I got a collection of articles by Lester Bangs for Christmas. He was a rock music critic in the '70s for Rolling Stone. His writing is in the same "new journalism" category as Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe - first person, stream of consciousness, lots of parties and drugs and weirdos, etc.
This has inspired a series of questions.
1) Whatever happened to this "new journalism?" Why do I get the distinct feeling I would not be nearly as successful if I tried to launch my career with a first-person dope-fueled 3,000 word article written on a cocktail napkin at a Hell's Angels party?
2) Speaking of which, I shout this question into the cyber-void for the millionth time: What's with the hysteria over kids these days posting pictures of themselves drinking on Facebook? These guys wrote about dropping acid as casually as a Gen Y might write a status update about going to gym on the way to work. And everyone thought they were cool and gave them sweet jobs with major magazines.
3) If these guys were writing today, who would they write about? Do we even have youth subcultures any more? Are hipsters the Gen Y answer to beats and punks? Wow, is that ever depressing.
4) Why is Gen Y so boring? At least Gen X was ironic and postmodern about selling out. I'm not sensing the irony.
5) Is there a fake Hunter S. Thompson Twitter account? If not, I might have to create it.
The science of Smaug the Terrible
3 years ago