Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dr. Gonzo redux

A BBC article this morning got me to think about Gonzo again. Like the BBC often does it tried to put Thompson in context. It compared him to Tom Wolfe and others from the new journalism. At the time of his writing there were a lot of comparisons. Some of Wolfe's descriptions were absolutely fantastic.

The silver haired ladies of the casinos whose sound at the slots was something like "hernia, hernia, hernia"
Or the NY society matron who when throwing a cocktail party for the Black Panthers asked "I wonder if the Panthers have those little cheese balls at their own cocktail parties"

There may be a very good reason to have temporal writing - a lot of what is done in the standard media is really good for a day or so. What made HST's different was its attitude and its complete lack of detachment. As described yesterday, his writing had a profound and immediate effect on the 1972 election. It changed perceptions and was much more current and insightful than the Teddy White book of that era. But it may have been left to that moment.

No comments: