Great Quotes from Alexandra Petri

A picture can hide as much as it reveals.

Alexandra Petri

The difference between face-to-face conversation and any other medium of communication is simple: No distractions are permitted.

Alexandra Petri

No generation has escaped it – one morning, your skill with the eight-track or the record player or the cotton gin suddenly ceases to impress. It’s just one of those inevitable disappointments that come with growing up, like the realization that Santa doesn’t exist or the way that music always takes a turn for the worse after you turn 30.

Alexandra Petri

I am a millennial. Destruction is all I know. I no longer care what I wipe from the face of the Earth.

Alexandra Petri

Good laughs melt out of memory pretty quickly.

Alexandra Petri

There is something about a mortarboard that gives otherwise sane and normal people the overwhelming urge to burden you with advice. Some of them cannot help themselves. They were asked to do it by a committee. But one can only take so many pieces of wisdom before they all start to blur together.

Alexandra Petri

Snow is like a manic pixie dream girl: fun and whimsical when you encounter it only through the barrier of a movie screen – but absolute misery to have to put up with in real life.

Alexandra Petri

Life has its trade-offs. As you age, you lose things like teeth and the ability to play in the ball pit at fast-food restaurants, and you gain things like experience and employer-based health insurance.

Alexandra Petri

Thanks to postmodernism, we tend to see all facts as meaningless trivia, no one more vital than any other. Yet this disregard for facts qua facts is intellectually crippling. Facts are the raw material of thought, and the knowledge of significant facts makes sophisticated thought possible.

Alexandra Petri

I would say ‘competence’ actually might be slightly more important than passion. I understand that it is important to feel strongly about things, but give me a competent dentist over a passionate dentist any day, if only because something about the phrase ‘passionate dentist’ is deeply unnerving.

Alexandra Petri

There should be no real difficulty in condemning Nazis, white supremacists, and the Ku Klux Klan. They are, for God’s sake, Nazis and white supremacists. This should not require moral courage. This is obvious. This is the moral equivalent of the text you type to prove you’re not a robot.

Alexandra Petri

Woodstock didn’t define a generation because everyone showed up or those who did were a perfectly representative sample. It defined a generation because, for a few days, it bottled its peculiar zeitgeist.

Alexandra Petri

In general, sincerity is awkward.

Alexandra Petri

Comedy and politics have a lot in common. Both are great ways to pick up chicks – just look at Governor Spitzer. Or Ellen Degeneres. Both require spending time on the road meeting strangers who often have the desire to throw things at you. Both are difficult, if not impossible, to do all alone. And both rely heavily on personality.

Alexandra Petri

History contains heroes, but no one is a hero entirely, and no one is a hero for very long.

Alexandra Petri

I majored in extracurriculars, honestly. I joined the Harvard Stand Up Comedy Society, which is a ragtag band of misfits. I wrote for ‘On Harvard Time,’ which was a student TV show trying to be ‘The Daily Show.’ And I wrote a humor column for ‘The Crimson’ starting my sophomore year.

Alexandra Petri

Being a person of faith is just another of a wide range of fun activities available to those who come to Harvard. When Harvard boasts to admitted students of its more than 40 religious groups, it does so in the same vein that it boasts of its nearly dozen a cappella groups.

Alexandra Petri

Millennials give comics the kind of adulation past generations reserved for musicians. We respect Lady Gaga. But we’ll travel hundreds of miles to touch the hem of Jon Stewart’s robe.

Alexandra Petri

The desire for attention has become a primal need along the lines of food, water, and clothing.

Alexandra Petri

Serious beliefs are awkward, especially religious ones. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just that people’s real, heart-felt, deeply held beliefs are, well, ‘not easy to handle or deal with, requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care’ – in a word, awkward.

Alexandra Petri

Any promising young white man rich enough to theoretically afford a giant oil painting of himself gets to remain young and innocent forever, and none of his actions have any consequences, whether there is magic involved or not.

Alexandra Petri

Everyone praises Harvard ‘for the students.’ But what makes Harvard’s students so great is that they are, in many ways, a cross-section of the larger world. They are normal people who happen to be excellent, and this sets them apart. People who go to Yale go because they want to attend Yale. People who go to Harvard go because they can.

Alexandra Petri

Standup comedy was my weird hobby. I would drag my poor parents out to the only open mics that were in coffee shops instead of bars. I’d get up and go, ‘Hi, I’m 17, and I have jokes about matriculation!’ At the time I was like, ‘Why is no one laughing?’

