Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Gonzo eulogy for Hunter S. Thompson

One of the big karmic jokes of it is that he did it when it was becoming clear that he'd been right all along, and now we really needed him. But by then he was old and tired, and he wasn't able to be there anymore. He knew—and had known for a long time—what was coming, what we would soon find out. In “Football Season Is Over,” he wrote:

    No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun—for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax—This won't hurt.

Thirty-three years after Hunter S. Thompson took us on a trip to Las Vegas for the macabre funeral of the American Dream, he placed a well-aimed Colt .45 bullet in his brain, saying farewell in a typically loud fashion. Four years later, the cracks in the national concrete are big enough for even the most deluded person to see, and it seems as though they're spreading.

So. An essay on my dead hero and his dead American dream. How depressing. Must I make my second trip to the liquor store in eighteen hours? No—Thompson, the siren-song of your Too-Much-Goddamn-Fun personality cult would leave me devastated on the rocks once again, you rat bastard, you perverted swine. I wish I had your gift for adjectives so my insults would ring as sweetly affectionate as yours did. I've been reading his books, listening to this ghost voice for weeks, counting down the years, the months, the weeks until the bullet's in your head, the last great, twisted trip you took us on. But the deadline looms, and I wonder if, in order to do this thing any justice at all, I'll need to get some Wild Turkey.

No—too damn hot. That still, stagnant hot where you find flattened earthworms desiccated on the sidewalks. No—sweat it out, then, and try to connect, and when the deadline comes, turn in something weird and maybe not completely accurate but true in some deeper, more universal way.

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'Where The Wild Things Are' gives hope to other 'unfilmable' books

- While 'Watchmen' and 'Fear and Loathing' made it to the big screen, 'On the Road' and others are still Hollywood headaches. -

This weekend, "Where the Wild Things Are" finally comes to the big screen after being considered "unfilmable" for decades. But what, exactly, does that word even mean? And with this year's adaptations of "Wild Things" and "Watchmen," does it even still apply?

Below is a list of the books that have given Hollywood headaches for decades. Some have been filmed, some currently linger in development hell, and others will never be touched by any sensible filmmaker. Read on, and ask yourself the two questions that always seem to come up with such projects: "Why not?" or "Why bother?"

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Pat's Justice 'Innocent Criminal Anthem'



Def Poetry Jam

Immigrants accuse Greek police of murder

Only a day after the Human Rights Watch released a scathing report on Greece, accusing the country of failing to comply with European laws and regulations regarding illegal immigrants and asylum seekers and, in certain cases, of expelling them from the country, Greece has once again come under the spotlight.

Human rights activists, friends and relatives accuse the Greek police of being responsible for the death of a Pakistani immigrant, prompting a coroner to conduct a second autopsy on the body of a 27-year-old man who died on October 9 at his home in Nikaia, in Piraeus, south of Athens, the Greek Kathimerini reported on October 14, 2009.

Allegedly, Muhammad Kamran Atif died at home, about a week after his release from custody. He had been apprehended by officers because of a knife attack involving him and other Pakistanis in Athens.

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Mexico: Transition to Democracy Forum cancelled in Guelatao

One of the forums for Transition to Democracy, scheduled to take place in Guelatao, was cancelled. Rumor has it that Governor Ulises Ruiz threatened the town council of Guelatao with a withdrawal of town funding if they permitted the forum, whose main focus is the opposition political alliance. Interesting, because Guelatao annually hosts a government celebration of the birthday of Benito Juarez. The town consists of several clean blocks of homes, beside a small park and lagoon where the boy Benito Juarez grew up. Political trips to Guelatao by governors always reek of opportunism, as they invoke the hero of Oaxaca, the first and only indigenous president of Mexico, at his birthplace (March 21, 1806). Juarez was a well-loved Zapoteco, who served five terms as president of Mexico.

The current main man in Guelatao is Aldo Gonzalez Rojas, coordinator of the Area of Indigenous Rights of the Union of Social Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO). Gonzalez is also known for his team's exposure of the geographic Bowman Project in the Sierra. The Sierra Juarez still appears heavily militarized.

This year Gonzalez, who once served as municipal president of Guelatao, and prior to that as advisor to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), was awarded the post of Mayordomía of the Santísima Virgen de las Barricadas (alternative spelling Barrikadas) festival, a festival not recognized by the Catholic church, but with its own, shall we say, following. The celebration this year occurred in the home town of Gonzalez and of Benito Juarez, in an outdoor community space used often for celebrations. Traditionally a mayordomo acts as host and offers food, drinks and the ever-present mezcal to the invited, in this case the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, (APPO) including originators of the barricade image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Oaxaca's foremost saint in her current guise wears a gas mask and a necklace of barbed wire. On her mantle gleam burning tires; beneath her folded hands the lettering reads, “Protect us, Most Holy Virgin of the Barricades.” On her special day the virgin's image stood in a clay altar adorned with colored banners and the words “justice”, “liberty”, “organization” and “brotherhood”.

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Swing & Tango = Swango



Swango Fusion Music Dance Video 2006.
http://www.SwangoSeattle.com

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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