Hunter S. Thompson was a renowned American journalist and author, famous for his unconventional writing style and fearless approach to covering political and social events.
He was a pioneer of the "gonzo" style of journalism, which involved inserting himself into the story and writing from a first-person perspective. Thompson's work was characterized by his wild, irreverent humor and his willingness to speak truth to power.
Throughout his career, Thompson wrote numerous books and articles that have become classics of American literature.
His work has inspired countless writers and journalists, and his legacy continues to influence the world of journalism today. But beyond his writing, Thompson was also known for his colorful personality and his unique perspective on life.
In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable and thought-provoking quotes from Hunter S. Thompson. From his thoughts on politics and society to his musings on life and the human condition, Thompson's words continue to inspire and provoke us to this day. So, whether you're a fan of his work or you're simply looking for some insight and inspiration, read on to discover some of Hunter S. Thompson's most iconic quotes.
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Who is Hunter S. Thompson?
Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1937. He started his career as a journalist for various newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune and the National Observer.
He rose to prominence with the publication of his book "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs" in 1967, which chronicled his experiences with the notorious motorcycle gang.
Thompson's most famous work is "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," a novel that was based on his drug-fueled adventures in Las Vegas with his attorney, Oscar Zeta Acosta.
The book was a landmark work of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting that is characterized by its subjective, first-person perspective.
Best of Hunter S. Thompson's Quotes
1. "Buy the ticket, take the ride." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote is from Thompson's book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." It means that life is an adventure, and you have to be willing to take risks and embrace the unknown if you want to experience it fully. It's a call to live life to the fullest and not be afraid to take chances.
2. "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that sometimes, unconventional methods are necessary to get the job done. It also reflects his own personal struggles with addiction and mental health issues.
3. "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." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote is a scathing critique of the state of journalism in Thompson's time. He believed that the media had become too complacent and too focused on sensationalism, at the expense of real journalism.
4. "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
This quote is a reflection of Thompson's belief that to truly understand something, you have to experience it firsthand. He believed that the only way to truly understand the limits of human experience was to push past them.
5. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that in times of chaos and uncertainty, those who are able to adapt and embrace the strangeness of the world will ultimately come out on top. It's a call to embrace the unconventional and find ways to thrive in even the most challenging of circumstances.
6. "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." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote is another example of Thompson's scathing critique of the media industry. He believed that television news had become corrupted by commercial interests and was no longer fulfilling its vital role in informing and educating the public.
7. "Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that freedom is not a given, but something that must be actively fought for and protected. He believed that people must be willing to take risks and make sacrifices in order to preserve their freedoms.
8. "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that politics is not just about winning elections, but about shaping the world around us. He believed that by engaging in the political process, people could exert a powerful influence over their communities and the world at large.
9. "I'm not proud of what I did, but I learned from it." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that mistakes and missteps are an inevitable part of the human experience, but that it's possible to grow and learn from them. He believed that true wisdom comes from recognizing one's own faults and striving to do better in the future.
10. "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
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that there is a fine line between genius and madness, and that those who are able to channel their craziness into something productive will ultimately be rewarded. He believed that creativity and unconventional thinking were key to success in any field.
11. "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote is another example of Thompson's scathing critique of the entertainment industry. He believed that the music business, like other forms of media, had become corrupted by commercial interests and was no longer focused on creating meaningful art.
12. "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
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that law enforcement officials must be held to a high standard of conduct and must be held accountable for their actions. He believed that respect for the law could only be earned by ensuring that those who enforced it did so with integrity and fairness.
13. "I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote is a humorous reflection of Thompson's disdain for disco music. He believed that disco was a shallow and meaningless form of entertainment that had no place in the cultural landscape.
14. "Good people drink good beer." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that there is an intrinsic connection between good beer and good company. He believed that sharing a drink with friends was a vital part of building strong relationships and creating meaningful connections.
15. "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that the truth is often less important than the narrative that surrounds it. He believed that people were often more interested in stories and legends than they were in facts, and that this was a fundamental part of human nature.
16. "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."
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that there is a fine line between gambling for fun and gambling for profit, and that those who are able to make this distinction are more likely to come out ahead in the long run.
17. "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."
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that the rules of society are often arbitrary and that those who are able to navigate them successfully are the ones who come out on top. He believed that intelligence and cunning were key to survival in a world that was often unjust and unfair.
18. "I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that the constraints of the working world can stifle creativity and authenticity. He believed that people were often more honest and open outside of traditional work hours, when they were free to express themselves without fear of judgment.
19. "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." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's belief that at the core of our being, we are all alone in the world. He believed that it's important to recognize this truth and to find meaning and purpose in life despite our fundamental isolation.
20. "You can't cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump." - Hunter S. Thompson
This quote reflects Thompson's cynical view of human nature, and his belief that people are often motivated by greed and self-interest. He believed that those who were able to manipulate others for personal gain were ultimately the ones who came out on top.
Hunter S. Thompson's quotes are a testament to his unique perspective on life, his passion for adventure, and his uncompromising commitment to truth and authenticity. His legacy continues to inspire writers, journalists, and cultural critics today, and his work remains a powerful commentary on the state of society and the human condition. If you're looking for a fresh perspective on life, Hunter S. Thompson's quotes are a great place to start.