Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART FORTY-TWO – The targets of James Larkin Pearson and his Fool Killer in the December 1910 issue:
*** Women who chewed snuff, whom they called “Snuffragettes.” As more proof that it’s tough to categorize Pearson, he always praised and defended actual Suffragettes. Yet he condemned women who wore pants and chewed snuff.
*** Fire and brimstone preachers, whose brand of religion they called “cheap.”
*** Horace Fletcher, “The Great Masticator,” who was famous for insisting people should chew their food until it was liquefied before swallowing it. He claimed that even MILK should be “chewed” around in the mouth to ensure it was properly mixed with saliva before swallowing it. Fletcher insisted this would maximize the nutritional benefits.
*** Spiritualists who claimed that former president Theodore Roosevelt was being controlled from beyond the grave by Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar and Napoleon.
*** Youngsters who smoked cigarettes.
*** Silk-hatted tycoons who looked down their noses at farmers.
*** An unnamed reincarnation fanatic in Kansas City who insisted she was reincarnated from a cat.
*** Husbands who treated their dogs and pigs better than they treated their wife and children.
*** Moneyed blue-bloods, whom the Fool Killer said never produced anything of value and just “splurged around making fun of the people they stole their money from.”
*** People who celebrated Christmas with booze and dancing. As I’ve pointed out before, though a self-proclaimed Socialist, Pearson was also a religious zealot.
*** An unnamed fool who offered the Fool Killer $1,000.00 to come up with a brand new swear word.
*** Uber-patriots, whom he called “Star-Spangled Jackasses.”
*** The editor of The Big Pistol, a publication with which The Fool-Killer had a friendly rivalry. (Pearson even accepted ads for The Big Pistol in the pages of The Fool-Killer). That editor, “Ben” (I couldn’t find his full name), had bragged about getting inspiration while drinking, which annoyed the teetotalling Pearson.
One of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks this time around was “Executive ability is the science of earning your bread by the sweat of other people’s brows.”
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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