MENCKEN for Monday:"But isn't it true that the maladies of...


August 29, 1994

MENCKEN for Monday:

"But isn't it true that the maladies of middle life are increasing? Maybe they are, but maybe the cause is to be sought, not so much in an exhaustion following over-activity, as in a staleness consequent upon too much ease."

-- H. L. Mencken in The Evening Sun, Dec. 16, 1910

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". . . I roll out of my couch every morning with the most agreeable sensations. In the morning paper there is always massive and exhilarating evidence that the human race, despite its ages-long effort to imitate the seraphim, is still doomed to be irrevocably human, and in my morning mail I always get soothing proof that there are men left who are worse asses than I am.

"It may be urged that such satisfactions are lowly; nevertheless, the fact remains that they are satisfactions. Would the tinsel world that idealists pant for be better? Would it really be habitable at all? I am ready to doubt it formally. It would be swept, at best, by chill winds; there would be no warming glow of human folly. There would be no Lindberghs in it, to risk their necks preposterously and charmingly; there would be . . . no Hoovers and Coolidges; there would be no poets with their pretty bellyaches; above all, there would be no theologians. And maybe no Americans."

-- "What I Believe," The Forum, September 1930

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