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Our Congress is a parliament of whores. In 1970, the gonzo journalist ran for Sheriff of Aspen on a platform of reforming the police and protecting the environment. That all changed in 1968 after he witnessed firsthand the violence of the Democratic Convention in Chicago and returned home to find similar forms of citizen oppression taking place in Aspen. Get the details at Westword.com. The freak scene was originally a component of the bohemian subculture which began in California in the mid-1960s, associated with the hippie movement. He points out that in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, 94 per cent of police officers live outside the city. The final list of loan materials will be determined by discussion and negotiation with the exhibiting venue and curatorial team. As to the actual freak power movement, it makes me w This coffee table book is written by a serious Hunter S. Thompson fan and an Aspen museum curator. In 1969 in Aspen, American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson collaborated with a colorful cast of activists, intellectuals and artists to launch a political movement which fought for the future of the town, the environment, and the nation. There are several events and activities included in the proposal that are designed to encourage people to engage with the exhibition and take action in their own communities. Stitched together from recently unearthed campaign footage and new interviews conducted by directors Daniel Joseph Watkins and Ajax Phillips, the film skilfully captures not just the specifics of what made Aspen in the late ‘60s ripe for political upheaval, but also how loudly the Freak Power campaign still resonates in this foul year of 2020. Pauline Rolland pauline@pryzagency.com +33 6 20 69 33 62, Yuri Zupancicyuri@pryzagency.com+ 1 785 218 9038. Following his military service, Thompson traveled the world to cover a wide array of topics for numerous magazines and developed an immersive, highly personal style of reporting that would become known as “Gonzo journalism.” He would employ the style in the 1971 book for which he is best known, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was an immediate and lasting success. Nov 9, 2020 #156,277 The board needs a … Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. “If you were a draft dodger in Vietnam, or you hated the government, the last thing you wanted to do was put your name on some official stationery in order to register to vote,” Braudis tells NME. Here are a few examples: Political Poster Workshop: Led by a silkscreen printmaker, Vintage Typewriter: Provided for museum guests to write their political ideas, messages, and reflections, Media Room: Where Hunter S. Thompson’s books, letters, and magazine articles are available for people to read, Voter Registration Event: To provide materials and information for people to register and become more engaged in local politics, Speaker Series: Throughout the duration of the exhibition, featuring experts and activists talking about politically engaged art and local, national and international political topics. Not only was he elected Sheriff himself in 1986, he was then re-elected five more times before he retired in 2010. Given Thompson’s experience with the wrong end of a billy club in Chicago, it’s not a surprise that a key pillar of the Freak Power platform was reforming the police. The lawyer who brought that case, Joe Edwards, was convinced by Thompson to run for Mayor of Aspen in 1969. It’s time we either bridge that chasm with some kind of realistic law enforcement, or else I don’t think it’s going to be bridged in this country. … “This is the real point: that we are not really freaks at all - not in the literal sense - but the twisted realities of the world we are trying to live in have somehow combined to make us feel like freaks. “If Hunter could run for Sheriff,” he points out, “anybody can run for anything!”, Sadly, of course, the current occupant of the White House proves just how horribly true that sentiment really is. Steadman has continued to make Freak Power work and recently created a number of new drawings that incorporate original Freak Power materials. Although Thompson would be narrowly defeated in 1970, the police reforms he recommended were taken up in 1976 by a candidate named Dick Kienast. A political activist in Aspen, Colorado. The Freak Power exhibition is organized thematically and composed of silkscreen posters, photographs, graphic art, wall texts, original drawings, manuscripts and multimedia materials. Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937. The energy of this movement can still be felt in the Freak Power collection, assembled by curator and writer Daniel J. Watkins. Access and exhibition rights to digital video files for the duration of the exhibition. “That’s true not only in Aspen, but all over the country. The BBC, The New York Times , Time , and others descended upon the little mountain town and attempted to translate what was happening for a national audience, who were naturally fascinated by the idea of a hippie (as they judged him to be) running for office. He was placed on the ballot as a candidate for sheriff, with a platform that called for renaming Aspen “Fat City.” It was a move to scare away developers and tourists. