P. J. O'Rourke Quotes

- Notable P. J. O'Rourke Quotes Index -

Born: November 14, 1947, Toledo, Ohio, USA
Birth Country: USA
Occupation: Author

1.
A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you can not only be nothing, you can do nothing too.
- P. J. O'Rourke

2.
After all, what is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
- P. J. O'Rourke

3.
All change is bad. But sometimes it has to be done.
- P. J. O'Rourke

4.
Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- P. J. O'Rourke

5.
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

6.
As I get older, all sorts of things become less funny. Once one has children, any cruelty involving children becomes far less amusing than when one was at the mercy of one's friends' and relatives' children.
- P. J. O'Rourke

7.
Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.
- P. J. O'Rourke

8.
Children must be considered in a divorce considered valuable pawns in the nasty legal and financial contest that is about to ensue.
- P. J. O'Rourke

9.
Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.
- P. J. O'Rourke

10.
Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
- P. J. O'Rourke

11.
Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.
- P. J. O'Rourke

12.
Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.
- P. J. O'Rourke

13.
Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.
- P. J. O'Rourke

14.
Fiscal conservatism is just an easy way to express something that is a bit more difficult, which is that the size and scope of government, and really the size and scope of politics in our lives, has grown uncomfortable, unwieldy, intrusive and inefficient.
- P. J. O'Rourke

15.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
- P. J. O'Rourke

16.
Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.
- P. J. O'Rourke

17.
Hubris is one of the great renewable resources.
- P. J. O'Rourke

18.
I do have to travel a lot for speaking engagements.
- P. J. O'Rourke

19.
I like making things. I have a wood shop at home. I am a terrible carpenter but I love doing it.
- P. J. O'Rourke

20.
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

21.
I realised the bohemian life was not for me. I would look around at my friends, living like starving artists, and wonder, 'Where's the art?' They weren't doing anything. And there was so much interesting stuff to do, so much fun to be had... maybe I could even quit renting.
- P. J. O'Rourke

22.
I think it's been hard for people to understand how Islam can be a good religion, and yet the Islamists are evil. Those of us who have had experience with Islam understand this, just as we understand the difference between snake handlers and people going to church on Sunday morning.
- P. J. O'Rourke

23.
Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.
- P. J. O'Rourke

24.
If government were a product, selling it would be illegal.
- P. J. O'Rourke

25.
If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.
- P. J. O'Rourke

26.
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 character.
- P. J. O'Rourke

27.
Let's reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools - and use it on the teachers.
- P. J. O'Rourke

28.
Little islands of human happiness, peace, and prosperity are so exceptional at this point in history that I'm not even sure we can draw lessons from them.
- P. J. O'Rourke

29.
My wife and I both come from Irish families. There are two kinds of Irish families: the hitting kind and the kidding kind. If you're fortunate - and both of us are - you come from the kidding kind of Irish family.
- P. J. O'Rourke

30.
Never fight an inanimate object.
- P. J. O'Rourke

31.
Never wear anything that panics the cat.
- P. J. O'Rourke

32.
No humorist is under any obligation to provide answers and probably if you were to delve into the literary history of humour it's probably all about not providing answers because the humorist essentially says: this is the way things are.
- P. J. O'Rourke

33.
Nobody likes insurance companies, especially health insurance companies.
- P. J. O'Rourke

34.
One of the enduring problems with certain societies in the world - and this is certainly true of a lot of places in the Middle East - is that the capacity for self-governance and self-organizing just isn't there. It has to do with history.
- P. J. O'Rourke

35.
People are always angry at America. They're absolutely certain that America either caused their problems or is deliberately not fixing their problems. But the anger is always directed at America and never at Americans.
- P. J. O'Rourke

36.
People will tell you anything but what they do is always the truth.
- P. J. O'Rourke

37.
Politics are for foreigners with their endless wrongs and paltry rights. Politics are a lousy way to get things done. Politics are, like God's infinite mercy, a last resort.
- P. J. O'Rourke

38.
Positive rights are the right to shelter, the right to education, the right to health care, the right to a living wage. These things are - these are, I would call them, more properly, political rights rather than positive rights. And they are extremely tricky, because now we are dealing with things that are zero sum.
- P. J. O'Rourke

39.
Satire doesn't effect change.
- P. J. O'Rourke

40.
Staying married may have long-term benefits. You can elicit much more sympathy from friends over a bad marriage than you ever can from a good divorce.
- P. J. O'Rourke

41.
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

42.
The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich.
- P. J. O'Rourke

43.
The great thing about being a print journalist is that you are permitted to duck. Cameramen get killed while the writers are flat on the floor. A war correspondent for the BBC dedicated his memoir to 50 fallen colleagues, and I guarantee you they were all taking pictures. I am only alive because I am such a chicken.
- P. J. O'Rourke

44.
The idea of capitalism is not just success but also the failure that allows success to happen.
- P. J. O'Rourke

45.
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.
- P. J. O'Rourke

46.
The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
- P. J. O'Rourke

47.
There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.
- P. J. O'Rourke

48.
There are plenty of problems in the world, and doubtless climate change - or whatever the currently voguish phrase for it all is - certainly is one of them. But it's low on my list.
- P. J. O'Rourke

49.
There is one thing women can never take away from men. We die sooner.
- P. J. O'Rourke

50.
There's a certain kind of behavior in the Arab world that, to me, resembles the way young men behave when there is no significant influence from women in their lives.
- P. J. O'Rourke

51.
We need a government, alas, because of the nature of humans.
- P. J. O'Rourke

52.
What would annoy the most people most often? That is the true left-wing test of government intervention.
- P. J. O'Rourke

53.
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.
- P. J. O'Rourke

54.
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
- P. J. O'Rourke

55.
You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.
- P. J. O'Rourke

56.
You don't despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can.
- P. J. O'Rourke

Quotes by P. J. O'Rourke

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