Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
'He Was A Crook' In: Better Than Sex, Random House, pg 243.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
An analysis of reports of mysterious harassing phone calls during the May 2011 election points to the existence of a systematic voter suppression campaign targeting Liberal voters in some tightly contested ridings.
Unlike the pre-recorded "robocalls" under investigation by Elections Canada, these calls came from live callers, likely working from a call centre.
A Postmedia News-Ottawa Citizen investigation based on interviews with dozens of campaign workers has identified 14 ridings - mostly closely fought electoral districts in southern Ontario - where electors reported receiving fake live calls.
Many received calls in the middle of the night from callers claiming they represented the local Liberal candidate...
Friday, February 24, 2012
Because here's vintage, pre-fame Hunter Thompson, circa 1968, writing to the general manager of his local television station in Aspen Colorado.
Dear Mr. Palmer,
Six months ago I watched your tearful commentary on the night of Dr. King's death; it was an impressive performance - and I use that word very deliberately, in light of your influence on the level of KREX-TV's programming since you took over as general manager. Your predecessor, as I recall, retired to work for Richard Nixon; he was an infamous yahoo, recognized all over the western slope for his unenlightened views on almost everything. So it was a hopeful sign - to those of us who can get only one channel on our sets - when the station's management was taken over by an articulate human being who publicly cast himself as a one-time friend of Martin Luther King.
Well....with friends like you, Dr. King didn't need enemies. It's you and your swinish, hypocritical ilk who've created and sustained the world that Dr. King was trying to change.....
You weep for Dr. King, yet you manage a TV station that stands as a rancid monument to the worst instincts of the industry. You talk of the need for a better world, yet you treat your TV audience as if they were total waterheads....
I'm sure 'Doc King' would be proud of you. You got your hands on a captive audience and fed them the cheapest, meanest kind of swill you could find......
Simon and Schuster, 2000, pg 128
This was written just a few months after both M.L. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and just a few weeks after Thompson himself was beaten about the head while covering the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, this despite the fact that he was carrying press credentials at the time because he was working on a doomed project that would eventually become the underlying theme of pretty much all of the rest of his best work, which was....
And, perhaps most importantly, if you read them one after the other, in them you can see the real evolution of his art.
Awhile back a guy named Greg Beato, who is a pretty interesting wordsmith himself, described the power, the glory, and the sheer fun of producing of all those unedited molotov word cocktails:
Who would have guessed that the dope-addled, peripatetic Thompson, who was so seemingly out of control that each last-minute story he filed came across as a miraculous convergence of typing paper, chemical incentive, and editorial triage team, was also a careful correspondent/diarist who carbon-copied and saved 20,000 letters over the last five decades?.....
If these letters show Thompson as far more clear-headed and calculating than his literary persona suggests, they also reveal that his larger-than-life aura and fantastic contrarian assurance were innate aspects of his personality rather than products of his eventual celebrity.
"I'm getting a little tired of writing articles that everybody praises and nobody prints," he tells novelist and former colleague William Kennedy, after turning in a 140-page manuscript on the NRA to Esquire. "I've been writing for 11 years," he says to Random House's Jim Silberman, "and never--not once, not even with my poem in Spider magazine--have I ever had anything published straight."
Instead, he wrote letters. "I'm having a hint of twisted fun with this letter" he says to Silberman in the midst of a nearly 4000-word letter. "I haven't written anything for a while, and I miss that kind of high rambling feeling you get when the crank comes on and THE MEANING is almost clear; just around the next bend, or at the end of the next crude tangent."
Such statements make it easy to see why Thompson took so strongly to the form. Letters are personal, spontaneous, informal--everything that Gonzo aimed to be.......
It also demonstrates that maybe, just maybe, Thompson was actually blogging 30, or maybe even 40, years before anybody had even thought seriously about the form.
Which might explain why his technique is universally mimicked by everyone, myself included, all over the bloggodome.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sona and the Burke campaign team directed all requests for media comment about this episode to the Conservative Party of Canada national campaign.
In a news release issued Friday morning, the party “vehemently denies that any of its workers or volunteers interfered” at the polling station.
“In particular, the Marty Burke campaign denies that any of its workers or volunteers touched a ballot box or ballot,” read the release. “The outlandish and unfounded claims being spread on the internet are the product of desperation, and are most regrettable.”
Students Brenna Anstett and Claire Whalen both said Sona tried to grab the ballot box. Anstett was “100 per cent” sure it was Sona after she identified him in a group photo provided by the Guelph Mercury.
Sona is a former University of Guelph student and former member of the Guelph Campus Conservatives. He also founded the group’s Facebook page.
Conservative party spokesperson Ryan Sparrow, the official responding to media queries about the case, wouldn’t say if Sona had been on campus in connection with the episode....
Once Elections Canada officials were made aware of the local initiative in Guelph, the returning officer was instructed not to engage in any further activities of a similar nature. All returning officers have received this instruction..."
Thursday, February 23, 2012
OTTAWA — The Conservatives scrambled Thursday to distance themselves from fraudulent "robocalls" sent out during last year's federal election and attempted to direct blame toward a young campaign worker.
In response to a Postmedia News-Ottawa Citizen report that found an Elections Canada investigation has traced the robocalls to a call centre with Conservative connections, Prime Minister Stephen Harper denied his party was involved in the attempt to mislead voters.
"In this case, our party has no knowledge of these calls," Harper told reporters in Iqaluit. "It's not part of our campaign."
Anyone found responsible would face the full consequence of the law, Harper said.
Later in the day, a Conservative-friendly media organization cited two anonymous Conservative party sources and reported that a staff member who had worked on the campaign of Guelph, Ont., Conservative candidate Marty Burke was a person of interest to the investigation...
....Sun Media's website ran a photograph of a Burke campaign worker, Michael Sona, standing next to Harper at what appears to be a campaign event, claiming he was involved in the calls. The photo is credited to the Prime Minister's Office.
Sona, 23, served as Burke's communications director during the campaign and is now an executive assistant to rookie Conservative MP Eve Adams on Parliament Hill.
Postmedia News contacted Sona earlier this week and asked him a series of questions about the robocalls but he did not respond.
Sona was not in Adams' office on Thursday afternoon. Asked if he would be returning, another staffer said, "Maybe."
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae dismissed the naming of Sona as a tactic, noting that he was identified only after the story surfaced.
"Why would they only find the guy today, after the story has come out? They've known about this allegation a long time."
Rae said the real blame for any election trickery rests with the political culture Harper has created in the party.
"The prime minister has created a Nixonian culture," Rae said. "This stuff doesn't happen unless the boss lets it happen."...
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
'The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the Six Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos...but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space. Right above the gambling tables the Forty Flying Carazito Brothers are doing a high-wire trazeze act, along with four muzzled Wolverines and the Six Nymphet Sisters from San Diego.....
This madness goes on and on, but nobody seems to notice. The gambling action runs twenty-four hours a day on the main floor, and the circus never ends......Stand in front of this fantastic machine, my friend, and for just 99 cents your likeness will appear, two hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas. Ninety-nine cents more for a voice message......
I could see myself lying in bed at the Mint Hotel, half-asleep and staring idly out the window, when suddenly a vicious nazi drunkard appears two hundred feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: "Woodstock Uber Alles!"
Rolling Stone #95, Nov. 1971
Reprinted in: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Warner Books, pp 46-47.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Athaeneum Club
Probably the same one that would say this about the invasion of Iraq:
Freak power indeed.