Monday, May 12, 2008

ANOTHER DEPRESSING 80s REVIVAL ACT. I see P.J. O'Rourke is still doing that thing where he tells kids that idealism is stupid and capitalism rocks. Wow, that'll really scandalize the hippies. You can almost hear him leering at his own "jokes" throughout.

I never liked O'Rourke and his "lookit me, I'm smoking a cigar in your precious 'environment'" schtick. Now, after 20+ years of increasing national cynicism, he's like someone who thinks he's flouting convention because he left the office without his vest. And he hasn't learned any new tricks with which to liven up his routine. Maybe he's preparing a contrarian essay about how working on one's writing is for suckers. Zing!

Once I merely thought O'Rourke was no Mark Twain, but I just read The Mysterious Stranger for the first time, and now I think O'Rourke is actually the antithesis of Twain, designed by CIA scientists to vacuum all awareness and ability to appeciate satire out of the minds of the American people. (The boys at Langley are pretty smart, and also supplied R. Emmett Tyrrell*, Michael M. Thomas, and other trinominated blowhards as backup. If O'Rourke goes down, they are under instructions to go to the Blue Bar at the Algonquin and order a certain, exotic single malt that will identify them to their handlers.)

I can enjoy a little nostalgia, but the O'Rourke column and crap like this indicate that we have reached the bottom of the 80's barrel. Let us turn from the past, especially the big-hair and shoulder-pads past, and work to give our children something to be nostalgic for, if only because (if current trends continue) by next decade they probably won't be able to write swears on the internet, or spell.

UPDATE. Thanks to commenter Hogan, who corrected my sequencing here.

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