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Forever Gonzo: VegasTripping is Decadent and Depraved

By RateVegas on Wednesday, 18th July 2012 12:27am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 3


Forever Gonzo: Hunter S. Thompson 75th Birthday Celebration

You won’t find barely-re-purposed press releases, posing as real stories.

You won’t find ten-page slide shows. You know… the kind that break up the predictably inane content into the highest possible number of clicks, all at the expense of a reader’s convenience.

You won’t find the sort of ass-kissing that permeates much of the travel industry’s coverage of Las Vegas casinos… Posterior-worship that’s designed to extract the maximum amount of free shit for the author, as they do their ‘research’ on the casino’s promotional dime.

If you mention the name Hunter S. Thompson to most, they have a vague picture of a counter-cultural figure. A crazy writer. A suicide. “I think he was the Fear & Loathing guy. Johnny Depp played him in the movie.” That’s the 30,000 foot view in the zeitgeist but of course there’s more. A lot more.

For many of us here reading this, HST embodies what a writer should be: brutally honest, entertaining and a little bit crazy. Thompson injected himself into the story and while that may not be the kind of person you want at the New York Times, it’s entertaining as hell. Gonzo journalism. We need him and people like him.

If Thompson were around today, I’d have no trouble imagining him writing for an outfit like VegasTripping. Sure, VT may be the scrappy insurgency in a sea of corporate players but so was Rolling Stone in Thompson’s heyday. That’s where he thrived because he could say what he wanted to without any fear of being censored - without having to change his words to sell more corn flakes… hell, he could have pissed in the corn flakes if he’d wanted to. That’s true here too and it’s incredibly valuable - something none of us should forget.

HST chose his words carefully and he knew when he had hit a home run and when he’d bombed. I can’t forget ribbing Charles with what I took for a grammar error on the Web site… his response: “I said it that way on purpose.” Indeed. Purpose is powerful (though he was still wrong and I am always right).

In the software world, some of us have an expression: “sweat every pixel”. I had a recent design meeting where a jeweler’s loupe was used to review the details of a user interface in high magnification. That’s what the expression means. It’s about caring. A lot. Obsessing. Never being satisfied. Good enough, isn’t.

He liked his devil-may-care attitude but that’s what Thompson did with his best work. That’s what Charles and his team do here. That’s why you’re visiting VegasTripping, even if you don’t already know it. And that’s why it’s worth coming back.

Here’s to decadence and depravity, Hunter S. Thompson style.

Tagged: forever gonzo   


Comments & Discussion:

What a great little read before bed! I check my VegasTripping bookmark and VegasMate news feed for new VT shit several times a day...and now I know why!

how come every time i read something HST-inspired, i hear it in the voice of the guy who narrated "Mondo Topless"?

No, the only ass kissing you'll find on VegasTripping is pretty much every word MikeE writes about anything and everything Wynn related ever...

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