Dr. Ash Tree Gonzo

Dr. Ash Tree Gonzo

Treasurer/Staff Writer/Financier

Ashley Beth Pinzel began as a Doctorate in Psychopharmacology. After moving to the Devil’s Half Acre Asylum she became entranced in the world of her patients. Particularly one patient, a tragic fellow who had survived abuse from an alcoholic father. Dr. Pinzel slowly began to fall in love with this patient and eventually turned to a life of vigilante justice, starting with big business moguls who deface beautiful downtown areas of her cities.

Her favorite weapons are her Sword, her Pen and her Lips, which can utter vicious truths to her enemies. Once she gets going, it is quite unlikely that anyone can stop her, including herself. Dr. Pinzel wanders the globe but chances are you can find her anywhere that has great food, music or boutiques.

That's Doctor to you, bub.

Army of Gonzo, Part I

 

by Ashley Beth

For through teeth grinding is the way we come in
And with teeth grinding is the way we go out
And if and only if
The only times we truly live
Our teeth are grasping all the air
In us to shout?

I was flying 38,000 feet above the brown, February ground when I discovered once and for all that bourbon is better than whiskey. The devil had three fingers in me, after taking a ceremonious shot of Woodford Reserve just outside security at Louisville’s Standiford Field airport and then a double of the notch up by the gate while my flight was delayed. I like how bourbon picks you up gently, carries ya tenderly and sits you down nicely, unlike the rude, ravaging, death-by-aftertaste of Jack Daniels.

It was official. This 2016 airplane trip from Newark, New Jersey, to Louisville and back would go down in this 29-year-old platinum blonde’s life as the moment that she would fall prey to the swagger of bourbon. Which, frankly, looks like it will serve me better than any man I’ve ever invited to share life with me. After all, bourbon doesn’t discriminate, criticize or make condescending comments indicating incompetence which upon questioning are apparently really never supposed to insult us, we just need to stop being so “damn sensitive.”

Anyways, squirrel.  This would also be the trappings of what I hope to be the long love affair I will have with Louisville. In fact, the bourbon was becoming the iconic scent of the lover that Louisville was becoming to me.  The Victorian mansions teased me, her Fleur de Lis charmed me and the friendly, laid back whispers of the Highlands intrigued me.  This was my third trip to city that I swear has a sister city in New Orleans. They’re just too similar.  They have too many similarities to list here but the mutual, Louis XIV “Sun King” settling of the two lands, their dedication to beauty, their commitment to art, their slurry speech as they ask you in an accent dripping with honey, “How ya doin’, darling?” Sigh.  I just can’t even.  I’m disappointed that this is only my third trip.

Since our introduction at GonzoFest 2015 and the exciting, subsequent events of that Donald Trump broadcasted, mass shootings blasted, catastrophic year of our Lord 2015, Louisville, Kentucky was starting to magnetize me. Like a massive device rigged by Magneto, I could feel it warming up. I could hear the clicking, the clacking, the warming of the tubes. The radio waves blasting, the cobwebs of years past lambasting and the preservers of the Great Gonzo Spirit gripping hands they had not held since they stood in circle round a two-thumbed fisted cannon containing the ashes of the only music-political-sports—counter culture-social commentator-historian journalist in America’s history. Continue reading

Army of Gonzo, Part I

by Ashley Beth


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For through teeth grinding is the way we come in
And with teeth grinding is the way we go out
And if and only if
The only times we truly live
Our teeth are grasping all the air
In us to shout?

 

I was flying 38,000 feet above the brown, February ground when I discovered once and for all that bourbon is better than whiskey. The devil had three fingers in me, after taking a ceremonious shot of Woodford Reserve just outside security at Louisville’s Standiford Field airport and then a double of the notch up by the gate while my flight was delayed. I like how bourbon picks you up gently, carries ya tenderly and sits you down nicely, unlike the rude, ravaging, death-by-aftertaste of Jack Daniels.

It was official. This 2016 airplane trip from Newark, New Jersey, to Louisville and back would go down in this 29-year-old platinum blonde’s life as the moment that she would fall prey to the swagger of bourbon. Which, frankly, looks like it will serve me better than any man I’ve ever invited to share life with me. After all, bourbon doesn’t discriminate, criticize or make condescending comments indicating incompetence which upon questioning are apparently really never supposed to insult us, we just need to stop being so “damn sensitive.”

