In Don't Vote - It Just Encourages the Bastards, best-selling humorist P. J. O'Rourke, whose On the Wealth of Nations, about the foundations of economic,s has been published in 18 languages, delivers a hilarious theory of politics.
America's most subversive conservative, O'Rourke describes government as a devil's bargain between power, freedom, and responsibility, and goes on to hilariously skewer the politicians who have bargained with us to consolidate power, and the many mini-bargains and evasions that citizens have made with the consequences of their choices.
P. J. O'Rourke begins with a party game that comes to us from late-night giggle sessions in all-girls boarding schools: "Kill, F@#%, Marry." Pick three men - or, in O'Rourke's version, three political ideologies, i.e., Democrat, Republican, and Independents (a.k.a. Confused). Then you have to choose which to terminate with extreme prejudice, which to go for a roll in the hay with, and which to settle down with permanently for a boring life in the suburbs. This astute tool of political analysis works on the parts of government as well as on the political thinking that led to those parts: Kill the Department of Education, screw Social Security, and marry the Armed Forces. The same for political policies: Screw the bailout, marry a balanced budget, and national health care kills you.
O'Rourke explores the basis of our democracy - the aforementioned power, freedom, and responsibility, a.k.a. the "Kill, F@#%, Marry" of liberty and self-rule. O'Rourke favors - reluctantly, he admits - responsibility. From the woes of nation-building to the woes of letting politicians rebuild the automobile industry, no irresponsibility of America's political establishment is spared. Why, he asks, was the health care reform debate framed in terms of health insurance? ("When your house is on fire, do you call Allstate or 911?") Listen to P. J. O'Rourke on the pathetic nature of politics and laugh through your tears or, what the hell - just laugh.
©2010 P.J. O'Rourke (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
PJ is probably one of the funniest American writers ever. I like to hear him wax on and off about his early life and about his wacked out libertarian views on everything from sex, drugs and cars. But here to takes on the Obama administration and demonizes it too heavilly.
He's funny, but angry and his bitterness at democrats having won the election is too much for the more free thinking listeners. Gone are the days of his rebel tales and fun stories, and now here comes this conservative, not even a libertarian one at that. Don't bother getting this, get the one about cars and get age and guile.
"Would be much funnier with a different narrator"
No. I don't think Christopher Lane has the right tone to deliver what O'Rourke writes.
O'Rourke has very witty comments about the political system. The chapter about freedom was a bit too long.
It could have been miles better.
I wouldn't cut it, just make sure that he narration has the same tone as the book.
"Amusement for political nuts"
This book is very amusing, but filled with interesting information. I finished this in two days so it's very easy to get through and not boring at any level. Probably not the best O'Rourke book, but it's still worth having. I will say that O'Rourke is getting both bitter & better in age. Try it, you'll like it.
I am a long time fan of PJ's and even socialized with him once in Hong Kong. I have read all his past works and have often found myself in philosophical agreement. In this work PJ follows on much of the same Cato-esque philosophy, pointing it toward modern events. In such he is often quite rigorous and pointed...However, in a fair portion of the text PJ gravitates (for the first time in my memory) towards juvenile and simplistic turd throwing in much the same idiotic way as many of the Faux News pundits. I guess PJ thought it was humor, but the incessant straw man arguments and poor adhominem rhetoric really weakened his overall presentation as well as (of course) his arguments. I think this has become my least favorite PJ book. Narration was good.
"funny and worth the read"
funny -- i don't agree with his politics, but i agree with some of this attitudes about politicians. it was sarcastic and rude, but in a totally honest sort of way
What a tremendous Objectivist PJ could be............
Audible requires 15 words, if I fully explained, it would require 15,000
"Don't Vote - It Just Encourages the Bastards"
Very funny and entertaining - also a tad informative, but somewhat redundant. Possibly should have been a pamphlet.
"Bombastic without the Humor"
I've long enjoyed the wit and sarcasm of P J O'Rourke, even though I usually disagree with his politics. This book, however, proved a great disappointment. O'Rourke is simply full of himself. His efforts to be clever and intellectual fail, and they're merely tiresome.
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