Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The wit of PJ O Rourke

The US occasionally throws out a great wit. Mark Twain and HL Mencken come to mind. The modern equivalent is P J O'Rourke. His ascerbic and wise comments are particularly apposite coming from a Liberal perspective, although his attacks on American Liberals (Leftists, rather than Libertarians) are pretty sharp: "People ask me if I've ever been called a Nazi. I answer that no one has ever had dreams of being tied down and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal."

Other stupendous quotes from PJ:

Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.

Popular culture has always been moronic. It has to be, by mathematics. I mean, one-half of the population is by definition below median intelligence.

Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.

There's a difference between information and knowledge. It's the difference between Christy Turlington's phone number and Christy Turlington.

The larger the German body, the smaller the German bathing suit and the louder the German voice issuing German demands and German orders to everybody who doesn't speak German. For this, and several other reasons, Germany is known as 'the land where Israelis learned their manners'.

Because of their cuisine, Germans don't consider farting rude. They'd certainly be out of luck if they did.

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then get elected and prove it.

To grasp the true meaning of socialism, imagine a world where everything is designed by the post office, even the sleaze.

Even the bad things are better than they used to be. Bad music, for instance, has gotten much briefer. Wagner's Ring Cycle takes four days to perform while "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by the Crash Test Dummies lasts little more than three minutes.

Never wear anything that panics the cat

Fretting about overpopulation, is a perfect guilt-free— indeed, sanctimonious— way for "progressives" to be racists.

I guess the argument of contextuality is that anything is okay as long as it's done by people who are sufficiently unlike you.

Idealism is based on big ideas. And, as anybody who has ever been asked "What's the big idea?" knows, most big ideas are bad ones.

In Japan people drive on the left. In China people drive on the right. In Vietnam it doesn't matter.

On Friday, June 12, 1992, 110 heads of state gathered at Riocentro. They were indistinguishable in dress and deportment. Where was biodiversity when we needed it?

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.

Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Stepanakert, capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, rioted over much needed spelling reform in the Soviet Union.

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life; but only a fool trusts either of them.

There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.

There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.

I am a journalist and, under the modern journalist's code of Olympian objectivity (and total purity of motive), I am absolved of responsibility. We journalists don't have to step on roaches. All we have to do is turn on the kitchen light and watch the critters scurry.

Humor is a terrific tool for explaining things, especially when what you're explaining is frightening or dull and complicated

Genius...

2 comments:

Tristan said...

Brilliant. Pure genius...

Anonymous said...

While certainly no Mark Twain, Dave Barry is entertaining and occasionally turns an interesting phrase:

http://homepage.eircom.net/~odyssey/Quotes/Modern_World/Dave_Barry.html