Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 21, 2005

R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson

You will know more about him than I do.

UPDATE: Billmon sure does and yes it´s Frisco, a place I love.

For the dumb ones like me, Fran pointed to an SFGate article:

But maybe he isn´t dead at all. Giblet says (hat tip Kate):

Giblets saw the Good Doctor with his own two eyes just a few hours ago, heading north in the White Whale. He said he was headed up to heaven to shoot God. "The great bastard's in season and it's long overdue," the Godfather of Gonzo said as he dusted off his elephant gun. "I have full reason to believe they will award me both the head and the tail. Expect me back by the apocalypse."

Posted by b on February 21, 2005 at 15:25 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Be sure to read Fafblog's tiny send-off...

Hunter Thompson Is NOT Dead

Lot's of good non-MSM stuff around. Seek and ye shall find.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Feb 21 2005 15:32 utc | 1

I saw this (link) a few minutes ago and under the photo it said "Suicide?" I went to send an e-mail and came back and the "?" is gone...

Posted by: beq | Feb 21 2005 16:22 utc | 2

It is fitting he shot himself. I have great respect for dr. s. No one as great should die any other way, except by the sword of an enemy.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 21 2005 16:29 utc | 3

I don't want to put on the tin-foil hat, but when I read about Hunter Thompson, this diary on Kos, which was posted this weekend, came to mind and I was just wondering if Hunters name also belongs on this list.

Digging up the Past an Investigative Report

Posted by: Fran | Feb 21 2005 16:42 utc | 4


anybody can cherrypick the obits and come up w/ a conspiracy.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 21 2005 16:46 utc | 5

the current herd of swine are completely capable of having killed hunter but i think this body of ideas, of spirit, of resistance & of decency had had enough

he believed in america in a profound way - he believed in it, really. it is clear in his last dispatches - they were horrified that his country had turned into good germans. in these last texts there is not so much theatre but a fury on earth

profound & concentrated fury

in these last 18 months - the decision to leave - to leave this world is not a stranger to many of us - who wants to be a witness or a participant to the barbarism that passes for social life. to see your other condemned. to see those along the lines being comprimised & accepting that comprimise. to keep quiet

when you look at what has happened under bush - it is as a landscape - terrifying, pornographic, anarchic in the worst possible sense - things that were kept under wraps or at least disceetly hidden by their accomplices in the media - has been done in front of our eyes - despite the fact that 12 million people opposed this illegal war - that the campaign against the poor, against the disinherited is picking up & being accelerated - i see it every day in my work. the unbearable strain that is put under people who cannot afford it physically or metaphysically. the culpabilisation & criminalisation of the poor - we have entered a profoundly indecent world

when i see the faces of a blair, of a bush, of a howard - it is all i can do to not spew all the bile my body posesses - these people who have worn as a badge of honour - their contempt for the poor. & i don't care what language you use - it is a class war - it is a war of those who benefit form the obscenity of our time & the victims who experience that obscenity, daily. these people who pay the bill, physically but also symbolically

those people need warriors of the word & it is of no concern for me that hunter was an advertiser for himself as norman mailer once sd of himself - because good people, people who fight, warriors - as neruda so elegantly showed us - that this people as individuals dissapeared & they became our geography

there was a heart in hunter - that could also offer us humour in the darkest moments - but his humour was never misanthropic in any real sense - everything he wrote was moved by love

as was the work of r d laing with whom he shared much. good sense, decency & humour & a profound desire to helpo people through these dark corridors that constitute our existence

deceny is dissapearing

it is being replaced by fear & neglect

we who are responsible must tell of what happened in the dark times

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 21 2005 17:00 utc | 6

The Dr. was modest enough to remind people that anyone could stand up to the bastards and fight the good fight. There's now a dearth of those kind of characters--every generation needs its Mark Twain. The cultural ferment of the 60s, early 70's gave us abbie hoffman, mort saul, sontag, didion, lester bangs, hunter; "public intellectuals" refusing with often biting humor not to have history made behind our backs.

Now we have p.j. o'rourke? m. dowd? matt taibbi? I don't know. Maybe blogs will save us.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 21 2005 17:27 utc | 7

Fran, my feeling is not. But who knows. He spared nothing when he spoke of Bush. Vitriol. And contrary to RGiap just above, I would have expected a stronger resistance to or distancing from despair. His last two books (which I have not read yet) “Kingdom of fear” and “Fear and loathing in America” (possibly the editors had something to do with that title?) would seem to point to awareness and willingness to take on. But then, personal lives run their course, have their history, and they are often what affect people the most.

Posted by: Blackie | Feb 21 2005 17:45 utc | 8

To me any suicide is suspicious. The record of this gang snuffing out opponents is clear to see. So you'd have to prove to me that this guy took his own life.

Dr Kelly of UK is the best example of this type of murder/pretend-suicide in recent history.

Posted by: rapt | Feb 21 2005 17:52 utc | 9

A collection of essays and interviews from Salon.

Posted by: mats | Feb 21 2005 17:57 utc | 10

there is an olf maoist dictum that says there are two deaths - ones that affect us like a feather & the other which affects us likemount tai

the death of hunter thompson has affected me like a mountain. i would not be so dark if i could see the fields of resistance

my day to day work - is an arming of the people - but often just for their own survival - to pull them back from the abyss of self destruction & neglect; to confront people with their proper richness & force

but this is being done in a climate - even in france - where the pornographers of american culture - which unlike my friend slothrop - i feel neither ambivalence nor distance - i have watched it eat out the heart of cultures, of communities & people. the loss of too many people. how many requiems?

i think the people of the middle east will win their struggle against the forces of evil represented well by this administration of criminals - they will have to live with their resolution

but it is the west too that is being emptied of sense, of meaning of any comprehension of contexts. we have hid up our own asses. we have been degraded as totally as a people can be

i sometimes look at the australian papers on the net & i really cannot believe how vulgar is the domination of these thoughtless people & 'journalists' who imagine themselves the children of hunter auagmenting & accumulating the insults against the disinherited or the opposite an orgy of charity that is just another word for contempt as de sade most clearly indicated

it seems we have not taken the measure of our enemy nor understood his pulsion for death for the apocalypse. we have underrated their capacity to impace enormous damage on people & on culture

i'm simply not austere enough to believe in the greater solutions that the left can offer - perhaps i am embittered by their reckless incapacity to confront what are the essential issues of our day. this is not the time for genteel strategies of form or substance. it requires the most ruthless forms of resistance - the most engaged scommitment for a world thatr might be a long time coming - but to me today - anything would be better than this

i do not see the benefits that blackie sees - i only see what capital has wreaked & i have seen in it many countries on a number of continents

i am not desperate because finally the people will have to move towards decency because theirt only other option will be a conflagration of ice & fire

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 21 2005 18:17 utc | 11

The Rude Pundit on Hunter S. Thompson.

Posted by: beq | Feb 21 2005 20:10 utc | 12

Digby on Hunter Thompson.

Posted by: Fran | Feb 21 2005 20:18 utc | 13

A Few Amusing Anecdotes from friends & editors.

Posted by: jj | Feb 21 2005 20:47 utc | 14

the passage billmon sites (the comment section on the new post, 'the doctor is out' doesn't work for some reason, jerome? can you fix it) really resonates w/ me because i remember that time and place. i really hope its not the last time i was in the right place at the right time in history.

Posted by: annie | Feb 21 2005 20:50 utc | 15

"Dawn is coming up in San Francisco now: 6:09 A.M. the Seal Rock Inn...
out here at the far end of Geary Street: this is the end of the line, for buses and everything else, the western edge of America..."

I'm about a mile away. Guess I'll take my dog and a flask over there and make a toast or two...

Posted by: biklett | Feb 21 2005 21:00 utc | 16

such sorrow. perhaps hawthorne, melville & faulkner saw deeper but for me this crazed sport journalist spoke so many toungues. he spoek with the tounge of comprehension - of living things - even as early as hells angels - you saw the figures - sonny barger, tiny & the rest of the gang - you saw the sad solitudunous story as something central to what the tougher call life & what has been sold as the 'american dream'. thompson like dreiser understood that the beast was diseased. profoundly diseased. & he sd so & you coulmd hear for all the rambling that he did so with a heavy heart. lile dreiser & like o'neill he wanted to love your country but he knew that it was finished. that it was dead. we just hadn't been told. but he told us & because anybody who writes in the belly of the beast must participate in the burlesque that it is whether it was hunter or a paul krugman or a blumenthal.

he sold himself for dinner but while he did that he told them & us uncomfortable truths. he chronicled how that dream was a nightmare & he told us what constitutes that nightmare & he uttered in of all places rolling stone - that we his public - were also at fault because we did not resist - we did not fight - some of that public was barely coping with living

& hunter in a blakean fire sd again & again that even in a world full of the sleaze & gangsers that comprimised political & judicial life in america - that this life was both mysterious & extraordinary. he pushed us back to life - to take life - to do as katzanzakis has sd - not to fear trouble - but to undo one's belt & look for trouble

when you read the good doctor - even in the drabbests & self advertising of articles there rested enough majesty to remind you of the book of ezeikel or of jeremiah but of course most of all one reread aagain & again the book of job

that this man year after year, defeat after defeat - the ascent of the criminal class to high power & means & he went against them again & again as job did before god. he sd i am a man. & importantly for all the self advertising - hunter was like job in that he was a servant - a servant to our darker need to know - what is going on

if bob dylan today wrote - 'something is happening & you don't know what is, do you - mr jones? - it could not be more apt

the generation after generation have permitted themselves to be covered in the cloth of their shame & the oppressed people of the world have had to suffer the consqences of that shame in ways we will never be strong enough to imagine

again & again hunter like job was tested - perhaps this day or that night he could not bother to hear the response of what we are or are not capable of

you were an ordinary man dr thomson but your energy was pure

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 21 2005 21:18 utc | 17

thanks r'giap

very nice.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 21 2005 21:28 utc | 18

well said rgiap

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 21 2005 21:36 utc | 19

res more.

Posted by: RossK | Feb 21 2005 21:55 utc | 20

The General has some fine quotes and words.

Posted by: b | Feb 21 2005 21:58 utc | 21

"Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, displeased with the accomodations at the Hotel Amerika, has checked out."

Fitting eulogy? He certainly was an odd character, as I remember, but ultimately he always seemed the truest of patriots -- one utterly unashamed to point out the inherent evils abundant in this society.

(Hint: I'm also old enough to sorely miss Abby Hoffmann, whose memorial service I attended c. 1989.)

Posted by: JMF | Feb 21 2005 22:16 utc | 22


Most eloquent obit. in that Thompsons indulgences were but a metaphoric index to pain of his revelation.

