Good luck finding any photographs of Hunter S. Thompson without a cigarette or a drink. Thompson, a visionary and leader in snark whose commentary was often laced with excessive drug use, reinvented journalism 40 years ago and managed to stay relevant until the day he put a bullet in his head in 2005. The drug use was fuel for a highly-specific voice that can often be recognized in a single sentence—his entire Richard M. Nixon obit can be found here, which you'll find featured in No. 15 below.
These quotes cover everything from politics to ether, and, to an extent, show us how the great Gonzo viewed the world. The beauty of it all, though, is that we'll never really understand how he viewed the world. Probably how he preferred it.
1. “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
2. “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
3. “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.”
4. “I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes.”
5. “I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.”
6. “I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.”
7. “Turn the goddam music up! My heart feels like an alligator!”
8. "Take it from me, there's nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.”
9. “Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.”
10. “It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat sh*t and die.”
11. “With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”
12. “A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so long.”
13. “The brutal reality of politics would be probably intolerable without drugs.”
14. “Writing is the flip side of sex - it's only good when it's over.”
15. “If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.”
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and tends to stray away from countries occupied by bats.