Anyways, squirrel.  This would also be the trappings of what I hope to be the long love affair I will have with Louisville. In fact, the bourbon was becoming the iconic scent of the lover that Louisville was becoming to me.  The Victorian mansions teased me, her Fleur de Lis charmed me and the friendly, laid back whispers of the Highlands intrigued me.  This was my third trip to city that I swear has a sister city in New Orleans. They’re just too similar.  They have too many similarities to list here but the mutual, Louis XIV “Sun King” settling of the two lands, their dedication to beauty, their commitment to art, their slurry speech as they ask you in an accent dripping with honey, “How ya doin’, darling?” Sigh.  I just can’t even.  I’m disappointed that this is only my third trip.

Since our introduction at GonzoFest 2015 and the exciting, subsequent events of that Donald Trump broadcasted, mass shootings blasted, catastrophic year of our Lord 2015, Louisville, Kentucky was starting to magnetize me. Like a massive device rigged by Magneto, I could feel it warming up. I could hear the clicking, the clacking, the warming of the tubes. The radio waves blasting, the cobwebs of years past lambasting and the preservers of the Great Gonzo Spirit gripping hands they had not held since they stood in circle round a two-thumbed fisted cannon containing the ashes of the only music-political-sports—counter culture-social commentator-historian journalist in America’s history. Continue reading

The Enemy of Our Enemy Got the Vote

 

160302005451-trump-and-hillary-exlarge-169by Ashley Beth

If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progess is, call it Tomorrow.” -Victor Hugo, ‘Les Miserables’ 1862

It will never be a good idea to start any political article with the following statement but I can’t get it out of my mind:  Michael Moore was right.

“The enemy of my enemy gets my vote.”

Donald Trump stood in front of the ravaged members of the now-defunct middle class, people whose livelihoods and communities were sustained by big manufacturing companies such as Ford and GM, and promised them that he would make it harder for their jobs to be outsourced overseas.  As a business man, these laid-off, swing-state dwellers had no other choice but to trust him.

You can dislike his personal politics, lament and loathe that his personality is not just political but now the president-elect of our populous but you cannot take his political post to power, uh, personally.  At the end of the day, if Donald Trump wants to grab his daughter’s pussy with one hand while he catches middle-class jobs slipping and sliding from our communities at an accelerating rate of 9.8 meters per second squared with the other—58 million Americans have spoken with felt tip dipped in black ink pens that they don’t give a fuck.  With one swooping map of red states, the American people have given the green light to a man who is absolutely, 100 % a narcissistic, pig-headed, traditionally immoral asshole, and I ask you—-why are we really that shocked? Continue reading

Betwixt Baby Showers and Ketamine Lies My Life

 

Somewhere Between the Baby Shower and the Ketamine Lies my LifeI love my friends.  I love who they are and I don’t want to offend them in this writing.  Especially because this writing really has nothing to do with my friends. In fact, this writing has as much to do with my friends as Thoreau’s writing had to do with the woods. Meaning, that just because the writer finds themselves in a place, any writings that may pass from the author in reaction to said place really means more about the author than the subject. What Sally says about Suzie says more about Sally than of Suzie. And this Sally ain’t perfect, let me tell ya. The art featured for this piece is a snapshot of the author’s kitchen at the time of this writing. And now that I have over-explained that I am an unorganized nobody who is not really writing about anonymous people instead of paying a therapist, I cordially invite you to keep reading my story.

It began with a Facebook post of my friend’s ultrasound. I was somewhere in the middle of hour three or hour four of the thirteen hour shift I was working in a location I had to GPS because I had never worked there before. The evening before I had returned home around 10PM after driving five hours south on Interstate 95 from a temporary gig I had in another state covering a colleague’s vacation. While unwinding from driving 75 mph through February darkness after a full work day, I was approached while sipping my lager at the watering hole ‘cross the street from my house by a pot-bellied Dom looking for his next Sub.  I was flirted with via insults that my shoe attire was “twenty years too late” as I sat and determined how many hours before my flight to Louisville I’d have to arrive at the airport that from me was five hours away.  To this day I have a hard time differentiating this type of “courtship” with the boys who used to hold dead spiders two centimeters from my nose only to learn upon my screams of disgust that this was all happening to me because that boy “liked me.”  Oh!  How lucky am I that the heavens have smiled down…Anyways, squirrel. I had a lot of shit to do and didn’t appreciate the distraction.

