Politics is a serious business dealing with serious issues and it should be taken very seriously, and seriously intelligent people should pronounce on political matters.
So why is politics such a rich source of the inane, the illogical, the daft, and the dumb? And why do politicians say such stupid things? Is it because the pressure of the job plays havoc with the mind when our leaders have to speak off the cuff? Is it because the media spotlight demands an instant answer to any problem, however complex, thereby creating a paranoia which precludes clear thought? Or is it because the bright people have all been snapped up to do other things that are more productive and intellectual, like education or law or business or stacking the shelves in a supermarket?
- To be serious, we are blessed with some statesmen whose service to their country is selfless and well-intentioned. And we have also been blessed with some who are genuinely political thinkers and courageous leaders. These people have contributed great wit and perception to our culture. Some of the memorable remarks by these individuals are included here.
- But unfortunately, for every thought-provoking speech by a true statesman, there are countless less cerebral remarks by which other politicians are destined to be remembered - much to their chagrin! Some of these especially dim witted remarks are also included here.
- Also included are the thoughts of commentators, journalists and satirists who keep our leaders under perpetual scrutiny and who can observe the good, the bad and the ugly of the political world with an independent mind and a witty turn of phrase.
This then is my selection of 100 of the most memorable of all quotes, jokes, jibes and analyses of political life. Actually, there are 102 quotes - I begin and end with two universal truisms from the world of politics.
UPDATE: Tens of thousands of readers have found this post and hundreds of you have commented. A few have said that these analogies were actually taken from other sources and were not written by high school kids at all. Now, we have a link that ends the debate. These analogies are the winning entries in a 1999 Washington Post humor contest, and there are more than 25. Please look at the comments sent August 3, 2008 by “Jiffer” to get to the complete list and the names of the authors.
ORIGINAL POST: I have to share these “funniest analogies” with you. They came in an e-mail from my sister. She got them from a cousin, who got them from a friend, who got them from… so they are circulating around. My apologies if you have already seen them.
The e-mail says they are taken from actual high school essays and collected by English teachers across the country for their own amusement. Some of these kids may have bright futures as humor writers. What do you think?
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.