Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and writer. (He was also a drug enthusiast, among other things, but that’s another story for another day.) His infamous, detail-dense, first-person narrative, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, spawned a genre of reporting called Gonzo journalism. Gonzo journalism differs from typical reporting in that Gonzo journalists renounce claims of objectivity, often place themselves in the story as a first-person narrator, and include verbatim dialogue to capture and convey their first-hand experiences. The work can often have a “stream-of-consciousness” feel to it. In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:
- First-person narration.
- Dialogue complete with vernacular.
- Lots and lots and lots of detail.
There were a range of options to take in order to participate in this weeks challenge. I picked this scenario:
You’re standing on a busy street corner. A car runs a red light, hitting a cyclist crossing the intersection.
I looked at my watch for the hundredth time, and cursed under my breath. He was meant to have picked me up over half an hour ago. Now I was standing on a street corner, dressed to the nines, and no doubt looking like a prostitute trying to solicit work from the curb crawlers passing by. I ignored their lewd stares, and tapped my foot impatiently.
I should’ve gone into the cafe, ordered a drink, read a paper, done something other than stand out in the chilly night air, choked by the fumes of passing traffic. But I didn’t want him to drive past and go to the party without me. So really, it was all his fault.
Another car slowed as it approached me, and I could see the fat mans eyes bulge as he took in my short leather skirt with the immodest rip up the side, and my off the shoulder top. This was an outfit for a club, not a street corner. Well, unless you really were a prostitute. He kept his eyes on me, not the road. So therefore it was his fault as well.
Tyres screeched as the fat man missed the glowing red traffic light, moving steadily into the intersection. I gaped as he tried to rectify the situation, swerving to narrowly avoid an oncoming car that honked its horn offensively. His headlights lit up a cyclist clad all in black, with no lights on his bike. Let’s say it was his fault too.
The fat man had missed the car, but he wasn’t fast enough to miss the cyclist. There were screams as people rushed out of the cafe, and rushed to the scene. There were shouts of ‘Don’t move him!’ and ‘Call an ambulance!’ I just stood there in shock. It wasn’t my fault.