Persons [ ] Yesterday’s Weirdness / Self Portraits & Writings | Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005

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Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, Big Sur, c.1960s

“The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb grey hairs” ^

“I’m a word freak. I like words. I’ve always compared writing to music. That’s
the way I feel about good paragraphs. When it really works, it’s like music.”

“The first paragraph. The last paragraph. That’s where the story is going and
how it’s going to end. Or else you’ll go off in a hundred different directions.” #

“Writing is the flip side of sex – it’s only good when it’s over.”

“Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.” +


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, in Striped Chair, c.1960s

“Weird behavior is natural in smart children, like curiosity is to a kitten.” ^

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

“We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.”

“Liberalism itself has failed, and for a pretty good reason. It has been too often compromised by the people who represented it.” $

“It was necessary, we felt, to thoroughly terrify our opponents, so that even in hollow victory, they would learn to fear every sunrise.” <


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, On the Road to Tijuana, c.1960s

“The greatest mania of all is passion: and I am a natural slave to passion: the balance between my brain
and my soul and my body is as wild and delicate as the skin of a Ming vase.” +

“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” >

“You can’t miss what you never had.” (

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


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, Puerto Rico, c.1960s

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance
and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives…
and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.” >

“Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die. Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness thinks of yesterday.
Life is beautiful and living is pain. The sound of music floats down a dark street. ”}

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


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, Silhouette Smoking, c. 1960s

“It was one of those fine little love stories that can make you smile in your sleep at night.” ^

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

“On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.” ^

“Familiarity seems to breed contempt” *

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


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, with Bulletin Board, c.1960s

“”All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.”
Remembered line from a long-forgotten poem” *

“It was obvious that he was a man who marched through life to the rhythms of some drum I would never hear.” *

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

“Platitudes are safe, because they’re easy to wink at, but truth is something else again.”  >

“A word to the wise is infuriating. ”


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, Louisville, c.1950s

“I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you,
like a thing that might have to be killed. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life
interesting.” ^

“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.” *

“Tiny hurts people. When he loses his temper he goes completely out of control and his huge body becomes
a lethal weapon. It is difficult to see what role he might play in the Great Society. ” *


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, Plumas County Fair, c.1960s

“We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism,
fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or
suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.”

“Paranoia is just another mask for ignorance. The truth, when you finally chase it down is almost always far worse
than your darkest visions and fears”
“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, Self Portrait, Big Sur on Motorcycle, c.1960s

“It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that,
we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” =

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm
of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”

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

“An outlaw can be defined as somebody who lives outside the law, beyond the law and not necessarily against it.”

“At the top of the mountain we are all snow leopards.” ^


Hunter S. Thompson, Self Portrait, with Grill, Big Sur, c.1960s

“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. I do not say lonely—at least, not all
the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how
you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” >

“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.”
“After midnight, all things are possible.”


Hunter S. Thompson, Typewriter Still Life, Big Sur, c.1960s

“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.”

“I’ve always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it’s a bit like fucking, which is only fun for amateurs.
Old whores don’t do much giggling.” {

“Things are no longer what they seem to be. My telephones are haunted, and animals whisper at me from unseen places.” ^

“Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.” ^

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005

/ } Letter to Gerald “Ching” Tyrrell, 11 Nov 1956 /  > The Proud Highway, 1955-67 / * Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, 1966 / $ Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 1972 / { The Great Shark Hunt, 1979 / + The Curse of Lono, 1983 / =  Generation of Swine, 1988 / ( Polo Is My Life, 1994 / # The Paris Review, Fall 2000 /  <  Screwjack, 2000 / ^ Kingdom of Fear, 2003 /  – Interview, 1 Nov 2004  /

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