Wednesday, November 26, 2003

All the Trouble in the World

Hi-De-Ho Rene,

Sat through a too-long but enjoyable Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last night. The audience’s fortitude was rewarded by the introduction of P.J. O’Rourke, the evening’s main speaker.

O’Rourke is a conservative, certainly, but of the cigar-chomping, hard-drinking variety that doesn’t come off as self-righteous to the masses. His aggressively un-PC style goes over well with a broad cross-section of society, and despite his clear partisanship, he’s an equal opportunity jabber:

“The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and prove it.”

Last night O’Rourke spoke mainly about Iraq, where he was sent to cover the war by The Atlantic after parting ways with Rolling Stone. He read some of his remarks, or at least referred to them, from a stack of plain paper that had been folded down the middle, but he came across as completely natural and unrehearsed. I didn’t take notes, but he made many of the same points as in this recent interview for The Atlantic Unbound.

I read another O'Rourke interview recently that brought up the question I’ve seen bouncing around the internet recently: Why are most of the really funny political satirists conservatives? With the exception of the lame Al Franken and the infuriating but effective Michael Moore, who does the left have?

Anyway, I’m definitely much more of a square than O’Rourke, but I get vicarious pleasure in reading – and last night hearing – some of his droll rants. (For another taste of O’Rourke, try this review of Hillary Clinton’s memoirs.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Later,
Kari

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