Feeds:
Inlägg
Kommentarer

Posts Tagged ‘Hunter S. Thompson’

KONST | Även om man inte är speciellt intresserad av valkampanjer finns det åtminstone en bok som de flesta känna till.

Juxtapoz, april 2013

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 blev resultatet av Hunter S. Thompsons bevakning av George McGovern och Richard Nixon under presidentvalskampanjen 1972.

Enligt Frank Mankiewicz, McGoverns pressekreterare, var bokens beskrivning av kampanjen ”the most accurate and least factual” av alla redogörelser från valkampanjen.

Thompsons stil har kallats Gonzo journalistik, en blandning av reportage och fria fantasier. Resultatet blir – åtminstone för anhängarna – sannare än sanningen. Oavsett vilket var det underhållande.

Nära förknippad med Thompson är den engelske illustratören Ralph Steadman. Han var enligt Thompson ”the only illustrator I know of who understands the Gonzo journalism concept”.

Konsttidskriften Juxtapoz har ägnat ett nummer åt Steadmans illustrationer och hans samarbete med Thompson.

Nathan Spoor beskiver hans stil så här:

Equal parts painter, cartoonist, printmaker, sculptor and even songwriter, Ralph Steadman is a singular emblematic artist who defies definition at each turn. The instantly-recognizable splashes of ink and scrawled descriptions that make up the pantheon of his work reveals the vibrant and witty man that captured so many strange and defining moments in his award-winning political and social art.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Juxtapoz, april 2013. På framsidan ser vi Steadmans bild av Thompson.

Read Full Post »

JOURNALISTIK | Det är inte ovanligt att amerikanska reportrar tecknar ner sina erfarenheter från de presidentvalskampanjer man har bevakat.

Vem har då skrivit den bästa boken om en amerikansk valkampanj? Om en sådan lista existerade skulle böcker av Theodore H. White och Richard Ben Cramer tävla om förstplatsen.

En av de mer underhållande är klassikern The Boys on the Bus av Timothy Crouse.

Crouse var reporter på tidskriften Rolling Stone när han bevakade presidentvalet 1972. Om man skall vara petig handlar boken minst lika mycket – om inte mer – om alla reportrar som följer ”sina” presidentkandidater på bussar och flygplan.

Här är några nedslag i boken:

It was just these womblike conditions that gave rise to the notorious phenomenon called “pack journalism” (also known as “herd journalism” and “fuselage journalism”). A group of reporters were assigned to follow a single candidate for weeks or months at a time, like a pack of hounds sicked on a fox. Trapped on the same bus or plane, they ate, drank, gambled, and compared notes with the same bunch of colleagues week after week.

Actually, this group was as hierarchical as a chess set. The pack was divided into cliques-the national political reporters from the big, prestige papers and the ones from the small papers; the wire-service men; the network correspondents; and other configurations that formed according to age and old Washington friendships. The most experienced national political reporters, wire men, and big-paper reporters, who were at the top of the pecking order, often did not know the names of the men from the smaller papers, who were at the bottom. But they all fed off the same pool report, the same daily handout, the same speech by the candidate; the whole pack was isolated in the same mobile village. After a while, they began to believe the same rumors, subscribe to the same theories, and write the same stories.

Everybody denounces pack journalism, including the men who form the pack. Any self-respecting journalist would sooner endorse incest than come out in favor of pack journalism. It is the classic villain of every campaign year. Many reporters and journalism professors blame it for everything that is shallow, obvious, meretricious, misleading, or dull in American campaign coverage.

[…]

Campaign journalism is, by definition, pack journalism; to follow a candidate, you must join a pack of other reporters; even the most independent journalist cannot completely escape the pressures of the pack.

[…]

There is nothing drearier than following a loser all the way to his grave. The candidate is exhausted, the staff is crabby, the hotels are bad and get worse, and the campaign generates less and less news. Off in the distance is the Winner’s campaign-a cornucopia of big stories, excitement, power, money, and a burgeoning sense of promise. Everybody in the business is suddenly talking about the Winner’s campaign. The best reporters seem to be there. It grows like a fad; you have to be there, at the center of the action.

[…]

If you stayed away from the campaign for any period of time and then came back on again, the first thing that stuck you was the shocking physical deterioration of the press corps. During the summer, the reporters had looked fairly healthy. Now their skin was pasty and greenish, they had ugly dark pouches under their glazed eyes, and their bodies had become bloated with the regimen of nonstop drinking and five or six starchy airplane meals every day. Toward the end, they began to suffer from a fiendish combination of fatigue and anxiety. They had arrived at the last two weeks, when the public finally wanted to read about the campaign- front-page play every day!-and they were so tired that it nearly killed them to pound out a decent piece.

[…]

During the last week, the press bus looked like a Black Maria sent out to round up winos; half the reporters were passed out with their mouths wide open and their notebooks fallen in their laps. When they were awake, they often wandered like zombies.

Förordet i boken är skrivet av Hunter S. Thompson. Gonzo journalistikens fader var en av de journalister som bevakade valet 1972. Även han skulle skriva ner sina efarenheter i bokform –  Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72.

Read Full Post »

USA  | Under tisdagen var det Colorado, Minnesota och Missouri som stod i fokus för de republikanska presidentkandidaterna.

Men resultaten kommer inte att vara bindande eftersom delegaterna utses först senare i år.

Även om det finns intressanta aspekter att hålla koll på blir resultaten mest en värdemätare över kandidaternas förutsättningar framöver.

Medan resultaten dröjer kan det istället vara dags för lite kuriosa.

Här är tre favoriter från “15 Fun Facts About the Politics of Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri”. (Av Ben Jacobs på The Daily Beast).

Colorado:

The most notable candidate in Colorado political history did not come from either of the two parties and was not elected to office. But his campaign captured the imagination of generations of Americans. Author Hunter S. Thompson unsuccessfully ran for sheriff of Pitkin County in 1971 as the candidate of the Freak Power Party. Thompson’s platform pledged to rename Aspen “Fat City” and to rip up the asphalt from streets and let grass grow there instead. As his contribution to public safety, Thompson, famous for his penchant for controlled substances, promised not to use mescaline while on duty. Unsurprisingly, he lost, but the author used his experience as a candidate to help fuel his future exploits in “gonzo journalism,” including his coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

Minnesota:

Minnesota does not have a Democratic Party. This is not to say that there are no liberals in the state of Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone, but their party goes by a different name. In Minnesota, they are members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, or DFL for short. This nomenclature is the result of a merger between the Democratic Party and the Farmer-Labor Party, a progressive agrarian party of the 1920s and ’30s. Although the Farmer-Labor Party achieved great success in the state, electing a number of statewide candidates, including the rabble-rousing Gov. Floyd Olsen, the party eventually merged with the Democrats after accepting that while Minnesota may have space for a thousand lakes, there wasn’t room for two left-of-center political parties.

Missouri:

Like Minnesota, the Show-Me State has experienced a tragic plane crash on the eve of an election. In 2000, during a razor-tight Senate race against incumbent John Ashcroft, Gov. Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash weeks before the election. It was too late to take his name off the ballot, and instead it was allowed to be understood that if he was elected, his widow, Jean, would take his place in Washington. That was exactly what happened on Election Day, when Carnahan won by almost 50,000 votes despite his death. However, Jean would serve only two years in the Senate and would go on to lose the special election for the remainder of her husband’s term in 2002.

Se även:What’s at Stake in Tuesday’s Contests (Not Delegates)” av Michael D. Shear på bloggen The Caucus. Och “Danger Signs for Mitt Romney as Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri Ready Vote” av Howard Kurtz, Newsweek.

Read Full Post »