Sunday, May 17, 2009

Distrust Authority

I just finished a superb book - a collection of writings of H. L. Mencken titled, "The Impossible H. L. Mencken" edited by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. This is without doubt one of the best books I've read in years, combining insight, humor and lots of $10 words. Here's the last selection which view coincides with my own.

*** excerpt begins ***

Quod est veritas? I know the answer no more than Pilate did. But this, at least, I have observed in forty-five years: that there are men who search for it, whatever it is, wherever it may lie, patiently, honestly, with due humility, and that there are other men who battle endlessly to put it down, even though they don't know what it is. To the first class belong the scientists, the experimenters, the men of curiosity. To the second belong the politicians, bishops, professors, mullahs, tin-pot messiahs, frauds and exploiters of all sorts --- in brief, the men of authority.

My inclination, I suspect, makes me lean heavily in favor of the former. I am, as the phrase is, prejudiced in their favor. They fall, now and then, into grievous errors, but in their fall there is still something creditable, something that takes away all shame. What fetches them is the common weakness of humanity, imperfectly made by a God whose humor has been greatly underestimated. They have, at least, the virtue of fairness. And that of courage. Unhorsed, they pick themselves up and try again. They do not call for the police.

In the other camp I find no such virtues. All I find there is a vast enmity to the free functioning of the spirit of man. There may be, for all I know, some truth there, but it is truth made into whips, rolled into bitter pills. It is truth that has somehow lost all dignity, all beauty, all eloquence and charm. More often, it is not truth at all, but simply folly bedizened*. Whatever it is, it is guarded by the common enemies of mankind: theologians, lawyers, policemen, men armed with books, guns, clubs, goads, ropes.

I find myself out of sympathy with such men, I shall keep challenging them until the last galoot's** ashore.

*** end of excerpt ***

That was written September 7, 1925 and published in The Baltimore Evening Sun. And it is without doubt as applicable today as then.

Word of the Day

"Bedizen" - verb, transitive [$10] poetic, a Mencken word.
Bedizen means to deck out gaudily. From be + obsolete 'dizen' meaning 'deck out'.
Sentence: see * above.

Bonus word

"Galoot" - noun, colloquial [$10] a Mencken word
Galoot means a person, especially a strange or clumsy one. [19th century nautical slang]
Sentence: see ** above.


mern said...

agree the statment is very accurate, for todays world. in america, its even more significant. as the country continues to erode due to the sense of entitlements most ameris have, the country is leaning more and more on religion.

its rather counterintuitive, imo. in a society like ours, we should be becoming more and more agnostic, as it is obvisiously the mature thought. in no other subject would so many believe in blind faith. i dont know what the big deal is? i dont know what happens when u take a dirt nap and neither does palin, bin laden or the pope. u mite as still believe in santa claus, becuase its the samething but for adults.

obama was right. we love r guns and bibles. i own a gun but id end up using it, in a non defense related matter, pretty sure of that. bible, i wipe my ass with it every single day. its smoother than charmin and already full of shit, so im not populating the planet.

Since the end is never told
we pay the teller off in gold
in hopes he will come back
but he cannot be bought or sold


Inspiration, move me brightly
light the song with sense and color,
hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
faced with mysteries dark and vast
statements just seem vain at last
some rise, some fall, some climb
to get to Terrapin

Counting stars by candlelight
all are dim but one is bright:
the spiral light of Venus
rising first and shining best,
From the northwest corner
of a brand-new crescent moon
crickets and cicadas sing
a rare and different tune

Terrapin Station
in the shadow of the moon
Terrapin Station
and I know we'll be there soon

i wonder if a sober judy garland cud do this song justice and sing it with the passion of a junked out jerry? no good music written since 1954.............. imvho, not much good written before then!

mern said...

hey hey hey Citi just emailed me, my first response to any job posting.

it was for a entry level job that u dont even need a bachelors for. u need a series 7 and 24. it was in supervision, which ive done.

they didnt even give me a interview.

when i applied for this, i just wanted a interview, to practice.

the recession is over?

Spin-em said...

OHH MERN..M E R N.....My main man mern..are you on any prescription medications???....

mern said...

no but my AA counselor is really pounding the bible.

im gonna make him an athiest!

even though im agnostic.

these 12 step programs r replacing one vice for another.

how about dont drink becuase it makes u fat. it makes me turn into a azzhead. i cant drive. it fucked up marriage.

there i realized that, and i finished with it, no bible needed.


