Friday, May 4, 2012

Gonzo (2008)

Hunter S. Thompson not only invented Gonzo journalism, he did so largely while covering sports.  Although he was a lifelong nut for the game of American football, he covered all sorts of sporting events (as is seen with the motorcross in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas) and was known to really let go at the Kentucky Derby.  Born in Louisville, he knew the score as a real local who was going to dish out some Gonzo on the rich and the drunk come Derby weeks--even if the targets of his reporting were completely unaware that Thompson was from the area.  In fact, his piece "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved" is almost as famous in Louisville as the race is!  A full copy of which can be found here; and it's worth the read!  Clearly there is an assumption that "this boy" needs a "Derby education"--ha, ha, ha!! 

Years ago I knew a guy who used to make it an annual pilgrimage to make in "infield" at the Derby.  It's a part of the track that most people are unaware even exists.  Basically it's a muddy drunken mosh pit of hell hole with cheap tickets; but some people just LOVE it.  Listening to even a few descriptions and stories, and I was pretty damn sure I knew what Thompson was writing about--that you really can't understand how truly ugly the whole thing is from the comfort of your rec room!  So...I'm also pretty sure that watching it on TeeVee is all I'm willing to do.  

This is the infield.

Given that Thompson's suicide note basically read, "Football season is over;" the crazy possibly diabolical (in a good way) journalist--the sports fanatic--had shot himself at the age of 67, the son of Louisville had simply had enough....and it was just "so him" (even Johnny Deep said so).  So, it seems fitting to view this on the eve of the Derby.

[Depraved] Derby Fact Number 8:  Last year, just on Derby day alone, Churchill Downs needed 7,800 liters of pure bourbon to serve over 120,000 mint Juleps!

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