Mr. Ford Wenty is the Ale 81 Inn’s field correspondent to the unseemly underbelly of the late, great Untied (not a typo) States of America. His observations are unfiltered and thus are sure to offend many. That is why we hired him. His voice is often compared to the late Doctor of Gonzo Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. Here, in his own words, is an explanation:
Lots of doom. I have been guilty of this at times myself. Something about the sound of the word itself: doom, like a long, sad toll of a distant bell. Doom – tolls the bell – Doom – and again.
I am comfortable within certain narratives in the voice of Thompson, or something like it. He likewise seemed to hold some affinity for the word and with it an understanding of it’s manifestations. I am afflicted with the gonzo gene, to see and hear those things that are off of the spectrum, then render these into something visible. Some of the translations are ugly. This causes one to live in dark places.
I don’t mind being compared; it is, in fact, rather flattering that my efforts should be seen in that light. I’m not trying to be Thompson, but I do wish (at least in some small way) to carry on that vision. In our current state of affairs the lens of gonzo-vision is sorely needed, like an overload protection device on a crane or a thermal interrupter for a motor. An engine that works too hard at it’s job is destined to burn out before it’s time. Pace yourself, it’s a long ride.
The state of our public discourse has not devolved: it has always been hideous. With modern megaphones and spotlights what was once discreetly concealed is now in full view. The hideous secret, through it’s long years of repression, has nurtured a grudge and has evolved into a hideous spectacle. The great uncle with a penchant for streaking has escaped the cellar and wanders the streets to the horror of his former captors. The forum becomes a contest to see who may come up with the correct vehicle of our demise. Like an office pool. Put me down for a Benjamin on insect revolution. It’s a long shot, but it pays 100-1.
There is no shortage of prognostications. Their numbers are legion and laden with blame. This is Thompson’s fear and loathing. Some of these narratives are in fact plausible, yet what remains absent from all are any useful offerings that answer such questions as what happens next. I can’t be the only soul to have seen this, yet those other voices (if there be any) have remained mute. Perhaps it is for want of an answer. Perhaps it is because they find truths too difficult to confront. This was Thompson’s lament for the baby boomers, “…unable to confront harsh realities like failure. And doom.”
Any or all of these failings are not only plausible, they are in fact rather likely in varying degrees. Whether one may be the ultimate death blow to press us into the dust, or that we should become prey to the slow and steady succession of all of these nightmares, the fact remains that this too shall pass. The solutions offered to fix these problems are old, tired. There’s nothing new in them. Likewise for all of the problems offered to fix our solutions. There is a dearth of voices for what happens after. How will you live?
I’ve figured this out for myself. It’s my answer, for good or ill, but I don’t pretend to hold the answers for anyone else. I can hand out some clues, maybe a compass for some, but that is all. I can tell what to look for, but for a finder to take ownership of a treasure they must be convinced that they found it on their own. People miss what is in front of them because they look for something else. Where nothing is sought there is nothing found, except by accident. These are discoveries. They’re not all in black and white, not all easily uncovered, but they are there for those who look.
So I will continue my observations and record the same, until the lights go out. Any who have not figured it out by then are on their own. Maybe then they will understand. Or they will remain trapped in the old paradigms, where they will surely perish. I can’t save them. None of us can.