Axidava

The Man And His Shadow

Every man, whatever his actual qualities, is credited with and judged by certain general qualities that are supposed to appertain to his sex, particularly by women.

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The New Galahad

My agents in attendance upon the so-called moving pictures tell me that persons who frequent such shows begin to tire of Western films—that they are no longer roused to clapper-clawing by the spectacle of actors in patent-leather jack-boots murdering Indians and Mexicans.

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Moral Indignation

The ill-fame of the Turks in the English-speaking world is not due to their political medievalism, as is usually alleged, but to their practise of polygamy.

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The Animal That Thinks

That the great majority of human beings, even under our perfected Christian civilization, are still almost as incapable of rational thought as so many diamond-back terrapin—this is a fact to which we have all been made privy of late by the babbling of eminent psychologists. Granted. But let us not rashly assume that this infirmity is confined strictly to the nether herd—that, above the level where thinking may be said genuinely to begin, it goes on, level by level, to greater and greater heights of clarity and acumen.

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The Mime

The fundamental objection to actors, stripping the business of all mere sophistry and snobbery, is that they give away the idiotic vanity of the whole male sex.

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Mencken On Eugenics

The error of the eugenists lies in the assumption that a physically healthy man is the best fitted to survive. This is true of rats and the pediculae, but not of the higher animals, e. g., horses, dogs and men. In these higher animals one looks for more subtle qualities, chiefly of the spirit. Imagine estimating philosophers by their chest expansions, their blood pressures, their Wassermann reactions!

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Mencken On Lying

Lying stands on a different plane from all other moral offenses, not because it is intrinsically more heinous or less heinous, but simply because it is the only one that may be accurately measured.

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The Rat-Trap

Much of the discontent with modern marriage centers in the fact that the laws which condition it and safeguard it all assume that its purpose is the founding of a family.

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Mencken On The Jews

The Jews, like the Americans, labor under a philosophical dualism, and in both cases it is a theological heritage. On the one hand there is the idealism that is lovely and uplifting and will get a man into heaven, and on the other hand there is the realism that works.

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The Burden Of Humor

What is the origin of the prejudice against humor? Why is it so dangerous, if you would keep the public confidence, to make the public laugh?

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The Mind Of The Slave

One of the forgotten divisions between men and men is that separating those who enjoy the work they have to do in the world and those who suffer it only as a necessary evil.

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Bugaboo

All of the Great Thinkers of the world, East, West, North and South, have been alarming their customers, for two or three years past, with the same bugaboo.

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Mencken On Alcohol

Envy, as I have said, is at the heart of the messianic delusion, the mania to convert the happy sinner into a “good” man, and so make him miserable. And at the heart of that envy is fear—the fear to sin, to take a chance, to monkey with the buzzsaw.

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