Friday, April 14, 2017

Hunter S. Thompson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author, and the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a middle-class family, Thompson had a turbulent youth after the death of his father left the family in poverty. He was unable to formally finish high school as he was incarcerated for 60 days after abetting a robbery. He subsequently joined the United States Air Force before moving into journalism. He traveled frequently, including stints in California, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, before settling in Aspen, Colorado, in the early 1960s.

Thompson became internationally known with the publication of Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1967). For his research on the book he had spent a year living and riding with the Angels, experiencing their lives and hearing their stories first-hand. Previously a relatively conventional journalist, with the publication in 1970 of The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved he became a counter cultural figure, with his own brand of New Journalism which he termed "Gonzo", an experimental style of journalism where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. The work he remains best known for, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971), constitutes a rumination on the failure of the 1960s counterculture movement. It was first serialized in Rolling Stone, a magazine with which Thompson would be long associated, and was released as a film starring Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro and directed by Terry Gilliam in 1998.

Politically minded, Thompson ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, in 1970, on the Freak Power ticket. He became well known for his inveterate hatred of Richard Nixon, who he claimed represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character"[1] and whom he characterized in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. Thompson's output notably declined from the mid-1970s, as he struggled with the consequences of fame, and he complained that he could no longer merely report on events as he was too easily recognized. He was also known for his lifelong use of alcohol and illegal drugs, his love of firearms, and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism. He remarked: "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

After a bout of health problems, Thompson committed suicide at the age of 67. In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were fired out of a cannon in a ceremony funded by his friend Johnny Depp and attended by friends including then-Senator John Kerry and Jack Nicholson. Hari Kunzru wrote that "the true voice of Thompson is revealed to be that of American moralist ... one who often makes himself ugly to expose the ugliness he sees around him."[2]


“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Curse of Lono

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“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.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives... and to the "good life", whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“Too weird to live, too rare to die!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

“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.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“It never got weird enough for me.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

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

“I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

“We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's

“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

“All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.

Remembered line from a long-
forgotten poem”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

“We can't stop here, this is bat country!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's

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