Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART SEVENTEEN: Resuming my look at James Larkin Pearson’s Fool Killer (Or Fool-Killer as he wrote it). In August of 1919 Pearson brought the Fool Killer (I prefer no hyphen) out of his latest hibernation with the words “After resting for two years the Fool-Killer goes on duty again.”
This time around the figure had nationwide exposure and with the enormous number of railroads criss-crossing the country by now he could get around more quickly than ever.
In the previous installment I provided the background information on Pearson and his Fool Killer. This time around we can jump right into the “fools” who were the fictional figure’s August 1919 targets:
*** People still pushing Democrat President Woodrow Wilson’s claim that the World War (1914-1918) was fought to “Make the world safe for Democracy.” The Fool Killer would swing away at such people while pointing out the less-than-democratic nature of some of the Allied Powers governments from the recent conflict, especially England, Italy and Japan.
*** Bloated rich pigs – “plutes” as this Fool Killer called them, short for plutocrats – who try to blame the “class consciousness” of American laborers wanting better working conditions on the fairly new Bolshevik government in the emerging Soviet Union. (An especially idiotic claim by the plutocrats, since American workers had been striking, etc, for decades before the Bolsheviks took power.)
*** A preacher who publicly said that he “almost wishes sometimes that Jesus would come already.” The Fool Killer added a joke wondering how that preacher would feel if he was on a trip and his wife said that she “almost wishes sometimes” that he would come back from his trip already. (Pearson was, sad to say, very religious and often took shots at clergy members he found insufficiently “devout.”)
*** White Russians (The fallen Russian aristocrats and their supporters).
*** Mossbacks (Narrow-minded conservatives. Think of the clueless, stuffy white guys in suits at National Review for just one example.)
*** Society, church and government people who bash the reform movement as “evil.”
*** Cowardly or dishonest “journalists” who distort the facts and just produce propaganda for their bosses. (WOW! Pearson should see today’s lying reporters!)
*** One J.D. Willis, who argued with the Fool Killer over whether or not dead sinners are punished for all eternity. (I’m an atheist so I’m not into Pearson’s many religious items, but I include them for the sake of accuracy.)
*** People who thought the League of Nations would somehow end war.
*** The Fool Killer was non-committal as yet about the public argument to improve America’s Army Air Corps for future conflicts. He was keeping an open mind.
*** People who thought souls became omniscient after death.
*** Henry Ford and all his greedy capitalist ilk for wanting to pay their workers so little.
*** Capitalists who concentrated everything on higher profit and not on better service for their customers.
*** A joke was made about perpetually dysfunctional Mexico: “Mexico will be normal in ninety days” experts were saying, with the punchline being a speculation on who would cause the next troubles there on the ninety-first day.
*** Politicians who pretended to support the working class during election campaigns, then sold them out afterwards. (Democrats have gotten even worse with that today. Republicans never pretended to care about the working class EVER. Except President Trump, who is not a real Republican and is a de facto Third Party President. That’s why Trump really has helped the working class.)
*** A group of 1919 preachers who were like the much-later televangelists in their obsession with money. Those 1919 preachers launched the Seventy-Five Million Dollar Campaign to raise that much cash, supposedly for “good works.” Though they did not do what a much-later televangelist did by claiming that God would “Call them home” if they didn’t raise the designated sum.
*** Fellow Socialists who rejected religion, because Pearson and his Fool Killer felt God was needed to help the Socialists achieve their stated goals for the poor and working class.
*** The Fool Killer also spoke in support of Eugene Debs and said that if he was as villainous as the plutocrats said he was then he would have made a fortune on Wall Street by now.
FOR PART EIGHTEEN CLICK HERE
I WILL EXAMINE MORE FOOL KILLER LORE SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY LOOK AT JOE MAGARAC, THE STEEL MILL VERSION OF JOHN HENRY AND PAUL BUNYAN, CLICK HERE
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