September 24, 2023


Arts Eternal

P.J. O’Rourke, irreverent author and commentator, dead at 74

NEW YORK – P.J. O’Rourke, the prolific writer and satirist who re-fashioned the irreverence and “Gonzo” journalism of the 1960s counterculture into a distinctive brand name of conservative and libertarian commentary, has died at age 74.

O’Rourke died Tuesday morning, in accordance to Grove Atlantic Inc. Publications publisher and president Morgan Entrekin. The cause was problems from lung most cancers.

Patrick Jake O’Rourke was a Toledo, Ohio, native who evolved from very long-haired university student activist to wavy-haired scourge of his aged liberal beliefs, with some of his more greatly browse takedowns appearing in a founding counterculture publication, Rolling Stone. His job in any other case extended from serving as editor in chief of Nationwide Lampoon to a temporary stint on “60 Minutes” in which he represented the conservative just take on “Point/Counterpoint” to repeated appearances on NPR’s recreation demonstrate “Wait Hold out… Don’t Explain to Me!”

“Most very well-recognized folks consider to be nicer than they are in community than they are in private existence. PJ was the only guy I understood to be the opposite. He was a deeply type and generous male who pretended to be a curmudgeon for community usage,” tweeted Peter Sagal, the host of “Wait Wait around… Do not Notify Me!”


“He explained to the ideal stories. He had the most exceptional close friends. And he devoted himself to them and his relatives in a way that would have entirely ruined his shtick had any one ever identified out,” Sagal said.

His crafting fashion proposed a cross in between the hedonism of Hunter S. Thompson and the patrician mockery of Tom Wolfe: Self-significance was a responsible goal. But his best disdain was usually for the authorities — not just a unique administration, but govt alone. As a youthful person, he opposed the federal government as a maker of war and guidelines in opposition to medication. Later on, he went following what he identified as “the silken threads of entitlement investing.”

In a 2018 column for a venerable conservative publication, The Weekly Regular, he looked on with scorn at Washington’s gentrification.

“Men and women are flocking to the seat of governing administration ability. One would say ‘dogs returning to their vomit’ besides that is way too difficult on puppies. Much too hard on people today, also. They appear to Washington due to the fact they have no decision — diligent functioning breeds compelled to try to eat their regurgitated tax bucks,” he wrote.


O’Rourke’s other guides integrated “Give War a Possibility,” “Driving Like Insane,” “None of My Business” and “A Cry from the Center.” Entrekin instructed The Affiliated Push that he experienced been functioning on a one-volume look at the United States, as found from his hometown: “A Record of Toledo, Ohio: From the Commencing of Time Til the Close of the Universe.”

His survivors contain his next spouse, Tina, and 3 youngsters.

O’Rourke was an undergraduate at Miami University, and obtained a master’s degree in English from Johns Hopkins College in 1970. He began out producing for such underground publications as the New York Ace and joined Nationwide Lampoon in 1973, where by his colleagues integrated Douglas Kenney, who later on co-wrote “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” and with O’Rourke edited the parody “National Lampoon’s 1964 Substantial University Yearbook.”

In excess of the next many years, he became a common existence as a writer and on-air pundit. He included war and unrest everywhere from El Salvador to the Philippines, even though mocking “The Dictatorship of Boredom” again dwelling.


“In July 1988, I protected the specious, entropic, criminally trivial, dull stupid Democratic Nationwide Conference, a numb suckhole stuffed with political bulk filler held in that spot exactly where lousy malls go to die, Atlanta,” reads a dispatch from “Parliament of Whores,” a bestseller published in 1991. “Then … I flew to that other oleo-large colonic, the Republican convention, an event with the intellectual information of a Guns N’ Roses lyric.”

O’Rourke’s rise arrived a time when political opponents experienced an less complicated time agreeing to disagree. Liberal author and commentator Joe Conason tweeted Tuesday that O’Rourke was “always witty if pretty much generally (politically) incorrect” and called him a “most pleasurable companion” when each included political fraud in the Philippines in the 1980s.

Like other longtime conservatives, O’Rourke’s loyalties had been tested by the increase of Donald Trump. O’Rourke had minor use for Democratic applicant Hillary Clinton in 2016, but he observed he could dwell with what he termed her “lies and all her empty claims.


“It’s the next worst detail that can occur to this nation. But she’s way behind in next place. I signify, she’s incorrect about unquestionably every little thing, but she’s incorrect inside typical parameters,” he mentioned on NPR.

“I mean, this male (Trump) just can’t be president,” he claimed. “They’ve received this button, you know, in the briefcase. He’s going to obtain it.”

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