In this collection of pieces, the outrageous political satirist renowned for such classics as Parliament of Whores takes on a wide range of cultural and political issues, and explains the platform of the Republican Party Reptile: “I think our agenda is clear. We are opposed to: government spending, Kennedy kids, seat-belt laws . . . busing our children anywhere other than Yale, trailer courts near our vacation homes . . . all tiny Third World countries that don’t have banking secrecy laws, aerobics, the UN, taxation without tax loopholes, and jewelry on men. We are in favor of: guns, drugs, fast cars, free love (if our wives don’t find out), a sound dollar . . . and a strong military with spiffy uniforms. There are thousands of people in America who feel this way, especially after three or four drinks. If all of us would unite and work together, we could give this country . . . well, a real bad hangover.”
“To say that P. J. O’Rourke is funny is like saying the Rocky Mountains are scenic—accurate but insufficient. At his best he’s downright exhilarating . . . Republican Party Reptile is as rambunctiously entertaining as a greased pig catching contest. If you can find a funnier writer than P. J. O’Rourke, buy him a brandy, but don’t lend him the keys to your pickup.” —Chicago Tribune
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Republican Party ReptileEssays and Outrages
By P. J. O'Rourke
Grove Atlantic, Inc.Copyright © 1987 P. J. O'Rourke
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAs once anything was excusable in the name of patriotism, now anything is excusable in the name of safety. We will kiss some low place on every dishtowel-head in the Levant rather than have a single breeder reactor on our shores. We will make every lube artist in America learn Japanese rather than produce an enjoyable automobile ... This is treason. America was founded on danger. How many lifeboat drills were held on the Mayflower? Where were the smoke detectors in the Lincoln family cabin? Who checked to see whether Indian war paint was made with Red Dye No. 2? It was the thrilling, vast, wonderful danger of America which drew people here from all over the world-spacious skies filled with blizzards and tornadoes, purpled mountain majesties to fall off, and fruited plains full of snarling animals and armed aborigines. America is a dangerous country. Safety has no place here.
In fact, safety has no place anywhere. Everything that's fun in life is dangerous. Horse races, for instance, are very dangerous. But attempt to design a safe horse and the result is a cow (an appalling animal to watch at the trotters). And everything that isn't fun is dangerous too.... Death was invented so we could have evolution. Theprocess of Darwinian selection does not work on things that don't die. If it weren't for death we would all still be amoebas and would have to eat by surrounding things with our butts.
Excerpted from Republican Party Reptile by P. J. O'Rourke Copyright © 1987 by P. J. O'Rourke. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Apologia Pro Vita Republican Party Reptile Sua,
THINGS OF THE INTELLECT,
A Brief History of Man,
An Intellectual Experiment,
Myths Made Modern,
Tune In, Turn On, Go to the Office Late on Monday,
A Long, Thoughtful Look Back at the Last Fifteen Minutes,
Ship of Fools,
Goons, Guns, and Gold,
Just One of Those Days,
MAN AND TRANSPORTATION,
Ferrari Refutes the Decline of the West,
High-Speed Performance Characteristics of Pickup Trucks,
A Cool and Logical Analysis of the Bicycle Menace,
How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink,
MANNERS AND MORES,
An Alphabet for Schoolboys,
Horrible Protestant Hats,
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH,
In Search of the Cocaine Pirates,
With Hostage and Hijacker in Sunny Beirut,
Moving to New Hampshire,
THE KING OF SANDUSKY, OHIO,