Top 99 Alexandra Petri Quotes of 2020

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“A picture can hide as much as it reveals.”

― 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

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

― Alexandra Petri

“Good laughs melt out of memory pretty quickly.”

― Alexandra Petri

“In general, sincerity is awkward.”

― 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

“I think, when you’re doing a column and blogging every day, you get familiar with the sound of your own voice.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Books are wonderful. They are like people, except they mind less when you put them down and wander off to eat something.”

― Alexandra Petri

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

― Alexandra Petri

“In society at large, nerds are law-abiding, caring, fundamentally good folk who keep the wheels of civilization grinding.”

― 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

“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

“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

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

― Alexandra Petri

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

― 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

“George Washington didn’t have to make us laugh; he just had to establish precedents and avoid chopping down more cherry trees than he could possibly help. But somewhere along the line, Americans began expecting their presidents to do more than just govern. They also had to make us laugh.”

― 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

“All children, except two, grow up: Peter Pan and Donald Trump Jr.”

― 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

“As long as cantankerous old people have existed, they have complained that kids nowadays don’t seem to know anything.”

― 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

― 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

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

― 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

“Forced to confront a reptile or an international financial crisis, I’ll take the reptile every time.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Once you start worrying, it’s hard to stop.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Bad things happen, and you can only be so prepared.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Wilde is an invaluable acquaintance. Often, in situations where I am required to appear witty, I simply steal large chunks from his works and attempt to pass them off as my own with minor modifications.”

― Alexandra Petri

“I know from personal experience that it is extremely difficult to read while you work out, especially on a Stairmaster.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Pleasure reading has long been an American ideal – generations of schoolchildren have headed home for the summer toting recreational reading lists. But try to pitch it to a group of non-readers, and they quickly become suspicious.”

― 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

“The problem with technology, as with fashion, is that it’s impossible to be ‘in’ forever.”

― Alexandra Petri

“All that time that we spend tweeting our thoughts and emotions to our next of kin, we could be writing the great American novel, starting a business, or just living.”

― Alexandra Petri

“YouTube is covered in comments that would be better expressed – and better spelled – via a simple thumbs-up or down.”

― Alexandra Petri

“No one has debates on Twitter.”

― Alexandra Petri

“People talk to pass the time, share information, and entertain each other.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Stereotyped as convention-going, pocket-protector-wearing, chess-playing, infrequently-showering types, nerds are one of our society’s most ridiculed groups. And, for a university with an international reputation as a bastion of intellectualism, Harvard is startlingly devoid of them.”

― Alexandra Petri

“While MIT and the University of Chicago duke it out for the title of nerdiest school, James Franco and Renee Zellweger show up at Harvard to party. Somehow, miracle of miracles, Harvard is ‘cool.’”

― Alexandra Petri

“Harvard is nerd rehab. You have to check yourself in. Those who seek a school filled with self-proclaimed ‘nerds,’ seek elsewhere. Dropping the H bomb may brand you as an intellectual or a Kennedy. But it will not give you much nerd cred. And that’s a good thing.”

― 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

“Harvard is a wondrously tolerant climate for debate and exchange among a wide variety of thoughts, backgrounds, and beliefs, but the voice of religion on campus is largely inaudible.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Nearly everything faith-related that I have done at Harvard has been followed by free food, from going to services at Harvard’s Episcopal Chaplaincy to attending a day of interfaith discussion and dialogue hosted by the university chaplains in the fall.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Harvard pulsates with life and thought of all kinds, and religion should not be left out of its ongoing discussions.”

― Alexandra Petri

“I can be serious for an hour; then I have to go lie down.”

― Alexandra Petri

“The biggest way to be productive is if you’re procrastinating on another more important project.”

― Alexandra Petri

“As long as I’m writing stuff and people are reading it, I’ll be happy.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Journalists run many risks. It comes with the profession.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Dull words are what make many bright sentences shine. They do not call attention to themselves.”

― Alexandra Petri

“They will wrest ‘dull words’ from my cold dead hands.”

― Alexandra Petri

“It’s easier to find the joke in something when you think, ‘This – this is ridiculous.’”

― Alexandra Petri

“George W. Bush has dutifully, if not intentionally, provided Americans with laughs for nearly a decade. He has also made them cry, sometimes for the same reason.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Although no one explicitly wants a president who could have a reliable fall back career in stand-up comedy, everyone shudders at the thought of a Rutherford B. Hayes or John Kerry.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Awkward is a state of being.”

― 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

“If awkward has an antithesis, it is probably Barack Obama.”

― Alexandra Petri

“It turns out that in order to think well, knowledge helps.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Some information is important, and some is not, and intelligence consists in knowing one from the other.”

― Alexandra Petri

“All the young voters who flocked to Obama in droves grew up watching ‘The Daily Show’ and the ‘Colbert Report.’”

― Alexandra Petri

“Obama isn’t funny.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Harvard prides itself on its diversity – economic, racial, social, geographical – but it remains intellectually segregated. It’s not what conservative commentators seem to imagine – a bastion of liberal professors force-feeding radical opinions to a naive student body.”

― Alexandra Petri

“By isolating ourselves from those with whose opinions we disagree, we lose the ability to defend our beliefs.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Hi, my name is Alexandra, and I’m a netaholic.”

― Alexandra Petri

“At Harvard, where students tend to respond to real-world celebrities with the vague sense that they could do a better job themselves, the recipe for celebrity is complex.”

― 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

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

― Alexandra Petri

“You can be brilliant in some ways and despicable in others. You can be a clean, upright, moral individual in your private life who never swears, treats women with respect, and speaks highly of duty and honor – and go out every day and dedicate yourself to a cause that makes the world worse.”

― Alexandra Petri

“MS Paint was my creative outlet for many years.”

― Alexandra Petri

“A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but I think if the picture is made in MS Paint, the going rate might be slightly less.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Bills ought to be passed with deliberation by committees. Change should be achieved in a bipartisan manner. Incrementally, day by day, we should reach a consensus – not perfect, by any means – but something that we can be proud of, nonetheless.”

― Alexandra Petri

“Yale students want to impress you with what they’re doing. Harvard students want to impress you with how cool they look while doing it.”

― 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
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