“Meanwhile, I am hunkered down in Washington — waiting for the next plane to anywhere and wondering what in the name of sweet Jesus ever brought me here in the first place. This is not what us journalists call a “happy beat.”
At first I thought it was me, that I was missing all the action because I wasn’t plugged in. But then I began reading the press wizards who are plugged in, and it didn’t take long to figure out that most of them were just filling space because the contracts said they had to write a certain amount of words every week.
At that point I tried talking to some of the people that even the wizards said were “right on top of things.” But they all seemed very depressed; not only about the ’72 election, but about the whole, long-range of politics and democracy in America.
Hunter S. Thompson, ”Fear and Loathing in New Hampshire”, 1972
“I could see myself getting off a boat in Martinique and ambling into town to look for a cheap hotel. I could see myself in Caracas and Bogota and Rio, wheeling and dealing through a world I had never seen but I knew I could handle because I was a champ.
But it was pure masturbation, because down in my gut I wanted nothing more than a clean bed and a bright room and something solid to call my own at least until I got tired of it. There was an awful suspicion that I’d finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn’t feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”—Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary (via liberumarbitriumindifferentiae)
“It is the same assumption that motivates a homeowner to sell to whites only - not because of race prejudice but out of concern for property values. In other words, almost nobody has anything against Negroes, but everybody’s neighbor does. This is galling to the Negroes. Simple racism is an easy thing to confront, but a mixture of guilty prejudice, economic worries and threatened social standing is much harder to fight.”—Hunter S. Thompson The Great Shark Hunt, “A Southern City with Northern Problems”
“Oct. 12th (PISMO BEACH)
The sun was going down as we left Malibu and headed north on 101, running smoothly through Oxnard and along the ocean to Santa Barbara. My companion was a little nervous about my speed, so I gave her some gin to calm her down. Soon she relaxed against me, and I put my arm around her. Roseanne Cash was on the radio, singing about the seven-year ache, and the traffic was opening up.
As we approached the Lompoc exit, I mentioned that Lompoc was the site of a federal penitentiary and I once had some friends over there.
“Oh?” she said. “Who were they?”
“Prisoners,” I said. “Nothing serious. That’s where Ed was.”
She stiffened and moved away from me, but I turned up the music and we settled back to drive and watch the moon come up. What the hell? I thought. Just another young couple on the road to the American Dream.”—Hunter S. Thompson
“Young people of America, awake from your slumber of indolence and hark-en the call of the future! Do you realise you are rapidly becoming a doomed generation? Do you realise that the fate of the world and of generations to come rests on your shoulders? Do you realise that at any time you may be called on to protect your country and the freedom of the world from the creeping scourge of communism? How can you possibly laugh in the face of the disasters which face us all from all sides? Oh ignorant youth, the world is not a joyous place. The time has come for you to dispense with the frivolous pleasures of childhood and get down to honest toil until you are sixty-five. Then and only then can you relax and collect your social security and live happily until the time of your death. Also your insolent attitude disturbs me greatly. You have the nerve to say that you have never known what it is like to live in a secure and peaceful world; you say that the present generation has balled things up to the extent that we now face a war so terrible that the very thought of it makes hardened veterans shudder; you say it is our fault that World War ll was fought in vein; you say that it is impossible to lay plans for the future until you are sure you have a future. I say Nonsense! None of these things matter. If you expect a future you must carve it out in the face of these things. You also say that you must wait until after you have served your time with the service to settle down. Ridiculous! It is a man’s duty to pull up stakes and serve his country at any time, then settle down again. I say there is no excuse for a feeling of insecurity on your part;there is no excuse for juvenile delinquency; there is no excuse for your attitude except that you are rotten and lazy! I was never like that! I worked hard; I saved; I didn’t run around and stay out late at night; I carved out my own future through hard work and virtuous living, and look at me now: a respectful and successful man. I warn you, if you don’t start now it will be too late, and the blame for the end of the world will be laid at your feet. Heed my warning, oh depraved and profligate youth; I say awake, awake, awake! Fearfully and disgustedly yours, John J. Righteous-Hypocrite.”
Johnny Depp made a special appearance at Columbia University last night to promote his latest movie, The Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s early novel about a young journalist ensnared in a web of capitalist exploitation in Puerto Rico in the 1950s. Depp, director Alex Gibney (who made a documentary about Thompson called Gonzo), and Rum Diary director Bruce Robinson participated in a panel discussion prior to a screening of the film (which opens Friday). Thompson’s childhood friend and former editor of Rolling Stone Porter Bibb was also on hand, and recalled that Thompson was so worried about the book being tampered with that he wrote “contaminated with semen” on each galley copy.
“…that little muff of brown hair standing out like a beacon against the white flesh of her belly and thighs…that sacred little muff, carefully nurtured by parents who knew all too well its power and its value, sent off to Smith College for cultivation and slight exposure to the wind and weather of life, tended for twenty years by a legion of parents and teachers and friends and advisers, then farmed out to New York on a wing and a prayer.”—Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary (via pantsomg)
“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, San Francisco Examiner (4 November 1985)
“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 after raping the banker’s daughter.”—
- Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966)
“I had a soft spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth, and also because his wife gave the best head in Hollywood.”—Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness (2004)
“Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist, you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.”— Hunter S. Thompson, AP Interview (2003)