H.L. Mencken Wrote About Us

And if it were me, I wouldn’t go searching for what he said…

H.L. was a cynic’s cynic. A man who would not shrink from telling you how ridiculous you looked or how hypocritical you sounded. And you did not need to be a figure in power or a possessor of wealth to get a shit shower. If you were a dirt-poor religious nut you could also be exposed in grimly tumultuous prose.

I regard him with awe and affection – much as I do Voltaire and Tom Paine. This is not comfortable or kindly emotion – I try to exercise as many of the cantankerous attitudes that H.L. displayed as I decently can.

One thing is certain – the targets that Mr. Mencken found in his sights have not disappeared. If anything, they have multiplied. Now that we have universal peering rights into the doings of our peers, we can find objects to scorn nearly everywhere. Whether we deign to destroy them with wit, humour, or a small packet of weed-killer in their lemonade is up to us.

I favour the legal methods, as they are so much crueller.

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