*HST – Wisdom

Hunter S. Thompson Quotes


  • Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars. ( Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ) 
  • Las Vegas is not the kind of town where you want to drive down Main Street aiming a black bazooka-looking instrument at people. ( Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas )
  • San Francisco in the middle was a very special time and place to be a part of…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…There was madness in any direction, at any hour…You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was rightthat we were winning…. And that, I think, was the handle-that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting-on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave….So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark-that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. ( FLLV
  • Sympathy? Not for me. No mercy for a criminal freak in Las Vegas. This place is like the Army: the shark ethic prevails-eat the wounded. 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.  ( FLLV )  


  • The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits-a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage. ( Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas )
  • Merely to read a New York paper is to wallow in a bog of filth and despair, diaster and rape, and neverending tales of human viciousness. ( The Proud Highway )  


  • It is a way of life which was never meant for our type. Being almost wholly composed of dullards and intellectual sluggards, it is a painful hell for anyone with an I.Q. over 80. It is a catch-all for people who regard every tomorrow as a hammer swinging at the head of man, and whose outstanding trait is a fearful mistrust of everything out of the ordinary. Should you volunteer, it will be two years lost in a sea of ignorance.  ( The Proud Highway )


  • To make a point of declaring friendship is to cheapen it, for men’s emotions are very rarely put into words successfully.  ( The Proud Highway )


  • The collecting business is a haven for dullards and habitual misers, devoid of humor and incapable of interesting correspondence. ( The Proud Highway )


  • Most people’s lives are virtual monuments to cowardly indecision. Ah, that we lack the courage of our romantic convictions; and thereby miss the wine of life, forgoing the very thing that makes living worthwhile. ( The Proud Highway )
  • Play your own game, be your own man, and don’t ask anybody for a stamp of approval. ( Fear & Loathing in America )
  • The Edge…There is no honest way of explaining it because the only people who know where it is are the ones who have gone over. ( Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga ) Submitted by Capricious Nature
  • To let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life – the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual. ( The Proud Highway )
  • Beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. ( The Proud Highway )
  • No two ideals were ever more incompatible than the security of conformity and the freedom of individuality. After the choice is made, the rest is easy – unless you don’t have the guts to stick by your choice.  ( The Proud Highway )
  • Everybody is looking for someone who can stand up in the wind. It is lonely standing up and crowded lying down. I refuse to be an anchor for other people’s dreams – but then I refuse to anchor mine to anyone else. So I have no choice but to stand up and piss into the wind. ( The Proud Highway )


  • A good writer stands above movements, neither a leader nor a follower, but a bright white golf ball in a fairway of wind-blown daisies. ( The Proud Highway
  • Jack Kerouac influenced me quite a bit as a writer…in the Arab sense that the enemy of my enemy was my friend. Kerouac taught me that you could get away with writing about drugs and get published. It was possible, and in a symbolic way I expected Kerouac to turn up in Haight-Ashbury for the cause. Ginsberg was there, so it was kind of natural to expect that Kerouac would show up too. ( The Paris Review # 156 )
  • 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. ( Kingdom of Fear )
  • Too many people in this gutless world have come under the impression that writers are a race of finks, queers and candy asses to be bilked, cheated and mocked as a form of commercial sport. It should be noted, therefore, in the public interest, that some writers possess .44 Magnums and can puncture beer cans with 240-grain slugs from that weapon at a distance of 150 yards. Other writers, it is said, tend to enjoy violence for its own sake, and feel that a good fight, with the inevitable destruction of all nearby equipment and furniture, is nearly as fine for the nerves as a quart of John Powers Irish [whiskey]. ( The Proud Highway )


  • I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes. ( Lecture @ University of Colorado ’77 )
  • 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. ( Kingdom of Fear )


  • Some of the things I called Nixon obviously were not accurate. Nixon does not, as far as I know, fuck pigs and sell used cars with cracked blocks. Nor is he corrupt beyond the ability of modern man to describe it. Those are exaggerations to make a point. My concern with accuracy is on a higher level than nickels and dimes. ( Songs of the Doomed ) Submitted by Duncan Vilance
  • Nixon is like a hyena that you shoot and gut, then see a few hours later, loping along in his stinking way, oblivious to the fact that he is not only dead, but gutted as well. ( The Proud Highway )
  • In a nation ruled 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.
    ( Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Great Shark Hunt ) Submitted by Edi Sanchez
  • I witnessed at least ten beatings in Chicago that were worse than anything I ever saw the Hell’s Angels do; at one point I stood about 20 yards off, while four cops beat a photographer who was rolling around on the sidewalk screaming “Help, Help!” … and all I could do was stand there, constantly watching around me to make sure I had running room if they came after me. A half hour later I was talking about what I’d seen in a bar when I suddenly started crying…the whole week was that way: fear and tension and super-charged emotions, sore legs from running, no sleep, and a sense of disaster pervading it all. ( Fear and Loathing in America )   


  • Main thing: Don’t open the fuckin door. Let them break it down. It’s better to pay for a broken lock which gives you a better chance to beat it than go to jail. Second: Don’t say a fucking word. Nothing! If you feel compelled to talk, if you’re the gabby sort of uptight guy, then just say nonono to everything. ( Fear and Loathing in America )


  • I took it and it was quite a ride. I went completely out of my head and I had a wonderful time, didn’t bother a soul. Not a hint of violence. I thought, aha, I’ve gotten to the bottom of the well here and the animal’s not down there, the one they said was there. ( LSD-25: RES IPSA LOQUITOR ) 


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