Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sports, politics, and sex collide in Hunter S. Thompson’s wildly popular ESPN.com columns. From the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and father of “Gonzo” journalism comes Hey Rube.

Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports—at times all in the same column. 

With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America―including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system. 

Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form―unbridled, astute, and irreverent.

I like to drink Kava....

....which is the ground up roots of a plant from the western Pacific. Kava gives a delightful sedating buzz and relaxes the mind without leaving you a babbling idiot and a homicidal maniac behind the wheel like booze does. I buy my kava from Bula Kava House in Portland, Oregon which is a town I distaste. I spent a year once in that rain soaked & hippie filled city, it was like living in Gotham city. I never drank some much beer and coffee in my life but I order the kava online so I don't actually have to go there to buy it and I am getting way the hell off the trail here....

....and roam through flea markets and look at that shit that people think is valuable and sell at inflated prices even though the garbage is just the crap they found in dear old Grandma's garage or attic when they moved her into that decrepit in the bad section of town nursing home where she can wait for her check out time so they can raid her savings account next.

While digging through a pile of books that was stacked up on a ancient Hi-Fi system that had a album still on the turntable featuring the greatest hits of Don Ho I stumbled on to a first edition & mint copy of the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's Hey Rube. I couldn't believe the fucking luck!

I've been a huge fan of HST for years. I had a Gonzo t-shirt with his famous fist, peyote, & dagger logo on it for years and wore the damn thing so much that it eventually disintegrated in the washer. I really didn't even know who he was until back in the mid-70s I caught the flick Where The Buffalo Roam starring Bill Murray....which I thought sucked then and still do....at a drive in movie in Long Beach where I was stationed at in the Navy. Long Beach is a disgusting crime filled port town and Navy housing where I lived at with my now ex-wife was located at the intersection of Santa Fe & PCH in a neighborhood so vicious & dangerous that a cabbie once refused to drive me there. Even though Buffalo was shit, the mystical draw of this drug & boozed fueled ground breaking and radical writer was planted in me as I sat there in my old VW Bug & smoked Colombian reefer and drank cold Lucky Lager...and I began to devour his writings.

Hey Rube is a collection of Hunter's articles that he wrote for ESPN.com just before and after the events of 9/11. I think they were on something called Page 2 or some other happy horseshit like that. The problem for me was back then all I had was dial up for an Internet connection and if you remember back then trying to get anything to load - porn was out of the question, movies anyway - was enough to drive a sober man to drink a bottle of Johnny Walker Red & toss down a handful of Mexican Quaaludes, so it was damn hard to ever get to read the whole article without losing your shit!

Hey Rube is half a book on sports....how boring baseball is, gambling & point spreads on the games, his love of football with the 49ers & the Raiders his two favorite teams, a great couple stories on the XFL - the defunct  and disastrous football league funded by steroid freak & WWE wrestling guru Vince McMahon, college and NBA hoops with Kentucky being his favorite team of course....and half on politics - with the Bush regime taking the hardest hits here. His take on politics is pure genius and reflects the turmoils & paranoia of the country after 9/11. This paragraph at the end of the books says it all:

This is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks "it doesn't matter who's President" has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World - or has been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property - or been hounded by the IRS for pure purely political reasons - or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts waiting to stomp your ass in the shower. Then it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted."

I don't think there will ever be another Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - I don't think anyone out there has the guts to be. And that is a goddamn shame!