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On the contrary, it seems to me that [God], on the strength of His daily acts, He must be set down a most cruel, stupid and villainous fellow.

From lettersofnote.com : In July of 1931, author and philosopher Will Durant wrote to a number of notable figures and asked, essentially, "What is the meaning of life?" His letter concluded: Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what keeps you going, what help—if any—religion gives you, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy, what is the goal or motive-force of your toil, where you find your consolations and your happiness, where, in the last resort, your treasure lies. Write briefly if you must; write at length and at leisure if you possibly can; for every word from you will be precious to me. Durant received many replies, a selection of which were compiled in the book, "On the Meaning of Life." By far the greatest response, in my opinion, came from the great H. L. Mencken. It can, and should, be read below. (Description above taken straight from the linked post, as it summed it up pretty well)
posted by datter on Feb 1, 2012 - 30 comments

Secrets of the Sage of Baltimore

H.L. Mencken's Stein Collection is for sale on eBay. "A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with, even if he drank." -- H. L. Mencken
posted by whimsicalnymph on May 3, 2011 - 12 comments

WHEN things get so balled up . . .

"The Declaration of Independence in American," by H.L. Mencken. "When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Why we did what we did. In American, so everyone can understand.
posted by John of Michigan on Jul 4, 2010 - 26 comments

Mencken Speaks

Donald H. Kirkey, Jr., The Baltimore Sun theater critic interviews H. L. Mencken, part 1 of 8. [more inside]
posted by readery on May 24, 2009 - 4 comments

"Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet."

This is Darrow,
Inadequately scrawled, with his young, old heart,
And his drawl, and his infinite paradox
And his sadness, and kindness,
And his artist sense that drives him to shape his life
To something harmonious, even against the schemes of God. [MI]
posted by amro on Mar 30, 2006 - 7 comments

Mencken and Hatrack

Today is the anniversary of the famous Hatrack case, in which H.L. Mencken was arrested for selling indecent literature in Boston. (Herbert Asbury, the author of the Hatrack story, was largely forgotten, except for this incident, until Scorsese made his novel in Gangs of New York.) The case was just one episode in the career of an American literary giant, reporter, columnist, and editor. Gore Vidal said, "Mencken is a nice antidote. Politically, he is often right but seldom correct by today's stern standards." This is perhaps the best website devoted to Mencken, with extensive links. Particularly recommended are The Hills of Zion, part of his coverage of the Scopes trial; and his obituary savaging William Jennings Bryan. If you've never read Mencken it's almost impossible to convey how well-written, incisive and funny his writing really is.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 5, 2005 - 18 comments

So Now That It's Curtains For SatireWire, What's Left To Humour Us?

So Now That It's Curtains For SatireWire, What's Left To Humour Us? Should we panic yet? Is the Web as funny ha-ha as it used to be? Thanks to this serendipitous find I was tickled to discover Kurt Luchs has some funny pages of his own. David Jaggard's list is quite conventional and brief (lots of glaring omissions), but it cheered me up. [As did this wonderful H.L. Mencken page, with these refreshingly un-pc aphorisms, if I may just shoe-horn it in here...]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Aug 29, 2002 - 35 comments

The Declaration of Independence in American

The Declaration of Independence in American by H.L. Mencken, circa 1921. A quote: "When things get so balled up that the people of a country have to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are on the level, and not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Gangbusters!
posted by acridrabbit on Dec 5, 2001 - 26 comments

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