada!

Tim Hall

Anonymous said...

PS: Hey Jeff, great picture! You're a cutie!

PPS: Noah, check out Amazon, I finally reviewed your book. Others should do the same...

Tim

Adam Hardin said...

The Believer has renovated their website, and now I guess it is what they might call "snazzy."

This comes from the About section:

We will focus on writers and books we like.

We will give people and books the benefit of the doubt.

The working title of this magazine was The Optimist.

Here they admit that they do not really review books. They do puff pieces. For their friends.

I got a better title than The Believer:

Puff N' Stuff

Anonymous said...

The Believer seems to have axed a Bissell article they were going to publish this month on "thrillers." The article was promised in the February issue but is absent, and Bissell's article is not mentioned in the "coming next issue" section.

- Leopold said...

Tim,

Interesting article and insight into the attraction for that group.

Still, only in New York can people make a living writing about their pathetic and phoney dating lives and sex habits... I recall reading another article in some new york mag about all the writer's bad dates with 'metrosexuals' and new-age 'sensitive' men. The problem wasn't that they were sensitive, the problem was that they were phonies and so was she.

King said...

Leopold, the perfect example of the too-late acclaim is the eight Grammy Awards given to Ray Charles-- when he's safely dead, and forty years after his music was new and different.
Re: Ada Calhoun: She's the drunk-blonde friend of Lisa Carver's who you can see in the photo I posted at Christmas from the ULA's Conclave (which was held a year ago).

- Leopold said...

LOL! Thanks for the gentle pointer, King. Knowing her street-cred helps! It was a good article which I agreed with and didn't quite mean to put it in league with the other article I mentioned - after all Calhoun points out herself that it was phoneyness in the end. The article's topic and the subject of phoneyness just reminded me of my personal pet peeve of all the navel-gazing date-lit/shop-lit that comes out of New York and Toronto... particularly phoney writers complaining about the personal flaws of other phoneys and neither of them having learned a lesson...which Calhoun's article certainly doesn't fall into.

King said...

Well, Ada never did the article on the ULA she promised-- and I have to say, wasn't very articulate in person. (Lisa Carver had too much to say!)

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something?
No one seems to be sad or be mourning that this man killed himself. Having had a friend commit suicide, I find this awful. Were there any articles on suicide prevention, suicide among artists or anything like this?
It seems to be well we got rid of this pain in the ass, big mouth.
Is there any investigation into his death? Does anyone think perhaps he didn't kill himself, that it was murder to make it look like suicide?
I wonder about the assistant that he shot at a couple of years ago. Has this person written anything about his death or his life?
I understand that many people who've worked for him have known that he was having serious troubles dealing with reality.
After seeing the movie, I didn't like him as a person, but I still don't think that anyone should kill themselves.

King said...

Well, I agree; no one wants to see a writer with his obvious talent kill himself. But the blame maybe should go to all those who encouraged his constant drug abuse-- which he couldn't handle any more well than the firearms he threatened people with constantly. Same thing happened with Elvis-- no one was able, apparently, to suggest the guy get help; detox or therapy. Have his close friends made any statements?

Noah Cicero said...

Thompson's wife and friend Ralph Stedman all say they knew he was going to kill himself and that he was planning it for a while. They basically say it is okay because he took advantage of his life and never wasted a day. And he was in extreme pain from several physical problems and they were only to get worse as time went on.
The thing about having friends to help him, there's a common dialogue in the Youngstown area, this is how it goes.
person 1: Susan's a coke head.
Person 2: Is her boyfriend Joe a coke head?
Person 1: Coke heads date coke heads, and if joe ain't a coke, he's probably on oxies.
Point is, he probably surrounded himself with people who are drug addicts or people who thought it was cool to be around Hunter S. Thompson and always said to
themselves, "that's what Dr. Thompson does, he does drugs."

Anonymous said...

I spoke with two friends about Thompson's death last night.
Who is crying and weeping for this guy's passing? Who even cares that he died like this?
In America no one is allowed to grieve or mourn except for the three days you get off from work if you are lucky to get that.
when I've had loved ones pass away it took me a long, long time to deal with it. Years. Some deaths I will never ever "get over". Suicide is murder, a brutal violent end. It has taken me a long time to process my friend's passing including the anger I felt at him for bailing on all of us and me.
I still can not believe he did it. It's been hard to forgive him even though I recognize that he was in so much pain. Sometimes I take the forgiveness back and say you," shithead, you are missing everything. What the fuck did you do?"

If our emotions are controlled then we are controlled, the powers that be don't want us moaning, weeping, mourning or feeling too strongly. And no asking no questions, no autopsy on any suicide.
I still have yet to read one crucial word after suicide which is prevention in any current newspaper or magazine regarding Hunter Thompson's tragic death.

Apparently he was partialy paralyzed and was physically deteriorated, living in a wheelchair. According to my friend, the wife toasted Thompson's dead body with a drink. As it was pointed out when one shoots themselves the walls would be covered with blood. I could not imagine seeing someone I love die in this manner.
Was wifey glad to see the old bastard go? No more complaints from that drunk and thanks for removing the body quickly. Not to mention there's more liquor and drugs for her now since she doesn't have to share with him anymore.

This is as sad as how Zelda Fitzgerald passed away. She died in a fire on the top floor of a locked ward of an insane asylum.

After my friend's death I did a lot of reading on suicide. "Those at the highest risk for suicide are older white men over the age of 65 and the risk goes up with age. More than four times as many men as women die by suicide.
Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide for men and women. Nearly 80 percent of all firearm suicides are committed by white males."

I have the sources of these statistics if anyone cares .

This is pretty scary stuff for me to be thinking about when I should be sleeping.
I've heard alcoholics describe their drinking as "slow suicide". I suppose that was taking too long for Hunter Thompson and he got on the express.
God rest his soul and I'm sorry for anyone who did love him.