“Modern Manners is the sort of book that will have you calling friends at odd hours, and maybe even pestering total strangers seated near you on airplanes, just so you can read some particularly amusing passage out loud.” Joe Leydon, Houston Post
An Etiquette Book for Rude People
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-87113-375-5 • $13.00 • Paperback • June 1990
Republican Party Reptile and Holidays in Hell were best-sellers around the world and established P.J. O’Rourke as the humorist for our times. In Modern Manners our newest cultural guru provides the essential accessory for the truly contemporary man or womana rulebook for living in a world without rules.
Traditionally, good manners were a means of becoming as bland and invisible as everyone else, and thus of avoiding calling attention to one’s own awkwardness and stupidity. Today, with everyone wanting to appear special, stupidity is at a premium and mannersas outrageous and bizarre as possibleare a wonderful way to distinguish ourselves, or have a fine time trying.
Modern Manners is an irreverent and hilarious guide to anti-etiquette for the 1990s and beyond that offers pointed advice on a range of topics from sex and entertaining to reading habits and death. With the most up-to-date forms of vulgarity, churlishness, and presumption, the latest fashions in discourtesy and barbarous display, P.J. O’Rourke makes it easier for all of us to survive with style in a rude world.
A Few of P. J. O’Rourke’s Rules for Living in the Modern World:
· “It’s better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than tospend tonight like there’s no money.”
· “Guns are always the best method for private suicide. Drugs are too chancy. You might miscalculate the dosage and just have a good time.”
· “A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.”
· “Never refuse wine. It is an odd but universally held opinion that anyone who doesn’t drink must be an alcoholic.”
· “A woman should dress to attract attention. To attract the most attention, a woman should be either nude or wearing something as expensive as getting her nude is going to be.”
· “We must be as obsequious as possible to famous people and do everything in our power to make them like us. Fame is a communicable disease. And if you get screwed by someone who’s got it, you may catch it yourself.”