My most memorable passage was in Fear and Loathing, "throw in the radio!"

Posted by: anna missed | Feb 21 2005 22:40 utc | 23

Another collection of short recent quotes by Hunter Thompson.

Well, there were 2 bloggers who I knew would have fitting pieces about Thompson, Billmon (in his new odd way) and Steve Gilliard. They didn't fail HST.

Billmon's quote is particularly painful to me, because it hits the core of my disappointment about the US and European movements of the late 60s, which causes me to be moderately pessimistic overall. The 1967-1970 period could have seen the greatest revolution in history, yet it eventually utterly and completely failed and was turned upside down into the soon-to-be-fascist individualist, selfish, greedy uber-capitalist reactionary counter-revolution of the 80s-to-right-now. They didn't understand how to make a true revolution and thought that goodwill could just defeat the ancient order, without any need to play dirty. I don't know if they were foolish, naive, or didn't care, but now we know; that can only work in very limited cases, and only because there's a huge power behind that puts a lot of pressure on the current regime (think Ukraine or fall of Berlin Wall). But now, we are stuck with a massive overreaching regime, without anyone to really back us; like the French in 1789, like the Russians in 1917, there's no other power that really plays our game, that truly shares our goals, our ideals, our wishes.
Thompson knew that the long dark was coming. He probably knew that if some of us survive the coming ordeal and prevail, the essence of our world will have changed in the process.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 21 2005 23:30 utc | 24

It's a pretty lousy day for people all over the world, millions of us. Probably all of us who never knew the man personally feel that no-one knew Hunter S better than ourselves. he always managed to articulate what we were feeling in a way that we couldn't manage ourselves.
That said I'm puzzled by Giap's crack at Australians. I don't live there anymore but when I did was continually overwhelmed by Australian's generous nature. The US citizens in here have always been extremely tolerant of Giap's tirades against them whereas I have always felt that if Giap got deep and personal about my national identity (which he hasn't yet) I would be asking him why he doesn't spend more time resisting the annual slaughter of indigenous people by french troops. It's been around 15 years since they committed a mass genocide in the Pacific (noumea) but Africa has been copping it every time the local people have the gall to try and regain control of their resources. The blackfellas get shot "to protect french nationals." The recent 'democratic election' in Tahiti puts whatever the US did in Venezuela in the shade. We should all criticise power structures robustly but when we do it from a self assumed position of cultural superiority, it would be good to examine our own culture first.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Feb 21 2005 23:48 utc | 25

Debs: Isn't Giap Australian, originally? I was under the impression he wasn't French-born, at least.
(and mass genocide, well, mass murder may be more accurate here - if you want to accuse the French of some level of complicity with a real mass genocide, pick Rwanda, where they actually tried to protect and save the murdererous bastards!)

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 21 2005 23:55 utc | 26

debs is dead

since my childhood i have fought imperialism at evey level & at great cost to my own existence - my own welfare & i am a simple man who has chosen to use his art in something greater than himself. if i speak of australia it is because i know it & when i speak of imperial crimes - i do not shy away from what france has done or belgium for that matter. or the danish or the swedish to their indigenous people

i have lived inside struggle - the people's war against us imperialism i was a part of - i little part - but that part changed the rest of my life because i understood for the first time what imperialism means concretely - to cite abbie hoffman - i understood the nature of power more easily from practice than from twenty paperbacks. i have taken a superior position - my own fragilty is too apparent to hide

do you really think debs that i would know the culture & literature of the americans if i did not care for their heart & it is a simple fact that posting here is the first time in my life i have had an open dialogue with americans

& i hide nothing about who i am & what i am. if thomson taught us anything it was to say the uncomfortable things not out of any fetishistic desire but to create a rupture with dominance in myself & in the community

i consider i have a real dialogue here with many people here - if i thought that was forbearance & not an attempt to understand then i would stop. simple.

if i mention australia because it is an example of a people who began in genocide - have never reconciled themselves to that genocide & as a result have slavishly given theior soveignty to others. they are just another sate of the united states - in form & in substance. they were under menzies - they most certainly are under howard

but it speaks a larger problem - something hunter spoke of - inferred openly - - of how we give up our own sovereignty to fascists as we are doing now. to be swallowed up in their venal & ugly desires

there are not technicians of the empire here - there are people who live inside the beast & outside of it & both of us feel the very real consequences of that - not in some abstract & refined way but in the most brutal way imaginable

i have lived in one form of exile or another my whole life & that seems to me to be the normal condition of someone who is committed to a struggle that is a long long way from victory

& yes i hope i have some of the doctors fury even in my fragility because what this empire has done is to destroy all the things that make a life complex, rich, multiple & mysterious

there is nothing mysterious about the bush cheney junta - it was described well enough by karl marx in the economic & philosophical manuscripts & it was seen in that great movie of the americas ' duck soup'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22 2005 0:46 utc | 27

rgiap mentioned a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky. Mayaknovsky's one of my favorites,but I had never read this one. Thanks, rgiap. But was Mayakovsky really writing about himself?

Excuse the length, but shooting stars have the right to say their piece, and few burned much brighter than Mayakovsky or the doctor. Now it's time for some tequila and mescaline.

You have passed, as they say, into worlds elsewhere.
Fly, cutting your way into starry dubiety.
No advances, no pubs for you there.
No, Yessenin, this is not deridingly,-
in my throat not laughter but sorrow racks.
I see - your cut-open hand maddeningly,
swings your own bones like a sack.
Stop it, chuck it! Isn't it really absurd?
Allowing cheeks to flush with deathly hue?
You who could do such things with words,
that no one else on earth could do.
Why, for what? Perplexity appalls.
Critics mutter: "The main fault we find
there was hardly any working-class contact at all,
as a result of too much beer and wine."
So to say, if you had swopped bohemianism for class,
there'd have been no bust-up,
class'd have influenced
your thinking.
But does class quench its thirst with kvass?
Class, too, is no fool when it comes to drinking.
They'd have attached to you someone from On Guard,
and the main accent would have been on content:
a hundred lines a day you'd have written hard,
as tedious and long-winded as Doronin's attempts.
Before I'd created such nonsensical stink,
I'd have choked my very own breath.
Better far to die of drink,
than be bored to death!
Neither the noose nor the penknife there
will reveal the true cause of this loss. But,
maybe, if there had been ink in the Angleterre,
there'd have been no reason for veins to be cut.
"Encore!" imitators coo in delight.
Over you almost a squad committed base jinks.
Why increase the number of suicides?
Better to increase the output of ink!
It's grievous and misplaced to be mystery-propagators.
For ever now your tongue by teeth's locked tight.
Of the people, the language-creators,
a sonorous apprentice-debauchee has died.
And, as condolences, poetic junk they gave,
unrehashed hangovers from funerals of the past.
Blunted rhymes are shoved in to exorcise your grave-
is that how a poet is honoured at the last?
A monument for you hasn't yet been cast-
where it is, bronze reverberant or granite grand? -
but there, already, by memory's bars
dedications and memoirs of rubbish stand.
Your name into handkerchiefs they're sniveling,
your words by Sobinov are slobberingly lisped there-
and they wind up under a dead birch tree quivering:
"Not a word, O my friend, not a wh-i-s-p-e-r,"
Eh, to a quite a different tune I'd switch
and just tell that Leonid Lohengrinich!
I'd rise up here a thundering scadalist:
"I won't allow poems to be mangled by mutts!
I'd deafen them with a double-barreled whistle.
They can stick 'em where the monkey stuck his nuts!"
And so disperse such talentless filth,
blowing away jacket-sails engendered darkness,
so that helter-skelter runs Kogan and his ilk,
mutilating oncomers with the spears of his moustaches.
The ranks of rubbish meanwhile haven't grown much thinner.
There's so much to do - just to catch up with things yet.
Life must be changed to begin with.
And having changed it - then one can sing it.
These days are difficult for the pen.
But tell me, you crooks and cripples wheezy,
which great ones ever choose- where and when?
a path already trodden smooth and easy?
The word - in the C-in-C of human powers.
Forward march! That time may whistle by as rockets flare.
So the wind shall carry to the past of ours
only the ruffling of our hair.
Our planet is poorly equipped for delight.
One must snatch gladness from the days that are.
In this life
it's not difficult to die.
To make life
is more difficult by far.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

Posted by: Aigin | Feb 22 2005 1:58 utc | 28


it is a magnificent poem. no

"Life must be changed to begin with.
And having changed it - then one can sing it." v v maiakovskii

when maiakovskii wrote this poem onthe suicide of essenin - it was an attempt to call artists to their duty - meanwhile m himself was sufferering under the influence of the hacks who had aligned themselves with stalin & who were finally to 'destroy' him - but i prefer to think of the 'suicide' of maiakovskii as a gamble that didn't work - he often played russian roulette - he was such a giant & remains so technically for any poet - i prefer to think - he was not beaten by fools & knaves - but he was exhausted he had "trampled on the throat of his verse" - to be a public poet & this poem to essenin was a powerful plea against the melancholia of his time (essenin cut his wrists in the hotel l'anglaterre & wrote his last poem in blood - which in essence is that last four lines of maiakovski's poem reversed)

m & thomson had that in commen - an absence of fear in front of tyranny - they fought it with the fullness of their fury

& after all fury is just another word for a love of life

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22 2005 2:38 utc | 29

rememberinggiap: ...he sold himself for dinner but while he did that he told them & us uncomfortable truths. he chronicled how that dream was a nightmare & he told us what constitutes that nightmare & he uttered in of all places rolling stone - that we his public - were also at fault because we did not resist - we did not fight - some of that public was barely coping with living...

Yeah, baby. Sing it.

So ... is the dream dead, or was it simply dreamed wrong from the begininng?

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Feb 22 2005 5:05 utc | 30

One of the best 3 ppgs I've seen on him in the last 2 days, from the Washington Post:

We're left wondering what happened. He once said: "I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone . . . but they've always worked for me." Until maybe he got wondering about the ultimate high being a 1,500-feet-per-second implantation in the neurological system.

Or the paranoia got to him -- in paranoia you are your own worst enemy, and that's a tightening circle that nobody can escape, except, say, by suicide. Or it was pain and depression brought on by reported back surgery, a broken leg and a hip replacement. Or he was playing out the last moves of the Hemingway game -- the paranoid, shock-treated Hemingway who ended up with his doctor one day, crying because he said that he couldn't write anymore, he just couldn't write. Or America has finally become what he said it was, with lie-awake fears of suitcase nukes, jails full of secret uncharged prisoners with no legal recourse, and quiet applause for the recreational torture of Arabs in Iraq. Or people have stopped reading, and there are no more literary heroes. Or maybe he just killed himself, like a number of other people on any given day. He lived on his terms, he died on his own terms.

Except he wasn't like a number of people -- he left us his prose, his genius persona, and his insights into the dark side of America, insights that could change your life after the laughing stopped. You would like to think that beneath the forbidding scowl of post-9/11 America, and despite the dark side, that a lot of people understand that Hunter S. Thompson was a great American.

Posted by: mats | Feb 22 2005 16:33 utc | 31

re debs

it seems to me all the greate americans including eugene debs sd things about america mush harsher than i am saying. you cannot read dresier & come away unmoved by his sadness at the situation. james agee is another who congenitally could not hide behind the myth & examined it & also walked into his own death. dashiel hammet saw through the myth & spoke of it in terms that are afreat deal darker than my own

melville hawthorne, faulkner, dos passos, jack henry aboot told you what constiututed american reality. arthur miller demanded you to pay attention to yourselves & your world. o'neill demanded that you look even closer - that you are obliged to take the corridor from darkness into light. the best of your poets but especially hart crane cried out for it

in the middle of duck soup the marx brothers in their pathetic judaic vaudeville exposed the peripheral nature of the 'political life' as it was conceived by politicians. buster keaton in all his work exposed the brutality of the american dream

all this work was done amongst liars - whether they were d w griffith, john ford or sam fuller or even the broken nick ray, or the embittered douglas sirk, frank capra or fritz lang

can there be no sadder elegy of american society than ' day of the locusts', anything by carson mcullers or tennesee williams or almost anything by f scott fitgerald

no hunter was ther heretier of a tradition that is both long & trenchant but i do not hear that voice of america except in the world of blogs. the current gang of literateurs have been bought & sold & so have little to say or offer

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22 2005 17:17 utc | 32

& this vocie from the blogs has its roots in hunter because like the greeks before you - you say 'oxi' - 'no' & this saying no is the first step of resistance but this world in which we lives demandes an emphatic no. not a no maybe - or a no, it will change nor a no but - no it requires a most emphatic no

the system that creates the illegalities, the obscenities & above all the inequalities must end. this system has told a magnificent lie - the lie of participation - but each time it is in crisis or in each situation where it creates crises - it tells you to fuck off, to keep silent - to be a good german. it not only does not want your participation it does not want your commentary.

because in each crises - what has happened - in the twenties & thirtis workers were killed, ex soldiers were assaulted & left homeless, blacks were lynched with great regularity & independent minds especially effective independent minds were isolated, incarcerated crushed.

it happened again in the late fourties & throughout the fifties - where laws were concentrated to forestall any resistance & to silence any form of opposition. the refusal to give passports to people like paul robeson to leave is a perfect example. & like today not satisfied to isolate & defeat a man - they crushed him into the dust using the most sordid tools imaginable. the pervert j edgar hoover & his pals did to that man things that are inconceivable including at tleast three assasination attempt (read j hoberman's biography of robeson) but these laws were not only used against robeson but against anyone who would, act

& again in the sixties when action became efficient - & ho chi mihn is on record in his appreciation & the appreciation of the vietnamese people for the anti war movement - when that movement became efficient & widened to issues of racism, of housing, of foof of all the elemental issues - it was crushed using the law & using great force. there are still many thousands of political prisoners who rest in american prisons from that time - some like peltier or david gilbert - will rest there until they die

when americans became involved in central & latin america trying to stop the criminal policies of reagan - they were assasinanted using the death squads counselled & instructed by john negroponte

& today, today that resistance must find its feet - must become effective but in coming to be effective - you have to feel as hunter felt - deeply & from the centre of his stomach that this was all wrong - that there had to be a better world than the one we were living in - the refusal, the saying 'no' hast to be clear, felt but above all it has to become effective & if it becomes effective then you have to expect to be treated as the arab people are being treated in the middle east & within the belly of the beast

if you are effectivve in your opposition - there is no doubt about it - you will be isolated, you will be incarcerated & you risk the things you love - that is the nature & the risk of struggle

but this empire of gangster must end & better that it be at the hands of the servants of that empire - than at the hands of those becoming your enemies

if germans had really resisted hitler - germany would not have to experience a thousand years of shame from which it shall never really recover - the same is true of america at this moment - if you participate - or if you benefit from the crimes of empire - then ward churchill is correct to speak of 'little eichmanns' - because fascism functioned for the most part because there were willing partners in the working & middle class - if that was not so fascism would have been defeated before the end of the spanish civil war

& if there are tones of hysteria in what i say i am not ashamed of that because i think the histroic situation we find ourselves is in itself hysteric. & if someone like' debs is dead' can think that i am anti american - that i cannot tell the difference between being anti imperialist & anti american - then s/he does not understand what i am saying, at all nor understand the deepness of my oppistion to the empire

& as kirpatrick sale is saying at counterpunch at this moment the days of the empire are coming to a close & to quote the old union song it will be necessary to know "which side are you on, which side are you on"

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22 2005 21:10 utc | 33

thx r'giap

Posted by: b | Feb 22 2005 21:35 utc | 34

no hysteria in what you say, rememberinggiap, none at all. more of us in the us of america need to become acquainted w/ the concept of sacrifice.

Posted by: b real | Feb 22 2005 21:42 utc | 35


Well, maybe a step towards confrontation would include a 'no' from europeans. Like, they could NOT invite the lil bastard, or they could NOT applaud when the man opens his mouth and turds fall out.

Why do europeans leaders welcome our murderous retard? Why not tell him, "I'd rather not..."?

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 22 2005 22:25 utc | 36

I know the answer...because the euros who walk the red velvet carpet through those suffocatingly opulent chateaus and make black-tied toasts to Our President are all members of the same death-sucking club of capitalists.

Old money shaking hands with new money under the state-dinner table.

You are Us.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 22 2005 22:37 utc | 37

@slothrop - you are right - in a way we are you.

But it sells badly in old Europe and the politicians know this. So shake hands, sell the airbus, but avoid any significant Iraq or Iran intervention may work for them.

Any different position -for now- is defeat for them. Unfortunatly that may change...

Posted by: b | Feb 22 2005 22:56 utc | 38

& i am reminded of ol r d laing. there is a documentary with his old & sad scottish eyes ever present. in this documentary he was clearly tired - fatigued by the struggle - but there was one moment - one extraordinary moment where he was obviouslly at some conference & he lifted the DSM III to the skies & sd if you mourned someone you lmoved for ten days that was acceptable but one day more & you were diagnostically, mad. that if you felt certain things with a certain sensitivity then according to the DSMIII you were mad & you could hear the fury within him - the fury of a healer who was himself sick & you heard the fury of a man who refused such reductive notion of the human condition. his was a cry for our rich & natural complexity

& it is not accidental that we are all wearing this war from the bush cheney junta very difficultly because it is being done with the greatest vulgarity - they shamelessly lie in front of us & are certainly proud of their lies - it will be clear that gannon/guckert was a stooge for rove for example - but nothing will be done, we know what happened with the affaire plame - but nothing will happen - it is just so crude & i imagine that is why you have people like krugman or a rich or a blmumenthal who are speaking strongly against the junta because at a level of indeceny it offends them

& what we are being faced by is madness - pure & simple & so the long & dangerous journey of hunter s thompson for all its wildness, for all his flaws - & all fighters are not necessarily bouddhas - they are the best of them - imperfect but their struggle cannot be discounted. their words cannot be withdrawn & what hunter wrote of the american political process is unforgettable & i imagine for his enemies, unforgiveable

if i am upset with him - it is that he gave his heart to that prick p j o'rourke who is a nothing of nothing. who is bill o'reilly with a few martinis under his belt & few jokes to share with his pals. but perhaps hunter followed the sicilian dictum to keep your friends close but your enemies closer

but we will hear in the coming days all the heritiers of hunter who will acknowledge his influence - but none who have ever possessed an ounce of his physical, spiritual & intellectual courage

all the little rock n' roll stylists, all the lifestyle journalist all those never neverland authors who have lived nothing, nothing at all will pretend at the grandeur & the simplicity of hunter but they possess nothing, nothing at all

christ, we need voices, now - in these our hours of deepest need we need one two three many voices of hunter - to remind us that we are not alone but to also remind us that we are capable of better things in a better world

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22 2005 23:10 utc | 39

slothrop | February 22, 2005 05:37 PM
What you said. There won't be an effective opposition to BushCo from Europe as long as the people don't rise and boot these criminal thieves and thugs that rule there as well, except their rule is more lenient with the slaves. And the trouble is that I don't think the US can go back on the right tracks by itself, and would need a bit of pressure or help from outside.
Things will have to go very badly before they get better.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 22 2005 23:39 utc | 40

slothrop - Things will have to go very badly before they get better.

That is what I look forward to slothrop; it can be no other way and should not - you should be happy too. Y'know, no pain, no gain.

In the end I think we all know, this shit is going to implode. As it should.

Posted by: rapt | Feb 23 2005 1:34 utc | 41

This talk about Thompson reminded my of Neil Young, who appeared in the soundtrack of the movie about his life, Where The Buffalo Roam. I saw him two years ago during Rock in Rio, together with a bunch of aged wild guys from Crazy Horse. He played long and repetitive guitar solos, strumming a single note for minutes. It was technically lousy and at times sonically boring, yet strangely mesmerizing. At some point Neil's fingers started to bleed, but he seemed oblivious to the blood dropping on the stage & spraying his guitar and his jeans. After a while it dawned on me: those old guys, fiercely concentrated, jumping up and down in a circle and looking only at each other, were enacting some sort of Indian ritual. They were celebrating their friendship, their joy and their fury.

The kids who were there to see Iron Maiden didn't have a clue what that was about, but they were spellbound all the same. They were watching something rare: passion. What RGiap said, fire in the belly. (For the sake of fairness, I must add that RGiap himself plays a mean gipsy guitar. The notes may be often wrong, sometimes I can't see where he's coming from, but the feeling is always right.)

I think the discussion here is somehow related to a very interesting previous thread about our youth's lack of appetite for confrontation. I believe the young ones won't rebel simply because they have no hope. We squandered it all before they could inherit it. They are unable to envision a different world. They do miss the 60's, a mythical place where they have never been. Some of us miss the 60's too, not exactly because of what we were, but because of what he thought then we could become. That dream, however, can't be dreamed again. What do we have to offer today, except our apprehension and our despair?

RGiap is dead right, one must be willing to risk something: at best being ridiculed, at worst being totally wrong. Life requires some unfairness. If we are to change things, there is this little matter of passion. Passionate love & rage felt not only by your neurons but by your whole body. I no longer believe this could be possible, for instance, in the United States, a country where the all-consuming passion now seems to be fear.

