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-SEVEN – Among the Fool Killer’s targets in the June of 1911 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s publication:
*** “The Four Hundred,” the contemporary term used for the moneyed and privileged of New York City. (Coined by Ward McAllister) Pearson and his version of the Fool Killer detested them and viewed them the same way we of today view the corrupt Democrat and Republican career politicians plus the corporate and Silicon Valley robber barons.
*** Dancing schools. As I often point out, Pearson’s Fool Killer had qualities that would annoy BOTH the political left AND the political right of today. Many right-wingers would disapprove of their hostility toward the robber barons, while many left-wingers would disapprove of the strange religious zeal which lay behind Pearson’s hostility toward dancing and dancing schools, which he found “sinful.”
*** Husbands who did nothing but drink booze, play cards, smoke, swear and chew tobacco. Drowning was his preferred method of killing such men.
*** High Society women of New York, for their latest folly. It had become (very briefly) fashionable to walk the streets with a small calf (yes, a small calf) on a leash instead of the fru-fru poodles they had been walking with til the present. Today on Social Media we see that there are still imbeciles who will do ANYTHING just because they’re told other people are doing it.
*** Frederick Forest Berry, for authoring The Torch of Reason, because of the way Berry used reason to criticize religion and belief in God.
*** Danville, VA Police Chief R.E. Morris, who, after serving for 6 years, turned out to really be an escaped fugitive named Edgar Stribling (Pearson accidentally spelled it “Stripling”), a convicted murderer who had been on the run for 13 years.
*** United States Senators, who, just like today, all seemed to “mysteriously” become millionaires no matter how little money they had before taking office.
*** Madam Society. In another of his wry surreal pieces Pearson had his Fool Killer clash with this female embodiment of the same kind of spoiled one-percenter white women who continue to think themselves fit to sit in judgment on the rest of us to this very day. In this light-hearted encounter Madam Society was depicted as a groveling worshiper of the Parisian god called Fashion.
*** The politicians of LaPorte, IN for evicting the poor people who were working 400 acres of land left to them by the late Peter Armstrong. The farmers were not able to afford the taxes on the land so they were evicted and the land auctioned off to pay those taxes.
*** A Chicago mail-order house for sending 10,000 alarm clocks to China instead of the food and medicine needed at the time to fight starvation and disease.
Some of the Fool Killer’s pithier statements this time around:
“Of course you have heard that wealth would not buy happiness – but did you ever hear anyone say that poverty would?”
“When a man has failed at everything else he either goes into the real estate business or tries to preach.”
He referred to “Big thieves in office and little thieves in jail.”
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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