Humorous Quotes from
Give War a Chance By P. J. O'Rourke
I went to my draft physical in 1970 with a doctor's letter about my history of drug abuse. The letter was four and a half pages long with three and a half pages devoted to listing the drugs I'd abused.
...originally appeared in Rolling Stone, where I am the "Foreign Affairs
Desk Chief," a title given to me because "Middle-Aged Drunk" didn't look good on business cards.
". . . and from the nothingness of good works, she passed to the
somethingness of ham and toast with great cheerfulness." ~ Charles Dickens (Barnaby Rudge)
Politics is one more way to achieve power without merit or risk.
West Germans are tall, pink, pert and orthodontically corrected, with hands, teeth and hair as clean as their clothes and clothes as sharp as their looks. Except for the fact that they all speak English pretty well, they're indistinguishable from Americans.
There's something about Marxism that brings our warts - the only kind of growth this economic system encourages.
East Germany was so total in its totalitarianism that everything was banned which wasn't compulsory.
The tears of victory ran down my face - and the snot of victory did too
because it was a pretty cold day. I was blubbering like a lottery winner.
There are artists with palettes and easels selling the kind of modern art
that Soviet art critics used to critique with bulldozers. Judging by the
paintings I saw, the Soviets were right the first time.
The Belfast pictured in Time Magazine, the rubble-and-barbed-wire,
litter-and-graffiti Belfast, is, in fact, a patch of highly photogenic
impoverishment no more than a mile long and half a mile wide. It's as though Architectural Digest came to "do" a house and only took pictures of the teenager's bedroom.
Here was one filthy low-income high-rise complex, the notorious Divis Flats (in Belfast), built in the sixties before city planners discovered that you can't stack poor people who drink.
The day was warm and clear. Kids were playing soccer in the parking lots and women were sunning their babies and having their tea all over the lawns. The scene was entirely too cheery for journalism.
Ireland is so lush and trim, you'd swear it was plotted out in fairways by
Robert Trent Jones. The only uniform that would blend with this war-torn landscape would be orange pants, a purple sweater, white tassled shoes and a five iron.
Elections are a fad in the developing world for the same reason portable tape decks are a fad in the inner city. Elections and tape decks both make a lot of noise.
(In Asuncion) Traffic stayed in its lane and obeyed the posted speed limit - phenomena unusual enough to trigger a police investigation in most places south of the Rio Grande.
I poured myself a small restorative from the mini-bar and slept until
siesta. Then I got up and took a nap.
Journalists aren't supposed to praise things. It's a violation of work rules almost as serious as buying drinks with our own money or absolving the CIA of something.
Favorite Long Quote/Extract One more thing about this generation of soldiers - they grew up in video
arcades. It's no coincidence that watching the Gulf War's high-tech weapons
on our TV screens is so much like watching computer games. This war is the
daddy of all Mario Brothers, the Gog and Magog of hacker networks, the
devil's own personal core dump. And our soldiers have an absolutely
intuitive, Donkey Kong-honed, gut-level understanding of the technology
behind it. Thank God they do. It's why we're winning. So here's what you
folks back home can do to help with the war effort. If you happen to have
any kids and they're outdoors exercising in the healthy fresh air and
sunshine, give them
hell: "YOU GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW AND PLAY NINTENDO!" The future of our
nation may depend on it.
If a journalist shows a facility for praise he's liable to be offered a job
in public relations or advertising and the next thing you know he's got a
big office, a huge salary and is living in a fine home with a lovely wife
and swell kids - another career blown to hell.
Paraguay's climate is almost identical to Florida's but more comfortable
since nobody has to wear a giant mouse costume to make a living.
Asuncion has so few beggars that they're known by name.
Imagine having journalists in your own home and not even covering the
furniture with plastic sheets first.
We in the Asuncion press corps called Paraguay "The Land That Time Forgot - also Life and Newsweek."
Paraguay was making me so mellow and content that I could feel my social conscience dribbling out my ears and I.Q. points flaking off my head like dandruff. Before long I had the brain of a tourist.
Liberals have a quaint and touching faith that truth is on their side and an even quainter faith that journalists are on the side of truth.
