Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quote of the Day: "Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together."
-Hunter S. Thompson, "He Was a Crook," his eulogy for Nixon

Hunter S. Thompson practiced what he proclaimed to be "Gonzo" journalism, a sort of freelance, down-the-last-minute, no-time-to-edit journalistic endeavor in which the author becomes one of the main focuses of the piece, journalism in which there really is no focus, a fly-by-night approach to one subject that becomes several.

It was the 1970s that Thompson brought this about, and ever since there have been countless imitations. However, it seems that today Rollingstone's political articles and articles on various social issues have become very polished and streamlined, far different from Thompson's approach. These articles are professional and polished, nothing like Thompson's work, but still quite relevant.

My question is this: Is blogging the new Gonzo? It's an online journal, work that becomes published with little or no editing. It's an approach that almost always makes the bloggers themselves the topics, and their surroundings become secondary. Our reactions become the main focus of our work.


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Good points re: blogomania and the great Hunter S. I was just reading a pile of his kick-ass quotes. I love his frankness, polished or not. Cuts through all the bullshit to the heart of things and in that, blogging is a perfect vehicle.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

This was a great post. Partly because I love Hunter, and partly because I think the idea of blogging as gonzo is incredible.

Unfortunately, I don't think blogs are the new gonzo. Why? Because gonzo is also an attitude. It's writing with a manic edge, a drug induced paranoia, a bleary eyes frantic need to pour out creatively why struggling to catch breaths.

Most blogs are a little boring. The worst are those that rely on weekly prompts such as Manic Monday, Wordless Wednesday, etc. Or they substitute pictures for ideas, because they can't write.

No...blogs can certainly be a wonderful vehicle for the gonzo, but they are not gonzo.


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