A look at "Gonzo journalist", Hunter S. Thompson with his collaborator, British illustrator, Ralph Steadman.A look at "Gonzo journalist", Hunter S. Thompson with his collaborator, British illustrator, Ralph Steadman.A look at "Gonzo journalist", Hunter S. Thompson with his collaborator, British illustrator, Ralph Steadman.
One of the worst commercializers of those societal yearnings was "Rolling Stone" which among its rock celebrity fawning gave us gonzo.
Its a rather embarrassing notion, actually, one that has in modern time made the blog possible. The idea is to reflect the journalist and what he (always he) sees equally. And to make it entertaining, you have to twist both away from the norm.
Ted's law applies. The difference in weirdness between us and the guy telling us the story is equal to the difference between him and the story. By his acting out, the bizarre nature of the story is made real. I call this folding.
And in the 70's we were prepared to believe that some stories were imperially bizarre. Nixon, the war, drugs, motorcycle gangs...
So along came this man of thin talent and great command of the self-promoting niche that the so-called counterculture afforded him.
This sort of documentary or profile is pretty good in an unplanned way. You get to see this fellow pretending to be insightful by being outrageous in all the performance modes available to him and his cartoonist buddy.
The odd thing is that while it is transparent -- this guy is as much a nitwit as your average rightwing radio nut -- it is also amazingly effective. (Well, also like the radio nuts.) We will remember Nixon, for instance, more through the eyes of this guy and similar than by either the president's men or those who seriously wrote about them.
That aside, if you cheer a similar twist in film-making, you may be rooting for the immensely flawed and gifted Terry Gilliam. If so, his only successful film is based on Thompson. See this and that together.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
- Mar 21, 2006