"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 7 November 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LIX



Ah, those hazy days of yore,

when Hendrix's microdot marching

tune, "Are You Experienced,"

inspired thousands to

simultaneously swap perfectly

functional brains for paisley

patty melts. With a little pluck

and some double-wide pockets,

Excite's recent rental of the

tune may herald a new trend,

where market-siphoned booty

meets the desks of web marketing

VPs throughout the SF Bay Area.

We never expected Bill Gates to

apply his securities towards a

Learning Annex course in

disk-jockery and thus,

Microsoft's latest ads,

showcasing stunningly honest use

of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire,"

barely provoke a chuckle. But we

expect the new blood to

eviscerate hipper (if not

hippie) standards, and would

remind the Lycoses, HotBots, and

AltaVistas (the AltaVista blimp

as Flight 801, anyone?) that the

only other Hendrix anthem to

grace a television commercial,

"The Star-Spangled [Ad?] Banner," is

not only appropriate but

eminently appropriatable. Still,

while we get our jollies at the

expense of the freshly liberated

spenders, it's comforting to

know that good old-fashioned

promotional methods like word of mouth

still work wonders, and we've got the

email messages - "Have you tried

UltraSeek? Faster than shit." -

to prove it.



From the breathless buzz

that greeted the passage of

California's Prop. 215 in some SoMa

office-hives, you'd have thought

dope had been approved to treat

carpal tunnel syndrome. Widely

heralded by proponents of better

living through chemicals as a

step towards the comprehensive

legalization of marijuana and as

a hallmark of the Golden State's

progressive agenda, this

thinking is clouded at best. In

the same election, 30 years of

affirmative action went up in

smoke as Left Coasters embraced

the deviously tagged "California

Civil Rights Initiative," giving

new meaning to the term split -

or do we mean "spliff"? -




For close to thirty years now,

Hunter S. Thompson has been

something of a mirror (or is it

a billboard?) for America's

self-obsessed excess of the

moment. In the '60s it was hogs,

in the '70s it was drugs, in the

'80s it was "art" (and drugs

again), and in the '90s it is,

of course, self-promotion. So

with the silver anniversary of

his seminal Fear and Loathing in

Las Vegas right around in the

corner, Thompson has done what

any aging writer riding his own

coattails to further fame and

fortune would do: re-release it

as an audio book. Yet despite

voice credits from the likes of

Harry Shearer, Harry Dean

Stanton, Jim Jarmusch, Buck

Henry and, perplexingly, Jann

Wenner, the jaunty flacks at

Thompson's publicity agency

appear so uncertain of the

tape's newsworthiness (to anyone

besides Rolling Stone) that they

went to the trouble of taping

little Ziploc baggies of candy

pills and powder to the review

copies sent to the press. "When

the going gets trite, the trite

turn to PR."



Unwilling to open the doors of

perception, but equally

impatient for death to reveal

the layout of the Great Beyond?

Well, on the web, Hell is a

private party, Heaven is wishful

thinking from Time Warner, and

God doesn't answer his email.

But given the state of the

Digital Revolution, we suspect

that perusing the server logs of

the one place on the Internet

where you can talk to God would

make for interesting, ah,


courtesy of the Sucksters