October 13, 2016

Hunter S. Thompson Quotes

“A nervous blonde nymphet who thought that politics was some kind of game played by old people, like bridge.”

“Ah, fortune and fame shall follow me…and I shall dwell in the world of the chosen for a few moments of fleeting ecstasy; ere the seven burly lads turn into creditors and hustle me off to debtors’ prison at last.”

“All political power comes from the barrel of either guns, pussy, or opium pipes, and people seem to like it that way.”

“America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says “you are nothing,” I will be a writer.”

“Bush is a natural-born loser with a filthy-rich daddy who pimped his son out to rich oil-mongers. He hates music, football and sex, in no particular order, and he is no fun at all.”

“But I am in the gambling business, for good or ill; it is the business I have chosen, and the only governing rule that we all recognize is: always sit close to an exit and never trust a man who doesn’t sweat.”

“But then just days after it came out, I began to get calls and letters from all over the country saying what a fantastic breakthrough format in journalism. I thought, Jesus Christ… I guess I shouldn’t say anything. In a way it was an almost accidental breakthrough – a whole new style of journalism which now passes for whatever Gonzo is… accidental and desperation.”

“But wow! This goofy child president we have on our hands now. He is demonstrably a fool and a failure, and this is only the summer of ’03. By the summer of 2004, he might not even be living in the White House. Gone, gone, like the snows of yesteryear.”

“Disgusting as he usually was, on rare occasions he showed flashes of stagnant intelligence. But his brain was so rotted with drink and dissolute living that whenever he put it to work it behaved like an old engine that had gone haywire from being dipped in lard.”

“Even that far-left radical bastard George S. McGovern — babbling a maddening litany of his most Far Out ideas — would be hard pressed to crank up a more than 30% animosity quotient.”

“Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

“Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist, you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.”

“For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.”

“Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.”

“Gonzo journalism… is a style of ‘reporting’ based on William Faulkner’s idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism—and the best journalists have always known this.”

“He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time.”

“History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of history it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time – and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.”

“Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die. Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness thinks of yesterday. Life is beautiful and living is pain. The sound of music floats down a dark street.”

“How many times had he stood calmly back there on the duckboards and listened to respectable-looking people talk about raping the hotel penguins?”

“I am a writer, a professional journalist with serious credentials in Crime, Craziness, and Politics. I have mingled with dangerous criminals and attended many trials… from Hell’s Angels, Black Panthers and Chicano street fighters to Roxanne Pulitzer and even Richard Nixon, back in the good old days before he was run out of the White House for fraud, perjury, graft, and criminal negligence.”

“I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes.”

“I find that by putting things in writing I can understand them and see them a little more objectively…For words are merely tools and if you use the right ones you can actually put even your life in order, if you don’t lie to yourself and use the wrong words.”

“I had a soft spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth, and also because his wife gave the best head in Hollywood.”

“I had come to regard him as a loner with no real past and a future so vague there was no sense talking about it.”

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.”

“I have thought this way several times in my life but only when circumstances have led me to a bad pass. No man who has chosen well and wisely will ever credit it to fate; the only real fatalist is a man on his way down the pipe. There is no solace in fatalism.”

“I knew a Buddhist once, and I’ve hated myself ever since. The whole thing was a failure.”

“I like this place he said with a grin I like to sit up here and look down at the beach and think of all the good things I could do with a Luger.”

“I may sound a little black, but I’m really pretty well adjusted.”

“I take no pleasure in being Right in my dark predictions about the fate of our military intervention in the heart of the Muslim world. It is immensely depressing to me. Nobody likes to be betting against the Home team.”

“I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”

“I was also drunk, crazy and heavily armed at all times. People trembled and cursed when I came into a public room and started screaming in German.”

“I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a cold-blooded revolutionary.”

“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

“If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

“If we get chased out of Iraq with our tail between our legs, that will be the fifth consecutive Third-world country with no hint of a Navy or an Air Force to have whipped us in the past 40 years.”

“If you work in either journalism or politics… you will be flogged for being right and flogged for being wrong, and it hurts both ways — but it doesn’t hurt as much when you’re right.”

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely.”

“It ain’t much, but it’s the only weapon we have against the Greedheads.”

“It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.”

“It started when I left Vegas that first time, skipping the hotel bill, driving off in that red convertible all alone, drunk and crazy, back to L.A. That’s exactly what I felt. Fear and loathing.”

“It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.”

“It was wonderful, a stunning happy ending to what began as just another tragic rock & roll story, as if Bob Dylan had been arrested in Miami for jacking off in a seedy little XXX theater while stroking the spine of a fat young boy.”

“It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”

“Jesus man! You don’t look for acid! Acid finds you when *it* thinks you’re ready.”

“Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.”

“Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of the rat race is not yet final.”

“National Observer became my road gig out of San Francisco. I was too much for them. I would wander in on off hours drunk and obviously on drugs, asking for my messages. Essentially, they were working for me. They liked me, but I was the Bull in the China Shop – The more I wrote about politics the more they realized who they had on their hands. they knew I wouldn’t change and neither would they.”

“No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.”

“No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.”

“Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these Abu Ghraib photographs did.”

“Of all the men that have run for president in the twentieth century, only George McGovern truly understood what a monument America could be to the human race.”

“Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.”

“Once I establish credit, I may be able to function. A man needs credit. Especially when he has no money.”

“One of the few ways I can almost be certain I’ll understand something is by sitting down and writing about it. Because by forcing yourself to write about it and putting it down in words, you can’t avoid having to come to grips with it. You might be wrong, but you have to think about it very intensely to write about it. So I use writing as a learning tool.”

“Paranoia is just another word for ignorance.”

“Platitudes are safe, because they’re easy to wink at, but truth is something else again.”

