Celebrating the Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

This year on July 18th would have been one of the most infamous writers of the 20th century’s 78th birthday. The man and legend that is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. That’s right, Dr. Gonzo himself would have turned the clock to 78 (28 years more than he originally wanted, too). This comes only a few months away from the 10 year anniversary of Hunter’s death. So for this momentous occasion, Rainbow Bazooka and I thought we’d share thoughts on some of the Dr’s work. Here’s 5 of the most interesting pieces:

5. First up we’re going back to the very beginning: Hell’s Angels. This book brought to the public’s attention a writer who they did not quite understand. But they sure as hell did afterwards. This ‘no truth withheld’ account of an experience with the most notorious biker gang in the world, reset the bar of writing. For everyone from Tom Wolfe too the wit and whimsy of the chief of the Angels at the time, Ralph “Sonny” Barger. It is said that ‘Sonny’ only was able to write his recollections of the events of this time, because of Hunter’s “Brilliant writing” There is no doubt that this book deserves a spot in the top 5.

4. It’s very hard to place Hunter’s work in any specific order so this order (in my mind) may change from day to day. So up in 4th place we’ve got The Rum Diary. This was Hunter’s first attempt at writing fiction, which only got published many years after he originally wrote it. What many people don’t see is, while this story is largely fictional, that the main character is based on himself from his time at the very same San Juan newspaper.

3. Now we come to what is probably most people’s list topper, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Now I’d love to sit and talk for hours about the importance of this book. But life is too short and Hunter himself wouldn’t even put this at the forefront. This book is indeed an industry changer but because something is brilliant does that mean that this is all the writer has to give? Absolutely not!

2. Because it’s almost impossible to choose just one part of Hunter’s ‘Gonzo Papers’ essays and letters. I decided the number 2 spot should be the entire Gonzo Papers Anthology. Hunter cannot be set down in a list, so here at the penultimate spot is the entire Gonzo papers. This is probably the best insight in to this man’s brilliant mind. Make no doubt about it, this mammoth book contains a gigantic wormhole into the Dr’s soul.

1. We’re here at the helm folks. And there are very few exceptions to Hunter at his most brilliant, than in his own personal memoirs. That’s right, Kingdom of Fear is leading this race. This is Hunter’s own personal autobiography, and who better to teach the legacy of a genius than the man himself. This book offers many twists and turns and keeps you captivated from bow to stern. This is one of the greatest pieces of published works since Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in 1925.

So here it is. Some of the most interesting pieces of the father of Gonzo Journalism. To really understand this man, you should read and watch almost everything that even remotely has some connection with him. He was the most imaginative and yet truthful artist. Yes I’m saying artist. Because in writing if you can compose words like Hunter did, you are indeed a creator of art.

So rest in piece, Dr. Thompson. You will never be forgotten. I’m handing this article in too late to be released on your birthday, with a glass of whiskey on the side of the keyboard and Jefferson Airplane blasting out of my speakers. All in homage to you. I hope you’re proud of one of your literary son’s. Here’s to you, Hunter Stockton Thompson, you beautiful bastard!

Image © Rolling Stone

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Robin Williams: Remembered Top 5

On Monday 11th August 2014 the world was shook by the news that Robin Williams had sadly died. We have lost a brilliant man and one of the worlds most artistic and funny souls. There are many reasons the world loved, and still loves, this man but it’s in no small part due to his giant catalogue of well above par works from stand up comedy to TV and film. It’s clear to see from the worlds response to the news how much he has affected our lives through his work and for many of us he was a massive part of our childhood. So we’ve cherry picked five of his very top works. These are not in order from best to worst (or visa versa), just five of the very many good pieces of work from this wonderful man’s career.

5. Mork and Mindy: This Happy Days spin off was probably most peoples first introduction to Robin Williams. Mork and Mindy received world wide acclaim from viewers and sky rocketed Robin’s career in a very short time. This show is a very brilliant and comic look to life and holds a special place in a lot of eighties kids hearts.

4. Jumanji: This film is a children’s classic and will forever be regarded so. While this is not a cinematic feat of genius in filmic terms, it is still fantasy gold with a lot of Robin’s usual comic personality thrown in.

3. Good Morning Vietnam: Probably Robin’s first world renowned block buster. He plays a crazy radio DJ that is assigned to the armed forces radio. He is joined by Forest Whitaker in the cast and delivers brilliance after brilliance from beginning to end. This film is probably at the top of a lot of people’s favourite Robin Williams films list.

2. Mrs Doubtfire: This film is seen the world over as one of the greatest comedy films of all time. And I don’t doubt that everybody who is reading this has at least some recollection of this film. This is a true family classic with a heart warming story built in to a barrel of laughs. Sadly though due to Robin’s passing Mrs Doubtfire 2, which was in development, will probably never see the light of day.

1. Robin’s Stand-up Comedy: Through-out the world of stand-up comedy, Robin is often placed near the top. And sadly, his work in this field is often overlooked by most people. Not many people could be as unique and quick witted as Robin and his often childlike way of delivering his stand up show made him stand out from everyone else. His show ‘Weapons Of Self Destruction’ is a personal highlight of his stand up career.

Other picks: There are of course too many works to mention in just one article but here are just a few more to get your teeth stuck into. Jack, a film where he plays a child with the body of a full grown man. Good Will Hunting, a multi award winning film written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck. He was also capable of fantastic dramatic acting like in One Hour Photo a dark thriller that showed his ability’s didn’t just lie in comedy.

Let us not forget what this man means to us all. Let his films live on for many years to come.

Rest in peace Robin. You will be missed dearly by us all.

Image © ABC News

Rêves Parisiens (Parisian Dreams)

These are two experimental poems, inspired by Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. The first piece is my poetic impression of the sincere beauty of the story. The second is a haiku in French, used as a comment on romanticism as a whole (English translation underneath).

 

Midnight in Paris

Walking the Parisian cobbles.
Over memories,
Over time.
Dancing under twenties moonlight.
Yearning Pablo, F Scott and Ernest.

Aroused, outside fictitious love.
Lies behind futures prison bars.
Loneliness in your company,
Ends for me tonight.
New life, Paris at midnight.

Roman Rose

Rien mais tactile pur.
La pluie tombe sur la ville.
Baiser et disparaître.

Pink Romance
(English Translation)

Nothing but pure touch.
Raindrops fall on the city.
Kiss and disappear.