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 Henry Louis Mencken

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updated Wed. October 2, 2019

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G. K. Chesterton, British writer and philosopher as well as a devout convert to Catholicism once said, “When a man stops believing in God, he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes in anything.” H.L. Mencken (The sage of Baltimore), journalist, satirist critic of American culture as well as a lifelong ...
As H.L. Mencken would say, “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” Arming school teachers is one of those WRONG solutions: It would offer little in the way of additional security (though it certainly stimulates the sale of firearms). Independent research ...

An apocryphal saying attributed to both Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken declares the only way to look at a politician is “down.” I can certainly understand the sentiment and add the only thing worse than a die-hard Republican is a die-hard Democrat. Life at the extremes is uncompromising, vitriolic, insular ...
IT'S THAT DAMNABLE BUILDING. That set me off. You know, the rendering of the beautiful long shiny-white sumptuous, curving redesign of the historic Miramar Hotel at Ocean and Wilshire that so many are falling all over themselves to praise, with all the happy Santa Monicans pictured strolling the ...
Who was H. L. Mencken, the no-nonsense, plain-speaking fellow of skeptical mind, who trusted only what he could see and explain? Mencken was a journalist whose plain-speaking today's America could use. H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) was the son of August Mencken, a German tobacco dealer in ...
He installed a brand-new countertop on his bar, and, hoping to attract Baltimore's press, he shrewdly invited the city's most famous living writer: H.L. Mencken. Renowned for his polemics against puritanical America, Mencken was also a notorious beer enthusiast. “There is nothing I would like better than to ...

Lena Dunham reviews Meg Wolitzer's “The Female Persuasion” for this week's cover. Five years ago, Liesl Schillinger reviewed “The Interestings” and considered Wolitzer's place in American fiction. Below is an excerpt. H. L. Mencken once wrote that his definition of happiness included “a comfortable ...
He was as much in thrall to the speeches of Malcolm X (the subject of a biography Les had been close to completing at the time of his death) as he was to the commentary of the quintessential American satirist H.L. Mencken. Les was able to look past, if not excuse, the Sage of Baltimore's racist and ...
Burns just told me to get back to work via e-mail, that's it, that was the last thing on my motorcycling bucket list, my life is complete now. That was the whole reason I have tenaciously held on in my advanced dotage – that and Evans calling me a “slacker.” The moto-equivalent of H.L. Mencken barking at me ...
What infuriates me about Klosterman, first, is that he could be the Best Critic Since Forever (or at least since Edmund Wilson, who was good primarily because he dominated the field, and H.L. Mencken, who was great but who was also a horrible human). I enjoy his work not because it's any good, but ...
“When I read about ideas like this, I am reminded of H.L. Mencken's remark that 'For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, clean, and wrong.'” Inevitably, property owners bear the brunt of these kinds of corrections, O'Toole, who lives in Oregon, said. The Portland City Council last year, ...
Or, as the great misanthrope H.L. Mencken put it in 1923, "The most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the Middle Ages." The antics of the Trump White House furnish living proof daily. But nobody's really ...
Should history record the sudden collapse of American democracy, it will be illustrated by CNN screenshots of Stormy Daniels strapped to a lie detector. You know, that staged photo of the porn actress in a tight yellow T-shirt with her preposterous breasts that the TV networks couldn't show often enough ...
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard,” said Baltimore's own H.L. Mencken. The American people are about to get it — good and hard… The president signed a budget-busting $1.3 trillion “omnibus” spending bill Friday — the second ...
The other elephant (mine, since I was the only one in favor of the plan) was the H.L. Mencken elephant. Mencken said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Conservative MP Scott Reid could be seen, in the late going, browsing through what appeared to be a reference book, which he later confirmed was A New Dictionary of Quotations, edited by H. L. Mencken and published in 1942. Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan had a copy of Champlain's ...
Weissberg is a regular speaker at white nationalist events, including the annual American Renaissance and H.L. Mencken Club conferences. Rhetoric that would be popular at such conferences was prevalent in Weissberg's articles at FSM. In a 2009 piece, he engaged in demographic alarmism, lamenting ...

