Woooo Pig.

libertybowlWOOOOOOO PIG SOOIE!!!

Hooray for my hogs, as they eviscerated Kansas State today in the Liberty Bowl 45-23.  Wooo pig!  But the highlight of today’s game wasn’t our beautifully dreadlocked running back Alex Collins’ 185 yards and three touchdowns– rather, it was the shiny metallic helmets Arkansas sported on the field.  Reminded me a lot of the lone red metallic Christmas ball hanging from my sad Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

chromehelmetthe resemblance is uncanny

Arkansas really should have had a better season this year, but early injuries = early losses, and we got off to a rough start.  Had everyone been healthy this season, I have no doubt that my Arkansas Razorbacks would have competed for an SEC title.  But that’s the story of 2015:  missed opportunities and what-ifs.  That’s just life, I guess.

missedopportunitymostly missed, I reckon

I’ve spent this entire weekend sick out of my head and watching bowl games, and I’m ending the night watching what must be the most sadly-named of all the bowl games:  the “Motel 6 Cactus Bowl.”  The saddest of plants in the saddest of motels really plays at the heart strings of loneliness.  Ah, the poor, lonely cactus… wondering why no one wants to hug him.

 

 

Football Season is Over

Ten years ago today, Hunter S. Thompson put one of his many guns into his mouth (in this case a .45 caliber automatic) and blew out the back of his bald head in the confines of his snowy Colorado compound.

His suicide note was surprisingly brief considering the writer’s prolific talent. It read as follows:

image

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt.

He titled the note “Football Season Is Over,” an allusion to the fact that the Super Bowl had concluded two weeks prior (coincidentally the Patriots won that one, too) and his favorite sport would not resume until September. I reckon Thompson was disenchanted with the prospect of facing another seven months without anything to look forward to.

The world lost a lunatic that day, but it also lost a talented writer and a soul courageous enough to stand up for what he believed in.  Thompson was one of the last true patriots and also one of the last true individualists–he was a man who ultimately didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought, and he was entirely true to himself.  Nothing could keep him from speaking his mind, and he never shied away from calling a spade a spade–never hesitated for a moment from telling it like it is, embracing his convictions and calling out the pigs and the fascists for who and what they were.  I shudder to think what kind of a force he could have been in the last decade–what kind of a voice he could have been, especially to the affectless youth yearning for something to rail against.  In our modern age of languid losers, H.S.T. could have been the voice we needed to get the listless to become listful.  There simply can’t be a revolution without voices like Thompson’s, railing against the injustices of the world and calling the fuckers out for their actions.  They just don’t make ’em like that any more, and this country (and this world, for that matter) is worse off for it.

hunteravatar

Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

Six months after his death, a wild party was held in the guise of a funeral for Thompson.  The guest list was a who’s who of friends of Hunter, including old politicos like George McGovern and John Kerry and Hollywood A-listers like Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, and Bill Murray.  The funeral was more or less drawn up according to Thompson’s own specs–he had detailed exactly how he wanted to go out, which is to say his ashes were stuffed into mortar shells and fired out of the top of a giant Gonzo fist monument amongst fireworks and rock and roll.

hst_funeral

H.S.T.’s crazy ass funeral

I do want to make it clear that I am in no way glossing over or glorifying Thompson’s suicide.  While I did describe the man as courageous, I don’t believe his suicide was a courageous action.  Ultimately, one must accept that there’s very little courage in killing oneself, and I’d like to think Thompson understood that much.  But there’s also something to be said for living (or dying) on one’s own terms, and I think Thompson understood that as well.  There’s no denying that he sure as hell did both.

I’ll be enjoying a bottle of Wild Turkey in his honor tonight–I’ve got nowhere to be tomorrow, anyway.  God bless 101 proof whiskey, and God bless the memory of that madman, Hunter S. Thompson.

imageR.I.P., H.S.T.

