Clearly, we were going to have to figure out some way to spend more time in the clubhouse tomorrow. But the “walkaround” press passes to F&G were only good for thirty minutes at a time, presumably to allow the newspaper types to rush in and out for photos or quick interviews, but to prevent drifters like Steadman and me from spending all day in the clubhouse, harassing the gentry and rifling the odd handbag or two while cruising around the boxes. Or Macing the governor. The time limit was no problem on Friday, but on Derby Day the walkaround passes would be in heavy demand. And since it took about ten minutes to get from the press box to the Paddock, and ten more minutes to get back, that didn’t leave much time for serious people-watching. And unlike most of the others in the press box, we didn’t give a hoot in hell what was happening on the track. We had come there to watch the real beasts perform.
Hunter S. Thompson, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved (via conelradstation)
When I ran for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, that was the point. In the rotten fascist context of what was happening to America in 1969, being a freak was an honorable way to go. —Hunter S. Thompson from “The Playboy Interview,” Nov. 1974.
If I’d written the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people—including me—would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone Magazine, February 15, 1973
The Sixties were an era of extreme reality. I miss the smell of tear gas. I miss the fear of getting beaten.
Hunter S. Thompson, Independent on Sunday, October 12, 1997
My concept of death for a long time was to come down that mountain road at 120 and just keep going straight right there, burst out through the barrier and hang out above all that… and there I’d be, sitting in the front seat, stark naked, with a case of whiskey next to me and a case of dynamite in the trunk… honking the horn, and the lights on, and just sit there in space for an instant, a human bomb, and fall down into that mess of steel mills. It’d be a tremendous goddam explosion. No pain. No one would get hurt. I’m pretty sure, unless they’ve changed the highway, that launching place is still there. As soon as I get home, I ought to take the drive just to check it out.
Hunter S. Thompson, quoted in the St. Petersburg Times, February 22, 2005
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
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)
This blizzard of mind-warping war propaganda out of Washington is building up steam. Monday is Anthrax, Tuesday is Bankruptcy, Friday is Child-Rape, Thursday is Bomb-scares, etc., etc., etc… If we believed all the brutal, frat-boy threats coming out of the White House, we would be dead before Sunday. It is pure and savage terrorism reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
Hunter S. Thompson, “Domestic Terrorism at the Super Bowl” (11 February 2002)
The people who need democracy don’t even know what the word means; the people who know what it means don’t need it and they don’t mind saying so.
Hunter S. Thompson, “Democracy Dies in Peru, but Few Seem to Mourn its Passing” (via resips)