She also – and this is where I can't get over how bold she was – started corresponding with famous authors and critics – especially Carl Sandburg and H.L. Mencken.” She wrote articles for several magazines and was commissioned by Knopf publishers to write a book. This was also the time, Roberts said, ...
During one of the last visits to his home we discussed the works of H.L. Mencken; he had a shelf full of the writer's books and was able to quote chapter and verse on the man's satire and linguistic skills. And then there was his long elucidation on art—he was a devoted collector. I remember meeting him ...
H.L. Mencken, one of our most caustic cultural critics, has been dead for more than 60 years. But he would not have ... "Under democracy," Mencken once wrote, "one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.".
... ultimately, doing so will hurt their revenues and growth. This is the unpalatable truth they are all squirming to avoid. And in doing so they're really just confirming HL Mencken's observation about the impossibility of getting someone to understand a proposition if his income depends on not understanding it ...
Of course, Crane's mushy middlebrow meditations attracted the rapier wit of the likes of satirist H.L. Mencken, who said the former minister demonstrated “not a weakness for ideas that are stale and obvious, but a distrust of all ideas whatsoever.” Such ridicule, of course, didn't mean a darn thing to the tens ...
Bibliobibuli by Jaya Bhattacharji Rose. Bibliobibuli means "to be drunk on books". The term was coined in 1957 by H. L. Mencken, from the Greek "biblio", meaning books, and the Latin "bibulous", from "bibere" (to drink). Go to the profile of Jaya Bhattacharji Rose ...
All this reminds me of a prophecy I recently came across written by the eminent journalist H. L. Mencken almost a century ago. “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folk of the land will ...
You know the H.L. Mencken line, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”? The tennis corollary: no one ever went rich underestimating Serena Williams. We all love Roger Federer, but what does it say about the ATP when a 36-year-old man can win so easily?
Some better ideas: Amend privacy laws so mental patients are flagged in background checks and blocked from buying guns. Medicare-For-All could provide troubled youths with the mental care they need. “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong,” said H.L. Mencken.
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong,” said H.L. Mencken, a noted cultural observer of the first half of the 20th century. Mencken's wisdom rings true today. It calls us to search beyond the simple answers, bullet points and memes. It calls us to understand the ...
Any clown can make a person laugh, but it takes an artist of a high degree to simultaneously make you laugh and think, while delivering observations with such acuity that I'm starting to think of this guy as the musical version of Jonathan Swift or H.L. Mencken. He's just that good and there is no reason to ...
“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” H.L. Mencken. American 'consumers' don't learn about the world or from America's constant ...
“For every complex problem,” H.L. Mencken wrote, “there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” Take property taxes. They're too high because the state has never adequately addressed education funding, because homeowners must bear most of the cost of county government, and because, since ...
No prediction of the condition we're in with this presidency and his daily idiocies rings as true as this quote by H.L. Mencken: “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” Sue Busch, Newtown.
H.L. Mencken looks up from his typewriter during the 1948 Democratic National Convention, which he covered for the Baltimore Sun. ... either, I cannot claim responsibility because the entertaining portion is shamelessly lifted from America's most illustrious journalist, Henry Louis Mencken (1890-1956).
Hence the more or less consensus judgment that the whole episode amounted to an unrealistic attempt to legislate morality -- a legacy of Puritanism, perhaps, which H. L. Mencken called “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy.” (Mencken got through Prohibition by learning to brew ...
M. F. K. Fisher savors the remembered tastes of the forbidden foods she craved as a child (macadamia nuts, mashed potatoes with ketchup) in “Once a Tramp, Always . . .”; while, in “Giants at the Bar,” H. L. Mencken recalls the “bacchanalian virtuosity” of the reporters he knew around the turn of the twentieth ...
