P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.
O'Rourke
1947

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

There's a joke people tell in the Soviet Union: Mitterrand, Bush and Gorbachev have a meeting with God. Mitterrand says, 'My country faces many difficult problems-- lagging exports, Muslim minorities, European unification. How long will it be before France's problems are solved?' God says, 'Fifteen years.' Mitterrand begins to cry. 'I'm an old man,' says Mitterrand. 'I'll be dead by then. I'll never see France's problems solved.' Then Bush says, 'My country faces many difficult problems-- recession, crime, racial prejudice. How long will it be before America's problems are solved?' God says, 'Ten years.' Bush begins to cry. 'I'm an old man,' says Bush. 'I'll be out of office by then. I won't get any credit for solving America's problems.' Then Gorbachev says, 'My country faces many, many difficult problems. How long will it be before the Soviet Union's problems are solved?' God begins to cry.

TV ushered in the age of postliteracy. And we have gone so far beyond that. I mean, what with the Internet and Google and Wikipedia. We have entered the age of post-intelligence.

We Americans, who invented traffic, are always being startled by the forms into which it has evolved around the world.

What Alexander Graham Bell thought up occupied less space than a flower vase. Now it's so small that I have to search all my pockets to discover I've received a spam text.

When I was fifteen, I dreamed of living in the big city, as many a young person does if he is artistic and sensitive. By 'artistic and sensitive' I mean short, skinny, unkissed, bad at sports, and carrying a C average in high school.

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 are selves too big for one person to contain. You cannot call them selfish. There is nothing -ish about such selves. They are the self, as it were, itself.

There's a love of rhetorical skill in the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden doesn't just go on tape cassettes and say, 'America sucks.' He recites poetry; he finds things that 'America sucks' rhymes with.

Two key rules of Third World travel: 1. Never run out of whiskey. 2. Never run out of whiskey.

We did not become libertarians because we are altruists.

What Enron was doing, what caused investors to embrace it in a rapture of baffled awe, was hiding debt.

When I'm in the car, I want the only one shouting to be me.

The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.

There are twenty-seven specific complaints against the British Crown set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To modern ears they still sound reasonable, in large part, because so many of them can be leveled against the federal government of the United States.

There's no telling what might have happened to our defense budget if Saddam Hussein hadn't invaded Kuwait that August and set everyone gearing up for World War II. Can we count on Saddam Hussein to come along every year and resolve our defense-policy debates? Given the history of the Middle East, it's possible.

Until I carried my wife off to New Hampshire, she defined wilderness as the Bronx.

We got over feminism, too. At least women did, as soon as they were hired for those high-prestige jobs that only men used to have. It turns out that work sucks.

What I believed in the Sixties: Everything. You name it.

When someone detonates a suicide bomb, that person does not have career prospects.

The whole melodrama of the Middle East would be improved if amnesia were as common here as it is in melodramatic plots.

There are two factors in American politics that may seem strange to Europeans: race and religion.

There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.

Upbeat is for people who want to feel good about their cause: the reformers, the progressives, the revolutionaries, the utopians, the collectivists, and the rest of the altruistic scum of the earth. Why do these people want to feel good? They want to feel good in order to convince themselves that they are good.

We had a choice between Democrats who couldn't learn from the past and Republicans who couldn't stop living in it...

What is obnoxious about the motives of politicians - whatever those motives may be - is that politicians must announce their motives as visionary and grand.

Author Picture
First Name
P. J.
Last Name
O'Rourke
Birth Date
1947
Bio

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author