Alexandra Petri

My first summer in college, I interned for Arena Stage in D.C. and taught a disastrous class on standup comedy to middle schoolers at the Arena Stage camp. I had never taught anything before, and needless to say, I quickly lost control of the class.

Alexandra Petri

My goal is to be weirder than everybody else and hope that no one stops me. So far, no one has.

Alexandra Petri

People feel compelled to continue reading and hearing the news. Sometimes, you just want somebody to be yelling at it with you as you’re reading it. I think of that as my function.

Alexandra Petri

I tend to process stuff by making jokes about it. It’s something that makes me annoying to be around in times of real crisis.

Alexandra Petri

Worst case scenario, nothing I do has any value or purpose, but if I can make someone laugh, I’m at least as useful as a piece of quiche would be.

Alexandra Petri

One of the things I try to do – and I always regret when I’m not doing it – is I try to read as much as possible as I’m consuming news.

Alexandra Petri

Millennials don’t go to rallies.

Alexandra Petri

It’s not that Millennials don’t believe some things are serious. We’ll make ‘It Gets Better’ videos or perform comedy for disaster relief. But sum up our lives in a phrase? The Importance of Never Being Too Earnest.

Alexandra Petri

How many stories do you know about people cooped up in places because of deep snowfall? How many stories where something good happens to those people?

Alexandra Petri

Anything you loved, however intensely, becomes mortifying the moment you cease to love it.

Alexandra Petri

I love Gene Weingarten’s feature writing with the passion of a thousand suns.

Alexandra Petri

I swear like a sailor, assuming the sailor in question died in 1800 and was really square.

Alexandra Petri

Once, as my New Year’s Resolution, I telephoned the Extenze Male Enhancement hotline every day for a month.

Alexandra Petri

Ferguson shows the power of social media. This could have not been a story. Or it could have just been a local story. Or it could have been something that we saw only from a distance, through the usual filters. Instead, it gathered steam.

Alexandra Petri

It is possible to assemble a narrative for yourself, brokenly, on social media, only seeing what you want to look at.

Alexandra Petri

When police are shutting down cameras, it is a sign that they know the truth is not going to be kind to them.

Alexandra Petri

President Obama deserves our unalloyed praise for hastening Osama bin Laden’s demise.

Alexandra Petri

All the weird inconveniences of adult life that you thought they made up to lend excitement and color to episodes of ‘Sex and the City’ are, in fact, real.

Alexandra Petri

In high school, you at least have to get up at a reasonable hour and show up at places on time. College, on the other hand, gave me the sense that I could complete major assignments at 2 A.M. without suffering any repercussions, along with the erroneous idea that in real life, things started after one in the afternoon.

Alexandra Petri

Success is like food caught in your teeth: much more noticeable when it happens to other people. If it happens to you, other people have to take you aside and say something.

Alexandra Petri

No matter how successful you are, no matter how good you are at what you do, even if a golden path rolls out in front of your feet your whole life, there will come one particularly bleak Tuesday when you glance over at Facebook and notice that Jen From Down The Hall has just won an Oscar.

Alexandra Petri

If you’re doing what you do because you love it, you have room to be happy for others. And that’s a lot of fun, when you get down to it.

Alexandra Petri

You do not get gold stars for cleaning your toilet. In actual life, there is a depressing lack of stickers.

Alexandra Petri

At Harvard, people like to impart the idea that you are a mover and shaker.

Alexandra Petri

The worst thing that happens to you at college if you fail to get out of bed in time is that you will miss two hours of someone reading scintillating anecdotes about Medieval Ireland. The worst thing that happens to you in life if you fail to get out of bed in time is that you might lose your job as a first responder.

Alexandra Petri

At college, everyone’s milestones occurred in shared clumps. Everyone studied, caroused, won, lost – simultaneously. Life is not like that.

Alexandra Petri

Almost nothing anyone told me about Harvard has been accurate.

Alexandra Petri

If you want to be famous because you do something well or badly, be it singing while fat or hitting balls of various shapes and hues, you have to be prepared to divulge. We live in the age of the chronic overshare.

Alexandra Petri

Every so often, when I am feeling plucky, I try to write a screenplay that combines all 10 of Americans’ top phobias and market it as a sleeper hit.

Alexandra Petri