Needless to say, I was driving my life faster than my Subaru could take me so covering a thirteen hour shift that was scheduled on top of my 4 day/48 hour base schedule in between out-of-state trips made me about as restless as a toddler in a car seat.  It was in this state of mind that I saw the post.  The announcement.  The ultrasound picture.  The black.  The grey.  The kidney bean inside the bigger kidney bean which you can make out as clearly as the baseball team logo on the hat of the thief you are watching on security camera footage.  The “tag” of the sperm donor, err, husband. The witty, under-stated text above said photo.  And of course, the Likes. The triple digit likes and the double-digit comments.  It’s staggering to think of how much of our present day reward system and social urges are controlled purely by numbers embossed in grey or red flags.

Was I happy for my friend?  Absolutely.  Was I in shock, awe and anticipation of meeting her child and the fact that the beautiful union between my friend and another amazing person would be producing a third amazing person?  You betcha.  I had all of these feelings.  You could say, millennially, that I had ALL THE FEELS.  But I mean that.  My emotions ran the gambit of the feels.  My emotions varied a wide range.  And from this particular post, after feeling all the preceding Warm, and the succeeding Fuzzy, I felt finally and most overwhelmingly, the Pull. Continue reading

The Sigh I Breathe at 29

 

It’s the journey, it’s not the destination. Good. Because I don’t even know where the fuck my destination is. I can tell you what it’s not, however. My destination is not having the kind of house where my bathroom towels match the shower curtains match the shower rug. Nope. My destination is not a life where I have a coaster for every table. (Although some coasters would be nice.) Ultimately, my journey is not about arriving at the grave safely in a well preserved body…..hold on, those are Hunter’s words.

Looks like Hunter also didn’t prioritize a nit-picked, hyper-organized life. And neither do I. Do I strive to live a life as reckless as Hunters’ was at times? No. I will not leave a string of debts across the country or an estate of horded items. Then again, fuck, the rate I’m going at the moment, I actually might. But I guess the point of this piece is, I’ve stopped worrying about it. I’ve stopped nursing the urge to compare my life to those of others. This is one of those times where I am thrilled to be an over-thinker because I can arrive confidently at the conclusion that ayep, you’ve looked around, Ash, and there ain’t nobody living their life like you. And I think that’s just fucking awesome.

I live the kind of life where I can tell you a good place to grab coffee in every soulful city on the East coast but for a while couldn’t tell you where my hair straightening iron was. I hold professional licenses in multiple states but had my license to drive suspended in one of them. I can catch a D in every city I’ve ever lived in but outrun every man who’s ever tried to catch up with me. It’s funny to see them try. Especially the moment when they fall back muttering something about me being too fast, too hyper, too MUCH. That’s right, sweetie, it’s not you, it’s me. All the fault is mine. Everything is wrong with me. Thanks for the breather, baby, I’m off again. I’m sure you’ll find a girl slower than me. The kind of girl that will smile at every disrespectful thing you say and let it pass. The kind of girl who will lie there like a cold, dead fish. Like sushi. Enjoy. Wasabi’s over there…..

To me, the progress of living in this year of our Lord 2016 is that as a woman, I can stop giving a fuck about what makes me eligible bachelorette material. The imagination, impulses and actions of my life are deeply rooted in who I was as a child. I am a fierce protector of the child spirit within me. She is precious, magical and full of potential to heal the world. I give her great reverence. I give her the speaking floor perhaps more than I should. But I also know I give into her impulses way too much of the time. Continue reading

The Sigh I Breathe at 29

meinlouiIt’s the journey, it’s not the destination. Good. Because I don’t even know where the fuck my destination is. I can tell you what it’s not, however. My destination is not having the kind of house where my bathroom towels match the shower curtains match the shower rug. Nope. My destination is not a life where I have a coaster for every table. (Although some coasters would be nice.) Ultimately, my journey is not about arriving at the grave safely in a well preserved body…..hold on, those are Hunter’s words.

