Quotations by O’Rourke, P.J.


Bicycles are good exercise. And so is swinging through trees on your tail. Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have us pumping our legs, gritting our teeth, and searing our lungs as though we were being chased across the Pleistocene savanna by saber-toothed tigers. Think of the hopes, the dreams, the effort, the brilliance, the pure force of will that, over the eons, has gone into the creation of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Bicycle riders would have us throw all this on the ash heap of history.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
“A Cool and Logical Analysis of the Bicycle Menace,” Republican Party Reptile (1987)
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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.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
“Second Thoughts about the Sixties,” speech, Second Thoughts Conference, Washington (1987); Give War a Chance (1992)
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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.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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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.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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America wasn’t founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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America wasn’t founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so that we could all be anything we damn well pleased.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
(Attributed)
Added on 8-Jan-14 | Last updated 8-Jan-14
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Omnipresent amid all the frenzy of Shanghai is that famous portrait, that modern icon. The faintly smiling, bland, yet somehow threatening visage appears in brilliant red hues on placards and posters, and is painted huge on the sides of buildings. Some call him a genius. Others blame him for the deaths of millions. There are those who say his military reputation is inflated, yet he conquered the mainland in short order. Yes, it’s Colonel Sanders.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Eat the Rich, ch. 10 (1998)
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The weirder you are 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.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Give War a Chance (1992)
Added on 11-Jul-14 | Last updated 11-Jul-14
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It’s always hard to see hope with a hangover.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Holidays in Hell (1989)
Added on 25-Mar-11 | Last updated 25-Mar-11
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Good manners are a combination of intelligence, education, taste, and style mixed together so that you don’t need any of those things.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People, ch. 1 (1984)
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Added on 9-Aug-18 | Last updated 9-Aug-18
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There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Modern Manners (1989 ed.)
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In our brief national history, we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their characters.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Parliament of Whores, “The President” (1991)
Added on 8-Aug-16 | Last updated 8-Aug-16
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One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty in finding someone to blame your troubles on. And when you do find someone, it’s remarkable how often their picture turns up on your driver’s license.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Rolling Stone (30 Nov 1989)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Mar-16
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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.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Address at the Cato Institute (1993)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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