Skip to main content

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...

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

Popular posts from this blog

Post Truth and Justice

The past decade has seen the rise of so-called "post truth" politics.  Instead of mere misrepresentation of facts to serve an argument, political figures began to put forward arguments which denied easily provable facts, and then blustered and browbeat those who pointed out the lie.  The political class was able to get away with "post truth" positions because the infrastructure that reported their activity has been suborned directly into the process. In short, the media abandoned long-cherished traditions of objectivity and began a slow slide into undeclared bias and partisanship.  The "fourth estate" was always a key piece of how democratic societies worked, since the press, and later the broadcast media could shape opinion by the way they reported on the political process. As a result there has never been a golden age of objective media, but nevertheless individual reporters acquired better or worse reputations for the quality of their reporting and

We need to talk about UK corruption

After a long hiatus, mostly to do with indolence and partly to do with the general election campaign, I feel compelled to take up the metaphorical pen and make a few comments on where I see the situation of the UK in the aftermath of the "Brexit election". OK, so we lost.  We can blame many reasons, though fundamentally the Conservatives refused to make the mistakes of 2017 and Labour and especially the Liberal Democrats made every mistake that could be made.  Indeed the biggest mistake of all was allowing Johnson to hold the election at all, when another six months would probably have eaten the Conservative Party alive.  It was Jo Swinson's first, but perhaps most critical, mistake to make, and from it came all the others.  The flow of defectors and money persuaded the Liberal Democrat bunker that an election could only be better for the Lib Dems, and as far as votes were concerned, the party did indeed increase its vote by 1.3 million.   BUT, and it really is the bi

Media misdirection

In the small print of the UK budget we find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Finance Minister) has allocated a further 15 billion Pounds to the funding for the UK track and trace system. This means that the cost of the UK´s track and trace system is now 37 billion Pounds.  That is approximately €43 billion or US$51 billion, which is to say that it is amount of money greater than the national GDP of over 110 countries, or if you prefer, it is roughly the same number as the combined GDP of the 34 smallest economies of the planet.  As at December 2020, 70% of the contracts for the track and trace system were awarded by the Conservative government without a competitive tender being made . The program is overseen by Dido Harding , who is not only a Conservative Life Peer, but the wife of a Conservative MP, John Penrose, and a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford. Many of these untendered contracts have been given to companies that seem to have no notewo