Mencken

12 06 2010

I’m reading Gary Taubes’s Good Calories Bad Calories, which has this gem of a quote from H.L. Mencken:

There is always a well-known solution to every human problem–neat, plausible, and wrong.

Taubes is referring to how ‘everyone’ knows that you should avoid eating fat to lose or avoid gaining weight, and ‘everyone’ is wrong.

This page has many more Mencken quotes. As a blashemous anti-democrat, I liked this:

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.

My anti-feminist side likes this:

Misogynist – A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

Why representative democracy sucks:

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.

I really like this:

The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.

It is incredibly difficult to argue against public policy when I advocate to alternative policy. Sometimes, my vastly superior alternative is to simply do nothing. “The President has to do SOMETHING!” No. No, he doesn’t.

Mencken’s views, more often than not, mirror my own. As a crazy person filled with unpopular ideas, that’s a rare find for me. Few westerners even question the nobility of the institution of democracy. Fewer still conclude that it’s awful, but Mencken did, and so have I. He wrote a bit about women and social dynamics. As someone who didn’t like men voting, he liked women’s suffrage even less. He was alive and writing before, during, and after prohibition, which he didn’t much care for, a movement that largely be blamed on women.

If that’s too politically correct for you, he also managed to say unkind things about Jews and blacks, though he seems to have simultaneously held both admiration and disdain for Jewish people. So, there’s that.

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3 responses

19 06 2010
19 06 2010
Word Around the Campfire – the Father Knows Best edition « Hidden Leaves

[…] Unfrozen Caveman: Mencken […]

20 06 2010
Will S.

Every man should read Mencken – and Ambrose Bierce, esp. his “The Devil’s Dictionary”.

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