Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that embodies the page without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.
The word “gonzo” first came into its own in 1970 to describe an article by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style, making it his own. The term also applies to other subjective artistic endeavors—written, spoken, and audio.
Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of first-person experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations, attributed and/or verified by third parties.
Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a story is a multi-sensory expression, unequivocally as important as the event the piece sets out to feature.
Use of sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and profanity is common and celebrated.
Among the forefathers of the aforementioned new journalism movement, Thompson said in the February 15, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone, “If I’d written the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people—including me—would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”
Long live Gonzo Journalism.
wheels roll along the red highway
crying with joy
and coyote calls.
High and low
low down high
Two men still laugh in the dust-heavy air
white top folded down
eyes lolling their stems
popping off and squawk
in the metronome flash-out short radio blare.
life still high
Leather bodies fading in the noonday sun
fat on the dole to horn-rimmed sorrows
twisting mouth candy poplorica smile
black spot in the distance
spinning like the barrel of a six gun.
Life on high
life down low
still life still
One man coughs up a little tiny slice
of his morning keylime pie
choking back lullaby-memoirs as muddled as lime
singing that song that hum that same old hum -ding ring
telephone shock-faced scion.
Under the blue collar of another town
fingernail scratching inner ear glum
the sellout flux horn-busted button-hole smut
shit scrawling dynamo
takes in the dawn
wilderness wild wide
Whenever the typer stops
pushing in long enough
thin man and big man
stoke up and toke up the signal fire
whiskey daydream a go-go.
twice burned in the desert
when the smoke circle scrum
banging marathon drum
lights it up like a match
by gone by the wayside silence
of the lamb chop moon.