Hunter S. Thompson and The Kentucky Derby are not two things that would usually go in the same sentence. But in 1970, Thompson, famed gonzo journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary (and native Kentuckian himself), wrote an essay that aimed to detail the debauchery of those who attended the Kentucky Derby. He called it simply, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” The now-seminal story marked the start of Thompson’s “gonzo” style, in which a journalist would eschew the traditional, objective journalistic style in favor of including himself in the first person narrative of events, to the point in which he becomes a character.
Well this week, our favorite homegrown state branding team, Kentucky for Kentucky (of the Kentucky Kicks Ass fame) in conjunction with Louisville artist, Rachael Sinclair, has created a fantastic print, complete with jockey’s silks that give a horse’s name to the unique phraseology of the story, such as “Old Fitz” and “Nekkid Horses.” The limited edition print, which Buzzfeed has already featured on their front page and is currently sold out online, honors Thompson’s essay just in time for the Derby! Here’s hoping they make a few more!