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The Cody Blog: Hunter S Thompson: The Original Blogger

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S Thompson: The Original Blogger

"I remember saying something like, 'I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...'" -- Hunter S Thompson

Hunter S Thompson helped push the mainstream into an initial acceptance of the inate subjectivity of jounalism. Unfortunately, as the hippy movement sold itself out and morphed into yuppy-ism(heaven forbid we call "yuppy-ism" a movement) so too did Thompson's outlets like Rolling Stone and other evolutionary media of the hippy age lose their edge.

Thompson and the other gonzo writers of the hippy age had the right idea. But they failed to follow through on the promise of an honest journalistic approach. Turn on the tube -- mainstream news is the same as it always has been. Fox News' clearly rightist slant or CNN's clearly leftist slant, and most other outlets continue to mindlessly try to quietly portray themselves as objective while skewing most news to their respective political agendas. One of the most annoying aspects of the entire hippy culture -- and the entire so-called "left" -- is the mass embracing of democrats like Al Gore and more recently, John Kerry. One of the themes of The Cody Blog will be to continually blast the conventional perceptions that the Democrat's are somehow not beholden to big business and that the Republican's are anti-socialists. Both are neither, if you follow what I'm saying. Let's be real, folks.

While Thompson clearly helped highlight the subjectivity of jounalism, let's face it -- he was no revolutionary. But just as Kurt Cobain was a good rock star and decent lyricist whose suicide propelled him to stardom in death beyond even the tremendous success he had ante-mortem, each so-called star will be more so because their suicide will be glamorously accepted as some sort of martyism. Each man was talented and creative, but neither revolutionized anything. Thompson was, in many ways, a socialist who let his disdain for the Republicans, skew his view of the Democrats and hurt his ability to reveal the hypocrisy and corporate cronyism of the left. Of course, the mainstream media loves to paint him as embracing the Democrats, which isn't entirely accurate. Kurt's music, while pretty listenable and less-contrived than the hair metal he ushered out, doesn't often venture away from the basic tried-and-true three chord structure that's always been the staple of mainstream rock -- complex pieces having a minor chord or two thrown in for good measure.

Hunter S Thompson's suicide, while clearly tragic and sad, will help to propel the concept of subjective jounalism and honest coverage of news in ways that his later writings failed to do. The democratization of the media and the many outlets of news that the Internet and new modes of communication enable will push Thompson's so-called "gonzo" jounalism past any boundaries that have ever existed. Hang on tightly -- it's a wondrous time to be alive.

2 Comments:

Anonymous donnawillard@yahoo.com said...

For the life of me, I don't remember Hunter Thompson. You'll have to remind me or "learn:)" me about him next time we talk...for heaven's sake, don't instruct me by text...you're busy enough...nonetheless HS Thompson or not, a thought provoking entry...no wonder it's hard to find a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican.

2/21/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dating yourself, Cody. "Hippy"? Only "theMan" used that term. Those in the know called themselves "freaks" as in the "lotta freaks" line from Woodstock. You might as well start calling it "Frisco" for the City by the Bay. "When the lights go down in 'The City' "

Hunter gave us great humor at a time of very little humor. I'd say he'd be missed, but he's been MIA for a couple decades now.

2/24/2005 02:01:00 PM  

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