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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Gonzo, But Not Forgotten
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
In the wake of the news about Hunter S. Thompson's gun shot death, apparently by suicide, there has been much debate about his contribution to journalism. An online buddy, Jim, notes that taking copious amounts of drugs and driving very fast is irresponsible behavior, and that Thompson's contributions to journalism were negative ones. Another observer, commenting on Thompson's suicide, noted that this proves-- if any proof were really necessary-- that guns and drugs and drink don't mix.

On the other hand, for many people who came of age in the 60s, or in the wake of the 60s, Thompson holds a dear and nostalgic place. He remains one of the quintessential chroniclers of that era, for better or worse. And he is probably a fitting one, distinctly of the times about which he is best known for writing.

Thompson and others (Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer) were at the forefront of what was called "New Journalism," which essentially involved placing the journalist within the story. Nowadays this is commonplace; Aaron Brown does it every night, ad nauseum, on CNN. Thompson's Hell's Angels, and Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests, are archtypal examples, in book form. Thompson is probably best known for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his drug-addled account of his coverage of a motor sport event in Vegas, made into a film starring Johnny Depp.

Personally, on balance I thought Thompson was one of the good guys. His excesses were clearly self-destructive, and one wonders whether a sober romp through Vegas might have made for better journalism, if not a less engaging book. But his political contributions to Rolling Stone magazine, his printed page home base until the very end despite his increasing scarcity of contribution, were always welcome breaths of fresh air from the left, an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity. I don't know who is going to take his place. Al Franken? I remember fondly the good Doctor's interview with candidate Bill Clinton, wherein Thompson seemed to feel like he was an ambassador there to bestow the youth vote upon him.

I've read a lot of testimonies and elegies over the past few days wherein writers have said that Hunter THompson was the reason they decided to get into journalism. That in and of itself is a fitting tribute to the man and his impact.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 11:27 AM  

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