Posted by: Naima | July 8, 2008

Gonzo

Last night, my boyfriend and I went to see “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”. If “Gonzo journalism” or “Hunter S. Thompson” don’t strike any particular chords in your mind, think “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” or “Hell’s Angels”, two of Thompson’s bestselling books – the first of which was adapted to film starring Johnny Depp.

Either way, as I’ve been mentioning in prior posts, I’ve started to really see a career in journalism as something that would be the best path for me. While watching this documentary of a journalist without rules, regulations, or limits, I wondered if that type of journalist still existed. It’s a rare thing to read a news article without a particular agenda. Furthermore, its rare for a news article to have such a poetic rhythm. Within the film there were brush strokes of Thompson excerpts. He wrote so beautifully and colorfully, like a prose author. In fact, he wrote like F. Scott Fitzgerald – his biographer talked about how Thompson would just type The Great Gatsby repeatedly on an old typewriter. Imagine typing someone else’s words over and over just to feel their rhythm.

It’s so great to see films like this because its somewhat inspiring. Part of me wants to be like Thompson; a whiskey-inhaling, a psilocybin-devouring journalist who speaks his mind of dirty politicians without fear of losing his place in line for an interview. Thompson was a nut, he loved tripping on acid, shooting guns, and searching for an American dream that seemed to weaken with every swing of a billy-club. Now, while a journalistic life like Hunter Thompson’s is alluring, it’s so obviously self-destructive that it would without a doubt scare many away. Hell, it scares me away while I almost idolize the guy.

As I kinda sorta resist the rock and roll lifestyle of “Gonzo” journalism, I’ve looked at other options. I realized I may end up writing for a cheese magazine for three years before I infiltrate the staff list of a general circulation magazine – and I hate cheese. It’s going to be a while before I have the opportunity to work for one of the publications I read on a regular basis, but I’m willing to work my way up to that point. There’s no doubt that I will be juicing my resources – Bates Employment Office, etc… – to get some worth while writing opportunities. I’m excited to get this moving, it will no doubt be a journey that will differ greatly from Thompson’s, but hopefully my writing will drive people in a similar way.

“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” Hunter S. Thompson

Peace and then some,

Naima

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