February 15, 2016


Hunter S. Thompson was many things, so it would be unjust to define him as a journalist. He himself bounced back and forth on the topic. While he paid electricity bills with the money given to him for his words, the way he gallivanted through life – from ether binges to desert catastrophes – was the legacy that transpired into the modern day. In the simplest sense, he pressed the play button on life a little harder than the rest of us. While Hunter took his own life and jet-set for greener pastures, he left behind a bent legacy of brutal and unabashed reporting: gonzo.

While sadly he’s not here to sink whiskey, snort powder and chain smoke anymore, we can remember his brilliance through much of what he wrote. Here’s 25 of the most profound and insightful quotes that fell out of his back pocket during his time on the campaign trail, amidst the Hell’s Angels and wandering through the savage heart of the American Dream – Las Vegas.

“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”

“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.”

“Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.”

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

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

“Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.”

“You won’t find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.”

“Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.”

“If you can’t make yourself understood by your friends, you’ll be in trouble when your enemies come for you.”

“Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.”

“He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.”

“For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.”

“Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.”

“Journalism, to me, is just another drug – a free ride to scenes I’d probably miss if I stayed straight.”

“The TV business is a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side.”

“Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception.”

“Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

“The best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism.”

“Las Vegas is the savage heart of the American Dream.”

“Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of ‘the rat race’ is not yet final.”

“The truth, when you finally chase it down is almost always far worse than your darkest visions and fears”

“Publishers are notoriously slothful about numbers, unless they’re attached to dollar signs – unlike journalists, quarterbacks, and felony criminal defendants who tend to be keenly aware of numbers at all times.”

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit…what a ride!”

Text and quote compilation courtesy of Your Friends House.

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