Monthly Archives: October 2015

Big Buck Hunter S. Thompson

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We were somewhere in the bowling alley across from the Applebee’s when the drugs began to take hold. Thousands of little lights flashing, bells ringing all around us. Had I found my way inside the cuckoo clock of hell? I collapsed on the carpet. A motley of vicious odors—sweat, vomit, cheese pizza. Then again, it all might have just been vomit.

My attorney helped me up and we passed a row of pinball machines. “Duke, take a look at this little number,” he said. He dropped a plastic shotgun into my hands. I was nervous that the place was crawling with cops, but I couldn’t deny that it felt beautiful. If any of those mustachioed narcs wanted to take me downtown, my peashooter would be enough to send them scurrying back to their two-bedroom ranch houses and Clorox wives.

At first, we were supposed to be covering illegal poaching in America’s national parks. You know, that contrived, sappy bullshit. Makes an easy story. The editors had given us $300, all of it conveniently in quarters, and sent us down the freeway past some crappy strip mall. Was it really our fault that it came to this?

Before I knew it, I was pumping hot slugs into those goddamn deer. They went down one, two, six. The Bambi family reunion was gonna be pretty dinky this year. Did I feel guilty about it? No way. Those things were charging at me for chrissakes. When you’ve got a pack of death deer and peyote coyotes coming your way, you fire like all hell broke loose.

“What are you hunting?” asked some kid behind us. He had on a navy blue little league shirt—the little fucker still believed he was part of something.

“What are we hunting?” I grabbed his collar. I told him, “We are hunting the goddamn American dream, man.” His eyes told me he didn’t get it. But that’s what it’s all about, not the fight itself, but the opportunity for glory riding on the price of a single goddamn quarter. Wasn’t that what George Washington was fighting for all along? Part of me thinks it was the cocaine and fifty straight sleepless hours, but I coulda sworn ol’ George was smiling at me right then and there, saying “Yeah, you chop down that cherry tree, you crazy sonofabitch.”

Suddenly I got the feeling I could make something of myself in this godforsaken town. The attorney was still at the machine. He cradled the weapon to his chest. His pants were around his ankles, but nobody at the alley saw him as anything out of the ordinary. “Gonzo,” I tell him, “My turn to pick the level.” But instead he fires a wayward shot at the screen, selecting the Outback as our next locale. The goddamn Outback! I hurl my gun at the machine, which breaks out into a cackle as it recognizes the mess we got ourselves into.

“What the hell, Duke? I was playing.”

“We can’t play here! This is bat country!”

A swarm of those bloodsucking bastards pours out of the coin slot, latching on left and right to the arcade’s greasy-faced clientele. Me and the attorney scrambled to the restroom, desperate for sanctuary in the loo, the john, the can, the last outpost of privacy in this godforsaken wasteland we call America.

We holed up in that stall for the better part of half an hour. My attorney was loudly vomiting into the bowl, pausing every once in awhile to clean his mouth of with some Charmin like he was at a goddamn barbecue.

[Editor’s Note: At this point, Dr. Duke’s manuscript became completely illegible, containing nothing but poorly drawn safari animals and a peace sign. He refused to translate it, and so we must omit this section of the narrative.]

Jesus, that walk back out to the arcade seemed to take hours. I was swinging my head back and forth between my left and right shoulders, certain the pigs were set on flattening me with their billyclubs. I could almost hear the manager asking what kind of soap was best to wash my bloodstains out of the floor.

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I somehow made it back to the game, trying to keep my intestines from oozing out of my nostrils. I slapped my last quarter into the machine and took another hit of mescaline. It is funny, looking back now, how right everything felt at that moment, and all the momentum was on my side. There was a fantastic universal sense that those deer were created to be shot, like they existed in their own universe outside of the physical realm. I knew there was no real explanation, but those animals were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave, headed straight into the muzzle of my gun.

A warm tingle ran down my spine as the high score menu opened up and offered me a hot dose of immortality in the form of three characters. I shot my letters into the high scores menu—“LSD.”

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Fox NFL Robot Accused of Child Abuse

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In a year already plagued by countless instances of child abuse at the hands of NFL players, things have gotten a whole lot worse. The latest scandal involves none other than Cleatus the Robot, best known as the mascot of Fox’s football coverage, beating his own child live on air.

Recorded footage shows Cleatus grabbing an advertising graphic for Burger King and striking his son several times with it. He then proceeded to do a touchdown victory dance while his son, a small iPhone 6s, sobbed in the background.

No one has seen Cleatus in person since the incident. Legal experts speculate that this could either be because Cleatus is in hiding until the backlash subsides, or because he is a giant fictional robot.

Based on similar cases in the past, the accused faced little to no professional repercussions. When asked if the NFL would issue any fine or suspension against Cleatus, a dispirited Roger Goodell quipped, “There is no God, and everything is permissible.”

