Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN THE 1850s, CLICK HERE
PART FIFTY-FOUR – There was no February issue of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer in 1912, so we resume with the March issue, put together with Pearson’s new printing machinery. The Fool Killer’s targets this time around included:
*** Lawyers and politicians who felt constrained by legal precedents. Pearson and his Fool Killer called for dismantling the current system and starting fresh. Yet, once again, we will see below that he also had astonishingly regressive attitudes. The contradictions are part of the fascination.
*** North Carolina politicians and law enforcement personnel who, despite the state having Prohibition, secretly indulged in drinking alcohol and/or turned a blind eye to speakeasies and bootlegging. NOTE: Prohibition was not a nationwide policy yet. “Dry” states forbade the sell of booze while “Wet” states still had legal drinking.
*** People who chewed tobacco. Pearson had a big thing against chewers and smokers.
*** Lawyers and the legal system, which he wanted overhauled.
*** Meat packers and meat retailers, who were blaming each other for the inflated prices of meat products.
*** An unnamed author who had written a book titled Women, in which he denounced females as greedy and deceitful and instructed men to avoid marriage.
*** Pearson and his Fool Killer expressed hope that Theodore Roosevelt would win the 1912 election and return to office after 4 years of Taft.
*** Pearson and his Fool Killer once again hailed socialism, calling it “the wail of the oppressed” which should be taken up by everyone. Yet as we see over and over again he himself did not fall into our current definition of a socialist.
*** The Congressional privilege of postage-free mailings for their “official” mail.
*** People who mailed anonymous letters which were threatening or insulting. (Slow month, I guess.)
*** The over-abundance of seed catalogs. (Not exactly an Earth-shaking concern).
Some of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks during this slow and oddly uninvolving edition:
“What ‘everybody knows’ is sometimes a lie.”
“Some church members put on a lot of fine clothes to hide the religion that they haven’t got.”
SHEESH! Even his usually witty sayings were pretty bland that month.
As I always say, it’s fascinating to read this old publication and its odd mix of viewpoints – even the ones you disagree with.
FOR PART FIFTY-FIVE 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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