|H.L. Mencken 1880 - 1956|
H. L. Mencken, the sage of Baltimore, was a great American newspaperman, autodidact, author and critic. He enjoyed the Bach's music, smoking cigars and a good lager. Here are some of Commander Kelly's favourite Mencken quotes...
"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.
An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with, even if he drank.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
When you hear somebody say, 'This is not about the money' -- it's about the money.
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
One hears murmurs against Mussolini on the ground that he is a desperado: the real objection to him is that he is a politician. Indeed, he is probably the most perfect specimen of the genus politician on view in the world today. His career has been impeccably classical. Beginning life as a ranting Socialist of the worst type, he abjured Socialism the moment he saw better opportunities for himself on the other side, and ever since then he has devoted himself gaudily to clapping Socialists in jail, filling them with castor oil, sending blacklegs to burn down their houses, and otherwise roughing them. Modern politics has produced no more adept practitioner.
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.
I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. I am against any man and any organization which seeks to limit or deny that freedom. . . [and] the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
When A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel. (Commander Kelly asks , "Could 'A' be a community organiser?")
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl."