Friday Fives – I was a afraid of that – edition

What do you have an irrational hatred for?

          spiders

 What do you have an irrational love of?

 guitars

What do you have an irrational fear of?

           spiders

What is your most irrational fear while driving?

Not a fear, but a big ass pet peeve… how about that?  People not using their turn signals.  If… When I am president, it will be a law.  You MUST use your blinkers if you are turning.  I live out in the country, and I use them on dirt roads.  I use them if I am turning left… even if I am in the left hand turning lane.  So should you!  It takes no energy nor effort.  It burns no fossil fuel, and likely doesn’t even take a calorie of labor.  What about shopping centers, I mean… that is private property, right?   ESPECIALLY in shopping centers.  That is all the more reason.  Do you know cops mostly won’t get involved in an accident on private property… like a mall.  No matter whose fault it was, they won’t issue a ticket.  This means that no matter what happens, your insurance has to cover you.  What better reason to use your blinkers?

 How about rational fear?  What is a real thing you are afraid of?

You think I am going to tell you my greatest fear?  It’s physical, I will tell you that much.  However, I have between 200 and 500 readers here daily.  I don’t know that many people.  Surely one or two are here from this post, and want to kick my ass.  Hell, I want to kick my ass many days.  If you think I am going to tell you how best to hurt me, I am afraid that will not happen on this day.  What is written on the internet lives forever.

Let’s look at this.  Know how Dave Mustaine got kicked out of Metallica?  You know the over arcing story, he was a dick when he was drunk.  Metallica drank a LOT back then.  They were fun drunks.  A guy who is an ahole when he is drunk means that guy is an ahole.  He is just able to keep it hidden pretty well from himself.  Mustaine got kicked out for kicking Hetfield’s dog.

You know how Hunter Thompson got his ass kicked by the hell’s angels?  Know why?  He was watching a Hell’s Angel beat his girlfriend.  This, apparently, wasn’t uncommon. More importantly, it was no one else’s business.  Hunter saw this, and made no comment.  It’s against code.  Then, though, that same guy kicked a dog.  Hunter stepped in and said something like ‘only a chump beats his old lady and his dog.”  Again, this is against code.  He got his ass kicked.

I love dogs.  If I see you kick your dog, shit is gonna go sideways.  Therefore, I can not in good conscious, tell you how best to kick my ass.  I’m not tough.  I am a coward of a man who hides behind the internet and uses pseudonyms and fake pictures… expressly for the purpose of not getting my ass kicked

Hunter Thompson and Salvador Dali – prisoners of their own creations

I love Hunter Thompson, and Salvador Dali.  I LOT.  Like, I moved my life around for those two.  HST is a big part of why I moved to Colorado.  As for Dali, we honeymooned in Spain, partially so we could travel to Figueres to the Dali museum.  Both were worth it.  They are both huge influences and heroes to me.  Never, until recently, did I think of them together.  On a flight over the Pacific, I watched this cool documentary on Dali.  I would hyperlink it here, but I don’t remember the name of it, or the production company, or anything. To clarify, this doc had nothing to do with Hunter at all. In watching the doc, though, I had an epiphany.

On so many levels, Hunter S Thompson and Salvador Dali were the same person.

Boy, I better deliver on that one.  See, they were both creative geniuses.  They were both  HUGELY celebrated artists.  They were both starfuckers.  They were both trapped by their best creations… themselves.  They both peaked early, and spent the rest of their lives being haunted and pigeonholed by those creations.  Hunter talks about it openly below (jump ahead to the 11 minute mark, but watch the whole piece if you can.  It’s pretty good).

Basically, they had both peaked by 30.  They both did little, effectively, after that.  Hunter, for example, probably has 20 books to his name.  About 3*** were original creative works of any kind of consequence. The rest, and there are MANY, are collections of letters or short stories. (*** see below for aside on this)

Though I love just about all of Dali’s art, and most of Hunter’s full length books (remember, there are basically 3)… their best creations was themselves.  These two LOVED a spectacle.  They invented spectacle.  This was fun and awesome, likely, when they were young.  It became a prison of sorts as they aged.  You realize quickly, as Jimi Hendrix did, that people just want to see that character.  In the early days, Jimi did wild stuff to his equipment, just out of fun and passion.  Pete Townshend, too.  In time, though, people didn’t come to here Jimi play the blues.  They wanted stunts.  For Pete, they wanted to see a Strat smashed of they would have felt they never saw a full Who show.

Luckily, for all mentioned above (except Hendrix), they got to live long enough to see the futility of their creations come to haunt them.  I say ‘luckily’ not because I want them to suffer… but luckily that they had long enough lives to see the silliness of being such a one dimensional characters.

For both Dali, and Thompson… being themselves was their full time jobs.  Remember, Hunter lived to 2005, but hadn’t written anything at length of consequence since 1972.  Now, is that to say Hunter did dick all for 35 years but ride his own coattails?  Yeah, pretty much.