Looks like Hunter also didn’t prioritize a nit-picked, hyper-organized life. And neither do I. Do I strive to live a life as reckless as Hunters’ was at times? No. I will not leave a string of debts across the country or an estate of horded items. Then again, fuck, the rate I’m going at the moment, I actually might. But I guess the point of this piece is, I’ve stopped worrying about it. I’ve stopped nursing the urge to compare my life to those of others. This is one of those times where I am thrilled to be an over-thinker because I can arrive confidently at the conclusion that ayep, you’ve looked around, Ash, and there ain’t nobody living their life like you. And I think that’s just fucking awesome.

I live the kind of life where I can tell you a good place to grab coffee in every soulful city on the East coast but for a while couldn’t tell you where my hair straightening iron was. I hold professional licenses in multiple states but had my license to drive suspended in one of them. I can catch a D in every city I’ve ever lived in but outrun every man who’s ever tried to catch up with me. It’s funny to see them try. Especially the moment when they fall back muttering something about me being too fast, too hyper, too MUCH. That’s right, sweetie, it’s not you, it’s me. All the fault is mine. Everything is wrong with me. Thanks for the breather, baby, I’m off again. I’m sure you’ll find a girl slower than me. The kind of girl that will smile at every disrespectful thing you say and let it pass. The kind of girl who will lie there like a cold, dead fish. Like sushi. Enjoy. Wasabi’s over there…..

To me, the progress of living in this year of our Lord 2016 is that as a woman, I can stop giving a fuck about what makes me eligible bachelorette material. The imagination, impulses and actions of my life are deeply rooted in who I was as a child. I am a fierce protector of the child spirit within me. She is precious, magical and full of potential to heal the world. I give her great reverence. I give her the speaking floor perhaps more than I should. But I also know I give into her impulses way too much of the time. Continue reading

An Introduction from the GonzoToday Fashion Editor

 

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Doorway visions: Strike the pose

Diane Von Furstenberg once said “The most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”  It’s simple enough to think about, but infinitely harder to live.  This is because Diane has noticed, among Fall and Spring trends of high fashion, that the relationship we as human beings have with ourselves, is terrible.  We have low self-esteem.  We try to fit ourselves into clothes, not the other way around.  We try to change or remove parts of ourselves from our photos because we are ashamed of our individual display of the statistically beautiful game of chance, genetics and self-care.  No one is immune from this.  Even the fashion models we hate for seeming to make us hate ourselves, hate themselves.  You would think that Diane Von F, one of the longest reigning Queens of Fashion, would have all the confidence in the world.  And yet, she too, hears the voices.

That’s right.  The voices.  Everybody has them. Those ingrained, self-limiting voices telling us that we are not nor will not ever be good enough.  The invisible crowd phenomenon. Having voices in your head is not a mental weakness nor handicap.  (The handicap comes more in the range of what the voices are saying, how loud, how often, how many and how much.)

The realm of fashion can amplify those voices with regards to self image. To many, fashion is a term to describe who, what, when, why and how we “should” be wearing. Many use it as another battle in the status war of keeping up with the Jones. There are some still, however, that enjoy wrapping the strings of fashion tightly around their fingers and pulling HARD, making fashion their bitch. They know that fashion is a non-verbal way of expressing confidence and ultimate victory over those voices. The voices that say you can’t wear something because…because of what? Better make it good—these kinds of unrealized dreams are a killer to recall on your death bed. Unless you’re violating local laws of decency, you can wear and ultimately express yourself in any way you want. Immunity from scrutiny, however, is like immunity from the voices. It doesn’t exist. You can’t make scrutiny go away. You cannot control it at all. You can, however, control how you react to it. Just like the voices, the method you use to deal with this uncontrollable negativity is your ultimate expression of art.