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.”

“Publishers are notoriously slothful about numbers, unless they’re attached to dollar signs – unlike journalists, quarterbacks, and felony criminal defendants who tend to be keenly aware of numbers at all times.”

“Revenge is one of the few things in politics that never gets lost in the mail or written off for a dime on the dollar like losers’ campaign debts or pledges to help the Poor.”

“Richard Nixon could tell us a lot about peaking too early. He was a master of it, because it beat him every time. He never learned and neither did Bush the Elder.”

“Sacrificing good men to journalism is like sending William Faulkner to work for Time magazine.”

“Satan’s Slaves, number three in the outlaw hierarchy, custom-bike specialists with a taste for the flesh of young dogs, flashy headbands and tender young blondes with lobotomy eyes.”

“Something new is wanted. A new novel, perhaps. Something the ten-percenters don’t have their hooks into yet. Those soul-fuckers should all be killed.”

“Ten years before – even five – I had been the same way. I wanted it all and I wanted it fast and no obstacle was big enough to put me off. Since then I have learned that some things were bigger than they looked from a distance, and now I was not so sure anymore just what I was going to get or even what I deserved.”

“That was always the difference between Muhammad Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn’t entirely conquer – he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation.”

“That was always the difference between Muhammed Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn’t entirely conquer – he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation.”

“The 2004 presidential election will be a matter of life or death for the whole nation. We are sick today, and we will be even sicker tomorrow if this wretched half-bright swine of a president gets re-elected in November.”

“The city’s frightening now. That’s the basis of my reaction to Las Vegas. It’s not the city I wrote about. It’s not the same place at all. You’ll notice that even the — what do you call them? — milestone or trademark casinos are now gone.”

“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”

“The importance of Liking Yourself is a notion that fell heavily out of favour during the coptic, anti-ego frenzy of the acid era — but nobody guessed back then that the experiment might churn up this kind of hangover; a whole subculture of frightened illiterates with no faith in anything.”

“The kids are turned off from politics, they say. Most of ’em don’t even want to hear about it. All they want to do these days is lie around on waterbeds and smoke that goddamn marrywanna… yeah, and just between you and me Fred thats probably all for the best.”

“The massive, frustrated energies of a mainly young, disillusioned electorate that has long since abandoned the idea that we all have a duty to vote. This is like being told you have a duty to buy a new car, but you have to choose immediately between a Ford and a Chevy.”

“The only difference between the Sane and the Insane, is IN and yet within this world, the Sane have the power to have the Insane locked up.”

“The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.”

“The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs.”

“The polls… indicate that Nixon will get a comfortable majority of the youth vote. And that he might carry all fifty states… This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves – that we really are just a nation of… used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anyone else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who see it coming and jump aside.”

“The scene I had just witnessed brought back a lot of memories – not of things I have done but of things I have failed to do, wasted hours and frustrated moments and opportunities forever lost because time had eaten so much of my life and I would never get it back.”

“The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.”

“The trouble with Nixon is that he’s a serious politics junkie. He’s totally hooked and like any other junkie, he’s a bummer to have around, especially as President.”

“The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”

“The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time — and the only real difference now, with Election Day ’72 only a few weeks away, is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.”

“There is a progression of understanding vis-?-vis pro football that varies drastically with the factor of distance – physical, emotional, intellectual and every other way. Which is exactly the way it should be, in the eyes of the amazingly small number of people who own and control the game, because it is this finely managed distance factor that accounts for the high-profit mystique that blew the sacred institution of baseball off its national pastime pedestal in less than fifteen years.”

“There is a progression of understanding vis-à-vis pro football that varies drastically with the factor of distance -physical, emotional, intellectual and every other way… Which is exactly the way it should be…”

“There is at this moment a beetle the size of god’s ass on the table about six inches from the t-writer. It is worse than anything Kafka ever dreamed, so big I can see its eyes and the hair on its legs — jesus, suddenly it leaped off and now circles me with a menacing whir.”

“There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

“There was no time for scholarly details, and, besides, I have always believed that a man can fairly be judged by the standards and taste of his choices in matters of high-level plagiarism.”

“They say that he who flies highest, falls farthest — and who am I to argue? But we can’t forget that he who doesn’t flap his wings, never flies at all. And with that, I’ll stop trying to convince myself that I can’t fail; how dull the whole thing would be if that were true.”

“Tiny hurts people. When he loses his temper he goes completely out of control and his huge body becomes a lethal weapon. It is difficult to see what role he might play in the Great Society.”

“Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.”

“We are like pygmies lost in a maze of haze. We are not at war, we are having a nervous breakdown,again.”

“We disagree so violently on almost everything that it’s a real pleasure to drink with him. If nothing else, he’s absolutely honest in his lunacy — and I’ve found, during my admittedly limited experience in political reporting, that power & honesty very rarely coincide.”

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

“What passed for society was a loud, giddy whirl of thieves and pretentious hustlers, a dull sideshow full of quacks and clowns and philistines with gimp mentalities.”

“What the hell is going on here? How could this once-proud nation have changed so much, so drastically, in only a little more than two years. In what seems like the blink of an eye, this George Bush has brought us from a prosperous nation at peace to a broke nation at war.”

“Women are terrified of being raped, but somewhere in the back of the womb there is one rebellious nerve end that tingles with curiosity whenever the word is mentioned.”

“Work was impossible. The geeks had broken my spirit. They had done too many things wrong. It was never like this for Mencken. He lived like a Prussian gambler – sweating worse than Bryant on some nights and drunker than Judas on others. It was all a dehumanized nightmare… and these raddled cretins have the gall to complain about my deadlines.”

“You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.”

“You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.”

“You’d be surprised at the things people will do in order to get their names or pictures in the paper.”