Those of us who have been waging a long, lonely battle against P.J. O'Rourke approach every new piece he writes with a mixture of excitement and dread. Nevertheless, we consider his work with a Henry V-like amount of stiff upper-lipness. Can the man's stuff really being getting worse every time, we wonder? Of course the answer never ceases to be in the affirmative. In the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, O'Rourke goes after Obama for the president's stem cell policy. Does this amuse you?
Webster's Third New International Dictionary states that science is, definition one, "possession of knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding."
Let's look at the various things science has "known" in the past 3,000 years.
Lightning is the sneeze of Thor.
The periodic table consists of Earth, Wind, and Fire and a recording of "Got To Get You into My Life."
The world is flat with signs saying "Here Be Democrats" near the edges.
How about this?
The president of the United States tells us that sound science and moral values are united, in bed together. As many a coed has been assured, "Let's just get naked under the covers, we don't have to make love." Or, as the president puts it, "Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose this research."
I refuse to believe that these one-liners send the men and women who work at The Weekly Standard to the floor in fits of laughter. This stuff is simply, objectively not funny. Nevertheless, I was beginning to feel disappointment because I was nearing the end without feeling even a tad offended. Usually O'Rourke manages to get in a good jab at homeless people, or at least something equally classy. He waited until the last paragraph this time:
Mr. President, any high school debate team could do better. Even debate teams from those terrible inner-city public high schools that your ideology demands that you champion no matter how little knowledge they provide.
Nice. It's at least good to see O'Rourke tacitly admit that he couldn't care less about inner-city public schools. Regardless, his "success" is not an indictment of conservatism because I refuse to believe any conservatives find him even remotely amusing. And yet, the O'Rourke saga continues.
Update: See Alex Massie for more.