Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken

H L Mencken
Some may have heard of Henry Louis Mencken or H.L. as he’s probably now better known, some might not have. I’ll be prepared to wager money though that all of you have heard one of his quotes and perhaps even repeated some from time to time.

I did not know much about him before today but now i’m quite sure i would have enjoyed his company had we met. Before i get to some of his more popular quotes i thought this one was particularly appropriate just now:

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.

L A Times

Things might be looking up folks! 🙂

Some more of H.L.’s wit…

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.

The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth – that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.

It is hard for the average man to believe he has descended from the ape – It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he is descended from man.

Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.

an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone,
and (b) is not true. 😉

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.

The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence. 🙂

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

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. (Sad, but true).


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