We published an article recently that touched on the possible effects that the internet and smartphones seem to be having on the ability to think, or to function effectively as voters in a “democracy.” While I don't disagree — smartphones are the real-life version of soma, as predicted by Huxley in Brave New ...
H.L. Mencken discussed the origin of the word in his landmark 1945 book “American Language Supplement One.” Between entries for “guappo” and “dago,” Mencken explained how “wop” had “appeared often in the English newspapers, usually in a derogative significance” and might be used to “designate ...
Nearly a century ago, in 1922, H.L. Mencken, the iconoclastic Baltimore journalist, wrote: “The human race, I begin to suspect, is actually splitting into two distinct species. The one species is characterized by an incurable thirst for knowledge, and an extraordinary capacity for recognizing and taking in facts ...
SHRUG: Empower Texans, a right-wing political organization, is financed by West Texas oil and gas billionaires. In the tradition of the John Birch Society, the group pretends to be interested in social issues but is really only about one thing: attacking local governments to get them to lower taxes they have to ...
The newly fledged #SLCtoo (slctoo.com) organization hosts its first event on Feb. 17: a panel discussion, dinner and cocktail party seeking to galvanize the community in an effort to address local sexual violence. #SLCtoo organizes with local groups such as Honey, UCASA, Still Not Asking For It and ...
At his peak, he was simultaneously professor of sociology at what was then Loyola College, professor of psychology to the nurses at Seton Institute, and chaplain of the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore. After the Jesuit's death, Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken wrote, “No more useful man ever lived ...
We published an article recently that touched on the possible effects that the internet and smartphones seem to be having on the ability to think, or to function effectively as voters in a “democracy.” While I don't disagree — smartphones are the real-life version of soma, as predicted by Huxley in Brave New ...
Lest readers think their frustration with endless telemarketing and other types of calls at all hours is a new problem, we recently ran across a column called “A Boon to Bores” by H.L. Mencken. It appeared in the Baltimore Sun in 1922 and begins:“The other day a strange thing happened. I sat down to dinner ...
H.L. Mencken discussed the origin of the word in his landmark 1945 book “American Language Supplement One.” Between entries for “guappo” and “dago,” Mencken explained how “wop” had “appeared often in the English newspapers, usually in a derogative significance” and might be used to “designate ...
Henry Louis Mencken churned out six of these 1,200-word meringues every week, a vertiginous pace that makes Joyce Carol Oates look like Harper Lee. ... with the Almighty and His earthly interpreters, see the excellent D.G. Hart's recent Damning Words: The Life and Religious Times of H.L. Mencken.
His name, H.L. Mencken, who wrote the following for the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1920: “All of us, if we are of reflexive habit, like and admire men whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense: he faces a mob ...
Mark Twain. William Faulkner. They all wrote furiously for newspapers. They all kept us coming back. “On some great and glorious day,” alpha-columnist H.L. Mencken once predicted, “the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
It begins with a quote from the late H.L. Mencken, a culture writer, thinker and satirist not known as a defender of democracy and democratic principles, but his writing offered insight into a particular failing of a civilization without a citizenry that is engaged, informed and armed with the ability to think critically: ...
In the news game, nothing captivates readers like teeny-tiny widdle animals. "The fluffier the better!" H. L. Mencken once proclaimed, as far as I know. 0. And that's what made today's editorial meeting so torturous. A brand-new baby animal hatched last week at the Minnesota Zoo, you see, which is typically ...
H.L. Mencken may have nailed it when he said, "Immorality is the morality of those who are having a better time." • The Raven's Union must have bargained for the tasty meals. The ravens at the Tower of London receive a weekly ration of horseflesh in order to ensure that they stay in residence. An obscure ...
two foreign people: P.T. Barnum, H.L. Mencken, Charles Baudelaire and Cornelius Tacitus. Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) may ... Nor did Henry Louis Mencken say, precisely: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” What Mencken (1880-1956) did write, ...


 

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