Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART TWENTY-SEVEN: Here is a look at some of the Fool Killer’s targets from James L Pearson’s April of 1920 issue. As always we find an intriguing mix of attitudes, some of which would please us today or anger us today.
** Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s Attorney General A Mitchell Palmer (as in the Palmer Raids) and his fellow self-appointed censors of supposedly “dangerous” political ideas. Ironically, in 1920 the ideas under assault were Socialist ideas, today it is people espousing Socialism who want OTHER philosophies censored.
The Fool Killer complained “a little handful of self-appointed bosses around Washington think they must be the sole judges of what a hundred and ten million Americans may read or hear.”
** The New York State Assembly – as usual called “the ASS-embly” – for refusing to seat the five elected members of the Socialist Party. Pearson and his Fool Killer saw this as invalidating the votes of the 60,000-odd New Yorkers who had voted for the candidates. The Assembly refused to seat the elected representatives solely because of the political party they belonged to.
The Fool Killer pointed out that there were still parts of the South in 1920 where it was considered as disgusting to be a Republican as it was to be a Socialist. The point being “how would the country feel if the state legislatures in the South took it upon themselves to unseat elected Republicans like New York had unseated the Socialists?”
** He targeted all of the official lies that had been spread about Russia, including the claim that Allied troops had remained at Archangel solely to safeguard supplies. (I’ll point out again that a definite downside of Pearson’s Fool-Killer publication was his bizarre sympathy for the Bolsheviks. He was also obsessively religious.)
** Spiritualists came under attack again and the Fool Killer pointed out that considering the inanities and trivialities that Spiritualists claimed that the dead communicated to them, a new saying should be “What fools these immortals be.”
** Michigan’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Truman Newberry. Newberry was already under attack for the huge amounts of money he had spent to win the Republican primary and was also suspected of bribery. Newberry would win the general election but his drama played on. The Senate would refuse to seat him, claiming he did not really win the Republican primary. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that Newberry was duly elected and the Senate had no grounds for meddling in the results of primary elections.
** People who advocated joining the League of Nations. Pearson and his Fool Killer despised the League, showing again that he doesn’t entirely fit today’s assumption that a Socialist would be in favor of the League of Nations. Pearson’s usual odd blend of Socialism and religion were at the root of his distrust of the League and he was glad the U.S. stayed out of it.
The rest of this April issue was devoted to author James Larkin Pearson’s reply to a letter from a reader who condemned Pearson’s Socialist beliefs and stated they could not be reconciled with his Christian religious beliefs. Pearson droned on and on, citing famous authors who were Socialists and claiming that when Socialists eventually took over the world’s governments and failed, they would finally find religion.
As I always say, it’s fascinating to read this old publication and its odd mix of viewpoints – even the ones you disagree with.
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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