Tag: Hunter S. Thompson

HST

16 Years Later, Hunter S. Thompson’s 9/11 Essay Is Still Shockingly Accurate

It’s weird to think about what life was like before the tragedy on September 11th, 2001. The post-9/11 world is completely different, and not just because of the TSA. No one could predict what the next sixteen years and one day would have in store. Well, no one but Hunter S. Thompson, apparently.

 

We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? 

 

At the time, the Gonzo journalist was a Page 2 columnist for ESPN. The Monday after 9/11, Thompson deviated from his regularly scheduled programming and devoted his column to the tragedy. Fans of Thompson’s work won’t be surprised at the essay. In typical gonzo fashion, it’s less about the attack itself and more focused on the abstract and unknown future which we have since lived through. 

 

And that future’s pretty accurate.

 

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. 

 

Scary, isn’t it?

 

Read the entirety of Hunter S. Thompson’s 9/11 essay here.

 

Featured image via Open Culture.

Warner Bros Studios

Top 7 Pilgrimages for the Adventurous Bookworm

We all know the exquisite pain of wishing we could climb inside the books we love and live in their worlds for a while. It may be easier than you think. We’ve put together the top destinations for adventurous book fans to visit in order to see the inspiration behind their favorite books, and how and where their favorite authors hung out! 

 

1: A trip to see The Cursed Child in London’s West End followed by the Warner Bros. Studios tour. 

 

The Cursed Child

Image Via The Wrap

 

Spend the day indulging in The Cursed Child in London’s West End. There’s a three hour break between the two halves, which you can spend by eating and wandering around the famous district. I’m pretty sure the alleged special effects in the play are actual magic. Prepare yourselves to get up close and personal with some all-too convincing dementors.

 

The following day, take the shuttle bus from London to Watford, home of Warner Bros. Studios, which in turn are home to every single prop and costume and specially built set used in the Harry Potter movies. Ride Hagrid’s motorbike, see the Weasely’s burrow complete with the self-knitting knitting needles and magic clock. Walk down Diagon Alley, see the Philosopher’s Stone, and wonder at the beauty of the life-size Buckbeak. This double-whammy has got to be the ultimate endgame for Harry Potter fans. Book your tickets approximately a year in advance, though, to avoid disappointment. Not kidding.

 

2. Tour of J. K. Rowling’s Edinburgh

 

Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row

Image Via Wow247

 

While you are waiting an entire year for your Cursed Child experience, another Harry Potter pilgrimage you can embark on is to Edinburgh, Scotland. J. K. Rowling wrote much of the first book in The Elephant House cafe, while looking out of the window at the stunning view of Edinburgh Castle. These days, the bathrooms are plastered in Harry Potter graffiti.

 

Greyfriars Kirkyard, a 16th century churchyard beside the Elephant House contains gravestones with names that inspired many of the Potter monikers! Nearby, Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row were the inspiration for Diagon Alley, while Heriot’s School is said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts! 

 

 

3. Follow Patti Smith’s Adventures in New York 

 

Smith and Mapplethorpe in the Chelsea Hotel

Image Via i-D

 

Though Patti Smith is primarily known for her music career, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, her contributions to the world of literature are arguably her greatest works. Her memoir Just Kids, about her time in New York with her friend and lover, artist Robert Mapplethorpe, has led many an idealistic young writer to the streets of New York City, the pages of their copies of the book dog eared, marked and highlighted, their paths mapped out. 

 

Smith met Mapplethorpe when she worked at Scribern’s Book Store, at 597 Fifth Avenue. It is currently home to Sephora at 48th Street, which it ahs been for some time now, but you can still see the store name in gold. She writes:

 

It seemed like a dream job, working in the retail store of the prestigious publisher, home to writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and their editor, the great Maxwell Perkins. Where the Rothschilds bought their books, where paintings by Maxfield Parrish hung in the stairwell.

