Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Don't Believe In Lying Back

"The horrible reality of suddenly being stone broke and homeless is more than most people in this country can handle. They will literally seize up and go mad. Your everyday Nervous Breakdown is nothing compared to the hopeless Craziness of a man who woke up in the morning as a Prince and went to bed as a Toad.

That is a guaranteed overweening shock to the Central Nervous System; if you don't go insane from suddenly having to see everything in the world from a point only two inches high, your brain will be churned into cream by having to crawl, head-first, with your eyes open, down a muddy hole in the ground, just to have a place to sleep.

Nobody could handle a situation like That. It is Unacceptable. It is worse than any dream that ever happened in the worst and most tortured hallucinations ever suffered by the most pitiful LSD victim. ... I spent a lot of time with Allen Ginsberg, and I have swapped gruesome tales over whiskey at night with William Burroughs, and neither one of them ever even mentioned a vision so horrible as being instantly changed from a rich and powerful human like Donald Trump into a common leaping toad."

- Hunter S. Thompson

Despite what assholes like Timothy Geithner claim, the recession is not over for a lot of people. Times are still tough, you know what I'm saying? Bad finances can lead to wallowing in a pit of despair, visions of a fate with No Fun.....the solution?

Gonzo birding. There, I said it. Has anyone ever combined these words before? I think that this is so......but I'm taking full credit. Who can stop me? With the financial behemoth known as The Human Birdwatcher Project behind me, I don't think I can be stopped. So welcome to the bright and explosive birth of the Gonzo Birding Movement.

Some well-read people can infer what this means. Gonzo Journalism was/is a movement that began with the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, where instead of attempting to objectively describe the action from a distance (which is, ultimately, futile), the journalist becomes directly a part of the story. Of course, anyone familiar with HST's knows that this is just the beginning....Hunter's "work" was hardly anything like what has been done before or since. Combining politics, prose, punditry, violence, and vast amounts of drugs, Hunter made a cocktail for immortality among writers around the world, not only in what he wrote, but how he lived.

But chances are you already knew that, didn't you? I feel like its necessary to rehash these points once in a while's kind of a bummer having all of your favorite writers be dead. At least that's not my case for music.

A Sanderling at Florida's Sanibel Island. Sanderlings are found at beaches on every coast in the U.S., and are generally the birds you see "chasing waves" in small flocks while feeding on the shore.

Isn't it great to know that you are witnessing history? The entire face of birding will be changed once Gonzo birding take root. Together, we will make birding fun again......we will no longer be policed by records committees or driven by nothing more than lists. We will no longer dress exactly like everyone else. We will no longer deny that we are nerds. We will no longer let this be the sport of aging privileged white people. We will no longer settle for just watching......

A young Wood Stork stretches out in the rain. Everglades National Park, FL.

Finally, Here's a great interview with Ian MacKaye (from Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, etc), someone who has probably directly or indirectly influenced a great many of you whether you know it or not. Check it out!

The Sound of Young America


  1. Should this post tell me something about your time in Portland?

  2. Yeah, a little bit I suppose. I met up with a few of my young-hearted birding friends.....these meetings always seem to implant strange ideas in my head.

  3. I think this is the most profound thing you've ever said. I can't believe it has taken you this long, quite frankly. Gonzo birding is the culmination of several things you hold dear to you. you're a genius. I wish I could share your amazing insights with the world. Sadly, 99% of humanity, probably, will never be able to appreciate your genius, because, they just don't know what's good for them! Sad truth. However, you, probably know better then anyone, the depths of the truth of this statement. So, lets not linger on the stupidity and ignorance of those lacking enlightenment. Lets instead rejoice at the fact that I understand, and those you surround yourself with, have been molded over the years, into appreciating the absurd, yet, vital role birds and Hunter S. Thompson play in your life. You have taught us your language, and although we aren't capable of ever fully understanding, we can at least comprehend the concept of Gonzo birding. It's just so logical. Congrats.