Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – a perfect review > and epitath for Hunter S Thompson

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I love this movie, the Johnny Depp one.  The film is perfect.  I think it captures Hunter and that era of his life perfectly.  Johnny Depp goes so deep into Hunter’s persona it’s a wonder he ever made it out.  I can tell you how I think he did it, too.  Not just the craft of acting, he lived with Hunter.  That is no small feat.  Even Bill Murray didn’t actually move in with Hunter.  Hunter and Depp became close friends during this process, and remained life long friends.  The connection was deeper than love of drugs and nonsense and art and great writing and blowing shit up.  They are both from Kentucky.  I own the 2 disc ‘Criterion Collection’ set, which I highly recommend.  It is FULL of hours of featurettes and old Hunter movies.  It’s where we learned about Hunter’s absurd funerary request, which Johnny Depp handsomely and famously paid 5 million dollars to make happen.

You know… the one about shooting his ashes out of a Gonzo fist cannon into space after he commits suicide.  The footage is from when Hunter is in his 30’s, but 30 years later… he up and went and killed himself… almost as promised.

Let’s talk about the movie for a second.  Being a lit grad, and a HUGE fan of Hunter’s writing.  I should tell you the movie does the book no justice.  Wrong.  I mean, you absolutely must read the book… but the movie is fantastic.  I think it’s perfect, and could not have done better.  Heck, even Hunter himself does a cameo.  Probably not as an artistic endorsement so much as to score the per diem, and to keep an eye on the process.  Legend goes, he was kicked off his own set for being a wasted pain in the ass.  Pretty easy to believe, so I shall.

But this isn’t about that.  This is about the movie, and the synopsis I read about it on Rotten Tomatoes.  Of course, the movie was slammed by critics.  Who cares what the critics think of a movie?  Honestly, I NEVER look at that.  I want to know what people thought about it.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has an epic discrepancy between the two, perhaps one of the biggest on all of Rotten Tomatoes.  Critics gave it at 49%, where fans gave it an 89%.  I would argue few people know Hunter’s writing and social impact like me.  Hunter is a BIG part of why I moved to Denver, CO… to be closer to him.  But this isn’t about that.  No sir, this is a quick hit on the review the ‘critics’ left of the movie.

Critics Consensus: Visually creative, but also aimless, repetitive, and devoid of character development.

This is almost too perfect. Those words above are meant to be a slam. There is no character development.  It’s a long movie… and our protagonist never grows?  He never learns?  He never changes his way?  No sir, he does not.  Hunter Thompson defined… nay… deified… that critique.  He never grew up.  He never sold out.  He never played ball.  He continued to live his life like a rich petulant 22 year old who got kicked out of the Air Force in a pretty damn funny story.  Kicked out for what, you ask?  Well… for behaving like a petulant 12 year old who got kicked out of school for savaging a mailbox in a pretty damn funny story.  Like… for behaving like a petulant 27 year old who got fired by Time magazine  for savagely attacking a candy machine (… in a pretty damn funny story).

No.  Hunter never grew up, and certainly never learned from his lessons.  He was, by all accounts, a terrible person.  As an artist and a writer and hipster deity… the man was a genius.  Take that review, and put it no on his movie.  No sir, take that review and put it on his headstone.

RIP Hunter, you twisted bastard!

HST good grave

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Friday Fives – the Sofa King Edition

a bit late, butt worth it.  Literally took me several hours to write.  Sadly, I have run out of time and patience… so it will not exactly see 8 hours of editing.  Enjoy!

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You just inherited a race horse, what do name him?

Believe it or not, we had a race horse.  His name was Double Heaven.  Well, we had a tenth of a racehorse.  Several years ago, a bunch of us horse friends got together under Bobbie (who I totally miss, and haven’t seen in years) and went in on a race horse together.  It was kinda what you might expect:  fun, rewarding, and wildly expensive.

Did you know it is supposed to be bad juju to bet on your own horse?  True story.  Was told that by a lot of folks, so we never bet on (or against) our own horse.  Pete Rose, I am looking in your direction on this one, pal!

 This is crazy. A quick google search found our horse, she has her own page.  How do I know that was our horse, there could have been thousands of horses with that name.  Answer is, that was our trainer.  BTW… Double Heaven > isn’t that just a beautiful name?  Even as an atheist, I see perfection in those words.  Good name for a band… OR… good nickname for boobies!

 My point being, I guess, that name is out.  So… how about Gonzo Hootie??

If you were an Alien observing humans for research, what would be something humans do that would be seen as completely absurd?

 How are we slaves to smaller, dumber animals.  As humans, we have conquered the ocean, mountains, and space.  We created flight!  We get our goddamn tv from outer fucking space.  Yet, we seem subservient to these things they call ‘dogs’.  We go to work all day every day… to get them food and treats.  The dogs don’t work.  They sit at home and we drive them around and feed them and then pick up their shit.  Even the queen of England doesn’t have someone pick up her shit.

 If we were truly the ‘master’, would they not work to bring us food?  Would they not feed us?  Wouldn’t they follow us around and pick up our shit?  Just sayin’.  Also, dear humans, your ‘master’ (the dog) licks anus while you are sleeping.  Not just his, either.

