Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sidney Zion: "But if he [HST] changed the course of journalism, how come we never had Gonzo Two?"

Kate Taylor in the Guardian has a partial answer:

"His nihilistic energy skewered the unique insanity of the 1960s, and while some felt that he lost his focus in later years, his influence is undeniable. PJ O'Rourke and Timothy Edwards Jones are acknowledged descendants, but his arrogant poetry resurfaces today in everything from Will Self's novels to Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends. The crazed journalist at the heart of his own investigation is now a commonplace - some might say too commonplace - but what gave Thompson such lasting appeal was his whole-heartedness, the conviction behind all the posturing which still feels genuinely revolutionary."

I think you could throw in a lot more. He was the 1970s holdover of the whole anarchic spirit of the 1960s. On the night he died, NBC ran a two-hour special on the first five years of Saturday Night Live. Can it be said that Thompson didn't, at some level, inform the spirit of that show? Just a thought.

When you look back on the Nixon era, Thompson looks more and more like a key media figure.

Nice to know that Sidney Zion is still alive. I thought he died years ago. Maybe that was another Sidney.

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