 

Tompkins Square Park is where the third and most important meeting between Smith and Mapplethorpe occurred. On a date with a creepy older man, Smith spied Mapplethorpe, ran up to him and asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend. The two stuck together as lovers, and then as best friends for the rest of their lives. This park was a hub for the New York punk movement. The Chelsea Hotel was Mapplethorpe and Smith’s residence for some years, during which time they befriended the likes of Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsburg, and William S. Borroughs to name but a few. She once ran into Salvador Dali in the lobby! Situated directly below the balconies of the Chelsea Hotel, El Quijote, a Spanish bar and restaurant which was always full of the hotel’s patrons.  Smith recounts: “At the table to my left, Janis Joplin was holding court with her band. To my far right were Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, along with members of Country Joe and the Fish. At the last table facing the door was Jimi Hendrix…” St Mark’s Church in the Bowery is where Smith first began reading her poetry publicly at the insistence of Gregory Corso, 

 

4.  Tour Game of Thrones Locations in Croatia

 

Croatia

Image Via Hotel Aristan Dubrovnik 

 

Throughout the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik has served as the setting for King’s Landing. Visitors can see the Red Keep, the House of the Undying and the setting of the Purple Wedding among many other locations. St. Dominic Street is the setting of many market scenes, City Watch scenes, as well as where King Robert’s illegitimate sons were murdered. It is also the scene of Cersei’s walk of shame in Season Five. Bokar Fortress is King’s Landing. The two-story medieval fortress is open to the public all year!

 

Lokrum Island is situated 600 meters off Croatia’s mainland. Lokrum functions as the city of Qarth, ruled by the ‘pureborn,’ where Daenerys Targaryen gets a frosty welcome from the Spice King. This island  dates back to 1023 and, according to legend, Richard the Lionheart sheltered here after a shipwreck while returning from the Crusades. At the highest point of Dubrovnik stands Mineeta Tower, which double as the walls of the House of the Undying. Fans can walk along a high wall above the city and look out over King’s Landing. 

 

5. Visit Jane Austen’s House in Hampshire

 

Jane Austen's House

Image Via Visit Winchester

 

The 17th-century house in which Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life resides in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. It has been made into a museum where fans can see books, jewelry, and a piano belonging to Austen. There’s also furniture and other items belonging to the Austen family. The quaint country side and local houses will give you some idea of the world in which Austen lived, and the inspirations behind her settings such as Pemberley. 

 

6. Tour of Hunter S. Thompson’s home Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado. 

 

HST and Anita at home

Image Via Newsweek

 

Hunter S. Thompson’s wife Anita is currently in the process of opening their home as a museum for Gonzo fans. Owl Farm was where Anita and Thompson lived for the two years of their marriage before his suicide in 2005. If all goes according to plan, you can sign up on the Gonzo Foundation website.

 

Anita will make the same breakfast she always made for Hunter at 2PM: grapefruit, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee, and fresh fruit suspended in Jell-O, with gin and Grand Marnier drizzled on top. After this, the grand tour of the two-story log cabin. The rooms are jammed with books, art, vinyl albums, memorabilia, and Thompson’s handwritten notes. His famous red shark convertible is in the garage. Owl Farm is also home to a German Shepard, two Siamese cats, and a flock of peacocks whom Thompson would defend with his shotgun. 

 

7. Tour Emily Dickinson’s Amhurst Home

 

 Emily Dickinson's House

Image Via View from Federal Twist

 

One of the most lauded poets of the 20th century, Dickinson’s home in Amhurst, Massachusetts, where she lived as a recluse all her life, is now the Emily Dickinson Museum. Walk the grounds of the beautiful home where Dickinson was inspired to write her wonderful poetry about nature, and walk through the rooms where her more abstract verses were composed. The museum also hosts literary events and workshops. 

 

Feature Image Via Trip Advisor 

HST

Hunter S. Thompson’s Widow Turning Private Residence into Museum

Over a decade after his death, only a handful of people have been allowed inside Owl Farm’s War Room, the basement where Hunter S. Thompson would spend up to sixteen hours a day writing. Anita Thompson, Thompson’s widow, plans to turn the couple’s Colorado home into a museum and artist’s retreat within the next two years.

 

Even after Johnny Depp, a close friend of the family, bought 800 boxes of archives, the War Room is a crowded shrine to Thompson’s creative process. Manuscripts, letters, photos, gum wrappers, and beer cans have all stood the test of time. Twelve years later, Anita is still discovering new artifacts.  In an interview with NPR’s Claire Woodcock, Thompson said, “It’s been a pleasure to unearth some things, you know, in the files and learn more about the love of my life through his history.”

 

“This room is full of history. And it’s not something I take lightly,” said Thompson. “I wouldn’t let anybody dust. I just felt like maybe if I left everything as it is somehow he would come back. Even if I knew that wasn’t true, it did bring me comfort.”

 

Hunter S. Thompson in his War Room

Image Via Gonzo Today

 

Thompson plans for one side of the house to become a museum, the other a haven for writers and musicians to stay and work on long-term projects. “I hope those who visit Owl Farm, it helps them find their own voice,” Thompson said.

