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Sports Writers and the Definition of Gonzo

Hello there

Today’s Wisdom is from Campaign Trail. You may have read it before. Those of you who haven’t, put your seatbelt on. Remember that Hunter started his career as a sports writer at Eglin Airforce Base in South florida in the late 50’s. He died as a sportswriter for ESPN. This bit of wisdom always makes me chuckle.

Sports writers are a kind of rude and brainless sub-culture of fascist drunks whose only real function is to publicize & sell whatever the sports editor sends them out to cover. . . Which is a nice way to make a living, because it keeps a man busy and requires no thought at all. The two keys to success as a sports writer are: (1) A blind willingness to believe anything you’re told by the coaches, flaks, hustlers, and other “official spokesman” for the team-owners who provide the free booze . . . and: (2) A Roget’s Thesaurus, in order to avoid using the same verbs and adjectives twice in the same paragraph. Even a sports editor, for instance, might notice something wrong with a lead that said, “The precision-jackhammer attack of the Miami Dolphins stomped the balls off the Washington Redskins today by stomping and hammering with one precise jack-thrust after another up the middle, mixed with pinpoint-precision passes into the flat and numerous hammer-jack stomps around both ends… (Fear and Loathing: On the Campaing Trail ’72).

Remember: The last definition Hunter gave of Gonzo journalism was “journalism that doesn’t automatically accept as truth what the authorities say.”

Guess what?! Peter and Paul are back!! They are on the roof right now as I type this. Peacocks roost in high places at night and they don’t come down until dawn. If you ever see a peacock walking on the ground at night, you know it is sick, or something terrible has happened. Sometimes they squawk to warn each other of acitivity in the area (sometimes a fox, a mountain lion, or a person walking on the road at night). I hope to lure them with blueberries and popcorn (their favorite) into one of the pens in the morning. We shall see.

Sweet dreams.
Anita Thompson

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