Gonzo effects will shake out eventually
Dear Editor:I must take exception with John Colson’s take on the first Hunter S. Thompson symposium (“Symposium a good start down an important path,” July 23), held last weekend in Aspen, in which he states:”But as far as Juan Thompson’s hopes for the symposium, they did not fully materialize.”I think there certainly was a hope, in all who attended the event, that it would inspire a new generation of journalists, but to think that the effects of this “meeting of the minds” would be felt immediately is fairly naïve.I am a filmmaker who made a documentary, entitled “Blasted! The Gonzo Patriots of Hunter S. Thompson,” about many of the people who responded to the Aspen Daily News’ HST Blast-Off Cannon Competition. The symposium, and the conversations I was able to have afterward with many of Hunter’s close friends and colleagues, inspired me deeply, but it may be years before these effects shake out in my work.Also, one cannot discount what effects the symposium might have had on the renowned journalists who attended the event and who spent an entire day discussing some of the loftier ideals of their profession. As well, do not forget that director, Wayne Ewing, videotaped the symposium and will make this into a film. Who knows what the effect of this film might have on new generations when they see these famous journalists discussing the important and rare qualities of Hunter S. Thompson.So, you see, your statement that, “Participants conceded after the symposium was over that it did not quite fit the bill as advertised, and predicted that the next Hunter S. Thompson Symposium will be more to the point of keeping with Thompson’s legacy alive in the hearts and minds of future journalists,” is jumping the gun a little bit.If you had some hopes for this particular event you should have had the guts to come out and say, in your article, what YOU were hoping for – that might at least be helpful, instead of couching yourself in comfortable criticisms. Hunter, at least, would have had the guts to say what he thought was wrong with the symposium. Now if your article was titled, “Meeting of fat-cats devolves into rhetoric and drunken reminiscing,” which seems to be what you want to say, I might have had some respect for you.What became clear, both from your article as well as from the symposium, is that there seem to be less and less people in the media willing to tell the subjective truth about the world around them.Also, the source of the story about Hunter first hearing the term Gonzo from James Booker was not Walter Isaacson, as you state; this story came from Douglas Brinkley, Hunter’s literary executor. You should at least be able to keep your facts straight, I am not even a reporter, just a lowly documentary filmmaker and I know that much.Blue KraningAltadena, Calif.