Although Cleatus himself has yet to respond to these developments, Fox has released the following statement on his behalf: “Don’t forget to tune back in for Fox football coverage next week, starting at Sunday at 1pm ET!”

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Rock Conspiracy: Was Ringo Starr in The Beatles?

As the biggest band in the world, The Beatles have certainly seen their fair share of myths. Most notable is the “Paul Is Dead” theory, which draws upon a series of clues from songs and album covers to claim that Paul McCartney died in a motor accident in 1966 and was secretly replaced with a double by the name of Billy Shears. It’s a fun legend, albeit one that’s rather ludicrous.

But recent evidence, probably never meant to be revealed to the masses, suggests that there may be a Beatles conspiracy that nobody could have predicted. All the signs point that Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends narrator Ringo Starr may have fact been…a member of The Beatles.

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Wait, don’t close the tab! The clues are all there, you just have to let me explain.

1. The album covers

Take, for instance, the cover of The Beatles’ 1969 magnum opus Abbey Road.

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Fans have long discussed how the simple photograph of a street crossing resembles a funeral procession. John, leading the way in all white, is the minister; Paul, barefoot and holding a cigarette, is the corpse about to be buried; George, bringing up the rear in denim workclothes, is the gravedigger. But wait, who’s that mysterious figure between John and Paul!?

It could be coincidental, but the man in question, with his gnome beard and pirate jewelry, bears a strong resemblance to Ringo Starr. But what would the host of a 1980s children show be doing on the cover of a rock album from almost two decades earlier?

Interestingly, Starr also makes an appearance, twice in fact, on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That’s no big deal–The Beatles included cutouts of dozens of authors, actors, and musicians they admired on the cover.

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But hold on a second, how would Starr make it on the cover in 1967 when his hit show Thomas and Friends wouldn’t air until many years later? And why is he appearing on multiple album covers? Could it be that Ringo played a larger role in The Beatles’ creative process. Let’s take a closer look.

2. The music

Most people think The Beatles’ dynamic is pretty straightforward. All lead vocals and songwriting alternate between Lennon and McCartney, with the occasional smattering of Harrison, right?

Let’s take a look at “Don’t Pass Me By,” a deep cut from the groups tumultuous self-titled 1968 album. As soon as the disjointed rhythm and clunky vocals reach your ears, you can tell that this track is not your typical Beatles number. It almost sounds as if the principal author is more comfortable talking about anthropomorphized trains that recording pop music.

Could it be Starr in disguise? It’s no secret that he has had a fairly successful solo music career. You may remember hits such as “You’re Sixteen,” a throwback rocker about a hot teenage girl that, in hindsight, was probably not appropriate for a guy in his thirties to sing.

Still, many other actors and entertainers have dabbled in the music world, so in that regard, Starr is nothing special. To truly prove that he was a Beatle, we would have to see that he was actively participating with Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison during their prime.

3. In person

At the height of Beatlemania in the mid 1960s, all eyes were on the group. Every media outlet and young music fan went gaga over the Fab Four, which everyone agreed was a really funny name for the band since there were only three guys in it.

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 9: The Beatles perform during their first appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, February 9, 1964. From left: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

But according to remastered footage of The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, that may not be the whole story. Sullivan announced the names of each Beatle to the youth of America. “John. Paul. George.” And then Sullivan mumbled something else, which most critics heard as “bingo,” as if he were meant, “Bingo! It’s the greatest band in the world, and I discovered them!”

This interpretation makes perfect sense, except for the fact that there was actually a fourth musician onstage.

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While not immediately noticeable from all angles, he is definitely there, hiding behind a drumkit in the back. That’s where the whole theory gets really weird. Pick out any number of Beatles songs, and you’ll notice that just about all of them contain drumming.

Sure, that doesn’t prove that Starr was the mystery drummer. The Beatles could have hired many different session musicians throughout their time together to fill out the rhythm section. Unless, that is, you look closely at Starr’s 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Starr received the honor with an induction speech by none other than Paul McCartney. Curiously enough, Sir Paul appeared very close to Ringo, played a couple Beatles songs with him, and even mentioned a time when they were “in The Beatles together.”

I get shivers down my spine just thinking about what that could mean.

4. A real conspiracy?

The proof is rather convincing. However, at the end of the day, it still seems quite unlikely that the wacky Ringo Starr was actually in The Beatles, which most critics herald as the best and most influential band of all time.

What’s more likely is that Ringo was simply a close friend of the group. He was a member of The Beatles in the same way that we all are. Their music is so special and timeless that each and every one of us can claim to be a part of it, whether it’s your grandmother or the president. Mankind itself is the fourth Beatle, and guess what? That even includes you, dear Ringo.

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