Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 12, 2003
POLITICS/POP CULTURE: O'Rourke

Interview with the indispensable P.J. O'Rourke over at the Onion, including a classic O'Rourke story that combines Animal House with stock options and some well-earned contempt for Rick Reilly. (Link via The American Scene). On the difference between himself and Hunter Thompson:

His political stuff is just wonderful, but basically nothing happens. It's all about his reaction to a situation. And my stuff is much more externally driven. He brings a lunatic genius to ordinary events, and I bring an ordinary sensibility to lunatic events.

On the plague of lawyers:

I buy a tractor two years ago, and four-fifths of the tractor manual is about not tipping over, not raising the bucket high enough to hit high-tension wire... not killing yourself, basically. The tractor itself is covered with stickers: Don't put your hand in here. Don't put your d___ in there. And in that manual, I found out—and it cost me a thousand dollars—that when the tractor is new, 10 hours into use of the tractor, you have to re-torque the lug nuts. If you don't, you will oval the holes. This is buried between the moron warnings. I never found it. I take the tractor in for its regular servicing, and they say my wheels are gone. A thousand dollars worth of wheels have to be replaced because I didn't re-torque after 10 hours. How am I supposed to know that? "It's in the manual." You f___ing read that manual! You go through 40 pages of how not to tip over!

And some good advice for bloggers and other creatures:

O: Do you ever have a crisis of confidence when you're writing, where you say, "Man, I don't know if I'm right about this?"

PO: If I do, I say so. That's the only way out of that. If there are three words that need to be used more in American journalism, commentary, politics, personal life... it's the magic words "I don't know." I mean, there are certain basic principles... There are certain things that I feel pretty confident about. But when I get in deep water, I prefer to announce that I'm in over my head.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:30 PM | Politics 2002-03 • | Pop Culture | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

"On the plague of lawyers"

Did it ever occur to you that the 40 pages of warnings are the result of the idiots who tip the thing over and then feel entitled to a million dollars, and not the lawyers who, for the most part, are doing their job? The plague is of people who think they are entitled to retire any time they get hurt, whether or not it's the result of their own stupidity (and, perhaps, of the juries who are happy to give them lots of some big company's money).

Posted by: Fat Al at September 15, 2003 12:07 PM

That's a fair enough point -- lawyers are only part of the problem, and need insane litigants to create real havoc.

Posted by: The Crank at September 19, 2003 2:52 PM
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