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. Some sort of mutant possibly. People called us: ‘Dick Dove and his Deputies of Love.’”, As Sheriff, Braudis championed ideas like community policing, which may seem obvious but is far from the norm in America. Credit: Press, Another central pillar of the Freak Power campaign that took root in Aspen was the idea of actively preventing development to preserve the environment. “We realised the only way to affect permanent change was through the ballot.”, Braudis is something of an authority on matters of the ballot. 2020. HD. A variety of workshops, activities and interactive elements are possible during the exhibition. Freak Power is a fascinating look into the heart of a grassroots political campaign during a violent era in American history, as one man channelled the rage and confusion of a maligned subculture into a surprisingly coherent and subversive political movement. With his friends, Thompson helped established the Freak Power movement. Each section can be variably reformatted depending on the size of the space and the focus of the exhibition venue. We follow Hunter as he builds his own political movement, which grows from a local sheriff's race to a national media sensation. Director Watkins says that one of the things he hopes the film will do is inspire ordinary people not just to vote, but to run for office themselves. It was also a popular move in Aspen, a small town which had attracted a sizeable wave of hippie refugees fleeing the end of the Summer of Love in California. Not democrat. The outrage, the hectoring, the constant rhetoric metaphorical “war:” it’s all a … Freak Power Movement. “The country is more divided now than it was over Vietnam,” he says. ... We follow Hunter as he builds his own political movement, which grows from a local sheriff’s race to a national media sensation. Politically minded, Thompson ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, in 1970 on the Freak Power ticket. We are good people. He decided then that he had to join the fight for civil rights and needed to start by getting involved with local politics. 24 likes. Watkins, Bob Braudis and Joe DiSalvo - Only 50 Available. IMDb: 9.9. Film Screenings: Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb will be available to screen at exhibiting institutions (or partner location) during the exhibition and includes footage from the campaign that has never been seen before. Thompson loathed the idea of the pristine Rockies being carved up for yet more ski resorts. 90. It’s a dangerous situation when the enforcement arm is totally out of communication with the reality. 67, dated October 1, 1970, and written by Hunter S. Thompson. Edwards lost by 6 votes, but Thompson, his personal and artistic powers peaking, ran anyway, on a nationally watched ‘Freak Power’ campaign, whose logo was a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button, superimposed over a sheriff’s star. The Freak Flag was firmly planted in the eyes of a new generation and the Freak Power ideals continue to fly, especially in the landscape of the present day – an idealogical fight that values freedom of the individual against a ruling class via systematic autocracy. Back in Aspen, he found more of the […] The materials will be mounted, framed, prepared for exhibition, and packed for transport by the lender, Mr. Watkins, at his own expense. The Freak Power campaign used art, prose, and political theatre to generate a wave of support and to mobilize young people to vote and transform their local government. Not republican. And he almost won. Original art by Ralph Steadman and Thomas W. Benton combine with Hunter S. Thompson’s writing and political theatre to shed new light on a chapter in history which also resonates today. Freak Power: The Ballot Or The Bomb Documentary Film Playing at the Plaza Theatre from December 25th-December 31st Legendary Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County fifty years ago this year. The Freak Power Exhibition consists of 125 framed pieces of original artwork, vintage campaign ephemera, signed photographs and the new film Freak Power. “I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a raving beast,” he later wrote. “He carried all of Hunter’s principles forward,” explains Braudis, who remembers the Sheriff’s Office undergoing a startling transformation. Credit: Press, As serious as Thompson was about the campaign, that didn’t stop him having fun. There is still availability for the exhibition in late 2021, and 2022. Freak Power : The Ballot or the Bomb “It’s time in this country for somebody to run on some kind of realistic program rather than to get into this hypocritical gibberish that has characterized politics in this country for I don’t know how long and still does in most parts of it.” Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 During the late 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson met artist Thomas W. Benton in Aspen. Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff Curated by Daniel Joseph Watkins April 30 – September 2, 2019. Freak Power tells the story of Hunter’s plan to become Sheriff, take control of Aspen and transform it from a conservative mining town into a mecca for artists, rebels and activists. He showed a knack for writing at a young age, and after high school began his career in journalism while serving in the United States Air Force. After being beaten and tear-gassed by police thugs during the anti-war protests which surrounded the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the inventor of gonzo journalism returned to his home in Woody Creek, just outside Aspen, Colorado, a changed man. HD. The cover of the magazine ran the teaser "Freak Power in the Rockies", and the article was later reprinted in The Great Shark Hunt. They’re the enemy,” he said at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Debate that year, in a speech which often feels like it could have been delivered yesterday. He’d turned up to the debate that night with a freshly shaven scalp, specifically so that he could refer to the crew-cut incumbent Sheriff Carrol D. Whitmire as his “long-haired opponent”. In the current, politically charged environment, this show will resonate with those who are looking for creative ways to incite change. 50 years on from the Freak Power movement, founded by Hunter S. Thompson, a new documentary explores what we can learn from it in 2020. www.nme.com Reactions: Bernnie Federko and The Kid. 50 years on, a new documentary explores what we can learn from his radical movement, It was a billy club to the gut that convinced Hunter S. Thompson it was time to get personally involved in politics. By the end of October, the newspaper endorsed Thompson as Pitkin County’s next sheriff. Their friendship and collaboration spanned more than four decades and created or inspired some of Benton’s most recognized works, including the 1970 “Hunter S. Thompson for Sheriff” poster and a series of political posters that combined art and writing called “The Aspen Wallposters.” He went on to create campaign posters for more than fifty candidates including George McGovern, Gary Hart and Willie Brown. His cabinet is a cabinet of puppets. Though he was already becoming a well known writer and public figure in the late 60s, Thompson kept a relatively low profile at home in Woody Creek, just outside of Aspen. This exhibition uses over 120 vintage screen-printed posters, photos, films, and texts to tell the story of the Battle of Aspen, which saw artists, beatniks and other concerned citizens fighting against gentrification, oppression, war, and environmental destruction. The term is also used to refer to the post-hippie and pre-punk period of the early to mid-1970s. Showing at the Poster House in New York City from March 4-August 15, 2021, Showing at the Aspen Art Museum from December 16, 2020 - February 21, 2021, Shown at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, KY from April 30 - September 2, 2019, Shown at the Aspen Historical Society from June 18 - October 1, 2018, THE ART OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S POLITICAL MOVEMENT. We’re going to have a revolution.”, Hunter S. Thompson lights a cigarette in archival footage. 90 “Making a pedestrian mall sounds so boring, but if you say: ‘We’re ripping up all the pavement and we’re sodding the streets at once’, suddenly it sounds like something exciting that I want to get engaged with.”, Among those drawn in to a political campaign for the first time was Bob Braudis, a young volunteer given the critical job of going around town making sure everyone with long hair had registered to vote. We argue, we protest, we petition - but nothing changes...So now, with the rest of the nation erupting in a firestorm of bombings and public killings, a handful of ‘freaks’ are running a final, perhaps atavistic experiment with the idea of forcing change by voting ... and if that has to be called Freak Power, well ... whatever’s right.” - Hunter S. Thompson, The Aspen Times, October 22, 1970. Hunter S. Thompson came home from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago disgusted yet motivated by what he’d seen: protests violently suppressed, riots, corrupt politicians and abusive cops. Hunter S. Thompson went to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a journalist and returned home disgusted, yet motivated by what he'd just seen: violently suppressed protests, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. “It was the first time a bunch of us hippies, beatniks, freaks, whatever you want to call us, got involved,” he says. The story of Freak Power, then, is a rebuke to anyone disillusioned by the idea that participating in our shaky democratic institutions really can make a difference. The story of Thompson’s singular campaign for office is the subject of the fascinating new documentary Freak Power: The Ballot or The Bomb. We are authentic Americans. The message to the less liberal, less intelligent bullies was: ‘You don’t fit in here anymore.’ We replaced them with us. 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