So here we are, mourning Thompson because he is one more decayed icon from better times, worn out by his own passion. Ultimately he proves to us that we were right to be economical with ourselves, to "measure out our lives with coffee spoons". We slice & dice, we make clever points, we get better by the hour, but our passion is mostly an intellectual construct vented intelectually. We challenge our enemies & our ghosts in a territory they don't dare or don't care to enter. Of course we are always right; but nothing changes because there's nothing at stake. Most of us are here anonimously. I don't even provide an e-mail address. If there were a call to stand up and be counted, I, for one, don't believe I would comply.

And then there's the pressing question of the narrative. Of course we oppose madness, but what are we for? We, the left, the opposition, the self-chosen ones, have even relinquished the idea of personal freedom, a concept that has been appropriated by the rhinoceroses as well. Freedom now means the freedom to drive anywhere and consume anything. We have no alternative landscape to offer, no place where the young ones can go with their desire. We are not cool or beautiful. We no longer dare to risk joy; that would be most inappropriate in the face of disaster.

Posted by: pedro | Feb 23 2005 8:05 utc | 42


far superior film that Where the Buffalo Roam...bill murray was Thompson for me for awhile....and NYoung's Title track is sonically boring but absolutely haunting.

And, as a mark of the avatar, which Thompson most certainly was in many ways, I've got the damn thing on a beta tape somewhere.

Posted by: RossK | Feb 23 2005 8:32 utc | 43

"Bring it on", rapt? So what are you looking forward to?

Posted by: Colman | Feb 23 2005 10:56 utc | 44

Morford on HST

Posted by: beq | Feb 23 2005 12:11 utc | 45

Very fine. All of it:

What we do know is, the door Thompson helped blow open is now nearly completely sealed up again, spackled over with the fresh concrete of fear and reinforced with iron bars and snide FCC regulations and heavily guarded by the least accountable and most secretive and violent and warmongering government in American history. The radical free speech HST embodied, the biting and ferocious (and ultimately insightful and telling) interrogation of the various thugs of government, this approach is no longer tolerated.

Only the tiniest openings remain. Only the slimmest slivers of light eke through. The era of raw open-mouthed bitingly hilarious New Journalism in major media is giving way to one of fearful reportage and shrugging sameness and prim adjective clauses sans wit or kick or rigid middle fingers, all undercut by the uptight quasi-religious hypocrisy of the Right, worse than Nixon, worse than Vietnam, worse than you want to imagine.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Feb 23 2005 13:08 utc | 46

a dctum. a chant. a feeling.

the dictum i took from the sixties to here is from mao tste tung - 'it is right to rebel' & that stays with me to this very day & it is the thread that has taken me through three continents & many many countries. there has been no place for fear in my heart - even in the many situations of my life that perhaps required that feeling to survive. i have surviced by 'rebellion'. many people fromthe other countries i have been visit here - find me more calm, more tranquil but i prefer to think i am more still - which is another matter entirely.

i possess the very same fury & passion & also sense of wonderment that i did at 14 - except in my 50th year it is purer, it is not agitated, it is more precise, it knows its target because for at least 30 years my survival was a say top day question & now with my sickness it returns to a day to day question

but like piaf i regret nothing. nothing at all. i am not a good man but i know what goodness means. i believe i also know the enemy because i have known him & his practices on three continents. i know exceptionallyu well the practices of the empire. & as a mman & as a writer i have fought it with all the talent & humanity i possess.

for me struggle is the most beautiful word in the english language & it is equally beautiful in french, in spanish, in arabic, persian swahili - it remains a beuatiful word - even when it possesses the most complex & difficult of realities. & i can assure you my friend pedro - i know what difficulty means

rebellion has been central to my existence but i have never ever felt bitter. i have no right to that. i have led an exceptional life - a life of such beauty i feel blessed by the communities i have become & known & thos communities have refined my rebellion - have taught me the organic beauty of it

the chant was "ho ho ho chi minh - dare to struggle, dare to win" & that too has never left me - even in the darkest moments, & the ones we are living through are amongst the darkes i have ever experience & i have known the deeper signification of warren zevons song - 'lawyers, drugs & money'. i know instinctively in my heart above all the theory i know & have taught - that we are capable of winning - i believe as the maoists did that reaction is a paper tiger. that even though it possesses aparatus after apparatus, terror after terrot, torture after torture - that it has killed many generations of my beautuful mothers & fathers, brothers & sisters & is doing so now to my sons & daughters. but i believe history is a long process & this brutality, this terror, this stupidity, this vulgarity will end but it will not end by itself - it will end by entering a life & death struggle against it

the feeling. community. i come from a country - acounty where a sense of community was its only posssible redemption from its crimes & the only real path to its sovereignty. & that community was destroyed, vanquished i watched the way people talked & shared over the fences their histories when i was a child - those same streets are now full of silence except for the programmes that rupert muroch transmits all over the empire to try to drown out our song

& so all my life i ahve worked with communities - have offered myself as a tool, an arm & yes a gift to them. as is obvious in my writing - the gift i give is also troubled because you cannot live what i have lived without absorbing all the conflicts of our epoch & yes perhaps i have become less a man than a piece of geography. & if that is my tragedy it is also my treasure

in communities i have found the essence of what we are unprotected by ideologies but it is not an anti intellectual exercise because in the midst of life these very communities forced me to reenage a reading i had done in my teens, in my twenties & so in another language, in other languages i began to read what for me remain the key texts & if i mention hegel or marx, or wittgenstein or kierkegaard or lenin gramci & althusser - if i speak of benjamin adorno galeano said - it is because they speak to mme - they speak to that community & yes deleuze/guattari, derrida, baudrillard, virillio, bourdieu offer me the means to comprehend practically the nature of our multiplicity, difference but above all they have taught me community in a practical sense

but is those within the belly of the beast itself who have lent me their fury & hunter was amonst the best of them - he has torn out the heart of the beast & held it upi in his hands & told us very clearly what it is -& i have read many 'memorials' of hunter in the last few days & while some retain the fraternity that is the most important aspect - many in their consumerist gred wanted more & more & better & more. he was a man, & a flawed man as we all are - he gave what he had to give & i for one am thankful for his offering

the many lesson he gave have remained & willl remain - they are not the property of fame, of celebrity of success. they are the property of breath

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 23 2005 13:33 utc | 47

à pedro
tho i use a handle here - i do not hide behind anonymity tho it would be in my better interest to do so - even i my 50th year - my situation is vulnerable but i know that in the end - that if i was to enter yet another dangerous situation - it is the same community i fight for who would protect me

& that anonymity - while i understand it for some who post here - i see it as another word for fear - & i will not bow down to that fear - here or elsewhere

i have been refused entry into the u s on at least three occassions & perhaps they knopw a thing or two - perhaps my enemy know me better than my friends, my colleagues, my communities but i will remain their enemy until this darkness ends. for me or for them

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 23 2005 13:42 utc | 48

A mate just pointed out (shaming my ignorance) that the title of F&LILV is an homage to Brecht's Fear and Misery in the Third Reich.

Posted by: Ineluctable | Feb 23 2005 13:42 utc | 49

All glommed off Common Dreams:
Palast on HST

Ed Quillen on HST

Michael Winship on HST

Posted by: beq | Feb 23 2005 15:47 utc | 50

@Colman - what are you looking forward to? -

I was intentionally tightfisted with details because I don't know them and can't even speculate.

The point is that an era, an age is coming to an end and to cry about losing our familiar comforts is to miss the depth of this change by a mile.

Not that one shouldn't fight with all he has against what is clearly an enemy. We keep hearing, seeing that the old dems, or the lefties, the progressives have nothing solid to offer as an alternative to the current fascism, and in any event no power to bring it into being.

To refer back to some of the pre-election arguments, one of them said - better give it to the rethugs so they can finish destroying themselves sooner -. Yes it is painful but at least we don't have the dems (Kerry) stretching out the pain for another period of years. (Fortunately Kerry was part of the cabal and he was not going to win no matter what.) We don't have that much time to waste.

So your question was, What do I look forward to? The answer is, A major collapse/overhaul of a "civilisation", couple thousand years old, run by a coterie of money- and power-mad cretins, including the Church. (see nearby thread)

As you can imagine, I have no idea what it will look like in the end, but I look forward to it. Hoping I live long enough to see the final result.

Posted by: rapt | Feb 23 2005 15:57 utc | 51

Special delivery to r'giap:
...Drowning Voice of Blues Nation by Pierre Tristam

Posted by: beq | Feb 23 2005 15:57 utc | 52

some personal observations on that Tristam commentary... (and why is west's stmt "provocative"? provocative perhaps for one who aligns w/ the interests of business-as-usual..)

"the United States is creepingly, deliberately aping the language and manners of a police state. The degrees may be debatable. The fact no longer is."
so what will it take for him to admit that the u.s. is & has been a police state for some time now? even a superficial look at the prison-industrial complex will tell you that much.

"[ward churchill's] imagery is frankly idiotic (imperialism is not extermination.."
empire most definately has everything to do w/ extermination, genocide, mass murder, conquest, subjugation, exploitation, etc... that's how imperialism works. hello? and ward's actual message has indeed made an impact & woken up a lot of the population to the spectre of mccarthyism that rode into town after 11 sept. repression? perhaps if you only follow the right-wing media...

Larry Summers is also the ex-chief economist for the world bank who wrote the infamous memo stating that "the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable." genuine criticisms of the intentions of the amoral mr. summers are hardly unwarranted & the author makes a weak argument/attempt at objectivity.

that's all. felt the need to vent about these glaring holes in his ambiguous viewpoint since Tristam has taken on the use of the royal we.

Posted by: b real | Feb 23 2005 16:45 utc | 53

Good catch, b real. I was wondering what rememberinggiap would make of it.

Posted by: beq | Feb 23 2005 17:51 utc | 54

Slothrop I read the news today Oh boy _note of music_ and I thought My God here they all are sitting with scorn and for some of them hate in their hearts, nodding respectfully, smiling politely, adjusting the crease in a trouser, the position of laquered hands, waiting to see to guess how far Bush will go. I really felt like blasting the whole pack of them away (metaphorically.) Oh, that was the picture, not the text. Coffee spoons, indeed. (Pedro quoting TS Eliot.)

You know we EUs we make our position felt, timidly, because we can (look at Zapatero's election for example - boy was he surprised to be elected!) but so what? It just keeps the leaders in a sort of holding position - they become more hypocritical and more secretive and bend to pressure just that little bit, both ways.... I feel too the EU does not help, as it leads to unsteady, shoddy, compromises. The US loves it of course. Go to Brussels and rant at all of them at once. Let the cards fall where they may. They are either for freedom and democracy or not. They will either deliver, or not. We shall see.

