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

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

In praise of off-shore tax havens

The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism". 

The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger.  Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest.  Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …