Journalist, Tom Wolfe, learned that it didn't pay to try and be buddy-buddy with the people he was interviewing. Here he is talking about interviewing people for his book about hippies, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid TestKesey would often test visitors and try to determine who among them was a “weekend hippie” and who actually followed the hippie lifestyle.
“He would say, ‘All right, let’s everybody get naked and get on our bikes and go up Route 1,’ ” recalled Wolfe. “They did. This separated the hippies from the weekend hipsters very rapidly. I didn’t have to worry because I was in my three-piece suit with a big blue corduroy necktie and the idea that I was going to take any of this off for anybody was crazy.”
The suit, he said, functioned to differentiate him from the people he covered in his pieces — and made it clear to his subjects that he was not one of them.
“I have discovered that for me, it is much more effective to arrive in any situation as a man from Mars than to try and fit in,” he said. “When I first started out in journalism, I used to try and fit in. … I tried to fit into the scene. … I was depriving myself of the ability of some very obvious questions if I fit in. … After that, I gave it up. I would turn up always in a suit and just be the village information gatherer.”