Posted by: Blackie | Feb 23 2005 19:39 utc | 55


thank you - i read it last nigh on common dreams - & had as many reservations as b real

the opposite of hunter - outside of the bombast - there was always essential truths - even when he was obviouslly fucked up - i do not have the reservations - or prefer the early to the late hunter - he was a man - he gave & it is for us to transform that

i take it as a fact that most journalists are our enemies & the exceptions to the rule like pilger or a fisk are so notable as to isolate them & in any case - when it gets really hot i find better writing in our blogs than i could dredge from a thousand journals. they have the apparatus but we have the truth & i believe that, fundamentally

sometimes, because of the current chaos - it is difficult to hear through the polyphony & we so much want to hear voices who speak - who speak to us - that sometimes we can be fooled by appearances - but i imagine - much less so because our needs are stronger & the journalist as a career has exposed itself for what it is - advertising & slavery

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 23 2005 19:42 utc | 56

Pedro wrote: And then there's the pressing question of the narrative. Of course we oppose madness, but what are we for?

The narrative is simple but it is daunting as it is rests on the vision of a systemic change. It is too much and so progressives tip toe around it or focus on some aspect or quarrel amongst themselves or get tied up in convoluted knots. And get blasted!

Basically, they wish to tinker with the present system to make it ‘better’ :: more fair, more ecological, more human, more democratic, kinder, nicer, less guilt ridden, more respectful, cheaper for the poor, more egalitarian, free-er, etc.... That is a vain hope.

The narrative is:

1) Man’s relation to Nature must change NOW. Exxon Mobil I read was the biggest earning (or whatever) company in 2004. We need to husband our resources and use them intelligently. On a plain ledger, it could be done, but sacrifices (although I don’t much like that concept) and investment (idem) would have to be made.

2) The South (as we call it here) or the West’s relation to the ‘underdeveloped countries’ must change NOW. This could be done. Ethiopians, Nigerians, etc. would be happy with some improvement, such as collaboration and cooperation instead of rapine. Aid / debt / the free market is a hypocritical scam and that should be admitted and reversed.

3) Man’s relation to man must be changed NOW. The poison of exploitation and sadism must be removed. (A tall order!) For people who believe in Man’s fundamentally competitive, domineering nature (Social Darwinism, Selfish Genes, for example) it cannot be done. Nevertheless, scientists, society, are capable of presenting win-win situations that are reasonable in a limited context, and they could be extended.

Being passionate and having fire in the belly does not necessarily mean ripping off or killing your neighbor.

4) A review of Man’s relation to his tools. (Arms, amongst others). To Deities. Etc. Other points, etc. 5) Political organisation to accomplish the above.

As a narrative, it is an impossible sell. Particularly because if change is called for, making concrete propositions is required. Leftists cannot do this as they are locked in the present system.

I’m not giving up.

Posted by: Blackie | Feb 23 2005 19:44 utc | 57

have though a lot about pedro's post - about what it means today - those ideas & actions from back then & to what extent a person like hunter gave of himself to the culture that surrounded him & surrounded in him

there is for me a line - a not so straight line - but a line all the same from my youth to today. i was born & grew up in poverty. my father had turberculosis - of which he died when i was still quite young - mostly he was in a sanitorium. because my family was large it was seperated but most of us lived in pubic housing - a maisonette to be exact - with walls you could read a newspaper through. it was the most elemental poverty. there were time without basic things like food & health. but there were books - & both my parents were 'intellectuals' in that they thought - & thought to them was liberty - my father was a writer - he wrote for ellery queen & he wrote procedurals for television but he was so cik most of the time - his writing was defeated. he taught me the meaning & power of words. i loved him & i grew to love words. i understtod deeply in my heart the poverty we were experiencing & the poverty of my community was undeserved. as ginsberg before me i swa the best minds of my community destroyed before they reached the age of 20.

at 12/13 i became actively involved in the struggle against the vietnam war because it was clear to me that we were all vietnamese - that the poor everywhere were vietnamese. their liberty was my liberty. their suffering was my suffering. there was no question for me whose side i was on. even at that age & even at that age i did things that were outside the law for i understood bob dylans dictum - to live outside the law you have to be honest - & i became more & more involved - that it led irrevocably to a participation that was clear & i did not accept any illegality because it was an illegal war & anything that could be done that could alleviate the suffering needed to be done. i was involved directly in giving medical aid to the viet cong & more

paradoxically it was this involvement that led me to follow my studies & my art with veangeance - perhaps too much so - i wanted to defeat the world i was living in & on their terms but strangely university was where i had my fisrts & only broken heart because with my family, with my community & especially with the vietnamese - they had taught me to love knowledge - they had taught me that it was a weapon - so when i arrived to a university where people stol, copied, ran away from the demands & rigor of knowledge - i was profoundly deceived - but i knew that i would never use the knowledge to escape my class but fight for it - till the end

this was in the late sixties -early seventies & i understood as lenin did that my class, my community needed a vanguard -needed people to take the risk - it was not theatre for me - it was life & life only. ironically i got involved with a clandestine marxist leninist group that was finally only theatrical & it taught me class betrayal. at the point of the american supported & armed putsch in chile against salvador allende (the chinese at the time supported all that was anti soviet - this was the moment of nixons visit to china - so they implicitly supported the putsch) & this party would not give aid to the chilean people - that was unacceptable to me & any group that could not see the straight line between vietnam indonesia phillipines greece was for me - playing.

& that was something i never understood - in the sixties - playing - i had no conception of it then - i have no conception of it now. perhaps i lacked humour but for me anti imperialism was & remained a life & death struggle & needed to be fought in that vein & i have fought it in that vein to this day

i never accepted the bourgeois heroism & exceptionality of being a writer. if i was a writer it was because the communities of resistance had made it so & more than once they sd to me directly that my responsibility was to speak for them, to cry for them & to act for them. i had been given a gift - it was my duty to transform it

i was before the public often - & that literary public - in the first instance was my enemy - pure & simple - because i was the first of my number to come before them - but even then i could see that they were capable of commodifying my anger of turning my fury against myself & like so many others faced with the degredations that passed as social interaction - i slowly scientifically & methodically began to destroy myself because i felt i could neither live up to the aspirations of my community nor could i face the utter obscenity of capital

it was the people who brought me back from the dead & helped me to transform that force into a weapon i use until this hour. i am not a good explainer in this form - i am no essayist - i have & use other forms - but i try here - to use one that most of you can understand & clearly sometimes i fail. i wrote poetry, street theatre, for theatre for film & for performance - my lyrics were used in rock n' roll - i became a dramatug to many, many projects but at the same time i worked with the disinherited, amongst them - as one of their number - i have never felt very far from the gutter - not even now - in my fiftieth year - i live as dangerously as i did then.

i gave to these people my skill because they had given me my heart & they had helped train my thoughts - they had tempered it with love, with endurance & with hope - even when face by inordiante odds & an apparently hopeless future. i have worked everywhere - in prisons, in schools, in hospitals - with the bad bad boys -i have worked with battered women - i have worked with all those that our societies reject & would prefer not to see & certainly do not want to hear their story

& you must understand i was not & perhaps still am not an ultra democrat - i do not believe that everybody can create works of genius but what everyone can do is to integrate creation in their lives that allows contexts, that allows comprehension - that allows people to fight back - but more & more i understood that i preferred the richness of the stories & the interiority of the people & their richness gave me technical advances in the writing that would have not occurred without them. & the literature that was being created for elites in english, in french, in spanish, in german was not at th hauteur of the experiences of these people

in these people i found dôblin, i found goethe, i found dante, i found cervantes, i found malcolm lowry - i understood why joyce did what he did - i understood the perversion of celine & the desire for a higher justice of genet - in the peoplme i found my critique of dialectical reason. i found robert musil - i find a still find these people in my work

& that is what i do today i work with people arming them with culture - & in a certain sense - i have as mayakovky before me trampled on the throat of my verse because the people need what i give & my poems can wait a little - with my recent ill health - i am a little frightend that that waiting may be a presumption i can ill afford & in the last six months i have had to return to the hardest questions - in what manner do i serve the people best - as a poet or as a poet who is onvolved in the community

because we live in the era of the barbarism of bush - it has to be the latter - there can be no other choice - as there was no real other choice than to assist the vietnamese in their struggle against the american empire. perhaps moreso today because the threat of the empire have never been so grave so close

so pedro - you have to understand that i know well what i am doing & perhaps know too that it will be defeated by the imperial project of the americans but i can do no other - perhaps it is as you say neil young dripping blood on stage playing one chord - but it must be played

i am not the redeemerr of the people nor seek redemption through them - i do what i can do as a writer who was given the gift of knowledge in an epoch that taught me the meaning of that knowledge

& hunter & many others gave people like me the courage to keep on fighting, to create hope within a world that was going up in flames or was drowning in its proper self serving obscenity of the fascination with self

as with neruda - there is no i - it was always we

with all my force & fury

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 24 2005 0:57 utc | 58


Thank you for your gift of yourself to us.

Posted by: liz | Feb 24 2005 4:14 utc | 59

RGiap, I hope you realize what I was trying to say above (with the exception of "strumming a single note", which on second thought I really can't figure out how to do) is precisely what you say in your moving testimony, although coming all the way from the other side: middle-class kid, cultured family, having his peace&love&drugs experience crushed at berth by 20 years of fierce US-sponsored military dictatorship. We are exactly the same age, I think: 50.

Being a kid in Brazil at that time was strange. No matter how hard I try, I can't recall it as a bad experience. On the contrary: we very alive as hell in spite of all the occasional grief, posing heroic to our adolescent muses, sharing in secret the words of Neruda and Galeano, finding inexistent codewords in Chico Buarque's songs, laughing at the ugliness of the dictator's daughter. I was never an activist or a Marxist; too scared for the former, too independent for the latter. Having had a direct experience of oppression and the reaction against it, I realize now how our masters tried – and mostly succeeded – to crush us. First they go for the intelligence, then for the humor (which they really loathe and therefore must be kept at all costs), and ultimately for the dream. They want to prevent us from dreaming. Get real, get a job, don't waste your time on utopias.

My post above is a direct result of a koanic dialogue I had a few years ago with my teenage daughter. Those of us who have children or deal with them may have realized a strange and perhaps novel characteristic or the newer generations: they don't want to change the world. The idea even seems a bit ridiculous. The concept of personal freedom is also a bit alien to them. They don't despise us as they should; they see no reason to leave home. They are born conformists who have some difficulty to dream. And, to a guy like me who once ruined a whole apartment wall with Antonio Machado's luminous words - "Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar" (Traveller, there's no path, you make the path by walking"), this is deeply worrisome. So I was critizing my daughter's generation one day for not wanting to change the world and she replied, bored, "Yeah, dad, did you change it?"

