About Andy Rooney and the life's truth according to him
Andy Rooney (1919 – 2011) was an award-winning journalist, radio and television writer.
He appeared in several primetime specials, including In Praise of New York City (1974), Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner (1978), and Mr. Rooney Goes to Work (1977). But it was his weekly broadcast A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney (1978) on CBS News that made him one of the most popular television personalities in America. In the weekly segment, he addressed mundane topics with varying degrees of surprise, grumpiness, and pleasure, all wrapped in his trademark satire and prickly wit. Some of his best television essays have been archived in numerous books, such as Common Nonsense (2002,) and Years of Minutes (2003.)
He was not free from controversies either - from his comments on French politics to his comments on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, or his views on on the society. While commenting on Kurt Cobain's suicide, Rooney said, "What would all these young people be doing if they had real problems like a Depression, World War II or Vietnam?"
Born in Albany, New York, he began his journalism career while in the Army, when in 1942, he began writing for Stars and Stripes in London during World War II. During the time, he got to work with such other celebrated journalists as Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. He was one of the first American journalists to visit the Nazi concentration camps near the end of World War II, and one of the first to write about them. For his work as a war correspondent in combat zones during the war, Rooney was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal and Air Medal.
Here's a stash of some of his best lines on life and the world.
- More movies are too long than too short.
- People use coffee tables a lot more to put junk and magazines on than they use them to put coffee on, but the name sticks anyway.
- When I hear a promotional ad on television for news shows and they tell me about a story they’re going to have on tomorrow, I don’t watch it. If they knew what the story was yesterday, it’s not news, it’s history.
- In spite of any recession, prices always go up. They may not be going up as fast in hard times, but they still go up.
- There are a lot of things around the house that aren’t any good that I don’t throw out.
- I’m fed up with stories every year about whether this is going to be a good or a bad Christmas for stores. There’s just so much economic news I want at Christmas. What I want to know is, is it going to be a good year for us?
- Hollywood movies are the best art America produces.
- Automobile tires are better than they used to be. Paper handkerchiefs like Kleenex are not.
- It’s easy to start hating someone on a television news broadcast. If the newscaster’s mannerisms annoy you, man or woman, you start paying more attention to them than to the news and it ruins the show for you. It accounts for why you hear people say, “I can’t stand Peter Jennings. I hate Dan Rather. Tom Brokaw is terrible.” Not to mention Andy Rooney, of course.
- Tying a shoelace is a small but satisfying thing to do.
- If the mailman knew what I was going to throw out without opening, he could save both of us a lot of trouble by throwing it away before he delivered it. I’d like to give our mailman power of attorney over the mail.
- If it wasn’t so annoying, it would be amusing to hear politicians speak less than the truth most of the time.
- If Beethoven was played as loud as rock music, I wouldn’t like that, either.
- Believing there are differences in races doesn’t make anyone a racist.
- When I was in high school, the final score of a basketball game was 38 to 29 or, at the very most, 47 to 36.
- If there was no crime, local television news broadcasts would have to go out of business.
- We’re all a little prejudiced about something.
- Most kids in school like their teachers.
- We make more friends than we have time to keep, but we make more enemies than we have time to fight, so it evens out.
- Not many Americans could fill in a blank map with names of the United States even if it had the outline of the states on it.
- All television programs should be broadcast simultaneously on radio.
- It’s apparent to me how old I am when I read in the paper that they’re handing out condoms to kids in the New York City schools. I didn’t know what one was in high school and wouldn’t mention the word in mixed company to this day.
- There are some good things on television except when you want to watch. If there are two good things on the same night, they’re opposite each other. There are usually some good things on the night you have to go out, too.
- Three-quarters of the homeowners in America never use their front door.
- On the other hand, of course, a lot of dumb people don’t write so you can read it, either.
- The best thing that’s bad for you is butter.
- When you pump your own gas at a self-service place, it’s hard not to end up with a little gas on your hands. There might be a market for a machine that dispenses little packets containing a piece of wet cloth or paper that you could clean your hands with. I’d pay a nickel but not a quarter. Maybe that’s the business we’ll go into.
- The weather is almost always something other than normal.
- Cough drops aren’t much help when you want to stop coughing.
- There’s too much glass in a car on a hot, sunny day. We don’t need all that windshield to see out.
- There is a definite difference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola and one is clearly better than the other. I can’t even drink the other.
- Imelda Marcos’ popularity in the Philippines is enough to shake your faith in democracy.
- We all assume we’re smarter than when we were younger but probably not.
- No matter where you stood, the war in Vietnam was one of the worst episodes in American history.
- It doesn’t snow as much as it used to and, furthermore, it never did.
- People who say that breakfast is their favorite meal don’t enjoy food much.
- No one in prison for murder is guilty when they tell their story on television. I’ve never seen a guilty murderer.
- Self-service hasn’t made gas any cheaper.