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  

Fool Killer garbPART 57 – Some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the July 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer. As I always point out, Pearson was difficult to categorize, which makes things interesting because he combines what we think of as left-wing and right-wing attitudes.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a left-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer targeted One Percenters like today’s Bush Family, Biden Family, Big Tech Fascists, etc. His 1912 way of putting it was to point out the difference between the Ninety-Nine Percent, or “the ninety and nine” among the working class and the poor, and “the one” or One Percenters who exploit the ninety and nine.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a right-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer pushed the virtues of religion and sticking to the teachings of Jesus.

*** The Fool Killer targeted traveling snake-oil salesmen, who in 1912 still roamed the country with their rip-off “medicines” of dubious content.

*** The Republican Party bosses who rejected former President Theodore Roosevelt as the party’s candidate and stuck with the incumbent William Howard Taft. Roosevelt often battled and defied the big-money crowd and the monopolists and was called “a traitor to his class” over it. Taft was part of the usual corruption and graft crowd which big money and the monopolists found easy to control.

              Roosevelt ran as a Third Party candidate under the Bull Moose (Progressive) Party. If the Republican money and power people had backed the still-popular Roosevelt as the Republican Party’s candidate he very likely would have defeated the Democrat Woodrow Wilson but the befuddled and aimless Taft had no chance. This divided the anti-Wilson vote between Roosevelt and Taft and Wilson wound up winning. The modern-day political right often blame Wilson’s election for setting the country on the path to all the things they dislike, but if their own party’s leadership had backed Roosevelt instead of Taft, Woodrow would not have won. To this day the Republican Party power brokers push what’s best for themselves and not their constituents or the country as a whole.   

*** Pearson and his Fool Killer targeted plutocrats and corporate overlords who had metaphorically battered and abused the American Eagle and plucked out its feathers at the roots. This imagery could be used today for our plutocrats/ neo-feudalists and corporate overlords/ corporate fascists.

Some of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks this time around:

“Woodpile (Woodrow) Wilson thinks he can cuss his way into the White House.”

“This presidential campaign is going to look like a man with seventeen legs trying to put on his breeches (britches).”

“After November Taft wouldn’t bring five cents a pound for soap-grease.”

“Don’t call me a Republican. And, for the Lord’s sake, don’t call me a Democrat.”

Among the advertisements in this issue of The Fool-Killer, Pearson ran ads for similar iconoclastic publications like The Big Pistol and The Bayonet. He also ran an ad for the biography of Mrs Catherine Babington, the only female Freemason in the country and a member of the Blue Lodge. The book was titled The One Woman Mason

As I always say, it’s fascinating to read this old publication and its odd mix of viewpoints – even the ones you disagree with. 



© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion

6 responses to “FOOL KILLER FIFTY-SEVEN: JULY OF 1912

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