Did I? I had to ponder that. The answer is both yes and no. Our master plan failed miserably. Ugliness gained ground, the rhinoceroses prevail nowadays. Perhaps it was bound to be like that no matter what. But, at a personal level, I did dream the dream, and I still do. I still want to change the world. I own the barest minimum (a friend once said, "you realize you have ceased to be free when you have too many keys in your keyring"). I am the master of my sleep and I can wake up anytime I feel like it - as the laziest among us may have realized, one of the most precious small freedoms one can have. I like to believe I am still making my path by walking. And, most of all, I have managed to remain essentially happy. Happiness is the most radical weapon. A passion for life is a potent political statement. I don't mourn Thompson; he did what he had to do and then took his leave at the moment of his choosing.

So, back to the matter at hand (between myself and RGiap, we may yet exhaust all available bandwidth; sorry about that, folks), and now addressing directly Blackie's suggestive proposal of a narrative: if we are to sell the idea of change, if we are to help our youngsters to learn again how to dream – and, let's not fool ourselves, any change that comes must come through them, because it will require a deep cultural shift - we must reach beyond what's merely feasible. We have become accountants of misery, too realistic to be taken seriously. I like Blackie's list precisely because it's unfeasible. It points to a happy world. You don't sell cigarettes or automobiles, you sell charm or sexual potency. You don't sell minute plans for change – let's walk from here to there and then we'll rest - but rather you point to the distance and hope people will start moving in that direction. There must be a theme for desire. I'll take poetry over theory anytime. The way I see it, our fight has ceased to be erotic (Dean was erotic, Kerry was tragic). Question is, how do we get that back?

Posted by: pedro | Feb 24 2005 4:26 utc | 60

So, back to the matter at hand (between myself and RGiap, we may yet exhaust all available bandwidth.

Thank God that Magwich is out there somewhere grazing sheep, paying the bills,so that this site, even with profligate verbage, and redundancy to the nth power, may still be solvent
and perhaps even thrive.

Posted by: Master Pip | Feb 24 2005 4:48 utc | 61

I read today that Hunter Thompson had planned his exit including not telling his family "when". but soon. The word is he was in a lot of pain with his back and his hip. I'm sure it was more than that, but I don't know him, so I don't know.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Feb 24 2005 4:52 utc | 62


Call Mr. Jaggers in London; Magwich has read what you wrote, and is impressed.

Posted by: Master Pip | Feb 24 2005 5:15 utc | 63

Master Pip:

I get your point. You're right.

Posted by: pedro | Feb 24 2005 5:24 utc | 64


I think Magwich was extending a complement.

Posted by: Master Pip | Feb 24 2005 5:50 utc | 65

I think many of the the younger folks don't care a whole lot because in their hearts they feel there's no future, or no future worth getting excited about. All around them is the evidence of things getting worse, not better, with every passing year -- grimmer, grayer, poorer, more controlled, more boring, more cheap and sordid, regimented and cruel, drab and tasteless. A matrix of McSchools, McHouses, McJobs, McFood, McClothing, McMedia, McCities, McWorld. And of course neatly package McYouth McCulture, McRebellion, McSex and McNaughtiness especially targeted at them...

If I feel moments of mute, bitter rage at my own aged parents and their whole generation, for having gobbled up a planet in such slobbering haste, leaving my generation with the stupendous bills to pay -- what the H do we suppose the kids of the next generation feel when they look at their tottering economy and bankrupted ecosystems? Why not keep your head down, conform, and try to win a bit of comfort in a scrap of "safe" space, since there's no real hope for anything like a happy ending or a bright future?

I do know younger folks who are vibrant with dissent and passionate creativity, full of hope and laughter and rage and deep empathy, buzzing with sarcastic critique of the Culture of Terminal Dumbness, overflowing with prankish, poetic, mad mockery of the machinery of corporate imperialism. But they are altermondialistes -- who still believe, bless them, that "another world is possible." Sometimes they almost convince me, too :-)

The difference between the conformists and the rebels, I am persuaded, is the difference between despair and hope. Perhaps this is why the failure of our young to rebel causes us such heartache -- we know that the calmness with which they accept "the world as it is" is the calmness of despair?

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 24 2005 6:05 utc | 66

It's more than a little troubling for me. I'm no longer that young, and have been politically engaged for a long time, but Hunter S Thompson was no more than a name to me. Someone I knew virtually nothing about. He dies and there is a upswelling of memories and acknolwegements on this blog and in the mainstream media. Next week it will all have died down and I'll be left with a name together with obituary-information to hang on to it. Some may say than I should now read his works; but where does than leave me? More politically aware? More cynical, skeptical or critical? I don't think I need any more of that now. The corrupting of the American Dream seems to be the thread running through his work. Maybe the corrupting of modernity is where the wider focus should be. Thompson appears more cultural than political---which would explain the half-baked writings on his 'legacy' that I've read over the last couple of days. The political (and I'm sure it was there in spades) was absent. Maybe we need to talk less of his cultural significance and more of how his political significance can be applied today. The media reaction seems simply to be a way of burying them quickly. I hope there's plenty of life in him yet, but when Noam Chomsky finally goes, for example, he'll be buried even faster, with and with it his politics.

Posted by: theodor | Feb 24 2005 6:36 utc | 67

On resigned youth.

Despite all my flaws, I feel blessed that I have never seen a movie star or any sort of official beauty who inspired as much sheer desire in me as the actual girls and women I have known up close and personal. I do not have much hope for people whose greatest crushes are for media images (confession - I have had such crushes. but they pale in comparison). The sheer beauty of actual people we know inspires dreams.

Let them eat lust.

Posted by: Citizen | Feb 24 2005 6:51 utc | 68

We look out at the world in horror, knowing for starters that 2000 yrs. of Civilization has crested & the other side is straight down. Add to that getting out of college, perhaps already choking in debt, looking at houses which yr. parents could purchase when they got their first job, now costing ~$1,000,000....

Then as Pedro points out they look at us & say so what did all of your idealism accomplish anyway??

Actually it accomplished a helluva lot, at least in America - it created probably one of the most powerful reactions in history as elites went apoplectic. The First Manifesto of this was Sammy Huntington's "The Crisis of Democracy" written as a report for the Trilateral Commission- it was a crisis 'cuz we were actually insisting upon democracy. Sammy argued that democracy works best if there isn't too much of it. The elites went to work to insure there was even less. What better way than to transfer all the wealth upward & all the responsibilities downward. Make sure the young are so loaded w/debt by the time they get out of college, that they won't be able to afford idealism.

The attitudes of the young were carefully crafted. We are the ones mistaken for pointing our fingers at them, rather than the Pirates who engineered this. Here's a precis of the bk. in hopes it'll open some young eyes:

"According to the report, a crisis of democracy can occur when the populace becomes too well-informed about the true goals and motivations of its rulers and begins to demand that those in power shift their focus from self-aggrandizement to providing for the people's common needs.

At the time of writing it was standard belief that the "liberal media" had contributed greatly to the recent loss of the United States' war of aggression against South Vietnam, thus the author's fears of a media too willing to report the truth. (The reality of the situation being, of course, that the major media entirely fulfilled their roles as the state propaganda machine during the war and they have continued to do so.) Another condition creating excess democracy can arise when "previously passive or unorganized groups in the population," like "blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students and women" become "organized and mobilized in new ways to achieve what they considered to be their appropriate share of the action and of the rewards." A third feared source of excess democracy was the intellectuals whose questioning of official power tended to cause "a breakdown of traditional means of social control" by undermining "those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young."

If the people are raising their collective voice to ask those in power for the basic necessities of life, or, (horrors!) suggesting that maybe the country's affairs aren't being run in a particulary equitable or just way, well, that puts a crimp in government's proper duties of amassing and protecting profits for the rich! The authors of the report looked back fondly on the days when "Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers". Their fear that this era had ended was, of course, grossly premature.

The recommended course of action to stave off potential "crises of democracy" (which, we can see, can be read as "meaningful democracy") was firstly to threaten media which didn't maintain a "standard of professionalism" with state regulation, secondly to shift the focus of higher education toward the elite's economic and political goals, thirdly to institute "a lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education" and fourthly to address just enough of the demands of organized labor to keep them quiet.

Since 1975 it has been the overt, written policy of the governments of the major capitalist countries to prevent a crisis of democracy by encouraging and enabling citizen apathy. After all, "order depends on somehow compelling newly mobilized strata to return to a measure of passivity and defeatism... At least temporarily the maintenance of order requires a lowering of newly acquired aspirations and levels of political activity." Ladies and gentlemen, your governments at work."

Posted by: jj | Feb 24 2005 7:06 utc | 69

Clarification - in case it's not obvious, all the quotations in my long quote are from Huntington's book.

Posted by: jj | Feb 24 2005 7:08 utc | 70


we need to honour our fighters - whomever & wherever they are - no matter our differences with them because the differences are smaller than those with the enemy

i do not expect the world of those warriors. as i sd the best of them are flawed & those flaws pedro has spoken of - well.

thios world has become infinitely more difficult to manage - to fight & resist. of that there can be little question but what remains essential - that there is a ruling class that co-opts people with its many short term seductions including celebrity & that they then speak for their rulers. those rulers are there to maximise profit, to control all forms of the state & to create, by necessity the greatest inequalities

at moments - it pretends tho expand the boundaries of those inequalities but they are a masquerade - they are not substantial & in any moment of crisis those boundaries fall in on themselves

though their technological control is more vast - they cannot stop communication - they cannot stop people from understanding, actually - the contexts of their position & they cannot stop the formation of resistance

all resistance is human. all are borne in the heart which the head then tries to order. i think when young we cannot bare inequalities of any kind - we instinctively understand the obscenity behind it & we react. then their system - their system tries to take away whatever is in us that reaches towards freedom & crushes it

in my work today - i understand what i understood as a child that we all possess an internal order symbolic - & that in real terms is our sanity - our connection with the earth - the spanish calle it duende - it is neither mystic or even spiritual in nature - it is material

then we are swamped - literally swamped by perversion of images that bend, distort & finally pervert our relation with the most elemental of sybols; trees, wheeels, tables, chairs, walls, lines etc etc - our relation to these symbols are singular but they are for me our relation to ourselves & the lived world of relations. because the dispossed are instinctively richer & because there are less walls between their skin, their cerebral cortex & these symbols - they live them - for the most part for their proper survival - they fight against their proper alienation by reconfiguring the symbols of their 'innocence' - i imagine in much the same way tyhat wm blake did in his poetry & gravures

when people are closer to their instints - they resist - resistance come more naturally because we defend the materiality of that 'innocence' & we know in that 'innocence' is the life force - i think each time we make love we try to return there - we try to reorder our forces - we try to reintegrate our symbolic order