Gonzo journalism is a high-speed, take charge, wild ride of a philosophy that artists have been using to quiet their demonic inner voices  for over fifty years. That is fifty years of fighting injustice, prejudice and federal laws and loving in ink, paint, paper, music and film that focuses on the multicolor culture that is our great and pioneering country. And our relationship with it. And our relationship with the world around us.  And our country’s relationship with the world around it. That is all what it means to be Gonzo.  Gonzo is not easily digestible news declared calmly and respectfully from a white man in a suite like it is on mass broadcasted major networks with a nice, pretty period at the end. Nope. We are exclamatorily romantic, nostalgic and manic about the truth of pioneering, the beauty of the free phoenix of spirit and the love of the full speed ahead lifestyle.  I think it’s about time we started reporting on how people wear it. Keeping in great Gonzo values we will be giving the voices back to local, regional, handmade, out casted, never-before-seen dimensions of the little guys.  The big fashion houses of couture, catalogs and retail chains are already loud enough. We are here to be a sounding board for the shocking forms of clothing and body modification in these tattooed, stretched out, world debt crisis times of ours.  Gonzo also means dangerously loose boundaries and self-control, so watch out. Any and all art passes. I just hope you don’t faint at the site of bare bodies.  (It’s kind of a thing. Trust me, I’m a doctor.)  And ^THAT^ right there was your warning. Amateurs and professionals are about to get weird. Race ya.  😉

-Dr. Ashtree Gonzo

 

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Dr. Pinzel, putting the Ash in Fashion

 

 

Word Bubble Bar Stool Smoting

 

So I’m sitting at the bar donning my Doc Martins and all of a sudden I hear the woman at the bar stool next to me chatting up this guy who’s on his way out but this woman is trying to keep him there.  She is asking him to explain his writing career.
“Basically I write for newspapers,” he says. I’m interested in getting paid for my writing. But the stuff I get paid for, I don’t like to write. The stuff I like to write, I do freelance.”
Woman Next to Me: “So who do you write about?”
Guy: “I write about interesting people. Like people who wear Doc Martin boots halfway up the knee, even though it’s twenty years too late.”
I feel a tap on my shoulder, I feel him looking at me, I turn his direction.  I reply,
“Bukowski said there’s nothing worse than too late. I can’t believe you just said that to me.”
Guy: “She just used my favorite author’s words against me. And I don’t even know her name. Um…excuse me, miss?”
I sigh. I turn around.  Again. He’s ignoring the woman that woman next to me who he was originally talking to at this point. Now he’s being rude to her and for that, she hates me.
I say, “It’s Mz. My name is Ashley.”
Guy: “The next time I’m here I’m bringing you my narrative on Bukowski.”
Open on the bar in front of me is Juan Thompson’s book, ‘Stories I Tell Myself.’ I pick it up and shove it in his face.
“Do you know this exists?”
Guy: “Uhh, no, but ya, you like Bukowski?”
Me: “I like his quotes, haven’t yet read his books. Have a good night.”
Guy: “…………………Well, that was an interesting conversation.”

 

The Lion, the Wrench and the Whitehead: 3 Days in Louisville

“Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.” Hunter Stockton Thompson

Day One: The Lion

(Lyrics in italics by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Weeknd)

“Gold lion’s gonna tell me where the light is
Gold lion’s gonna tell me where the light is

It’s an interesting idea to consider if the chance meeting of random strangers is at all increased by the signals that ping between the finger to keyboard command prompts that compromise so much of our actions in this post-industrialized, post world-wide-webbed world.

How do shared URL addresses, “Liked” pages on Facebook, username friend requests, personal messages and two revealed mobile phone numbers later become the tentative then actual then realized happenings of what I have come to declare is my random-ass fucking life?

“Take our hands out of control”

But next thing I know I’m standing there re-introducing myself and hugging one of the writers for Gonzo Today.  Grinning awkwardly like you do anytime you meet someone you’ve spoken to but never physically met.

“Take our hands out of control”

He had the tangy, vanilla spicy musk of a laid back yet talented athlete who would probably always have carried a library book, a joint and a flask in his gym bag. His smile had a charm so potent of which he must be self-aware. So he chuckled with an American boy goofiness to get through this whole thing and started giving me this awesomely catered, craft food and beer loving instructional tour of his city that was appreciated but at this point I was pretty much just, “Dude, can we just drive around and smoke for me to get to know you? That’s kinda my jam.” Maybe because I’ve had too many things happen in public….anyways. Continue reading