Spin-em said...

maybe thats why its called "FAITH"????

"bob" will pray for you.......

Spin-em said...

he writes like a know it all atheist...yet covers his ice cube shaved sack with the "agnostic" tag.......make up your mind

cross road?...........OK
no cross road?........OK
I guess so???.......vrrrrrrrttttt

mern said...

how does blind faith work for u down here?

say it with me.... "i dont know what happens when i die." "i dont believe in the tooth fairy or santa either."

oh and "the mets will choke for the trifecta."

Spin-em said...

Come onn mern..dont be swingin at that

mern said...

come on spin, i know u r a bible thumper. and probably catholic to boot. honestly how can anyone still go to catholic churchs? yet they still have a billion, just like the muslims........... get rid of catholic priets and extremists muslims and we may not all die before 2100.

mfl59 said...

Bud you need to check out the Jets new training facility here in NJ....utterly phenomenal...

Feb 2010 around the corner....I hope you keep taking lessons and changing clubs.....unless you work on the 5 inches between your ears...well....ya know...

Spin-em said...

tighten up that strike zone merny or ur headed to teener league..I dont swing at that dont know shitt--- JACCCK!!!


Frosty said...

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves, Forsty could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Frosty as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to Frosty, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have Frosty remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to Frosty.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
Frosty as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Spin-em said...

Hey stewardess is the a movie on this flight???....(is there a movie on this flight...loool)

mern said...


George, [entering Jerry's bathroom]: "Well, Hanke's moved on to Step Ten. He
was spotted taking personal inventory."
Jerry: "That's Step Ten?"
George: "All he has to do now is count his blessings, say a prayer, and he's
done. Do you believe this?"

George: "Yeah, the neck hole thing, and I would appreciate it if you would
say you're sorry."
Hanke: "No way, you would've completely stretched it out."
George: "You're an alcoholic! You have to apologize. Step Nine! Step Nine."
Hanke: "All right, George, all right. I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry. I'm so
sorry that I didn't want your rather bulbous head struggling to find its way
through the normal-size neck hole of my finely knit sweater."

Frosty said...

Tom a frosty malted beverage sounds ssoooo good...nice tall iced I can't wait until the close...the first one to hit the lips, heaven indeed.

Spin-em said...

just iced up some Rocks(bottles) in the cooler......gunna be 80 out today.....cant wait

Spin-em said...

bob ever have a vodka cranberry on a spring day??...Its a verry refreshing drink?

Frosty said...

oh Tom, just add a twist of lime...have a buldge in the jeans thinking about it.

Spin-em said...

geezzzuz can a guy get an Alabama Slammer round here??

mern said...

being sober is boring!

mern said...

but my lung feels great.....

maverick said...

mern...what the hell do you do all day if you not workin, tradin, drinkin. or smokin?

mern said...

but my lung feels great.....

lose about 30 bucks a day.

looking at small business's.

and ive fallen back in love with an ole friend named Television!

go to meetings with my shrinks.. yep thats now plural....

i have to clean my home like 3 days a week, for showings. still not 1 offer.

Spin-em said...

why ya gotta buy a landscape bniz?...goto the mart buy a Murray ..undercut all the mexitata teams that goto a house(2,3) PDQ print up some flyers..hand em out and ur a bniz man

Frosty said...

Mark...what about all that have time to jugglem' like a six armed clown...get out there and stick it in something.

Spin-em said...

mern said...

im still with whitey, frosty. u wud be proud.......

Frosty said...

ppffttt...cheers down to WMT for here when ya get back.

Spin-em said... consider Bud a friends talk about you behind your back??

mern said...

sure y not?

im a asshole, remember?
im sure he has crushed me just as hard to my face and vice versa.

Spin-em said...

now he keeps his trap shut??..silence says it all men......cant say I blame ya Bud..ya scumbag......hope you and "jim" had a chuckle....pfftttt

Frosty said...

aazzhead nonoshowpussy

I think so

mern said...

Are you traveling this Memorial Day weekend?
Yes 17% 1830
No 83% 9126

recession over?


Bunkerman said...


Plane full. Road on drive home from airport full. Yes, I used a limo - I support the common man.

Hometown - bad shape.

Three most common "businesses": Churches, pizza parlors, and now, check cashing/pawn shops.


recession is not over there.