Saturday, June 04, 2005

Saturday Night Quotes - P. J. O'Rourke

  • A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.
  • After all, what is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
  • Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.
  • Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
  • Children from the age of five to ten should watch more television. Television depicts adults as rotten SOB's, given to fistfights, gunplay, and other mayhem. Kids who believe this about grownups aren't likely to argue about bedtime.
  • Children must be considered in a divorce, considered valuable pawns in the nasty legal and financial contest that is about to ensue.
  • Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.
  • Even a band of angels can turn ugly and start looting if enough angels are unemployed and hanging around the Pearly Gates convinced that all the succubi own all the liquor stores in Heaven.
  • Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
  • Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.
  • Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.
  • Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.
  • Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
  • Gossip is what you say about the objects of flattery when they aren't present.
  • Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.
  • Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.
  • 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.
  • I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a "learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid.
  • I suppose I should get a VCR, but the only thing I like about television is its ephemerality.
  • If government were a product, selling it would be illegal.
  • If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.
  • If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.
  • Never be unfaithful to a lover, except with your wife.
  • Never fight an inanimate object.
  • Never wear anything that panics the cat.
  • Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest that includes 100 percent of the population. Now we can vote ourselves rich.
  • Staying married may have long-term benefits. You can elicit much more sympathy from friends over a bad marriage than you ever can from a good divorce.
  • The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?
  • 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 they get elected and prove it.
  • The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
  • The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.
  • The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.
  • There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
  • There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.
  • What use is it to endure the Dutch Rubs and Indian Rope Burns that are politics if you can't obtain mastery over people and give them noogies back?
  • Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government does it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy.
  • When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
  • You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.

2 comments:

Comfort Addict said...

Sorry, Laurie. I can't go for most of this (although I know that different people find humor in different things). O'Rourke has always seemed mean-spirited to me (even back when he was with the National Lampoon). I know that there's always a little sting in satire but, to me, O'Rourke is a killer bee.

Laurie said...

Comfort Addict - I usually get a lot of feedback on these weekend quote things I post and judging by the amount of comments I got on this one, I would say P. J. O'Rourke is not a favorite of most people.