 Older, wiser people, what is some general life advice you would give to younger people?

this is where I am supposed to say something self deprecating like ‘I may be older, but certainly no wiser’, right?  Then, I should give some folky Twainism** like ‘the only thing I really know is that I know nothing’?  Horseshit!  I am older, and far wiser.  Age and time have taught me about patience and kindness.  I posses neither, but I admire them greatly!  See what I did there?  Lastly, like the Buddha, I do not claim to be wise.  Simply wiser than I was.  Heck, even you are that!

at 44, the most true thing I have learned is ‘you get what you pay for’.  However, that isn’t advice.  It is just an observation.  Best advice for a yute would be from my dad, who said

 you can play now, and pay later… or pay not and play later

He was talking about education in general, and grades in college in specific.  It applies to SO much, though.  His point being if you want to dick around and party and get nothing done now (play)… later in life you will pay.  Meaning, go ahead and drop off the earth and follow the Dead (or whatever) but you will be working at burger king when you are 40.  He was right.  You can spend your evening at the library re-writing term papers (didn’t really have PC computers for the average consumer in the early 90s.  Just the useless TRS80, or the arty and useless Macintosh… each cost more than college) OR…  you can blow it off and go to Brad’s party, instead.  Life is short, you wanna spend it in a library, nerd?  The answer is yes, yes you do. It’s library this Friday night, or working at Dairy Queen EVERY Friday night for $8 an hour for the next 40 years.  You can play now, and pay later.  Or… pay now and play later.

Behaviorists have studied this in society, it is called ‘delayed gratification’.  They found people with the capacity to do that (delay gratification, or pay now) are WAY more successful in life.  How do you test for something like that?  It’s fascinating.  You ask a kid ‘I can give you one oreo now if you would like.  OR… you can wait 2 hours and have 3 oreos.  In that choice, though, you get none now.  Obviously, for a very young child, it will be about 90% will choose the Oreo now.

Don’t be a hootie, I guess, is the point.

 Even better, funnier, and more relatable?  This scene in Colors, where Robert Duvall is teaching a very young Sean Pen that patience is the key to dealing with these gangs.

Here, just watch this (key dialogue begins at 34 seconds)

 

That story is the absolute perfect essence of my dad’s thoughts.  Of course, I didn’t know how right he was at the time.  My dad has since passed away, and I am still thankful for that paternal wisdom.  I spent an hour trying to explain it to you, even though you likely got it in 30 seconds.  I just wanted to make sure you got it, because it becomes more true every day.

 You travel back in time 3000 years, you can take 1 item. Which item do you choose to become the ruler of Earth?

 Easy – my guitar.  Doesn’t need electricity, comes with the hundreds of songs in my head, will dazzle the ladies, and (perhaps most importantly) allow me to keep myself entertained and occupied for endless hours.  You know this guy scores with the ladies.  Be a hootie, I guess, is my point

 In your will, what is something you could add to cause the most chaos?

 I don’t want to think about my death just yet.  And if I do, I want to think about the awesomeness people will fight to show how great I was.  WAIT… there it is.  Whomever makes the greatest homage to me (must be Eco-sustainable) gets all my… um… worldly… um… old Playboys?  Just kidding.  I don’t keep those. That would be creepy.  I mean, we would start with Hunter’s goodbye, the absolutely brilliant and utterly narcissistic and pointless gonzo cannonGonzo fist’ cannon that shot his ashes into the night sky.

 

Couple of footnotes to an already too long piece

 ** in writing this piece, I was made to remember our horse ‘Double Heaven’.  Remember, I do not write the questions, so it was a genuine surprise when I saw that.  I then realized ‘shit, those words are AMAZING together!’  Even a dummy (atheist with 2 divinities) like me knows that.  So, i then thought ‘shit, I must OWN those two words!’ because that is how we men handle these things.  I hopped over to Go Daddy to secure my loot and found it gone.  YET… not gone to a domain squatter… like those assholes who won’t sell me Lono.com because I don’t have $10,000. 

No, it appears to be a gal who started a blog.  It’s even a WordPress blog.  So, though I am jealous, I am not petty.  Stop over and give her a read.  She is SUPER new to it, and only has a couple posts.  Give her some encouragement.  Funny thing is, if she is as new as I think she is, and had I not sat on my goddamn Friday Fives for a week and a half… i could have got that domain name.  Either way, Double Heaven gal… good luck in your new adventure!

Also, maybe if just one of you turd burglars was here 13 years ago to encourage me when I started I’d be writing books now, instead of managing in a call center, you vampire of joy!

*** note the time and place you just read this, crackers… because I did it again.  That word up there?  Twainism?  I just spilled out of my head.  I had my editor do some research on the etymology of that word.  Since I am my editor, I’ll give you the news directly; I just motherfucking invented that word… as I wrote it.  Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?  Were you there when the Wright Brothers took off?  Were you there when Kennedy got shot?  Well, this is probably bigger.  Unless you were here for this gem, or this one?

really, that word didn’t exist.  Check here, and even here.  I’d offer a third citation for proof, but frankly I am a little butt hurt you even required two.  I do not source things, America… I am the source of things.

lastly lastly let me say this.  I hope you know I am not this narcissistic judgemental asshole I write myself to be.  Literally, it is a character.  Obviously, I am a HUGE part of that character… but I think of it as a bit.  Sort of like Steven Colbert did with his last show.  Like him, I think, it is also a cathartic and fun piece of vanity I recommend everyone try.  Also, when making fun of literally everyone in the bible belt… it’s best not to use your real info.

yes, I am a passionate liberal asshole who thinks he knows what is best for everyone.  In person, though, I ain’t.  I’ll leave you alone, prolly.  I mean, just look at you!  See what I did there?  That was Lono, my online persona.  I am Kevin of Parker, you jackass!