The CEO of the Sofa
by P. J. O’Rourke

An collection of articles from September 2000 to August 2001. The topics covered are: Oliver Wendell Holmes, mobile phones, the UN, the stock market, the candidates for President, Hillary Clinton (the best GOP fund raiser), Las Vegas is better than Venice, classic literature rewritten according to modern ideas of compassion, decadence, wine tasting, impeachment, recent celebrities identified for people who are no longer young, automobiles, Democrats, legalization of drugs, being a TV commentator, Earth Day, discrimination against fat and stupid people, fatherhood, bombing Kosovo, women are good with children so they succeed in business, India, the ten commandments updated so they don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, apologies for past historical events, and a review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Good quotations

“I also love cell phones because they punish the most discourteous people in the world--phone users--by giving phone users the punishment they deserve--phone calls.” (4)

“a world government run by the UN will be like getting an old, purblind, half-deaf substitute teacher” (7-8)

“The United Nations couldn’t go out--had to wash its hair--during the Khmer Rouge horrors in Cambodia.” (16)

“Women are successful in the business world because the business world was created by men. Men are babies. And women are ... good with kids.” (37)

“If you’re gay, Al Gore will let you get into the military. George Bush will let you get out. You choose.” (51)

“It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child.” (52)

“’Children,’ says Mrs. Clinton, “are like the tiny figures at the center of the nesting dolls for which Russian folk artists are famous. The children are cradled in the family, which is primarily responsible for their passage from infancy to adulthood. But around the family are the larger settings of paid informers, secret police, corrupt bureaucracy, and a prison gulag.”” (words in italics added 53)

“Modern lamps were the product of Modern Design, which was the product of Modern Art, a product that turned ugly because its producers thought art should constantly change. Art quickly ran out of things to change into that weren’t stupid.” (81)

“And the nonconformists long ago exhausted the supply of stuff with which not to conform. They’ve been reduced to wearing tongue studs.” (85)

“Wine--indeed, all booze--tastes horrid. This is because of the alcohol. Alcohol’s flavor is so bad that no one would ever drink an alcoholic beverage--unless, of course, it contained alcohol.” (89)

“What a feckless, timid, timeserving revolution that was in 1994, as if the sansculottes had stormed the Bastille to get themselves jobs as prison guards.” (102)

“... rap being a form of music created by one performer shouting obscenities in a singsong voice while other performers torture a cat and throw garbage cans down a flight of stairs.” (114)

“What’s that mean, “Steer into a skid”? Is it a command? Are you supposed to go someplace and find a skid? Is it a general observation? Does it mean if you steer then you’ll skid? And who are they fooling anyway? If you’re able to steer where you want--like “into a skid”--then you’re not skidding. Forget this rule.” (125)

“When other people get mixed up about the notion that you are your personal property, when they start thinking they own you, the consequences are horrendous: slave trade, the draft, my first marriage.” (191)

In his review of the book Guidelines for Bias-Free Writing, O’Rourke observes: “The authors deprecate commonsense standards of good: ‘Designating countries as undeveloped or underdeveloped implies an evolutionary hierarchy of nations based on wealth, type of economy, and degree of industrialization.’ Of course it does, you feebleminded idiots.” (199)

“Who is Morris Freud? Sigmund’s lesser-known cousin, also a psychiatrist. He had a theory that there was an aspect to the psyche even more important than the subconscious. He called it ‘consciousness,’ the idea being that we sometimes know what we’re doing. It’s never been proven.” (212)

“The whole of India looks as if it were abandoned by its population a hundred years ago, and they’ve just moved back and are camped in the wreckage of civilization.” (239)

“I begin by proposing that we Republicans take a step back from our partisanship and give a moment’s thought to the decent, well-meaning, intelligent people who oppose us--and how there aren’t any.” (252)

Year Read: 2001

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