First things first: read this.
Did you read it? Good. If not, scroll up and click the link. Or just click here.
Now, this is a story of Gonzo, office space, Playboy and writing.
I am not a journalist. I have opinions. Lots of them. It's probably written on my first grade report card. I did, however, spend the bulk of my university degree learning journalism from Chad Gibbs (aka Cheech Laredo). Intro, sport writing, online journalism and New Journalism. I also took Gibbs' graphic novel course.
|The Muppets' Gonzo the Great as Raoul Duke with his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Animal)|
Gonzo the Great is a Muppet but Gonzo is the man, the movement. Gibbs is a Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo journalism fanboy. I say this is the greatest respect and admiration. Chad is an educator who changed my writing style for the best and not only was open to my creative interpretations of assignment deadlines but encouraged my subversions.
One piece for New Journalism was half of a text message conversation about Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem and the other half transcribed and dated margin notes from my copy of the book. It's still one of my favourite works from university. Gibbs is a cool cat. He'd bring two-sixes of Wild Turkey to the English department parties and participate in the annual poutine taste-off run by the school paper. (Full disclosure: I may or may not be Jo March.)
|The 2011 Poutine Crawl tally: full story here.|
Fraser Lockerbie (Bishop's, 2009), also took Gibbs' courses and was editor-in-chief of The Campus (Asking "what's your sleep number?" since 1944). Fraser now writes for Playboy.com. So, yes, I do read Playboy online for the articles. When he was EIC, I was managing Student Safety. My office was the size of a storage closet and across the hall from The Campus' sprawling purple basement newsroom. On weekends, especially when payroll was due or a print deadline was approaching, it would be The Campus boys (including Ronan O'Beirne who would become my roommate for two years) and myself burning the midnight (or 10 p.m. or 2 a.m.) oil. I learned to like Girl Talk (press play below) from Fraser blasting it through the SUB basement.