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Oscar “Zeta” Acosta: letter to Playboy

July 7, 2008

[15 October 1973]

The Playboy Forum
Playboy Building
919 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611


Your November issue, “On The Scene” section on Mr. Hunter S. Thompson as the creator of Gonzo Journalism, which you say he both created and named… Well, sir, I beg to take issue with you. And with anyone else who says that. In point in fact, Doctor Duke and I — the world famous Dr. Gonzo — together we both, hand in hand, sought out the teachings and curative powers of the world famous Savage Henry, the Scag Baron of Las Vegas, and in point of fact the term and methodology of reporting crucial events under fire and drugs, which are of course essential to any good writing in this age of confusion — all this I say came from out of the mouth of our teacher who is also known by the name of Owl. These matters I point out not as a threat of legalities or etcetera but simply to inform you and to invite serious discussion on the subject.

Yours very truly,
Oscar Zeta Acosta
Chicano Lawyer

P.S. The guacamole and XX he got from me.

This letter was taken from Oscar “Zeta” Acosta: The Uncollected Works (1996) published by Arte Público Press.
Acosta (April 8, 1935 – 1974?) was a Chicano attorney, writer, politician and activist. He is most famously known as “Dr. Gonzo” in Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

To see video of Acosta reading from his book Revolt of the Cockroach People CLICK HERE.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Elias Serna permalink
    September 14, 2009 1:48 pm

    Beautiful. Xicano rights are taken, not given. Though often dismissed for sexism, drugs, and “terrorism,” Acosta’s work and role need looking at. The “Age of Confusion” reigns still. Not all survived the Wave of Mutilation. Serious Discussion is still required. Firme linens and pose are Xicano aesthetic. I still hear Strange Rumblings In Aztlan… must be the wild buffalo running…


  1. Lotería Chicana » Blog Archive » This day in Chicano history: Oscar Zeta Acosta (1935)

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