A FAILED EXPERIMENT IN A DEAD ART

In Editorial /

By Dr. Scoop W. Gerbil

This gonzo shit isn’t working.

It was never going to work — which makes it different from the shit we normally publish. That stuff is boring as hell, but at least it works; at least you learn something, especially if you can stay awake long enough to flip to the back page for sudoku.

But this gonzo is just … weird.

If you don’t know what gonzo journalism is, I can’t believe you made it this far, and I damn well won’t reward you for that kind of ignorant determination with some cute definition. Look it up on Wikipedia — or better yet, rent Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; you’ve already done too much reading at this point.

I will say that gonzo basically boils down to the work of one guy: Hunter Thompson. He was a writer who drank a lot of booze, did a lot of drugs, and wrote for Rolling Stone back when Rolling Stone was cool. I mean, for fuck’s sake, they put Kid Rock on their cover a couple months ago!

He (not Kid Rock) got in people’s face, opened people’s eyes, and while he was covering politics, he stormed into the oval office on a weekly basis, and kicked Nixon in the balls.

At the Eyeopener, a lot of us like Thompson. A lot of us like booze and drugs. A lot of us like getting in people’s faces. And I for one think Sheldon Levy doesn’t get kicked in the balls nearly often enough.

But a bunch of GPA-polishing, white-as-the-driven-snow journalism students trying to be Thompson is a recipe for bad trips and worse writing.

Worse still, at the dawn of this fetid new millennium, we put so much value on being original and unique that a badass trying to get in people’s face is just another trendy motherfucker.

You can’t define a genre or a writing style with just one person.

It may be time to retire the word gonzo. Or it may be time to redefine it. As far as I’m concerned, this gonzo experiment is us saying fuck the rules, and trying to tell an interesting story in a different way.

If you didn’t enjoy reading it, that’s OK too. I don’t think anyone at the office is calling this an unqualified success.

But unless you dropped acid last night and started some shit, I don’t really care, because at least we’re out here trying to stir the shit up.

And don’t worry. We’ll be back to the boring shit next week.

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