Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why gonzo?

OK, I swear one of these days I'm going to talk about Snorri again. But today I want to briefly address why this is called the Gonzo History Project. I'm not going to go into the background of gonzo journalism, as advocated and, more to the point, embodied by Hunter S. Thompson. If you don't know what that is, you're unlikely to care that there are some obvious dissimilarities between the two.

The fact of the matter is that the GHP was originally intended to be far more explicitly gonzo: I still think it captures the exaggeration and whatnot, and I've done plenty of pieces about historians and the way they were involved with the histories they write, which is kind of related to Thompson's rejection of the practice -- hell, even of the idea -- of journalistic objectivity. And it's definitely written in an unedited, off-the-cuff way, with me just sitting down and mashing the keyboard until I think it's a good length. On the other hand, in that sense all blogs are gonzo.

But the fact of the matter is that up here on the soapbox, I find that I just can't stop talking. So while the very first GHP -- a history of the First Crusade written only from first-person accounts -- is pretty in-keeping with that mission statement, the blog just tends to fill up with shit that I find funny. And thus the dilution of purpose. But I'm only human.

More comedy tomorrow, anyway.


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