BANNED IN DAHLONEGA! Yes, that's right, folks...I have been banned from the Dahlonega Literary Festival forever. I got an email from one of the organizers this morning that said since I chose to skip my Sunday signing, I would not be invited back in the future. Boo-fucking-hoo. The organizer suggested that I was only there to make money (bless her...she doesn't know the poetry scene at all or she would have never made that statement!), and that I should have been wandering the streets begging people to come to my events or arranged my own publicity. I've already heard from a couple of the other authors who were banned (including Cherryl Floyd-Miller) that after the experience on Saturday they would not return. A couple of people who attended just as visitors were also underwhelmed by the event. One author I met when I was leaving Saturday night suggested I was hurting my "reputation" by not staying for Sunday's event. The only reputation being hurt is the festivals, certainly not mine. Hopefully, they will get their shit together in coming years and turn the festival into something meaningful. Of course, I won't be there, but maybe I'll show up and walk around the square wearing "Banned in Dahlonega" buttons. I might make more money doing that anyway.

Someone else who would have probably enjoyed being banned and then written a nasty article about it in Rolling Stone was the great Hunter S. Thompson. Sadly, Hunter committed suicide over the weekend. The man was a national treasure. I used to have a subscription to RS mainly to read his brilliantly snide commentaries on politics. He knew how to rip someone a new asshole good and proper. His "gonzo" journalism made for some entertaining reading, and of course Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will remain a cult classic. He will be missed.

Also this weekend, we lost the great John Raitt, father of Bonnie, who was a brilliant singer in his own right. And we lost Sandra Dee, she of Gidget fame and widow of Bobby Darin.

They will all be missed.


Teamaster said…
Oh, that banishment is LAUGHABLE! Hey, Collin! You're not allowed to stick your finger in that electrical socket again! Blah! What dullards - and counter-productive fools. F them.

I'm somewhat bothered by the Hunter hype, I must say. (Of COURSE Davey has to blab to the contrary, right?) :)

While I pity the situation and choice of despair that brought him to his grisly decision, I don't mourn his suicide. Why? Because I figure this:

Why should WE cherish Hunter's life more than HUNTER did? After all, he knew himself best - and he obviously didn't think he was worth living. So...since folks tend to want to fulfill deceased folks' wishes ("He/She would want it this way.), then it seems that mass mourning and
praise and reverie actually goes against HUNTER'S opinion of and regard for his achievements and life. Frustrating. I just want to call folks back and assure them that they're NOT dirt, etc.

While I found him to be clever in spots, cool in places, and certainly curious - and I dig Gilliam's film on his book - I also must admit that I find his excess and praise and buffoonery with drugs and so-called "counter-culture" antics to not be genius. He was a decent writer. And he seemed to really dig GUNS. :) I wish he hadn't wasted his life by killing himself.

I wish HE knew/admitted that he WAS worth living.

The neato thing I've noted lately, though, is folks' highlight of Hunter's disdain for Richard Nixon/Bush. He said some scathing words against Nixon over the years (many warranted). But often the same folks who like his bashing of Nixon tend to idealize/like Bill Clinton (despite *his* political criminal terms - not Monica).

So I share this clip from an interview with Hunter S. Thompson. Enjoy:

BOOKPGSARA: "What do you think about Clinton? Where does he come in in the hieracrchy of bad presidents?"

HUNTER: "Well, we still have a few years ago. Clinton already stands accused formally of worse things than Nixon would have been impeached for. I think Clinton is every bit as. . . he's not as crude as Nixon. But maybe he is. I mean: Paula Jones? "Come over here, little girl, I've got something for you" !? It's almost embarrassing to talk about Clinton as if he were important.

I'd almost prefer Nixon. I'd say Clinton is every bit as corrupt as Nixon, but a lot smoother."

Collin said…
From what I've heard, Hunter was in a lot of physical pain after breaking a leg and hip. He was hobbled, according to some friends. Physical pain can drive you to make these kinds of decisions. It was either suffer through the pain or get hopped back up on pills, which I'm sure he didn't want to do. If I knew the rest of my life was going to be lived in physical pain, I'd off myself as well. It's no way to live.
Teamaster said…
I don't want to get into a dispute over Hunter's motives, etc., because nobody really knows the exact cause other than Hunter (and he might not have really known). But the callousness of the act itself, while family was visiting especially, is sloppy and horrific, if not utterly reprehensible.

His own son chimed in recently:

"He [the son] said it was likely that his father had 'decided it was time for him to go', but that he had not been depressed, and nor did he think the pain from recent operations had been a cause."

I suspect that the logical conclusion of his values might have steered him to suicidal demise - as all our respective values produce their logical results.
Teamaster said…
But you're also right: pain makes folks do weird things.


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