Humour is an essential attribute with which to deal with the atrocities. Coping with systematic abuse by the Establishment is indispensable towards staying alive. Taking a break from the harsh realities of our overall situation is necessary in order to regain a proper perspective.
Probably the historical chain of events that became known as the fall of Communism was heralded as the best proof for libertarians that the State can actually fall absent a revolution. The author covers Berlin in November of 1989, Nicaragua in February of 1990, and the Ukraine in September of 1991 where the utter failure of Communism was laid bare for all the world to see. Unfortunately, these events did not stop the central bankers who run the socialistic Federal Reserve Bank or their Wall Street cronies who funded the Bolshevik Revolution that started Communism in the first place; nevertheless, it was good to for O’Rourke to ridicule those statists for their fallacious notions of superiority.
The fall of the Berlin Wall also demonstrates how the free market can defeat the State. As O’Rourke details about how the “West” won the Cold War:
“And the best thing about our victory is the way we did it – not just with ICBMs and Green Berets and aid to the contras. Those things were important, but in the end we beat them with Levi 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system with all its tanks and guns, gulag camps and secret police has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes. They may have had the soldiers and the warheads and the fine-sounding ideology that suckered the college students and nitwit Third Worlders, but we had all the fun. Now they’re lunch, and we’re number one on the planet.”
Change around a few of the terms a little bit, and it would accurately describe our current situation under the Anglo-American Empire (for your information, those who have descended from the six Celtic nations historically have had a cultural allergic reaction to tyranny, especially from those particular invading Germanic nations who eventually conquered the British Isles; anyone claiming that the New World Order is perpetuated solely by imperialistic “white men” should really study the 1919 – 1921 Irish War for Independence before continuing to spout foolishly inaccurate lies).
I particularly enjoyed O’Rourke’s piece on “An Argument in Favor of Automobiles Vs. Pedestrians.” How could someone not with imagery like this:
“Pedestrians are easily damaged. Try this test: Hit a pedestrian with a car. Now have the pedestrian hit the car back. Then roll a pedestrian and a car through four inches of slush and road salt at sixty miles an hour. Take a coin-operated spray gun and hose off their undersides. Which is in better shape? Also, most automobiles have 5 MPH bumpers. But a pedestrian cannot be run into a wall at even 3 MPH (approximately walking speed) without getting a bloody nose. And pedestrians are notoriously expensive to repair.”
I wonder how, instead of a pedestrian, a government agent would fair against a car? If police officers are truly above us all (since their shiny tin badges grant them superpowers), then they shouldn’t care too much about “officer safety,” should they?
O’Rourke’s ridicule of Jimmy Carter’s autobiography Everything to Gain was absolutely fantastic with its suggestions of various party games that can be played with it, such as D-U-M Dumb, Finish That Thought, Riposte, and You Don’t Say. Either it’s the bad grammar or the collectivist pitch phrases that Carter is spewing, but O’Rourke serves up a cocktail of deprecating humour to combat it. Just goes to show you the kinds of people who are attracted to that monopoly of coercive violence known as the State.
Coverage of the 1991 Persian Gulf War provided some unexpected comedy, such as the small sign on a building within the King Fahd Air Base west of Dhahran that said, “Give War a Chance.” O’Rourke remarks about the Saudi Arabian government’s tourist picture book, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that “Here is a glowing official description of a nations capital, and the first thing that the first sentence mentions is highway overpasses.” Our intrepid satirist also comments about his arrival in Kuwait City during the war:
“In place of the Fourth-Largest Army in the World we saw cruising teens. This was the Kuwaiti Resistance. One group of five pulled up in a Buick Park Avenue, happily brandishing AK-47’s out the windows of dad’s car. They were dressed just like teenagers would if the cool kids at the high school got to form their own partisan army – one guy favored the Rambo look, another was dressed like Little Steven, two others were got up in Mutant Ninja Turtle garb and one fellow, who wasn’t quite with the program, seemed to have stepped out of a J. Crew catalogue…[s]mall arms fire could be heard coming from various places in the lightless city. It was a teenage dream come true: Bad guys invade your neighborhood and you and your best friends get to stay out late, kill them, skip school and impress girls. The Kuwaiti Resistance fighters welcomed us effusively. But when teenage dreams start coming true, sensible adults get out of town.”
In many ways, that could very well describe American guerrilla fighters in the not-too-distant future.
P.J. O’Rourke’s Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind’s Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer is an uplifting read for any political dissident who seriously needs a good laugh while facing adversity. It really shows that what we’re going through is arguably not that all different from what other peoples have throughout history. That being said, I do not imply that passive acceptance is desirable; far from it.