Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE CRAZY NEVER DIE! (1988) - ruminations on the word "gonzo", or an open letter to an imaginative pervert

Here's the first part of easily the most obscure of the Hunter S. Thompson docs. Thanks to whomever uploaded it for saving me the trouble of uploading it.

Now, when your blog has the word "gonzo" in it's title, you're gonna get internet stragglers popping in looking for porn. I thought placing the word "cinema" first would have a certain "artistic" connotation, hopefully conveying to people that the blog is not really about people fucking. After all, that's what really separates art from pornography. Pornography is about watching people have sex, and art is about other stuff (including stories about people who have sex, if you follow the distinction). Granted, "other stuff" occasionally happens in pornography, like a scene of a pizza boy's car breaking down, forcing him to hitch a ride with a van full of cheerleaders on their way to a wet T-shirt contest. However, it's just some dumb filler meant to pass the time between the rumpy pumpy. Actually, on second thought...cheerleaders in a wet T-shirt contest? That's actually pretty damn genius. Maybe the line between art and porn isn't as clear as I'd originally thought. Look at it as more of a fuzzy rule of thumb than a rigid fence.

Glancing at my traffic sources, one particular keyword search caught my eye: "gonzo Dora the Explorer". I can respect the impulsive desire to search the internet for pornographic parodies of Dora the Explorer, assuming it's four in the morning and you're drunk, single, and lacking a certain forward impetus. However, it takes a special kind of interweb maverick to search for this very specific type of Dora porn, that which breaks the fourth wall in order to remove the distance between porker and porkee. Although really, it's just a filmed interview between a pervert who has money and a broke female, with predictable results. However, keep in mind that Dora is an animated character, so I'm a little lost as to how this sort of thing would work. Then again, Dora is no older than twelve. Some forms of "entertainment" are probably best left unexplored, free speech or otherwise.

So, in closing, I find it a bit unfortunate that the word "gonzo" (and, consequently, it's revolutionary implications) has been hijacked by the pornographers, to refer to a most unrevolutionary filmic technique (that of jettisoning story and any pretense of cinema along with it). Of course, it was the great Hunter S. Thompson that gave birth to gonzo journalism, rooted in a subjective narrative both emotional and satirical (and fucking funny to boot). I could write some boring thesis describing gonzo journalism, but it's best experienced than dissected. In other words...go read a book.

A true "gonzo" take (via Hunter Thompson) on Dora the Explorer would indeed be interesting, much more so than whatever it is you were hoping to find. Unfortunately, Hunter is dead, and I can't watch more than 90 seconds of that foolishness, and no one else would bother. Why don't you write your own gonzo take on Dora? Wait a second...doesn't Dora talk directly to the audience at times during the show? Maybe that's the "gonzo" aspect of the show you were trying to find edification on, and the only pornographic context to your google search is within my own dirty mind. Either way, the mere breaking of the fourth wall constitutes a highly reductive definition of the word "gonzo". Well, I think that's my ultimate point, even if my initial interpretation of your Google search might've been completely off base. I would also like to apologize to Dora herself, for further dragging her through the mud of this perverted superhighway of information. She has enough to worry about, what with all that useless shit she has to find. Sorry.

I'm not gonna pontificate at length about Hunter, nor exalt his greatness like he's some kind of sports hero. The Crazy Never Die! is already a wonderful portrait, both rambling and piercing, and a sort of companion piece to later docs Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson and Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride. Also, I shouldn't really have to describe it when you could just watch the fucking thing yourself. It's only a half hour long and embedded throughout the review for the sake of convenience. Hunter S. Thompson died for your sins, so it's the very least you could do.

P.S. I also referenced Dora the Explorer in my Human Centipede review, despite never having watched a full episode of the show. Then again, that reference led directly to this one. Sometimes a vicious circle can unfold in a straight line.

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