P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

You can't shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity. And forget traditional character assassination; 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.

You don't despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can.

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal.

You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.

You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well, I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby.

You'll note that politicians no longer spend money, they invest it. Don't worry about paying more to the [IRS]. You aren't being taxed; you're taking a plunge on a fly-by-night stock issue.

You're never going to read 'The Wealth of Nations,' and you shouldn't, really. It's 900 pages.

You're not a baby boomer if you don't have a visceral recollection of a Kennedy and a King assassination, a Beatles breakup, a U.S. defeat in Vietnam, and a Watergate.

'You're stupid,' is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama.

You can keep the dining room clean by eating in the kitchen.

You've got to understand, people are motivated by fun. And they should be.

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different perspective.

Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.

You can?t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That?s all you need to know about communism.

You can?t get rid of poverty by giving people money.

You can't destroy America by destroying our elite. Think about America's elite. Think about it down through history. Destroy our elite, and about half the time, you're doing us a favor.

You can't get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That's all you need to know about communism.

The real purpose of welfare is to get rid of poor people entirely. Everybody knows welfare has bad effects; that's the point.

The world is going to hell. All we can do is look good on the trip.

There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.

These were people who believed everything about the Soviet Union was perfect, but they were bringing their own toilet paper.

Violence is interesting. This is a great obstacle to world peace and also to more thoughtful television programming.

We loved cars until the '70s or so. Then they became appliances. They turned into motorized cup holders. Most of it has to do with urban sprawl. What began as pleasure ends up in necessity, as so many things do.

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.

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American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author