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 60 – As always, this installment of The Fool-Killer included sentiments that would tick off people from both the left and the right. Some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the October of 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s publication:
*** MILLIONAIRES, because after all the expense and trouble it takes to clothe, feed and educate a millionaire “as a rule he isn’t worth a damn to the country after it gets him.”
*** POLITICIANS who spend more time talking about property instead of human beings.
*** WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, incumbent U.S. President. Pearson and his Fool Killer had preferred Theodore Roosevelt and thought Taft was a weak successor. (For my take on the election of 1912 click HERE.)
*** GAMBLERS, especially card-players. (Pearson was, oddly enough, very religious despite his skepticism of clergy members.)
*** CHURCHES which charged Pew Rent. Apparently that was a thing.
*** PROPERTY TAX COLLECTORS.
*** WOMEN’S FASHION TRENDS. He cited the latest wrinkle in the socks trend for women – wearing a black sock on one foot and a white sock on the other. (Today social media pushes even dumber trends.)
*** POLITICIANS who always made noises about helping the working class but never did.
*** “PLUTES” (PLUTOCRATS). Pearson and his Fool Killer pointed out how the ruling class always accuses the other classes of vile things whenever those classes push back against the oppression of the ruling class. In 1912 they accused them of being anarchists, here in 2021 they call them “domestic terrorists.”
*** HIGH SOCIETY, for its vain and pompous “coming out” functions for debutantes.
*** CLASS DIVISION in American society. He dwelt upon the gap between the Blue Bloods and the rest of the country. Hell, he should see TODAY. The gap between the Haves and Have Nots was never wider than it has been the past 10 months, sort of a New Feudalism.
*** WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, for predicting that Democrat Woodrow Wilson and his running mate would win every state in the U.S. in the upcoming election (they didn’t). Pearson and his Fool Killer accurately predicted the outcome: Woodrow Wilson would win because of the split in the anti-Wilson vote. Pearson also accurately pegged the order of finish – Theodore Roosevelt would come in second with his Third Party, the Bull Moose Party, Republican William H Taft would be third and Socialist candidate Eugene Debs would be a distant fourth.
Some of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks this time around:
“You can get justice in our courts – if you have enough money to pay for it.”
“A gang of sheep wouldn’t elect a wolf to rule over them. Have you got as much sense as a sheep?”
“This has grown to be a country of the millionaires, by the millionaires and for the millionaires.” (And here in 2021, our federal elected officials in both parties all become millionaires no matter how low their income when they enter office.)
“Remember election day and vote for anything the millionaires want.” (Sarcasm, of course, but it applies today for different reasons. It accurately describes working class and poor people voting against their own interests by listening to millionaire entertainers and athletes about how they should vote. The issues that privileged wealthy people care about are often meaningless in the real world inhabited by the working class and the poor.)
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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