Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government

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9780871134554: Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government
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A popular satirist leads readers on a humorous guided tour of the United States government

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Review:

If satirists are at their best when tussling with something they hate, then this is P.J. O'Rourke's masterpiece. He clearly hates government--and has hated it since before it was cool to do so--and for all the right reasons, too: it's clumsy, inefficient, hypocritical, greedy, and arrogant. In other words, it magnifies the faults of the poor saps who staff it. Parliament of Whores is the humorist's howl of bitter laughter at the entire bloated, numskulled mess. As befits an ex-editor of National Lampoon, nothing is out of bounds for O'Rourke. Speaking of the fabled "football"--that satchel that follows the president around 24/7--the author doubts there are really launch codes in there at all--nothing but "a copy of Penthouse and a pint bottle of Hiram Walker--a Penthouse from back in the seventies, when Penthouse was really dirty, I'll bet."

Parliament of Whores is perfect for anyone who longs to cultivate an entertaining brand of cynicism, to be "a lone voice--not crying in the wilderness, thank you, but chortling in the rec room." O'Rourke is a master at making you laugh in spite of the better angels of your nature, and the only negative thing to be said about this tour de force is that his flamethrower brand of satire leaves nothing in its wake--certainly not the suggestion of an improvement. --Michael Gerber

From Kirkus Reviews:

Is there anything funny left to say about our government? O'Rourke seems to think so, and here offers a fractured civics lesson in support of his notion that ``freedom is its own best punishment.'' It's hard to disagree with O'Rourke's contempt for the ``boring'' business of ``giving money to jerks''--the main business, he says, of government these days. But his gonzo libertarianism, while suited to the pages of Rolling Stone (where much of this first appeared), is mainly a disguise for lots of familiar right-wing nostrums. Fortunately, O'Rourke bolsters his tired rhetoric with his own brand of inspired anti-reporting, and also with lots of good old name-calling. No civic booster, O'Rourke celebrates our ``national mindlessness'' and our exceptional interest in ``the pursuit of happiness.'' Washington, though, seems dedicated to robbing its citizens, and then doling out the spoils to whoever sticks out his hand and shouts the loudest. O'Rourke's highly selective fact-gathering takes him to the South Bronx with Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa in order to understand urban poverty; to the D.C. ghetto on a crack bust to witness the war on drugs; to the Department of Transportation to appreciate the folly of bureaucracy; and to Afghanistan (almost) to see US foreign policy in splendid disarray. A stint aboard a missile cruiser reveals his weakness for big weapons--''This is the way to waste government money.'' O'Rourke saves his best shots for ``the Perennially Indignant'' among housing advocates and environmentalists, and kicks around the slimier players in the S&L scandals. But the ``special interest'' group he really slams is us, since all of us manage one way or another to stick our snouts into the government trough. If nothing else, O'Rourke has well earned his place among American humorists as the cracked voice of rock-and-roll Republicanism. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780999006207: Parliament of Whores

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ISBN 10:  0999006207 ISBN 13:  9780999006207
Publisher: Eat Holistic LLC, 2017
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9780679741312: Parliament of Whores-Open Mark

Vintage, 1992
Softcover

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