Mencken and Me

Another draft from the past, 2013 apparently. I don’t know what it was that struck me as being so important to keep this but single solitary link at the ready for an eventual post, but here it is, finally. It is an interesting, almost Chautauqua-like (heh) ramble through a different time populated with different people. For example, this:

In this age of political correctness and elaborate, infuriating systems of rhetorical taboos, it’s amusing to see each wave of protest against Mencken’s defenseless bones, as women, blacks, Jews, Muslims, and most ethnic groups rediscover that at some point he disparaged them and called them names that have long since become capital crimes in the media and in the academy. Yet it was my own tribe, the rural Anglo-Saxon, that he despised most venomously and to whom, in his most spirited moments, he scarcely granted full membership in the human race.

and then a bit later this:

The rock-solid middle-class family that kept him, in his words, “fat, saucy and contented,” was paradoxically the perfect nest for a nestling who set himself the task of dismantling Middle America brick by brick. At the same time it provided him with a character-forming mythology, a middle-class ideal that exalted respectable people—”decent” was a word Mencken used—people who pay their debts, live within their means, answer to no one. In his time, people who paid cash. My grandfather bought his automobiles with hundred-dollar bills. This ideal included the code of the gentleman: that the weak are not to be bullied and exploited, that other people are not stepping stones to goals, that truth is never the product of consensus, that money is a means not an end, that honor and reputation are more important than wealth and preference.

The guy has his own site – although I didn’t see a reference to this from there.

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