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In his new book, Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards, P. J. O'Rourke turns his scathing wit to the economic crisis, health care reform and electoral politics.
O'Rourke's views - while I often don't agree - are eminently clear.
It's funny to me that O'Rourke and other conservatives are so strongly opposed to Colbert who seems to strikes a nerve by satirizing/mocking their ways. My armchair psychology says that it makes them feel foolish and insecure.
It's also interesting to me, that the vast majority of entertainers in the U.S. (and probably the world) are more left-leaning. It makes me wonder if conservatives, i.e. those supporting the status quo, aren't as compelling or humorous when it come to public entertainment beyond the strict "talk" format. To create something new, one has to be open and buck society's status quo to reveal dark truths which then can be made funny. There is also a sense of righteousness that accompanies the tearing down (deconstructing) of what exists to find something new.
Many conservatives in the U.S. are interested in creative destruction when it comes to market forces, but little else. Market-based creative destruction does appeal to some socially liberal types, though, like true libertarians (who don't give a lick about social conservatism and normally social mores) as well as Neoliberals (who are market-oriented yet socially liberal).
In the grand scope of American humorists from Mark Twain to Dave Chapelle - where are all funny conservatives? (dare I say the wit of William Buckley?...does that count?)
There are funnier people than Colbert on the right? Name one. Which should have been Brian's next question. Please.
Brian, you always edit me when I state the obvious.
No one you spoke to addressed any of the real issues about why these schools fail.
If Libertarians are supposedly rationalists, they certainly are not historians. The kind of government they wanted existed in 19th Century Britain and America, leading to Robber Barons, pollution, mass poverty, slave labor and a mulititude of other ills. In NYC slums and malnutrition were the norm, as was the case with in Victorian London.
It was the Libertarian policies of derugulation that led to the recent financial meltdown, not government spending. Laissez-faire is not a political policy, it is an abnegation of responsibility and citizenship.
You should ask him instead about the recent poll that found people think O'Reilly, Beck and Limbaugh have had a positive influence on politics. Which is just stunning and you wonder who these people are. In fact you should discuss this surprising finding at some point.
"as if congress didn't have enough clowns..." is that what passes for humor with this guy
nice pattern.o'rourke makes a "point"....brian, in a friendly and reasonable tone of voice, completely destroys his "point" and o'rouke backs off and chuckles.o'rourke: "the other thing i really LIKE about the TEA party....."groan. libertarian philosophy: principal before people. always.
Does O'Rourke really think the Tea Party is a populist, grass roots movement? Someone tell him about the Koch brothers and Fox News.
Hey John, is your office in the Cato Institute?
Ha ! The Know-Nothing party was after the Whiskey Rebellion.
PJ, How does the populous address its grievances with the secret security apparatus? How can we throw those "bastards" out if we don't know what's happening? How can we throw an "indispensable" problem? How?
You might want to think twice about hiring Aristotle. His most famous pupil was Alexander the Great.
Loved PJ when he wrote for National Lampoon and Rolling Stone. Now he sounds like my grumpy old uncle when he talks about politics and society. He should stick to writing about cars and doing game shows on NPR.
Is P.J. O'Rourke accounting for health insurance and retirement benefits for Aristotle? What about the pay for the people who maintain the site (keeping it clean and safe) where the classes meet? What about health insurance and retirement benefits for the maintenance crew? What about transportation to the site?
15 kids being in the care of a constant caregiver and guide in someone's living room is not education, it's motherhood (well, not 15 kids, unless you're in my grandmother's family), and women do it for free every day.
If Mr. O'Rourke is so glib about education reform and the simplicity of the solution, perhaps he should start with himself, quit the Cato Institute, and start teaching.
I thought humorists were supposed to be funny.
why is this man coming on your show? I watched an interview w/him where he blamed Democrats for the decline of American cities and driving out the so-called responsible republicans out. Not a word about people making more money, seeking more land and bigger homes in the 'burbs and being closer to the country club. He actually tried to make the argument that global warming is worse b/c of the expansion of the suburbs due to Dems taking over big cities and driving their economic decline. Why is this man given a podium on wnyc?!(The interview in question was w/ kudlow on his cnbc show around june 2009. I watched in disbelief.)
i sometimes think that the snide humorous right wingers are just as destructive as the passionate, righteous, religious, angry ones. the encouragement of cynical apathy is deceptive because it seems very reasonable, safe, and even wise/above it all but is actually a bad thing for society. o rourke "outclevers" himself and rarely makes a truly strong well reasoned point....unlike Jon Stewart for example whose humor is backed by an extremely sharp mind and honest concern.
Voting represents the triumph of hopefulness over reality. If politicians knew what to do about the major issues of the day they wouldn't be politicians -- they would be in the private sector investing THEIR money and not public money. I vote out of the sense of obligation. Also, I vote to assert myself. . . Oh, yes, I forgot, it is hopeless.
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