The Greatest Comeback Since Lazarus

I don’t keep up with professional football much anymore, what with the shenanigans that have dogged the league for the last several years (no pun intended).  From Vick’s dog fighting to Favre’s dick pics to Randle’s panty raiding to Hernandez’s murder trial, the NFL looks more like the Jerry Springer Show than a legitimate sports organization.  Throw in the recent domestic abuse horseshit (aka the passive-aggressive condoning of violence against women and children) and, well, it’s hard to be a fan nowadays.  But I happened to catch the end of the Seahawks/Packers game on Sunday, and I must admit that it was the single most exciting three minutes of football I have ever witnessed.  Seattle was dead in the water after having been thoroughly outplayed all game, but after converting a fake field goal for a touchdown late in the third quarter and then scoring 15 points in only 44 seconds within the final minutes of regulation, those scrappy bastards put themselves in a position to win in OT.  I’ve never seen anything like it, and I doubt I’ll ever see anything quite like it again–I reckon I was fortunate to have been flipping channels at just the right time.  I had a similar experience in 1990, tuning in to HBO just in time to hear, “Down goes Tyson!  Down goes Tyson!” as Buster Douglas knocked out the nigh-invulnerable heavyweight champ:  “Iron” Mike Tyson.  (This was before he went bat-shit crazy and started biting people’s ears off.)

downgoestyson(Tyson vs. Douglas, February 11, 1990)

Of course, the post-game interviews were chock-full of sports clichés including “never give up,” which got me thinking about perseverance and the virtue of sticking with something even when all hope is lost.  When the odds are stacked against you and defeat seems all but certain, that is your time to rise to the occasion and make the impossible possible–that can be your moment of heroic triumph.  But only if you allow it to be.  Sometimes it’s far too easy to give up, to simply fold a lousy hand and concede defeat, or to throw in the towel like Roberto Duran did as he was being humiliated by Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring (“No más, no más,” he famously told the referee).  When what you’re giving up on doesn’t really matter, if it’s of no consequence, then that’s fine–no harm, no foul, I say.  But when you give up on something you truly believe in, something that you feel defines you or is an essential part of who you are or who you aspire to be, then you have effectively given up on yourself and you might as well go ahead and give up on life, too.

nomas

(Leonard vs. Duran II, November 25, 1980)

I once had a friend who found herself blindsided by an unfortunate life event, and she was in such shock and disbelief as to how she’d been mistreated that she didn’t know what to do with herself.  Full of pain and anguish, her first instinct was to lash out and strike back, but she ended up running headlong into a pattern of self-destructive behavior instead.  I remember giving her the following advice:  you’ve got to pick yourself up and dust yourself off before you throw a punch.  The point being that when you suddenly find yourself sucker-punched full in the mouth and knocked flat on your ass, it’s in your best interest to take a moment to compose yourself before you stand up and take a swing.  Otherwise, you’re likely to wind up on your ass again.  And now I find myself in the strange position of having to heed my own advice.  All I want to do is to jump up and hit life back with everything it has dished out to me, like Ralphie did to the yellow-eyed Scott Farkus in A Christmas Story, bloodying the bully’s face with haymakers and all the while cursing like Yosemite Sam.  But I know better than this.  I know that if I were to try such a thing, I would only find myself back in a heap on the ground.

In the spirit of perseverance and boxing metaphors, I’ll leave you with a link to the music video for “Ali in the Jungle,” a song by the English rock band The Hours.  Just by chance, I stumbled upon this video a few years back whilst drinking and looking for the footage of Muhammad Ali knocking out George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle,” and I have since adopted it as my aphoristic anthem (“Everybody gets knocked down.  How quick are you going to get up?  Just how are you going to get up?”).  In the song are references to famous instances of men and women persevering in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  While I wouldn’t necessarily describe this song as my kind of music, it is somewhat catchy and the video is worth watching for the psychedelic art direction alone.  Oh, and don’t be afraid to read up on some of the folks mentioned in the lyrics if you’re not familiar with their stories.  Learnin’ is fun, dammit.