 

The museum will be part of the Gonzo Foundation, a non-profit organization created to promote literature, journalism, and political activism through the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. Those interested in updates about both the Gonzo Foundation and the upcoming museum should visit the foundation’s site here. The museum’s two year deadline is up in the air, as Anita Thompson wants it “done right.”

 

Featured image courtesy of Esquire.

Rick Sanchez, in the style of Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Who Said It: Rick from ‘Rick and Morty’ or Hunter S. Thompson?

 

One of these men is a harebrained, substance-abusing scientist. The other is a harebrained, substance-abusing journalist. Both men have a penchant for ridiculous adventures and deeply cynical statements about our failing society. But where does Rick  Sanchez end and Hunter S.Thompson begin? Buckle in kids…

 

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Nyafuu Archive.

Hunter S. Thompson in yellow glasses, smoking.

8 Times Hunter S. Thompson Revolutionized Literary History

Hunter S. Thompson remains one of the wildest figures in all of literary history. His extensive writing (‘The Rum Diaries,’ ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’), debauched lifestyle, famous friends, and the founding of ‘gonzo journalism’ made him an icon.

 

In honor of the literary legend’s 80th birthday, we’ve put together eight of his most iconic feats!

 

1. He shaved Johnny Depp’s head for the movie of his book ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’

 

Thompson wearing a miner's hat shaves Johnny Depp's head

Image Courtesy of Buzzfeed

 

Hunter himself shaved Johnny Depp’s head in preparation for the actor’s role as Thompson’s alter-ego Raoul Duke in Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas. “I didn’t look in the mirror at all. I was in mortal fear,” said Depp of the experience. “Hunter had a mining light… on his head, we were in his kitchen – and yeah, he shaved my hair.”

 

2. The Red Shark from ‘Fear and Loathing…’ actually belonged to him!

 

Red convertible from Fear and Loathing film

Image Courtesy of IMCDb

 

In Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, the ‘Red Shark,’ a 1971 Chevrolet Impala convertible, belonged to Hunter S. Thompson. Many of the costumes worn by Depp were also taken directly from Thompson’s own closet! 

 

3. To improve his writing, he typed out F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” from start to finish several times. 

 

Thompson sitting at his typewriter looking at camera

Image Courtesy of Surf Collective NYC

 

While working at Time, he did the same with Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

 

4. His idea of a joke led Jack Nicholson to call the FBI!

 

Hunter S. Thompson points a gun at the camera while wearing a winter hat

Image Courtesy of Mirror

 

On the night of Nicholson’s birthday, Thompson left a raw elk heart on his doorstep. The heart bled under the door. He then set off a high-powered spotlight, fired a gun, and played a recording of animal cries through an amplifier to awaken the family. Nicholson, fearing a deranged stalker, phoned the FBI while his terrified family hid in the cellar.

 

5. He wasn’t through with the Nicholsons!

 

Hunter S. Thompson making a face at the camera

Image Courtesy of Towerbabel

 

Thompson later sent Jack’s nine-year-old daughter Lorraine a grotesquely graphic model of a rat caught in a trap along with the following note that read: “Dear Lorraine. This will teach you a lesson about trusting men which will be valuable later in life. You’re welcome, Uncle Hunter.”

 

6. He referred to himself as Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

 

Hunter S. Thompson smoking, looking upwards

Image Courtesy of Quietus

 

He began doing this after purchasing a mail-order doctorate in Divinity.

 

7. He lived and rode with Hell’s Angels for over a year. 

 

Hunter S. Thompson on a motorcycle

Image Courtesy of Beatdom

 

Thompson was the founder of ‘Gonzo journalism,’  a style of journalism without objectivity, wherein the writer engages and lives with their subjects. His work on the Hell’s Angels, as discussed in a January 7, 1967 NY Times article, dove deep into a world  titled “On the Wild Side,” “presented us with a close view of a world most of us would never dare encounter.”

 

Of his experience, Thompson said, “I was no longer sure whether I was doing research on the Hell’s Angels or being slowly absorbed by them.”

 

8. He requested that his ashes be shot out of a 153-foot canon.

 

Hunter S. Thompson's ashes being shot from a canon

Image Courtesy of Lowering the Bar

 

His ashes were blasted from a cannon mounted inside a 53-foot-high sculpture of the ‘gonzo fist’ symbol, which was mounted on a 100-foot pillar, making the monument 153 feet high.

 

Featured image courtesy of Rolling Stone