P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.
O'Rourke
1947

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

The idea of a stag hunt evokes chivalry - knights in jerkins and hose, ladies on sidesaddles with wimples and billowing dresses, a white stag symbolizing something-or-other, and Robin Hood getting in the way. An actual stag hunt is more like a horseback meeting of a county planning commission.

The most brilliant satire of all time was 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift. You'll notice how everything got straightened out in Ireland within days of that coming out.

The problem with public school is not overcrowding in the classroom. The problem is not teacher unions. The problem is not underfunding or lack of computer equipment. The problem is your damn kids.

The District of Columbia is an extreme example of disconnect between financial input and educational outcome. Unfortunately, extreme is not the same as abnormal.

The idea of a world where all people are alike - in wealth or in anything else - is a fantasy for the stupid.

The most extraordinary change in Moscow was Arbat Street, the USSR's first pedestrian mall. Of course, there's something a little sad about a pedestrian mall in a nation where few people own cars- the whole damn country's a pedestrian mall.

The problem, when comparing contemporary television to television in 1974, is that TV has become not just bad but sad.

The divorce rate in 1946 was higher than it ever had been and as high as it ever would be until the '70s. The reason was that prior relationships had not endured the strain of war.

The idea of capitalism is not just success but also the failure that allows success to happen.

The most futuristic aspect of the House of the Future was that it was made almost entirely of plastic.

The First Amendment only says 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.' It can disrespect all it wants.

The importance of local governance may not be obvious to an America accustomed to treating city and state downfalls with doses of federal comeuppance. Sometimes there's a reason for that - the Civil War. More often, all reasoning seems absent - No Child Left Behind.

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

The first nine Commandments concern theological principles and social law. But then, right at the end, is 'Don't envy your buddy's cow.' How did that make the top ten? What's it doing there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose as one of those things jealousy about the starter mansion with in-ground pool next door? Yet think how important the Tenth Commandment is to a community, to a nation, indeed to a presidential election. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't be a jerk and whine about what the people across the street have ? go get your own. The Tenth Commandment sends a message to all the jerks who want redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, more government programs, more government regulation, more government, less free enterprise, and less freedom. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.

The inherent purpose of American government is let people seek their own goals and to encourage them to be responsible on the various adventures they have on their way to those goals, good, bad, and otherwise.

The Nobel Peace Prize has always been a joke - albeit a grim one. Alfred Bernhard Nobel famously invented dynamite and felt sorry about it.

The forces of safety are afoot in the land. I, for one, believe it is a conspiracy- a conspiracy of Safety Nazis shouting "Sieg Health" and seeking to trammel freedom, liberty, and large noisy parties. The Safety Nazis advocate gun control, vigorous exercise, and health foods. The result can only be a disarmed, exhausted, and half-starved population ready to acquiesce to dictatorship of some kind.

The Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies is supposed to have subscribed to the Village Voice for six years in an attempt to find out about life in America's rural areas.

The number of American presidential candidates varies with the sunspot cycle and the phases of the moon. Being a Republican, I'm backing Hillary Clinton. Because she could lose. The reason is not that she's a woman. The reason is that she's the particular woman who taught the 4th grade class that every man in America wished he were dead in. Hillary Clinton is Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Hillary Clinton is 'America's ex-wife.'

The foundation of collectivism is simple: There should be no important economic differences among people. No one should be too rich.

The Italians have had two thousand years to fix up the Forum and just look at the place.

The observers had a logbook recording the assaults, bombings, and artillery attacks on the area. Each page was ruled in vertical columns: DATE, TIME, LOCATION, DAMAGE, CASUALTIES. The columns headed ACTION TAKEN BY THE U.N. were completely empty.

The founding fathers, in their wisdom, devised a method by which our republic can take one hundred of its most prominent numbskulls and keep them out of the private sector where they might do actual harm.

The job of the president of the United States is to talk to the public, is to explain to them. Now, some presidents talk too much, like Bill Clinton. Some presidents try to talk but don't know how, like George Bush senior.

The one thing that's terrible about traveling for fun is writing about it.

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

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author