Great Gonzo fires his last shot. —Sydney Morning Herald. Yes, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson has commited suicide at his heavily-fortified compound near Aspen, Colorado. In the definitive Richard Nixon obituary (published by Rolling Stone), Thompson wrote that the ex-president's remains "should have been burned in a dumpster." And then there's the classic first line of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."
You inspired a whole generation, Uncle Duke. Give 'em hell.
FYI: the Dances With Wolves DVD contains 5 "Easter eggs" (hidden tracks). Disc 1, "Special Features" side, Main Menu:
1) Up, OK (on the Indian+Horse silhouette): footage of Civil War reenactors (2:11).
2) Right, OK (on the Feather silhouette): footage of Kevin Costner prepping and shooting the scene in which Robert Pastorelli is shot with arrows (3:56).
3) Right, OK (on the Buffalo silhouette): footage of Kevin Costner inspecting the operation of an animatronic buffalo (2:17).
4) Right, OK (on the Teepee silhouette): footage of Kevin Costner embedding a tomahawk in Larry Joshua's chest (1:11).
Disc 2, Main Menu:
5) Up, OK (on the Horse silhouette): Editor Neil Travis' Presentation Reel "Second Wind" (5:19 of scored dailies from the film).
Actual fortune cookie message in last night's Chinese takeout: "If you cannot find wisdom within, try the Internet."
Sordid pix of my wife are now sold in grocery checkout lines all over America. Well okay, maybe they're not so sordid. But the next time you're waiting for a supermarket clerk to ring up your pork rinds and Pop-Tarts, riffle through the current issue of Woman's Day magazine (cover date: March 8, 2005). You'll find the photographs—along with an article about Anikó and the other prizewinning writer—on pages 112
Surgery of Modern Warfare tribute. Amy Fusselman's well-respected eZine is gone, but other publications are saying goodbye by changing their designs (and names!) for the month of February: Surgery of Edward Warfare, Monkey of Modern Bicycle, Surgery of Hobart Warfare, Surgery of Modern The Glut, Über Warfare Surgery, Journal of Post-Modern Warfare. With more to come. Stay tuned.
Update: Surgery of Moonshine Annie.
FYI: The Usual Suspects DVD contains an "Easter egg" (hidden track). "Special Features" side, Main Menu:
Up (highlighting the logo), OK, "Quartet", OK, "Guatemala", OK, "Woman", OK, "Broken Cup", OK.
After activating these hotspots in the correct order, a hidden menu will appear. Select either John Ottman Interview with Film Historian (17:43 conversation with the film's Editor/Composer) or Interview Outtakes (3:01).
Novelists in a box. Flux Factory's Living Installation is vaguely reminiscent of track 22 on Monty Python's Instant Record Collection...
Wide World Of Novel Writing
<generic radio theme music>
Studio Anchor: And now it's time for "Novel Writing," which today comes from the West Country, from Dorset.
Field Announcer: Hello, and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel - "The Return of The Native" - on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel, and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels... and here he comes! Here comes Hardy, walking out toward his desk. He looks confident, he looks relaxed, very much the man in form, as he acknowledges this very good-natured bank holiday crowd. And the crowd goes quiet now, as Hardy settles himself down at the desk, body straight, shoulders relaxed, pen held lightly but firmly in the right hand. He dips the pen in the ink... and he's off! It's the first word... but it's not a word... oh, no! It's a doodle, way up on the top of the left-hand margin. It's a piece of meaningless scribble... and he's signed his name underneath it! Oh, dear, what a disappointing start! But he's off again, and here he goes, the first word of Thomas Hardy's new novel, at 10:35 on this very lovely morning. It's three letters, it's the definite article, and it's "The". Dennis?
Dennis: Well, this is true to form. No surprises there. He started five of his eleven novels to date with a definite article. We've had two of them with "It", there's been one "But", two "At"s, one "On", and a "Delores". Well that, of course, was never published.
Announcer: I'm sorry to interrupt you there, Dennis, but he's crossed it out! Thomas Hardy, here on the first day of his new novel, has crossed out the only word he's written so far, and he's gazing off into space. Oh... oh, dear, he's signed his name again.
Dennis: It looks like "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" all over again...
Announcer: But he's... no, he's down again, and writing, Dennis! He's written "The" again... he's crossed it out again, and he's written "A"! And there's a second word coming up straightaway, and it's "Sat". "A Sat" - doesn't make sense. "A Satur"... "A SaturDAY"! It's "A Saturday", and the crowd are loving it! They're really enjoying this novel. And it's "afternoon", "A Saturday afternoon" - it's a competent beginning. And he's straight on to the next word... it's "in"... "A Saturday afternoon in"... "in"... "in"... "No"... "NoVEMBER"... "November"'s spelt wrong - he's left out the second "e". But he's not going back! It looks as though he's going for the sentence! And it's the first verb coming up, it's the first verb of the novel... and it's "was"! And the crowd are going wild!! "A Saturday afternoon in November was"... and a long word here... "appro"... "appro"... is it "approval"? No, it's "approaching"... "approaching"... "A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching"... and he's done the definite article "the" again. And he's writing fluently, easily, with flowing strokes of the pen, as he comes up to the middle of this first sentence. And with this eleventh novel well under way, and the prospects of a good day's writing ahead, back to the studio.
Groundhog Day / State of the Union: an unusual juxtaposition, indeed. Does this mean that when the chimp sees his shadow, we'll get six more weeks of war?
Terror Alert Status: Scared Sh*tless.
3D sculpture: Dali, Breugel, Bosch. Fasten your seat belt.