Hunter S. Thompson

(Hunter Stockton Thompson)

Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson
  • Born: July 18, 1937
  • Died: February 20, 2005
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Journalist

122

Quotes

21

Citations

106

Concepts

0

Videos

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A man needs credit. Especially when he has no money. Business, Commerce & Finance
Freedom is something that dies unless it's used. Freedom & Liberty
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit. History
In a democracy, people usually get the kind of government they deserve, and they deserve what they get. Voters, Voting & Elections
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. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
In what seems like the blink of an eye, this George W. Bush has brought us from a prosperous nation at peace to a broke nation at war. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is. They are addicts, and they are guilty and they do lie and cheat and steal — like all junkies. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Pat Buchanan is a … crazed Davy Crockett running around the parapets of Nixon’s Alamo. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Platitudes are safe, because they're easy to wink at, but truth is something else again. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Richard Nixon has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I've regarded his existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Some people will say that words like ‘scum’ and ‘rotten’ are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists. When professional antagonists become after-hours drinking buddies, they are not likely to turn each other in Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who see it coming and jump aside. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The Truth, when you finally chase it down, is almost always far worse than your darkest visions and fears. Human Nature
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. There's also a negative side. Media, Journalism & The Press
There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it "vengeful" and "primitive" and "perverse" regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. "That kind of stuff is opinion," they say, "and the reader is cheated if it's not labelled as opinion." Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers and normal "objective journalism." Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment, and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called "advocacy journalism," I've used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment. Media, Journalism & The Press
This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed — for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it. Now. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Energy
We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer. Human Nature
We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Who gives a fuck if he's lonely and depressed down there in San Clemente? If there were any such thing as true justice in this world, his rancid carcass would be somewhere down around Easter Island right now, in the belly of a hammerhead shark. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A word to the wise is infuriating. Humor
All gamblers lose regularly, but they rarely discuss it in public. Losing is bad for the image, dude. Nobody buys Hot Tips from Losers. Remember that.
All the blood is drained out of democracy - it dies - when only half the population votes.
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. Money, Coins & Minting
As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.
As long as I'm learning something, I figure I'm OK - it's a decent day. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once, and there were 13 times I almost and maybe should have died.
By disgracing and degrading the presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.
Democracy as a system has evolved into something that Thomas Jefferson didn't anticipate.
Duke is an ugly word in Kentucky. Nothing in the world compares to the joy of beating those hateful swine from Duke.
February is always a bad month for TV sports. Football is gone, basketball is plodding along in the annual midseason doldrums, and baseball is not even mentioned. Sports & Athletics
Fiction is based on reality unless you're a fairytale artist.
Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and football is often the only thing we have in common.
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces. Life
Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.
I am a generous man, by nature, and far more trusting than I should be. Indeed. The real world is risky territory for people with generosity of spirit. Beware. Nature
I am a professional sportswriter, among other things, and I take the games seriously. It is only one of my many powerful addictions, and I don't mind admitting any of them.
I am an Addictive Personality, they say, a natural slave to passion - and many Doctors have warned me against it. I am a High-risk Patient.
I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky and I learned, early on, that Habitual Domination was a natural way of life. Life
I am not a yachting person, by nature, but I have just enough experience on the sea under sail to feel a certain nostalgia for it when I see a big white racing yacht heeled over at cruising speed on the ocean, and I can still tie a mean bowline knot on just about anything in less than 10 seconds. Nature
I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it.
I believe the Republicans have never thought that democracy was anything but a tribal myth.
I can't think in terms of journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. Unless there's been a reaction, there's been no journalism. It's cause and effect.
I don't think that my kind of journalism has ever been universally popular. It's lonely out here.
I guess that's one of the things about growing up in the fifties - it never occurred to me that you wouldn't be at least as successful as your parents.
I had a soft-spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth.
I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing.
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. Truth
I have always hated bowling, and I don't mind admitting it.
I have always loved blizzards, if only because of the driving experience - which is definitely an acquired taste.
I have learned, in my life and work as a sportswriter, that big-time Sports and big-time Politics are not so far apart in America. They are both a means to the same end, which is victory... And why not? Victory is good for you, and don't let anybody tell you different. Life ;Sports & Athletics ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have long understood that losing always comes with the territory when you wander into the gambling business, just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business. They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Life ;Sports & Athletics ;Business, Commerce & Finance
I have never believed much in luck, and my sense of humor has tended to walk on the dark side. Humor
I have warned many times about the guaranteed dangers of betting with your heart instead of your head - big darkness, soon come - but every once in a while you get a fair chance to have it both ways, and the annual NCAA basketball Tournament is one of them.
I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.
I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone's imagination. Time