I'm a member of the working press; you'd think I'd know better than to
listen to journalists.
The press conference was at the Sandinista's imposing media complex, one of the few buildings in Managua that won't fall down if you piss against the side of it.
The "press" at the press conference was a dirty and confused bunch, even by press corps standards.
Forum (National Forum Foundation) has been sponsoring interns from newly de-communized Eastern Europe, bringing them to the United States so that they can see how democratic institutions work and can learn to avoid making terrible mistakes like electing Jimmy Carter.
His (Raphael Solis) manners were gracious and welcoming, his grin warm and genuine. He was the kind of Commie who'd never ship anyone to a concentration camp in a boxcar; he'd send them in a taxi.
Every voter had the ballot-marking process explained to him personally so that the election went forward at the speed of mammal evolution.
Danny's (Ortega) speech was a long one. There are no brief excuses for communism. And it was punctuated with more pauses for dramatic effect than a high school production of Macbeth.
"Serious" people are dense and know it. But, they think, if they can be
grave enough about Yugoslavia their gravity will make up for the fact that - like most people - they don't know what's going on there, and - like all people - they don't know what to do about it. Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.
I think to think of my behaviour 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.
Rock and roll's dopey crusade against African hunger has, I posit, added to the stock of human misery. And not just audibly.
DEA agents should take drug tests. People who've been set to guard the henhouse shouldn't develop a taste for chicken.
Marine Corps drill instructors, IRS auditors and U.S. Presidents should all be given drug tests if we think they're acting loopy. Most IRS auditors do act loopy, and all recent Presidents have.
True, children look up to professional athletes. But children are short and look up to everything.
I.Q. scores are kept strictly secret. Releasing I.Q. scores would cause
Congress more embarrassment than a boxcar of Breathalyzers.
Drug abuse is one of those home-and-mother oratorical points that let
politicians bray without fear of offending any powerful lobbying groups,
unless they're running for President of Colombia.
A great big crowd of people in automobiles is a traffic jam. It's
unpleasant, yes - horns honk, tempers flare, etc. But a great big crowd of people out of automobiles is a mob. And that's worse. No traffic jam ever stormed the Winter Palace, cheered a lynching or voted Adolf Hitler into power.
Why aren't we making sure that that Fidel-snuggler Ron Dellums never works again? Whoops, we already did that. We elected him to Congress.
I'm sure he'd (J. Danforth Quayle) much rather have a reputation for evil than the reputation he's got now.
The sexual revolution is over and the microbes won.
The husband of one Lifetime Television executive has coined a work for her (Dr. Ruth Westheimer) : "endearritating."
(Why it would be great to have Carter back in the White House) Then there're the Russians. Carter would keep them worried and off balance. When you've got a guy as dumb as this in the White House, hell, he might sit on the button.
It's increasingly clear that nobody in his right mind wants to be President of the United States. Therefore let's, as Rosalyn doubtless says, "go with the flow" and put somebody in the White House with no mind at all.
We are sending 250,000 troops, six hundred fighter planes, three naval
carrier groups and twenty-six B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf, a little
late to save Kuwait, maybe, but just in time to rescue the U.S. defense
The Arab peoples possess an ancient and highly developed civilization that is in many ways more sophisticated than our own. For instance, they invented algebra. And this is why we have to go to war with Saddam Hussein this minute and bomb the shish kebab out of him before he invents trig and chemistry and the whole of America flunks high school.
Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and so forth are hardly nations as we understand the term. They are quarrels with borders.
Amman's street layout was designed using the splatter technique popular with action painters of the post-abstract expressionist school.
The best thing about this war has been all the new excuses generated by the Pentagon briefing officers. These will doubtless prove handy to Americans in all walks of life, especially school kids who haven't done their homework.
Now that 2 Live Crew has been arrested, the C-141 Starlifter is the single noisiest thing on earth.
I'm here as a radio journalist but am not even sure which part of a tape
recorder takes the pictures.
We've been trying to figure out what Saudi Arabian sex toys would be. . . edible veils? Inflatable plastic airline tickets to Europe? But in a country where a man may have as many as four wives, the most popular marital aid is probably ear plugs.
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