With Dali, we are lucky that we have a great body of work.  However, the documentary I watched strongly implied that he also didn’t do dick all after about 30.  Oh sure, you get the lobster telephone.  However, it isn’t exactly on par with the masterpiece ‘Persistence of Memory‘.  In fact, look at the irony; there is an expression used when people put in bare minimum effort and still get credit.  It’s called ‘phoning it in’.  Is there a better example in all of history than this?

While it isn’t my personal favorite piece, it is certainly Dali’s best known.  ‘Persistence of Memory‘ is most known for it’s iconic ‘soft watches’, though I always called them melting clocks.  Even the Simpson‘s have paid homage.  Aw heck, it looks like everyone has.

This isn’t meant to be critical in an anti-artistic sorta way.  It is more meant to be critical in a ‘huh, I never thought of it that way.  Maybe you got something there’.   Really, mostly I am just jealous.  These guys are SO impactful to my life.  I think I write this to help me better understand why. Proof of their impact on me?  My first tattoo will be a Ralph Steadman drawing of the great white rabbit from the Alice books.  I have been trimming my beard for years, but never ONCE the edges of my mustache, in hopes I can do this one day.

*** 3 books of HST.   There is Hells’ Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972.  That is it.  That is all you need to know about Hunter from start to finish.  Now, he has 4 books of compiled letters (I am also including ‘Better than Sex’ here) and about 10 of short story compilations.  In retrospect, that is kind of a week body of work.  However, those few books were SO good and SO influential.  Look at Lewis Carrol.  What else did he write besides Alice in Wonderland?  Nothing, really.  He was a preacher and a mathematician.  He wrote books on math.  His name isn’t even ‘Lewis Carroll’.  Carroll is a pseudonym he used for the Alice books because he was so embarrassed and mortified of what his religious math buddies would think of his silly childhood fantasy tales.

It occurs to me, years after I wrote this piece, it is now July 2019, that Hemingway was in the same boat.  Heck, he invented that boat and built it with his own hands (if you ask him, anyway).  As a young man, Hemingway was the shit, on every level  Served in both world wars, traveled the world, lived in Cuba, and bedded everyone on Earth.  In his later years…let’s say anything post 45… he is simply playing the part.  I have read a lot of Hemingway, and a lot about him.  Like Kerouac and HST, he was a god to me in my formative teen years.  Hemingway was the embodiment of ‘men want to be him, and women want be him’.  Later, though… its just kinda sad.  He lives his life as a sort of ‘greatest hits of how you perceive Ernest Hemingway to be.

Remember Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite?

I want to give Marlon Brando some credit on this front.   At no time did dude ever give a shit.  He was stone cold nuts!  See this?  Yeah, that was his own creation for his character.  Mostly out of fat laziness, as this is how he dressed on set.

Image result for marlon brando white face

Hunter Thompson, a rottweiler chewed first edition, and one of the most wanted people in the world

How is that for a title, reader?  It’s all true.  This might be a better book than a post, but here goes.

I am a HUGE fan of Hunter Thompson’s writing.  I own everything he has ever written.  This includes a first edition hardback of Hell’s Angels. This book, because of it’s rarity, was the pride of my collection.  I lent it to a friend to read.  Apparently, he was extremely influenced by the book.  Extremely.  Anyhow… before he was able to return it… his rottweilers got a hold of it.  They chewed the shit out of the corner of my beautiful pristine copy of Hell’s Angels.  Did I mention it is out of print?  Yeah, it is.

Now, let’s talk about what makes that story really interesting.  Hunter was coming to Denver to do a booksigning for one of his letters book.  I brought my copy of Hell’s Angels for Hunter to sign.  I figured if anyone would appreciate a rottweiler chewed book… it would be Hunter.  Well, Hunter was a virtual no show.  He was several hours late (yeah, I know that is part of the deal with Hunter).  They also announced he would only sign copies of his new book, which you had to buy.  I didn’t have $45 for the new book.  Then, they announced that Hunter would not be signing the books, but would be affixing a sticker to each book.  Also, he would not be speaking at all.

So, I left.  Don’t worry, I got to see Hunter again in person later.  That, as you can imagine, is a whole ‘nother story.  Onto the significance of the book.  The book was lent to my buddy Paul.  We all hung out together in college, same crew.  I also have his fish tank in the basement still.  I mention that Hunter’s book must have been awfully influential because Paul is now on the run for murder.  He is accused of murdering a lady for the Hell’s Angels in Phoenix.  He is on the US Marshall’s 15 most wanted list.  See here for yourself. – links redacted July 2018

That is Paul behind me in the green shirt.

Now, did I deliver on that salacious title or what?  Oh, and the book?  I still have it, of course.  It still isn’t signed by Hunter, and is still chewed to shit by Paul’s rottweilers.

* post script – Paul was recently (Feb 2011) caught in Argentina.  He is still there under custody of the US Marshalls awaiting deportation.  Some details here. redacted July 2018