Gonzo

I have a copy of Hunter Thompson's 'Gonzo Papers Anthology' here. Over 1000 pages of some quite serious writing from one of the masters. I've never read it from start to finish simply because it's too big but I've dipped in and out of it hundreds of times. It's the kind of collection that any writer would be proud to leave behind as a legacy. 

Why it's off the shelf, I cannot say. Maybe somebody needed to wedge a door open, take something down from a high shelf or splinter the skull of an intruder. Regardless, I started to flick through it again this afternoon and for the briefest of moments, toyed with the idea of how exciting it would be to write about British politics the way HST wrote about American politics.

The one fly in the ointment is this: what I know about the politics of this country wouldn't even fill the back of that proverbial stamp - but it still sounds highly appealing. I junked the idea just a second or two later when I woke up and recalled that, no - I don't want to write about politics at all. Never have and never will. What my brain was really trying to get at, was how great it would be to leave a juicy collection of work that would also fill a thousand pages.

Anyway, when HST was taking pot-shots at Nixon, there was something to get your teeth into and write about. There was controversy, action, opinion, polar opposites and a whole bunch of other issues that roused people. That climate simply doesn't exist anymore. All modern politics appear to be the same - nothing more than arguing over how to put more money in the pot and then keep a lid on it. It's like taking a car and having everybody gather round to argue over whether the switch for the air-con should be on the left or the right. It's totally empty of anything that actually relates to something of value.

So, combine that with the fact that every home in the land now comes equipped with over one hundred channels to keep your attention diverted from anything that might be important and there you have it: Le fin! 

I would write some more but I have a date with a Houdini documentary...

Sion Smith