Category Archives: Gonzo

A Morning With Special K

Table 12. I am back where I was 12 hours ago.

“It’s like you never left,” jokes Gerard, my charismatically cynical floor manager.

I glance across the table. Holy shit. He’s still here.  Read more

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Steven

gonzo journalism l

An uneasy feeling crept into my gut the moment I laid eyes on him. The meth-induced yellow tinge of his plaque-encrusted smile, the wet gangrenous look of his sandalled feet, the dart of his beady eyes, they all urged me to be certain I was never left alone with Steven. Read more

We Need To Take Flat Earthers Seriously, Here’s Why (FEIC17 Part 2)

flat earther mark sargent

My mission is not to ridicule flat-earthers – CNN, Vice, and anyone with a 7th-grade education and an internet connection have flogged that horse way past its death.

No, when I first emailed FEIC conference organiser Robbie Davidson, I just wanted to understand this logic-defying movement.

But, the more I questioned the multifarious band of self-proclaimed conspiracy theorists that represent “flat earth theory”, the more I found myself trying to devise my own conspiracy as to how this obviously flawed ideology could flourish in the information age.

There is no accepted model of what the flat earth is – some say our planet is enclosed by a giant dome, others believe a giant ice wall lines the earth’s edges.

Flat-earthers have no leader, although a select few money hungry YouTubers vie daily for their clicks.

And, as far as I can tell, aside from believing that the earth is flat, there is no underlying ideology that binds believers together. Some flat-earthers are Wiccan vegan feminists, some are gun-toting libertarians, and more than a few are “the end is nigh” Christian proselytizers.

I’m not going to try and explain who flat-earthers are, what they believe, or when the movement started to really gather steam.

I’m going to explain why they even exist. Read more

I Feel Violated: Flat Earth International Conference Part 1

“Repent Or Perish! Trust Jesus!”

“Naysayers Make Us Stronger!”

“FLAT EARTH: It’s easier to fool people than to convince them. THEY HAVE BEEN FOOLED.”

“LIARS: Faking Space Since 1958 – Research Flat Earth”

The fanatical messages proudly plastered across parked cars and the anti-science t-shirts donned by the crowd gathering at the Emporium Suites hotel on the 6th of November were extreme, even by North Carolinian standards.

They did, however, confirm that after 30 hours and 15,000 kilometres of travel I had finally made it to the curious event I’d been ruminating over for the last 6 months: The 2017 Flat Earth International Conference. Read more

The CEO Pikeout: How The Rich & Powerful Do Charity

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Spiderman onesies, Adidas tracksuits paired with Cartier watches, tailor-made suits with folded silk pocket squares and shiny brown leather shoes – these, coupled with promotional beanies, are the outfits of choice for the middle-aged men sauntering around the park tonight.

Youths in hi-vis wander about with clipboards and flattened cardboard boxes. ’Love Shack’, ‘Two Princes’, ’Beat It’ and other obnoxiously peppy, kitsch hits mix with the constant rattle of traffic from the bridge above.

There’s a coffee cart, two tables brimming with blue gift bags, a pop-up store named “Contraband”, twelve art works, four projectors, two hundred seats and three lone port-a-loos – all encircled by a temporarily erected fence guarded by no less than six security guards and volunteers.

Tonight is no ordinary night under Brisbane’s Story Bridge. 

Tonight it’s the St Vinnies CEO Sleepout – an event where the top 1% subject themselves to contrived homelessness in the name of charity for a night. And it’s really quite bizarre.

Read more

Rapists, Tomatoes & The Importance of Booking Ahead

Las Vegas had set my plans back by two days, and I desperately needed to make up time if I was going to hit Seattle*.

The plan was to drop Chris and Corey back into Simi Valley, then take the first highway north. I’d stay at a cheap motel when I got sick of driving then head to San Francisco the next day.

At 1am I pulled off the highway at Atascadero, only to get straight back on again when I discovered it was 150 for a night in the Motel 6.

By 2am, I couldn’t rely on The Eels and wound down windows to stay awake, so I detoured east to get a $57 room in Fresno County

“Fresno” and “Coalinga” did ring a prisony, bikerish, gangland sort of bell. But, after several turns from the highway I was travelling away from neighbourhoods and onto empty desert roads.

There was no one around, and that made me feel safe (in the beginning).

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I’m Going to See Who’s Following Me.

Adventure: It’s the feeling of driving out of a place you’ve never been to before, towards a destination you haven’t decided on yet. It’s having no one to see and no particular time to be wherever it is your going – you’re just down for whatever. That’s the feeling, and it’s good. Intoxicatingly good… especially when you’re alone. 
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