Hunter Thompson 5pp. Letter With Handwritten Edits
Exceptional five-page, single-spaced typed letter by Hunter S. Thompson, published in “Proud Highway” but without the handwritten edits found here. Dated 18 April (1965) from his home on Parnassus Street in San Francisco, Thompson writes to his friend Paul Semonin on a host of subjects including Vietnam, non-violent protests including the Selma March, the Free Speech movement at Berkeley, and his recent article on “outlaw motorcyclists”, which would of course evolve into “Hell’s Angels”. Punctuation is unusually spotty throughout, due to Thompson’s new “rotten fing electric typewriter”, and content here is uncorrected. Letter reads in very small part. Along these lines I;ve been watching the slow, day by day action over at BerkleyThe reason the whole ;thing came to a publicity head in the first place was a giant Establishment fup by a Chancellor named Strong, who has since resigned under pressure — not for doing what he did, but for doing it too blatantlylike the difference between Goldwater and JohnsonIf you get arrested once, for instance, a sympathetic friend or liberal benefactor might be happy to make bail. The second time, maybe — depending on what kind of publicity is involved. But then on the third try when the reporters are tired of the story & besides it has since been brought out that you have two convictions for lice-carrying, then bail is a hell of a lot harder to makelike being drafted. You think [Mario] Savio’s name popped out of a hat? On the whole, the main reason I’ve been silent for so long is that I’m going into a kind of maddog funk after too many days with the Chronicle and the Examiner. And television, and radio — and random conversations. I have gone into a kind of karate tenseness; the supercontraction of all muscles so it won’t hurt when you’re hit. One technique I haven’t mastered as yet is the puffing up of the jaws to creat an air pocket around the teeth” Thompson then writes a long paragraph on the “nausea gas story – likely the gas explosion in Quebec that occurred in March 1965, writing about media censorship of it. He mentions “Carey McWilliams, edit editor of the Nation — for whom I just did a piece on outlaw motorcyclists” which would become “The Motorcycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders”, published in the May 1965 issue of “The Nation”. He continues, In other words,’Who can afford to give a F? This marriage thing is not a killer in itself but in the small routines and trivial obligations that come with it. Besides that, I seem to be doing everything humanly possible to finish myself with booze and general physical abuse, pills, no sleep, etc. This Vietnam thing has driven me to the point of a continuing froth. I wrote Johnson, telling him to f himself and count me out under any circumstances — and although I already have one letter on file (to the AF) saying I would never again put on a uniform, that now I wanted to reiterate this feeling and especially to withdraw my application for the governorship of American Samoa since I felt I could under no circumstances serve this administration either at home or abroad. It was a serious letter, in all, bearing down heavily on my prior Dow-Jones affiliation so they couldnt write me off as a cloistered kook, and saying all any citizen would have to say in these times to get on all the wrong lists. When I go to vote theyll probably X me out, and the next time Johnson comes to SF I expect to be interred for the duration of the visit. What I want to do in the meantime is a story of some kind on the FBI. Sandy says this is a worthless electric typewriter, an ancient and discredited model. So much for the natural integrity of my friendly typewriter merchant. This is a royal example of the shit that is driving me wild, of the horrible predatory rot that pervades the whole system. Once you become conscious of itthen all manner of once-innocent and natural-seeming things begin falling into a pattern of imperialist savagery. But nowhere like on the TV screen. There is the furthest expression of the American dream. Like the Selma march, A TV spectacular — next summer well have Harlem Riots, presented by Monsanto Chemicals. I may be sick and a bit daffy, but something in me rebels at the idea of 500 or 5000 negroes kneeling on the streets of Selman, singing #’I love State Troopers in my Heart. I think this whole non-violent thing was planned from the start by Cardinal Spellman. Dont tell me you meant Swingers instead of hipsters, because here its all the same. In a nut, it is hip to be a swinger and Camp is in. They are slow at times, but they can afford the machinery to be very thorough in the long run. I suppose your suggestion would be that I paint a big sign and join some non-violent picket line ;but no thanks again. That is for people who feel guilty and I dont. I feel like Ive leaned on for a long time by people who dont even have to know my name and should probably have their fing heads blown off on general principles. I spent this afternoon watching a Karate class in action. In the past year it has suddenly dawned on my that people are goddamn dangerous. My good time badass faround is going out of style; the general threat and pressure of life in this country seems to be spawning its inevitable results — several’secret armies’ in Calif, a tremendous upswing all over the country in crimes of pillage, robbery and violence, cops with shotguns riding every subway in NYC between 8pm and 4am — that’s the truth — and an estimated 6 or 7 thousand working karate busters in the Bay area alone. This last is a frightening thing when you consider they are a vengeful lot to begin with and that they leave each lesson with a secret yearning for somebody to say something pushy to them. I know because I went to a bar with two of them afterwards and had to keep one little guy from chopping up an old man who had no idea in hell what he was dealing withbe careful who you snarl at in tavernsNY seems to be a peatbog of slow-heating violence, physical and otherwise. If and when I go back there I definitely mean to carry a small pistol and take my chances with the Sullivan act. I think there is a terrible angst on the land, a sense that something ugly is about to happen, an hour-to-hour feeling of nervous anticipation. Whether its the Bomb or a simple beating, you never know. In closing I remain, increasingly savage and unreasonable — HST, with Thompson circling his typed initials. Five page letter on five sheets measures 8.5″ x 11″. The item “Hunter Thompson 5pp. Letter With Handwritten Edits” is in sale since Wednesday, February 12, 2020. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Autographs\Other Collectible Autographs”. The seller is “n8sautographs” and is located in Los Angeles, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.