Operation Concrete

It strikes me as exceptionally odd to have witnessed works of Gonzo journalism only occasionally, since Hunter S. Thompson proved that if one decides to personalise journalism while remaining largely objective about figures and matters of considerable importance to the human race, or, at the very least, America.

Gonzo was able to demonstrate that stream-of-consciousness writing filled to the brim with the powerful, surging emotion of the form was capable of delivering commentary that didn't just inform, but also resonated with an audience that may have been largely tired of the by-the-numbers soulless reporting of a journalism mob that saw no alternative. Thompson was a polarising figure - faxing in his work hand-written on the day Rolling Stone went to press, dallying with guns on his compound and embracing the various means of intoxication while completing assignments. But he was also a hero.

So where is his form? Where are the journalists throwing up the finger to the way anything can be covered, choosing that rather than watch a partycasino.com poker competition from the distance of an online stream, to stride boldly into the room in which the player sits at their computer, or to jump right onto Obama's tour convoy and ask questions with reckless abandon for the consequences of allowing no quarter for slippery politics? Nowhere, I tell you, and it's a real shame.

There are a few - those who are approaching his form but mainly from the direction that indicates a favourable view of the comedy worth of his approach, and sadly maintaining little of the actual informative content and insightful commentary that made his work so much more than entertainment and kept it within the bounds of journalism. All we can hope for is those who decide that readers deserve to be taken into the world of those who travel the world with a dictaphone and a lot of courage trying to bring stories of all kinds to the attention of humanity. Gonzo isn't just a movement in journalism - it's a state of mind and a degree of openness that should be embraced by all journalists aiming not to sound like objective information bursts.