Southern and Thompson: the Kings of Gonzo Essay example

727 Words Oct 28th, 2013 3 Pages
Southern and Thompson: The Kings of Gonzo

Gonzo journalism is the rebel sub-genre of new journalism. First being used to describe the article “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” by Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalism is described by Wikipedia as “A style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.” The fact that the reporter is using a first-person narrative breaks one of the four rules of new journalism, but that's the reason gonzo journalism is so fresh and exciting to read. Although Hunter S. Thompson has become synonymous with gonzo journalism, and for good reason, I believe Terry Southern has also made major
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Like Thompson, Southern's article is all about the writer and their perspective. Unlike Thompson, Southern's article actually talked about the event, a baton twirling competition, though not very much. The details that Southern actually did give about the competition were mostly analogies to something way more deep, which is why I believe this article played such an important role in new journalism. Near the end of Southern's article he talks to one of the “cutie pies” about their costume, “'Do you find that your costume is an advantage in your work?' I asked the first seventeen-year-old Georgia Peach I came across, she wearing something like a handkerchief-size Confederate flag.” This one small, seemingly simple paragraph, and the way the girl responds about how tassels and skirts get in her way, have so many underlying tones of not only the racism in the South, but the way these young women are demeaning themselves for such a trivial, but labor-intensive, talent. And this is just one small, obscure segment of Southern's article that have so many layers of writer subjectivity on a vast array of subjects. The blatant racism and askew view of tolerance is so in your face only one paragraph before the quote I just mentioned when the “immaculate, pink-faced man” speaks his mind on William Faulkner teaching at the university. Almost every paragraph in

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