I think I'm one of the most patriotic people that I've ever encountered in America. I consider myself a bedrock patriot. I participate very actively in local politics, because my voice might be worthwhile. I participate in a meaningful way - not by donations; I work at it. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Citizenship & Patriotism
I was 22 when JFK was murdered, and I will never recover from it... Never.
I wasn't trying to be an outlaw writer. I never heard of that term; somebody else made it up. But we were all outside the law: Kerouac, Miller, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kesey; I didn't have a gauge as to who was the worst outlaw. I just recognized allies: my people.
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. Truth
If Sunday is the Lord's day, then Saturday belongs to the Devil. It is the only night of the week when he gives out Free passes to the Late show at the Too Much Fun Club.
If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.
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. Society
In my heart, I am always a Raider.
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. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I've already become a mastodon in print - I don't see a consciousness for my kind of journalism.
Jack Kerouac influenced me quite a bit as a writer... in the Arab sense that the enemy of my enemy was my friend.
Justice is expensive in America. There are no Free Passes... You might want to remember this, the next time you get careless and blow off a few Parking Tickets. They will come back to haunt you the next time you see a Cop car in your rear-view mirror. Time
Marathon running, like golf, is a game for players, not winners. That is why Callaway sells golf clubs and Nike sells running shoes. But running is unique in that the world's best racers are on the same course, at the same time, as amateurs, who have as much chance of winning as your average weekend warrior would scoring a touchdown in the NFL. Time
March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a 'gentleman gambler' when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely... There are no Rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.
Nixon 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.
Nixon was a bad loser. He hated losing worse than death, and that is why I enjoyed him. We were both football fans, both addicts; and on some days, nothing else mattered. Death
Nixon was a crook, of course, but he was also a rabid football fan - and he knew the game, which still astounds me, but I have always had a soft spot for him because of it.
Nixon was no more a saint than he was a great president.
Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Morning
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.
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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.
One of the most basic factors in sports is that winning becomes a habit, and losing is the same way. When failure starts to feel normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won't have to go looking for trouble, because trouble will find you. Count on it. Life ;Sports & Athletics ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
One thing I have learned in my painful career as a gambler is that bragging when you get lucky and win a few games will plunge you into gloom and unacceptable beatings very soon. It happens every time. Time
Paranoia is just another word for ignorance.
Politics is the art of controlling your environment. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Quacks are a part of our culture, and we all fall prey to them. Who among us can say, for sure, that even our own personal physicians are honest and competent?
Remember this, folks - I am a Hillbilly, and I don't always Bet the same way I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.
Richard Nixon was a criminally insane Monster - Bill Clinton is a black-hearted Swine of a friend.
Richard Nixon was an evil man - evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency.
Rude people will now & then ask me why I think I know so much about Politics. I tell them it's because I'm Smart... But that is a lie: The real reason is because I'm an incurable Gambling addict. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Rush Limbaugh is a lame professional swine, and he makes a good living at it. He is like a hired geek in some traveling backwoods carnival - the freaks who bite the heads off chickens - but Limbaugh is a modernized geek who thinks he can bite the heads off of people.
Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
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.
The behavior of the crowd at Churchill Downs is like 100,000 vicious Hyenas going berserk all at once in a space about the size of a 777 jet or the White House lawn.
The best thing about the Kentucky Derby is that it is only two minutes long. It is the quickest event in sports, except for Sumo-wrestling & Mike Tyson fights. Maybe Drag-racing is quicker, but I have never been attracted to it. Sports & Athletics
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 Hell's Angels try not to do anything halfway, and anyone who deals in extremes is bound to cause trouble, whether he means to or not. This, along with a belief in total retaliation for any offense or insult, is what makes the Hell's Angels unmanageable for the police and morbidly fascinating to the general public.
The mind of America is seized by a fatal dry rot - and it's only a question of time before all that the mind controls will run amuck in a frenzy of stupid, impotent fear. Time
The next MVP of the Super Bowl is just as likely to have been a full-time grocery store bagger last year as a Heisman Trophy winner.
The only thing wrong with the NBA - or any other professional sport, for that matter - is a wild epidemic of Dumbness and overweening Greed. There is no Mystery about it, and no need to change any rules. Sports & Athletics
The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs. Morning
The Raiders of old were vicious and crazy and cruel. Hanging around their locker room was like hanging around the weight room at Folsom Prison.
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. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.
The writer must be a participant in the scene... like a film director who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work, and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least the main character. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart.
There is always room for losers in the football business. They are the mother's milk of gambling, and why not? Somebody has to do it, or there won't be any winners. Business, Commerce & Finance
There is no fool like a careless gambler who starts taking victory for granted.
There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.
There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.
There might be some serious fun in politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Truth is weirder than any fiction I've seen. Truth
Victory is a fleeting thing in the gambling business. Today's winners are tomorrow's blinking toads, dumb beasts with no hope. Hope ;Business, Commerce & Finance
With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.
Without gambling, I would not exist.
Yes sir, I am a tortured man for all seasons, as they say, and I have powerful friends in high places. Birds sing where I walk, and children smile when they see me coming.
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.