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You know its people like you who make the middle east mad.
-- PDJ Reader "Not an American"

French gonzo wannabes -- and a clown

by El Destino

2001-11-14 02:10:24

"We are the French revival of Gonzo Journalism !" their self-promoting email read. "Would you agree on a link exchange ?"

Actually, their email began with the words "Hello. Guess who ?" That must be some coy French joke. I'm picturing a pouty maid named Babbette in one of those frilly black-and-white outfits. "Hello. Guess who ?" she burbles, as she covers my eyes with her immaculate fingers....

Er, okay, 95 percent of my knowledge of France is limited to Inspector Closeau movies. And the cartoon version where the cabs never stopped for the Inspector, and he'd end up complaining to "Inspector Doo Doo." And that time Alvin and the Chipmunks sang a Maurice Chevalier song. But even so, I'm having a hard time picturing the "French revival of Gonzo journalism." Aren't all French people laughably preening and effete? By definition?

I'd tell you more about their web site, but NeoGonzo.com gives this message when you click on its link for an English version. "Who the fuck do you think you are ? I had to learn your fucking language to go and watch your god damn movies, so if you wanna read my words, go to school motha fucka, and learn French." Well, okay, but there's a difference between being gonzo and being an asshole. Not that the French would know. Especially mincing Frenchmen who open their email to strangers by saying "Hello! Guess who?"

So that's about all I have to report -- except that their web page has a picture of "NeoGonzo Le Clown." (Which, according to Babelfish, translates to "NeoGonzo, the clown.") It's designed to look like Hunter S. Thompson, but with a cute bulbous red nose. Apparently it corresponds to an article on the site which Babelfish translates as " 'The largest caberet of the world': the truth is elsewhere." I'm assuming it must be about the dark tortured genius of Marcel Marceau.

So at this point, I'd have to conclude that being gonzo takes more than sending an email to someone in which you call yourself gonzo. And more than tucking the word "gonzo" into the name of your clown mascot. It's customary at Pigdog Journal to end each article with a link where readers can check things out themselves, but in this case I'm sticking with the crazed neo-disciples that I'm already familiar with. So the link below leads to my best example of some true bad-ass French gonzo entertainment.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

burton@pigdog.org

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