Wednesday, September 01, 2010

H. L. Mencken on teh OUTLAW

On blue, hyperacid days the suspicion often seizes me that most of my favorite notions are nonsensical—worse, that some of them are probably downright insane. It is a sad pleasure to examine them thus at leisure, and pick out the flaws in them. What is left is little save a pile of platitudes -- the apple-cores of meditation. Well, who is better off? I know of no one, though neither do I know of anyone who admits it. [...]

Nevertheless, it comforts me to think that, in one respect at least, I am superior to my chief opponents. That is in the respect that, in the main, my ideas are unpopular, and hence not profitable. No one can reasonably allege that I emit them in order to gain political office, or to get an honorary degree from the Ohio Wesleyan University, or to acquire the Legion d’honneur. This may seem a small thing, but it is at least something, especially in an American. Practically all the other men that I know try to capitalize their doctrines in some way or other. Who ever heard of an uplifter who was not looking for a job? Or, at all events, some one to finance his crusade? No one finances mine, such as it is. No one ever will.