September 13, 2005

everybody's trying to make us another century of fakers


you spin me right round, by dronepop

* From an interview of Hunter S. Thompson in The Paris Review, Issue 156, spring 2000:

Q: the san francisco scene brought together many unlikely pairs -- you and allen ginsberg, for instance. how did you come to know Allen during this period.

HST: I met allen in san francisco when I went to a marijuana dealer who sold by the lid. I remember it was ten dollars when I first started going to that apartment and then it was up to fifteen. I ended up going there pretty often, and Ginsberg -- this was in haight-ashbury -- was always there looking for weed too. I went over and introduced myself and we ended up talking a lot. I told him about the book I was writing and asked if he would help with it. He helped me with it for several months; that's how he got to know the Hell's Angels. We would also go down to Kesey's in la honda.

One saturday, I drove down the coast highway from san francisco to la honda and I took Juan, my two year old son, with me. there was a magnificant cross-breeding of people there. Allen was there, the hell's angels -- and the cops were there too, to prevent a hell's angels riot. seven or eight cop cars. Kesey's house was across the creek from the road, sort of a two-lane blacktop country compound, which was really a weird place. for one thing, huge amplifiers were mounted everywhere in all the trees, and some were mounted across the road on wires, so to be on the road was to be in this horrible vortex of sound, this pounding, you could barely hear yourself think -- rock n roll at the highest amps.

That day, even before the angels got there, the cops began arresting anyone who left the compound. I was by the house; Juan was sleeping peacefully in the backseat of the car. it got to be outrageous -- the cops were popping people. You could see them about a hundred yards away, but then they would bust somebody very flagrantly, so Allen said "you know, we've got to do something about this." I agreed, so with Allen in the passenger's seat, Juan in the back sleeping, and me driving, we took off after the cops that had just busted another person we knew, who was leaving just to go to a restaurant on the corner. Then the cops got after us.

Allen at the very sight of the cops went into his om, trying to hum them off. I was talking to them like a journalist would: "what's going on here, Officer." Allen's humming was supposed to be a buddhist barrier against the bad vibes the cops were producing and he was doing it very loudly, refusing to speak to them, just om!, om!, om!. I had to explain to the cops who he was and why he was doing this. the cops looked into the backseat and said, "what is that back there? A child?" and I said, "oh yeah, that's my son." With Allen still going, om, we were let go. He was a reasonable cop, I guess -- checking out a poet, a journalist and a child. never did figure Ginsberg out, though. It was like the humming of a bee. It was one of the weirdest scenes I've ever been through, but almost every scene with Allen was weird in one way or another.

* a tale of two cities: In New Orleans, some lost everything, others were properly prepared.

"With police officers and federal law enforcement agents ratcheting up the pressure on residents to leave, the holdouts worry that it is just a matter of time before they are forced out.

"Ms. Harris said she did not want to leave. 'I haven't even run out of weed yet' she said.

[Additionally, according to the caption to the picture at the link, the well-prepared Emily Harris who lives on Desire Street, has food and water for a year, gasoline, a canoe and a dog for protection.]

"But she knows that fighting with police officers is futile."

* Jonathan Ames on the U.S. Open. [via].

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