Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART THIRTY-SIX: Here’s a look at the Fool Killer’s targets in the June of 1910 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer publication:
*** Women who chewed snuff, whom Pearson and his Fool Killer called “snuff-dipping girls.” (Snuff-dipping girls, they make the rockin’ world go ’round! … Had to be said.)
*** Human traffickers.
*** People who drank, since Pearson was oddly stuffy about alcohol consumption.
*** In a tongue-in-cheek bit he targeted Bronchitis itself, since stories were in the news about ex-President Theodore Roosevelt battling the illness. The Fool Killer implied that Bronchitis was a “fool” for daring to tangle with Teddy. He also made a joke about Teddy’s personality being so huge it took attention away from Halley’s Comet.
*** People who had predicted that the comet would hit the Earth, wreaking immense damage.
*** Scholars who thought they had discovered the Missing Link in Illinois.
*** Religious hypocrites who wore pointlessly expensive clothes to church just to show off their wealth.
*** Women foolish enough to spend money on the brief fad for “Comet Hats” which had tails trailing off the back. All of this was in honor of Halley’s Comet.
*** Speaker of the House Joseph “Uncle Joe” Cannon, a sleazy and corrupt Speaker of the House as bad as Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
*** The tiny, tiny percent of the population back then who were dabbling in the nudist lifestyle.
*** Boxers and boxing fans.
*** Rural voters who sold their votes in exchange for food from crooked candidates AND wealthy lawyers who sold their consciences in exchange for fat fees from corporations.
*** An unnamed North Carolina bigamist who had married two women in succession, left them penniless (and one with an invalid daughter) and had moved on to look for a third victim.
*** Selfish, hymn-singing tycoons who spent more on cigars than they spent to feed the poor.
*** Coca Cola Corporation in Atlanta, GA (yes, really), since Pearson was among the people crusading against the way Coca Cola was “an addictive drug” because of some of its ingredients. He also bashed Women’s World magazine in Chicago for having its entire back cover given over to a big Coca Cola advertisement.
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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