& i repeat that the dispossessed are closer to a form of integration than thos who live in privelege - they have concepts, they have competing & contingent set of orders & rules as wittgenstein so clearly sd but they do not possess the liberty of that integration & that is why of even the poorest of us you can smell liberty even under the most oppressive of conditions

what the west has done is to replace that desire for liberty, that instinctive desire for freedom with fear - with the institution of fear where we fear the other but fear ourselves more. & it works. that is why people try ot immiediatel distance themesleves from the horror of their times but they are the horror of the times

that fear is our impoverishment
at every level that possesses substance

jack henry abbot spoke well of the tragoidia & of the envy of the powerful over the slaves - the envy - the almost erotic energy the rich & powerful feel when confronted by the rich interior of the dispoosessed. the rich in their culture, in what passes for their art but which walter benjamin understood well was just another word for barbarism

the rich know for all their power they are empty
& yes i have heard it said that there are more millionaires & billionaires today but for all they posses - they are empty & the means of protecting that wealth have returned to the most brutal forms - of which the ancinet left understood well & practically

it is not an accident that power tries to destroy the cultural lives of people, of communities, of cultures & of countries. it is essential to their programme. they have not entered ancinet babylon only for oil but to destroy with a perversion & vehemence unimaginable - our roots - our real roots & finally our interconnection. the other is us. we are them & have always been

the powerful construct that other to augment our fear - so that we will horde objects & get further & further away from our instincts - the very tools we need in the hours that we are living

in my work - i construct resistance. & theodor yes i am surprised that i have been able to do it so long because i am a public figure - flawed as we all are - but i know the meaning of words & their tocsins as vv maiakovskii articulated

theodor - i think of men & women like you who have defied the definitions of that frightening world & have become the persons they wanted to be & as pedro sd - have at least the liberty of falling asleep when they want to - i understand well the metaphor & the reality pedro is using here & it is everything but peripheral. you have fought the definitions of the world & you have become, a man - not a victim - not just a reactor. in part - as i have said because you have the people inside you - the joe connolly's of this world are personifications of your symbolic order

& to that extent all the people who have fought need to be honoured - even when they have had enough & have chose to leave the battlefield

the dialectic is that we take what is necessary from those warriors, absorb & interpret it & transform ourselves, our families & our communities

i teach resistance because it is the only real form of love i know

(another point- which is not incidental to me - is that i choose not to be anonymous - my handle is my way of honouring - but my email - is there for all to see - i will not hide this communication & others protected - & while i understand the anonymity of the sic transit gloria or even pedro - it is much harder to explain it for those of us in the west - do jérôme & bernhard not risk as much as naybody else here - they take responsibility for what they say - openly - as i do & many others - i find at times the anonymity that is sometimes used here as an accession to fear & a means of not being responsible for what you say - pedro was right to speak of it - because it is an important point - an element of being open here is a risk - we do not know the nature of the risk - nor do we know even if intelligence services are capable of entering such a frame & knowing words from wind or if they even worry about us at all - we are outside their peripheral vision - but i imagine for some the risk is realer than it is for others - but i will not allow the instution of fear a breath in my body & i will take responsibility for all & everything i say)

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 24 2005 13:20 utc | 71

& i al sorry if master pip whoever that is when they are at home thinks that what i have sd is eithe profligate, verbiage or redundant - then i must tell pip that i am not ashamed of what i have sd here - not at all

i thought it was about time - that certain things were absolutely transparent & because as pedro says - i knew when writing these last posts that i risked being ridiculous, risked being mocked for a seriousness that is all mine

from where i work - it is neither funny ha ha or funny perverse - it is sad beyond belief & i see what is happening to us under the empire is of a sadness without measure

theodor is correct - sadness & mourning are not enough. concrete forms of resistance have to be constructed & they are often constructed by small things - something as simple as communication

& i have always thought of satire unless it was defoe or cervantes as an art of imbeciles - of going for easy targets - cynicism is the philosophy of those who do nothing at all as lenin once sd

i am not without humour but it is noticeably absent from my life in this moment

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 24 2005 17:01 utc | 72

About anonymity here: does not exist, right? IP addresses are transparent. Can web messages be remailed like emails? If so, then some level of security is available.

Why not reveal email address? Because there's a pleasure in building up reputational capital in a pseudonym. I enjoy the weak distance separating the various "I's" made available by this kind of public forum.

BTW, I'm really incomparably funny, handsome, and seductively laconic, unlike slothrop.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 24 2005 17:31 utc | 73

i think when young we cannot bare inequalities of any kind - we instinctively understand the obscenity behind it & we react. then their system - their system tries to take away whatever is in us that reaches towards freedom & crushes it

in my work today - i understand what i understood as a child that we all possess an internal order symbolic - & that in real terms is our sanity - our connection with the earth -

Thank you for your 8:20 post. You remind me of how it is that I go about being human. There is more to say on this still, but I don't have the words. So just gratitude for now.

Thanks also for the reminder about what we mean by going about anonymously. I understand that you are not chiding anyone, but rather trying to make clearer what sort of thing we are each doing here. I trust that most of us already recognize that our anonymity is a statement of a certain degree of fear or unavailability. I ask your and the community's patience for my anonymity a bit longer.

Posted by: Citizen | Feb 24 2005 18:05 utc | 74

I trust that most of us already recognize that our anonymity is a statement of a certain degree of fear or unavailability.

C'mon. That's not true for everyone here.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 24 2005 18:14 utc | 75

Well, slothrop, the only place I go under a pseudonym is in games ...

I've always found posted anonymously sort of spooky, as if I wasn't me. I am me. It's pretty much the only thing I'm sure of.

Posted by: Colman | Feb 24 2005 18:24 utc | 76

Is it O.K. if I don't leave an e-mail? I find it leads to problems if I share to freely with strangers as you never really know who's who. Oh-oh! I can hear a helicopter - gotta hop!

Posted by: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi | Feb 24 2005 18:27 utc | 77

I don't know much about network surveillance, but here's how I find anybody here who doesn't link to an address: I get a decent packet "sniffer" and monitor the packets sent to MoA. I read the "headers"--the ip info--and correlate the ips w/ when a visitor enters or leaves. In order to cull personally identifying info from that IP, I do a port scan of the address, find an open port, and install a trojan to reveal to me everything I want about the target.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 24 2005 19:11 utc | 78

Air Force Times on HST (!)

Soon after, Thompson talked his way into the job of sports editor for the base newspaper, the Command Courier.

In a September 1956 letter reproduced for his book “The Proud Highway,” Thompson told a friend: “In short, we both know I’m no more qualified for a post like this than I am for the presidency of a theological seminary; but here is one major fact that makes it possible for me to hold this job: the people who hired me didn’t bother to check any too closely on my journalistic background.”


Posted by: beq | Feb 24 2005 19:17 utc | 79

In order to cull personally identifying info from that IP, I do a port scan of the address, find an open port, and install a trojan to reveal to me everything I want about the target.

go ahead, slothrop, try it :-) if you can find an open port on our intranet, someone will be in deep faeces on our staff -- and I'll mail some serious chocolate to an anonymous po box of your choice.

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 24 2005 19:26 utc | 80

I am unfortunately too busy to post here often these weeks/months, but I lurk and read and enjoy whenever possible. My small contribution to this examination of anonymity: the only time anonymity becomes an issue for me is when I want to reach out to someone who has written something particularly provocative or beautiful, etc. I have wanted more than once to tell Pedro, for example, how much his New Year's posting resonated with me. I have written to others who do leave a return address and have developed some very special, heartfelt, significant friendships across the miles. I find the internet an invaluable resource in the activist community and would no doubt be lost without it, but I think the thing that really makes a difference is engaging with others. To a great extent we do that here and I appreciate the words and thoughts people take the time to share with one another. So to Pedro, Citizen, Sic Gloria Transit, Slothrop, Flash Harry, Lionel Twain, and other anonymes who have said many wise and soulful things, I'll take this as an opportunity to thank you for the wise and soulful and provocative things you share. And of course, it almost goes without saying, thank you to R'Giap for his delicate and furious/passionate posts (and that even from an American).

Posted by: conchita | Feb 24 2005 19:29 utc | 81


no, you are right - i was not chiding - & i can understand in some situations - & an anonymity is one of series of tools or arms but i do see the institution of fear in that anonymity

in my theatre for a long time now i use the circle - because it is the form most adapted for me to force that responsibility on the public - & in part to deconstruct their 'i know' - because we don't know - that the very real risk of creation is not knowing in search of knowing in front of others. the creator takes their responsibility - so too should the public - they are their either as partners, as combattants or as synthesisers with a real & living critique

i imagine that for hunter his 'celebrity' was another form of anonymity but it seems to me he fought against it & there seems to be great tension in his texts even the sportswork he did at cspan

i read somewhere the other day that he said his beat was the 'death of the american dream'' & i'd like to suggest again the beautiful work of the incantory james agee's 'let us now praise famous men' with the photographer, walker evans because that was his 'beat' too - it is more lyrically dense than hunter but it came from the same heart

& its strange - in a dismissive memorial - ithink it was counterpunch - also put the boot into poor kerouak - & i thought if i know anything of what a spiritual life might be - his is one through ;toan & city, vanity of dulouz, visons of gerard(?), the unspeakably sad big sur - & if i know a little of the landscape of america it is also through him

i've always understood that these people are not bhoddisatvahas - walking wires of perfection - but deeply troubled people who kick against the pricks to create a communication worthy of their struggle & this he did as did hunter

to conchita - wherever you are - merci

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 24 2005 19:55 utc | 82

'Live Boy' by Wm. Rivers Pitt.

Rest in peace, Hunter. Thank you for everything. We're going to deal with this Gannon/Guckert/Whoever person, and then move down the line and deal with the rest of the whores. You died on the eve of the birth of a new journalism, populist in nature, beholden to the truth and thanking the Google gods every step of the way. I wish you had stuck around to see it, but I'll tell you all about it when we meet at that clearing at the end of the path. Until then...

Posted by: beq | Feb 24 2005 20:02 utc | 83

Our (the people on this board) sons and daughters eat, ethnic, cool, hot, favorite Mom’s dishes, hamburgers, ice cream, whatever they want. They know their chances rest on the slim expectation of belonging to the educated, or middle, or whatever one wants to say, classes. They know there is just that bit of edge, and if it isn’t really there, then pretending may work. They know. They know many people in the world are starving, or at least in the EU they do - while they are dissing pecans past their sell date, and cream which has too much or too little fat content. Their parents know this too. Everyone knows it.

