Saturday, July 22, 2006

HL Mencken On Bush

Of course, he died long ago and wasn't really talking about Bush. And of course he's a bigot and a racist and a misogynist (oh, let's be done with it and call him a misanthrope -- I don't think Mencken was too fond of his fellow white people, either). But he did say some awfully biting, clever things and don't they sadly apply to this very day? (From a London Review of Books review of "Mencken: The American Iconoclast" by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers):

"We deafen the world with our whoops for liberty – and submit to laws that destroy our most sacred rights . . . We play policeman and Sunday-school superintendent to half of Christendom – and lynch a darky every two days in our own backyard." -- HL Mencken

And this:

"Any argument against the war itself, and any criticism of the persons appointed to carry it on, will become aid and comfort to the enemy. The war will not only become moral over all, it will become the touchstone and standard of morality . . . It is not long afterward that anyone ventures to inquire into the matter more particularly, and it is then too late to do anything about it. The dead are still dead, the fellows who lost legs still lack them, war widows go on suffering the orneriness of their second husbands, and taxpayers continue to pay, pay, pay. In the schools children are taught that the war was fought for freedom, the home and God." -- HL Mencken

Sound familiar?

No comments: