Monday, October 17, 2016

Quotes by Hunter S. Thompson - Fact and Fiction

Before we get into the quotes proper, here is Hunter S.Thompson on the writing process, taken from the Paris Review:
Question - What is your instrument in composing? You are one of the few writers I know who still uses an electric typewriter. What’s wrong with a personal computer?
Answer: I’ve tried. There is too much temptation to go over the copy and rewrite. I guess I’ve never grown accustomed to the silent, non-clacking of the keys and the temporary words put up on the screen. I like to think that when I type something on this [pointing to the typewriter], when I’m finished with it, it’s good. I haven’t gotten past the second paragraph on a word processor. Never go back and rewrite while you’re working. Keep on it as if it were final.
The quotes noted below are a mixture of fact and fiction. 
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.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. 
These things happen. One day you run everything, and the next day you run like a dog. Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously. You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains. 
 
Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing. 
He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master. 
The best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism. 
The truth, when you finally chase it down is almost always far worse than your darkest visions and fears. 
 There are times, however, and this is one of them when even being right feels wrong. 
 THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is the ones who have gone over...  
 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.  
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?
  
A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.  
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.  
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. 
 

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  
Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  
It was like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool full of mermaids. 
 
I felt a tremendous distance between myself and everything real.  
Beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway.  
A man who has blown all his options can't afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can't afford to admit — no matter how often he's reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley.  
The streets of every city in America are filled with men who would pay all the money they could lay their hands on to be transformed, even for a day, into hairy, hard-fisted brutes who walk all over cops, extort drinks from terrified bartenders and roar out of town on big motorcycles...  
I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I... And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.


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.
  
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 come to regard him as a loner with no real past and a future so vague there was no sense talking about it.
  
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.Kingdom of Fear (12 September 2001)  
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.
  
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.

 

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