MENCKEN for Monday:"It was Americans who invented the...

Salmagundi

December 27, 1993

MENCKEN for Monday:

"It was Americans who invented the curious doctrine that there is a body of doctrine in every department of thought that every good citizen is in duty bound to accept and cherish; it was Americans who invented the right-thinker. . . . In the face of this singular passion for conformity, this dread of novelty and originality, it is obvious that the man of vigorous mind and stout convictions is gradually shouldered out of public life. He may slide into office once or twice, but soon or late he is bound to be held up, examined and incontinently kicked out. This leave the field to the intellectual jelly-fish and inner tubes."

-- H. L. Mencken in The Evening Sun, July 26, 1920.

* * *

"WHEN the world was young man's chief ambition was to get; and then as now the ablest were the most successful go-getters."

-- H. L. Mencken in The Evening Sun, Jan. 5, 1926

* * *

"NO doubt the weather man, like the piano-player in Mark Twain's story, is doing his best, but that best, it must be admitted sadly, is often atrocious. Why can't we human beings get a firmer grip upon the elements? We have conquered the sea and the land; we have put great rivers into chains and sent our ships across the mountains. We have turned the lightenings to our uses and reduced distances to nothing -- and yet we are still at the mercy of every vagrant rain-cloud."

-- H. L. Mencken in The Evening Sun, Nov. 4, 1910

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