For the past three years Visible Voice Books and Mac’s Backs paperbacks have sponsored a yearly reading honoring some outlaw or underground type author. First up was Kerouac coinciding with the gold anniversary of On the Road. Last year Bukowski was feted and this year staying true to the substance abusing manual typewriter pounding aesthetic Hunter S. Thompson was on the block.
I decided to hit the second day of the festivities held at the Barking Spider Tavern over on the campus of CWRU. The way the event works is that folks are invited to get up at the mic and read an excerpt from the celebrated writer’s work. I knew which passage from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas I wanted to perform, unfortunately I think my copy is sitting in Columbus in my son’s apartment. I knew Suzanne from Mac’s would have the book at the reading and I figured I would find the section once I got there.
But then I remembered the magic of the internet. Having five minutes to kill before taking to the streets I used Google Scholar and pulled up a PDF of the manuscript then did a word search for bath tub – I wanted to read the section where Hunter’s lawyer begs him to throw a plugged in radio into the suspiciously green water in which the attorney is soaking – found the passage – copied and pasted it into a Word document then printed it out. Mission accomplished with two minutes to spare. What a world.
Next year’s subject will be a different kind of an outlaw, the green ink using Pablo Neruda veering away from the influence of the inebriated muse. Here are some pics taken by Sara at the Barking Spider event.