One member of my family was sent on a US humanitarian progam which cost (to join) some thousands of dollars. The task the young people were supposed to accomplish was teaching English to Nepalese orphans. E mails flew fast and furious, such nobility, such sacrifice, such braving of danger, on the part of Alicia and Richard the 3rd, to go to Nepal and give up their time, their caring, - they worked for no financial reward! Giving love to orphans!

The Nepalese ‘orphans’ proved to be pesky - the spoke English already and were hungry, demanding and bothersome. However, the schedule was light - just one hour of teaching a day! (Parents carefully kept this quiet or denied it if asked.) The rest of the time, they could hang out and buy souvenirs -the cashmere was real cheap - prayer wheels were super cool - the writing was SO DUMB but so artistic!

I need not detail where the thousands of dollars went (not to Nepal). The kids spent their pocket money there though. That is how these win-win situations are negotiated.

i repeat that the dispossessed are closer to a form of integration than those who live in privilege - RGiap

Posted by: Blackie | Feb 24 2005 20:16 utc | 84


the pitt is very gracious - very human

sometimes blackie i host a stagiare for a doctorate or a master in my work & i have demanded both my association & the institutions i work with to filter these people because - they would regard the 'dispossessed' as they were some form of experiment or worse, insects. their inablity to be still - to just listen was astounding in both its arrogance & finally its competence & it was not just student - it was so called professionals whose comportement when not burlesque sailed very close to savagery

the dispossessed are forced by circumstance to listen & to listen deeply because their life/lives depend on it - & i have even noticed that people who are called, 'psychotic' - have in the final analysis a very highly refined capacity to listen. to listen, really

if there is something that denotes the institution of fear for me it is noise - constant & permanant noise - creation is one way to create silence within that noise

i'm sure i ùeant bhoddisatva & i've most propbably still spelt it incorrectly

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 24 2005 20:34 utc | 85


I see that your folks had a lot of fun over the last several weeks tweaking TNR's collective nose.

Good work!

Posted by: FlashHarry | Feb 24 2005 21:45 utc | 86

@ remembereringgiap: I wish I could paste in the last bit; it looks better in his writing but:

Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak arabic, love music, and never forget that you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers, & warriors.

Posted by: beq | Feb 24 2005 23:01 utc | 87

the heat that is in the best of hunter's political writing & i think nearly everything he wrote was political in one way or another - is also present in the texts of ward churchill. fearlessness - that others have described as stupidity, or excess, or felicity or reductive or a whole number of apparent sins & when those sins are not enough - then they demean themselves with attacking him on an ethnic basis - something i have mentioned here before - & when that is not enough he is accused of being a police agent

i notice in the commentaries on hunter - the same levels of dimunition - that he was past his best, that he was too verbose, that he loved celebrity, that he was lazy - that his rhetorical flourishes were too extreme - that the best had gone & been absorbed by younger generations of journalists. the opposite is in fact the truth

the william pitt elegy that beq suggested is the only one that is human, is ordinary - is graceful in the comprehension of a man of a friendship of a passing of knowledge.

the generation of swine that hunter spoke so much of is never more clear than in the hands of journalists who are the least worthy of men & women. there are few & far between who redeem that 'profession' & people are right here to congratulate susan g for her work on gannon because she & her comrades did what journalists are supposed to do - the hard work of research & verification. this work most journalists & it seems the journamist of nearly all major english speaking papers in the world are incapable. they cannot nor want to do the hard work. it is beyond them.

they are in essence like gannon - they cut & paste & murdoch has accelerated this postmodernist enterprise by citing his own paper for verification where his new york paper cites the times which cites his australian papers which cite ad infinitum

they are loud, they are noisy - they scream at us with their 'certitudes' - that we find out soon enough are lies - or are press releases from this criminal administration, or they are paid hacks of the same, or they are 'agents of influence' like judith miller & novak with ongoing relationship with intelligence agencies or more exactly the police state apparatus

& for all the bombast of hunter & for all the passion of ward churchill - their truths speak silently but with an exact target - that is - they tell us something deeply troubling is happening to a people & a nation & that trouble will irevocably lead to more trouble - & they have defined what the nature of the trouble is - but their essential truths are being destroyed by the hacks, the slaves, the criminals

i suggested an american film here ' all power to the people' - which goes into great detail about cointelpro & how they set the left against itself - how they engineered bloody factionalism - deliberately. it appears to me that ward churchill is being given that treatment today

this criminal administration demeans the passion of it opponents but worse it tries to destroy all effective critique

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 1:39 utc | 88

Flash Harry
Wish I could claim I was part of the demo, but have to be honest and say that New York is too far from DC with the way my schedule has been lately. I was glad to be able to support Zirin et al with a letter and a phone call to the New Republic/ans and sending every bit of supporting material I came across to my Dad in hopes that he will cancel his subscription in protest and start reading MoA instead.

Posted by: conchita | Feb 25 2005 3:45 utc | 89

i don't know if that is a joke on the other thread with the site of gannon & his appropriation of 'fear & loathing' but i don't think so. these parasites do not know how they are dressed in infamy

whatever the frailties we posses on the left - they are by no measure indecent. the clown horwitz, coulter, o'reilly, etc etc are not worth the bile inb our bodies. they do because they constitute an ongoing noise that threatens to deafen us

imbecility piled upon imbecility

one day i will wake up & observe sense

one day i will wake up & see the beginning of decency

one day i will wake up & see that our resistance has begun to create real alternatives for a people lost in their own self, lost in their own short term self interest

i believe in the organic dignity of what is written here & i implicitly believe that all of us in our work & life are continuing to struggle - continuing to create concrete resistance & it is as important for european as it is for the americans here

their suffering is our suffering their fight is our fight

fuck the war - fuck the bush cheney junta - fuck their stupid scribes who aren't the spit on hunters shoes

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 16:05 utc | 90

R'giap said:

i believe in the organic dignity of what is written here & i implicitly believe that all of us in our work & life are continuing to struggle - continuing to create concrete resistance & it is as important for european as it is for the americans here

their suffering is our suffering their fight is our fight

Very true: I don't know if it's as obvious in countries that don't share a language with the US, but the poison leaks over through the media and through the actions of US organisations. Some of the most reactionary organisations here are linked to and/or funded by US right-wing groups or churches.

Posted by: Colman | Feb 25 2005 16:16 utc | 91


i believe that firmly & you have made that connection in ireland clearly - thie disease so vast theat it even defiles ancient & rich cultures

we have to know who we are & as fanon sd that can only be done through & in resistance

colman speaking of english language - go to theagecom - a supposedly liberal newspaper - there is a cretinous article written by some clumsy cretin who wooshes wind throughout the thud he thinks is writing - but as well look at what they think constitutes - information

it is so so sad, unbelievably sad - who the fuck are they - what century do they think they are living

sometimes i feel like i am living through a very bad translation of the book of job

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 16:25 utc | 92

the cretinous clod is shitting ink over someone who has shed blood - hunter s thompson

i would do as the french revolutionaries once did - take all the supposed 'lifestyle' journalists on a cruiser - & then torpedo the thing & at least the 'word' could exist without what is in essence, pornography dressed up as objectivity

they do not know either subjec or object - they do not know the epistemoloigcal space between them. they do not know breath. above all, they do not know life & as dead souls, they envy the living

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 16:31 utc | 93

a bad translation of the book of job

thanks for the diamond

Posted by: Citizen | Feb 25 2005 16:37 utc | 94

r'giap, they're not destroying Irish culture, just bringing out and justifying all that is worst in it. That's what their ideologies are about after all: justifying selfishness, jealousy and hatred. God knows the Irish are good at all of those given a chance.

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone;
For men were born to pray and save;
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

W.B Yeats, September 1913

This poison is nothing new, but 1500 years of Catholicism couldn't crush the pagan Irish character totally. I doubt the crazies in the US will succeed either.

Did you have a particular article in mind? I presume you meant, but nothing jumped out at me.

Posted by: Colman | Feb 25 2005 17:07 utc | 95


there's an article under 'entertainement' about thompson but also the general character

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 19:43 utc | 96

when i am faced with cretinous caca that passes for journalism - mostly in the english manguage press but it exists obviouslly in german, italian & french language press is the dilemna of most bourgeois art & some left art - it imagines the audience - as it is itself. there is a never ending reduction of circles which when combined with the editorial impact of a goon like murdoch berlusconi or a black or any variation thereof & they are all variations thereof - you have something that beaverbrook at his most barbarian would have been ashamed of

i hunger for something intelligent to read, really - over the last twenty years & especially the journalist of my generation - therefore theoretically the heirs of hunter s thompson - have turned their pens to pap - & it has become undigestable. completely so

when i read a fisk or a pilger & yes there are some others - they are so strange in their environments - they appear for want of a better word - slightly mad - when i know instinctively - they are speaking sense

fisk - in the english speaking press is without peer - & i would include the respected juan cole - when he writes he is writing a synthesis of what he knows & what he feels & what he fears - sometimes i think i can even feel him trying to rein his work into someone's idea of 'objectivity' - but his naked intelligence burst through & tells us the terrible truth. i do not know this man & i sometimes worry for him

the others. their numbers are so small. naomi klein is writing well but she has been forced into journalism by circumstance - & if the truth is known ganno is really more representative of what journalists really are than he would think

that he is a prostitute - merely exagerated the metaphor of what journalist are - they are almost without exception - prostitutes. even that in someway would be perversely acceptable if they were great stylists but to a man & a woman - they drib their drab all over the page & it dissapears not even worthy of a trace

we are blessed here at moa - with people like deanander whose style & substance is for me of very grande qualite - it is dynamique, it leaves open the capacity to transform & it directs us gently to other sources. there are others here who are really masters of concision & there are yet others so fast in picking up news like cloned poster that their links are indispensable

as a community we possess the talents we too often seek elsewhere

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 25 2005 22:41 utc | 97

"the truth was obscure, too profound and too pure,
to live it you have to explode
in that last hour of need, we entirely agreed,
sacrifice was the code of the road"

bob dylan - where are you tonight? (journey through dark heat)

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 26 2005 2:35 utc | 98

"the goal, free human beings, must already be evident in the means"
herbert marcuse

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 26 2005 19:21 utc | 99

that's not trivial, because if free humanity is evident in the means, then the form of life in consumer capitalist societies, which must always defer happiness and fulfillment to a moment of consumption that never arrives, is a form of life that, by definition as a consumer, as an ontological fact, is never free.

In the Grundrisse, Marx expresses this disaster as fundamental to capital accumulation: obstacles to the growth are always "posited," and overcome.

As Deanander said of the effects of such a form of life: nothing less than annihilation of humanity in this century. The ultimate positing of obstacles by capital, by this irrefragable logic of accumulation, is therefore the extinction of life...

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26 2005 19:46 utc | 100

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