by Cody S. Decker
This year’s Carnegie Classics event is going to be celebrating Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Kentucky’s own literary outlaw, Hunter S. Thompson. On Saturday November 7th, the Carnegie Center is going to look as if it were a scene peeled directly from the pages of the cult classic. There will be an open bar and a Vegas style buffet. Those two things are probably enough of a reason for a lot of folks to pony up the $20 in advance for their ticket. ($25 at the door) But that’s far from all you’re going to get that night. There will be live music, a drag show, and an art exhibit. The majority of it has been done by talented local artists inspired by the book. And there are a couple of pieces that you’ll see hanging that were painted by the illustrator of Fear and Loathing himself, Ralph Steadman. Which were loaned to us from Ron Whitehead, the Outlaw Poet of Kentucky. Keep a lookout for everything that will be on display. The drag queens won’t be the only eye catchers in the place that night.
I will be there covering the event for GonzoToday.com. I’ll be the lanky 6’8 guy with a drink in his hand that frequents the smoker’s corner too often. Now typically, when I go to an event like this, I have a few drinks and stay pretty low key as I meander throughout the crowd. I try to take it all in, take notes, then write about it all when I get home. However, this time I’m going to be trying something a little different. I’ll still take advantage of the open bar (I’ve got an Uber coupon for $20 so I don’t have to worry about a ride home) and I’ll still stay low key and mingle but I’m counting on you to take my notes for me.
I’m going to have my own personal typewriter set up at the event and it will be open to anyone who wishes to type on it. You can type about something that happened to you on the way there, you can type your favorite part from the book, you can type about whatever crazy thing you saw some sweaty guy do on the dance floor. Anything you wish. A 15 foot scroll will be running through the machine as you type on it. Which will be displayed at the Carnegie Center after I use it to write my piece. So not only will you be helping me with my article but we’ll all be making art. I’m going to do my best to use as many of your lines/ideas/quotes as I can. This will be everyone’s chance to be a journalist for a night. So give me some good ones! I just ask that you keep it fairly brief, just a few lines per person. I also ask that everyone keeps in mind where there drinks are when they’re around the typewriter. It doesn’t get shy around booze, it’s been around me too long for that. But sticky key makes no words and I need your words that night.
My article will published a few days after the event on GonzoToday.com. Follow them and me (Cody S. Decker) on Facebook so you can know as soon as the story is up. And you can see if your notes made it in.
Neil Chethik, the Executive Director of the Carngie Center, had this to say about their choice for the event this year, “Since we started the Carnegie Classics, we’ve featured authors Harper Lee, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J.D. Salinger. Isn’t Hunter S. Thompson the next logical choice?” I couldn’t agree with Neil more. And with Louisville in the planning stages of erecting a life size statue of Hunter and the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame inducting him earlier this year, this couldn’t come at a more perfect time. It’s nice to see Kentucky start to recognize a legend that came from it’s own “dark and bloody ground” as Thompson called it. There’s a Gonzo Spirit starting to spread throughout Kentucky and it’s a wonderful thing.
This is going to be one hell of a celebration. I hope you can make it, you know you’ve been looking for a reason to wear that old Acapulco shirt in the back of your closet. This will be the perfect opportunity. Just show up, drink, listen to music, take in the sights and get lost in the lights. Type a few words on my typewriter if you feel like it. But most importantly, have a good time. That’s what Hunter would have done.
Hunter wrote, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” On November 7th, let’s all be pros for the night.