The Gonzo Assignment of a Lifetime
By Bob Patterson as told to Belle Starr, Outlawyer
On the morning of July 14, Bastille Day, The World's Laziest Journalist, got an assignment card from the great assignment desk in the sky: have a stoke then write a gonzo punditry column about the recovery process and the various thoughts that occur to you in the hospital bed.
75 years ago the high-water mark for broadcast journalism was set by Edward R. Murrow as he was reporting live at The Battle of Britain. Now, airlines are worrying that drones are being used to endanger commercial airlines.
My friend, Belle Starr, Outlawyer and Write-In Candidate for San Francisco Mayor, will get an assist credit on this column.
There are themes running in popular culture that seem reminiscent of my stay in a hospital in 1970 repeating here in 2015 where I am in a hospital recovering from a stroke.
A stroke is an educational process. Culture is a trend. A journalist's job is to spot trends. The new word from "The Graduate", replacing plastics, is EKSO. (Full Disclosure: Belle wants to buy more of their stock and I want to be in on the action too " )
(Google Hint : Ekso Bionics (helps survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury " to walk again. )
When I first started writing and posting online, I had decided to follow a Walter Winchell style. He was the master and originator of three-dot-journalism "
Stringing information together. You know why writers are stringers? They used to be paid by the column inch and the editor measured with a string to determine the pay when they paid. The length of the string was converted into the amount of the paycheck. The string was carefully kept for tax and accounting purposes"NOT!
Then came Herb Caen who continued the " with a necklace of terms from beatnik to hippie and all the intervening dots and stories from Baghdad by the Bay.
(Snide Aside: How things have changed - Baghdad, psychedelia and rock'n'roll to shock and awe and Babylon.)
Lions and circuses - The social media shaming of a dentist for killing Disneyfied Cecil, the most beloved, with hyperbole that personifies the lion, but not nearly as cool as Frazier, the most sensuous lion alive, while depersonalizing a human being misses the point.
Frazier was randy and loved for it. He was survived by many, many cubs when he died of exhaustion (old age) somewhere in Africa"maybe Kenya.
"Unfortunately," says the Zimbabwe government, "it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he has absconded"" to Ricks' in Casablanca, no doubt, where this backhanded payoff is as apparent as Looie's winnings.
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