A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson

Good as art, poor as a biography is what I read about this graphic novel on the life of Hunter S Thompson. I like Mark Frauenfelder’s description of the book/Thompson:

…about a passionate, rebellious genius who sprinted too fast at the beginning of a long-distance race, collapsed early, and spent his remaining decades burnt-out, crawling bewilderedly.

and:

Thompson could have been the “heavyweight champion of American letters,” but his self-destructive behavior, which got worse with each passing year, ruined that opportunity.

Video preview:

I always think the Dalai Lama and Hunter S Thompson look similar. Opposite sides of a two-headed coin?

Mr Lama:

Mr Thompson:

Bukowski Letter on Censorship

7-22-85

Dear Hans van den Broek:

Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism.

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”–bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males. Only when you write about “bad” white males they don’t complain about it. And need I say that there are “good” blacks, “good” homosexuals and “good” women?

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of “sadism” it is because it exists, I didn’t invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the “light” and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.

I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else’s book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities.

I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it’s damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven’t written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that’s enough.

may we all get better together,
yrs,

(Signed)
Charles Bukowski

Your Debut Album

Here’s mine:

The rules:

1. Go to Wikipedia and click Random Article

The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2. Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album

3. Go to flickr’s “explore the last seven days” http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
Third picture, no matter what, is your album cover.

Put it all together to make the album cover

110220 Two Artists: Fred Thomaselli and Alan Watts

Digging the work of Fred Thomaselli. It reminds me of the lights inside the head in the eyes shut darkness. He cuts and pastes onto huge canvases then uses surfboard resins to cover it and seals with a blowtorch.

Each time when closing my eyes today, slipping below thought into an energetic space where something very different to the usual thinking, thinking, thinking takes place, in a space unrecognisable yet more familiar than ever. Other times, relaxing into the four-day headache and the sickness close by, revealing of forgotten memories, dreams, stuckness and tightness.

Listening today to Alan Watts, self-described ‘entertainer’ of awakening. Here’s a clip from YouTube (where there is a lot of Watts’ talks but mostly split up into small chunks), talking about looking without chatter, conceptions; magic in everyday life:

Steps stepped: hardly any

110204 Retro Materialistic Delights

Another trip to the dentist, this time for the hygienist. What is it with Alresford Dental Care? Even the hygienist was happy and into her job. I was flossed, brushed, scraped and varnished into shape, and motherlyly told off for not flossing often enough. Actually, I am inspired to look after my teeth a little better and not count on my luck which has meant only one small filling in the last 20 years.

Another three day weekend coming up, with packing tomorrow morning of C’s things for Alresford, then decorating the room. Sunday will be the actual move and then Monday helping her to settle in. I can’t quite believe she is actually moving. It’s been so long coming that now it feels like it’s not quite real.

Really enjoying looking at this old Argos catalogue; a snapshot of 1985.

Sinclair Spectrum!

Vintage British Argos 1985 Catalogue

Game & Watch! Speak & Spell!

Vintage British Argos 1985 Catalogue

Crossfire! Tank Command!

Vintage British Argos 1985 Catalogue

Every page a retro materialistic delight.

Google have driven their Google Street View cars inside famous galleries, to bring you this: Google Art Project

I don’t know much about art but I like the idea of a virtual gallery.

Hedging their money on our food, distorting prices and starving people:

Food speculation: ‘People die from hunger while banks make a killing on food’

It’s not just bad harvests and climate change – it’s also speculators that are behind record prices. And it’s the planet’s poorest who pay

Food speculation graphic Illustration: Katie Edwards

Just under three years ago, people in the village of Gumbi in western Malawi went unexpectedly hungry. Not like Europeans do if they miss a meal or two, but that deep, gnawing hunger that prevents sleep and dulls the senses when there has been no food for weeks.

Oddly, there had been no drought, the usual cause of malnutrition and hunger in southern Africa, and there was plenty of food in the markets. For no obvious reason the price of staple foods such as maize and rice nearly doubled in a few months. Unusually, too, there was no evidence that the local merchants were hoarding food. It was the same story in 100 other developing countries. There were food riots in more than 20 countries and governments had to ban food exports and subsidise staples heavily.

The explanation offered by the UN and food experts was that a “perfect storm” of natural and human factors had combined to hyper-inflate prices. US farmers, UN agencies said, had taken millions of acres of land out of production to grow biofuels for vehicles, oil and fertiliser prices had risen steeply, the Chinese were shifting to meat-eating from a vegetarian diet, and climate-change linked droughts were affecting major crop-growing areas. The UN said that an extra 75m people became malnourished because of the price rises.

But a new theory is emerging among traders and economists. The same banks, hedge funds and financiers whose speculation on the global money markets caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis are thought to be causing food prices to yo-yo and inflate. The charge against them is that by taking advantage of the deregulation of global commodity markets they are making billions from speculating on food and causing misery around the world.

As food prices soar again to beyond 2008 levels, it becomes clear that everyone is now being affected. Food prices are now rising by up to 10% a year in Britain and Europe. What is more, says the UN, prices can be expected to rise at least 40% in the next decade.

My yoga practice has changed this week. I’ve just been getting on the mat and moving the way I feel I need to. No schedules, sequences, timings, guidance.

Steps stepped: 4282

Let the wild rumpus start! – 35/365

Let the wild rumpus start, originally uploaded by :Duncan.

The night Max wore his wolf suit
and made mischief of one kind and another
his mother called him “WILD THING!”
and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!”
So he was sent to bed without eating anything.

That very night in Max’s room a forest grew
and grew and grew
until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls
became the world all around
and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max
and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year to where the wild things are.

And when he came to the place where the wild things are
they roared their terrible roars
and gnashed their terrible teeth
and rolled their terrible eyes
and showed their terrible claws
till Max said “BE STILL!”
and tamed them with a magic trick of staring
into their yellow eyes without blinking once
and they were frightened and called him the most
wild thing of all
and made him king of all wild things.
“AND NOW,” cried Max,
“LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!”

“NOW STOP!” Max said
and sent the wild things off to bed without their supper.
And Max, the king of all wild things was lonely
and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.

Then all around from far away
across the world
he smelled good things to eat
so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.
But the wild things cried,
“Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!”
And Max said, “NO!”
The wild things roared their terrible roars
and gnashed their terrible teeth
and rolled their terrible eyes
and showed their terrible claws
but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye
and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him.
And it was still hot.

Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak, 1963

Look out for the movie version this year by Spike Jonze

More Conchords

I discovered by reading the excellent The Word magazine that

1) They are making a new series. I hope it has more of they and less of him who’s their manager.
2) Bret was in Lord of the Rings. His unnamed character is now known as Figwit, from Frodo Is Great, Who Is That?! He can be seen here :)
3) That’s it.