In Praise of P.J. O’Rourke, Slayer of Stem-Cell Myths


(When P.J. O’Rourke says, “laugh,” I say, “how high?”)

For two decades now, I have read with gusto many of P.J. O’Rourke’s articles and almost all his books (Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Age and Guile, Driving Like Crazy, All the Trouble In the World, etc., etc., etc.) and I, like his myriad of other avid readers, not only chortle, laugh, and wine-shooting-out-of-my-nose guffaw my way through his unrelentingly funny social commentaries (read any of the aforementioned titles to get the gist of this), I almost always learn something in the bargain.


Often, what I learn from him is deadly serious, though the man has an inimitable way of making “serious as a heart attack” themes so gol-darn funny that how he imparts serious information can be pure, unadulterated bliss.

It is, of course, always repellent to read the fine details of odious things like income taxes, crime, drug abuse, poverty, destitution, disease, horrible maimings, death, and American politics — though not when these issues are discussed by O’Rourke, the guru of gainsaying.

So, do yourself a nice favor and check out his new article “Stem Cell Sham: The President as Sophist,” a response to El Lider Maximo’s recent speech in which he hailed himself for having the far-sighted courage to reverse the previous administration’s (sagacious) ban on fetal stem-cell research.

You’d never imagine in a million years that this subject could be funny, and it’s not. No, not even ole P.J. could make it so. Though he does do the next best thing. He shows how laughably ludicrous the rationale is that El Lider Maximo foisted on the American public for his decision. If you don’t know whether to laugh or cry in reaction to the preposterously wrong positions and decisions that our newly elected Lider is making and taking, read P.J.’s new article and you’ll know which way to tilt, at least for a little while.
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