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
Some of the Fool Killer’s targets from the March of 1913 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer –
*** The ceremonies and participants involved in the March 4th inauguration. NOTE: It was not until the Franklin Roosevelt years that inaugurations changed to January. The Fool Killer attended in person, another difference from Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans’ original Fool Killer in the 1800s, who religiously avoided Washington DC for fear of being corrupted by setting foot there.
In another turn of phrase that seemed almost modern day – like his coining of the term “Truth Bombs” in 1910 – Pearson’s Fool Killer titled his tale of Inauguration Day I Went, I Saw, I Spewed. Because Pearson and his Fool Killer despised both the outgoing William Howard Taft and the incoming Woodrow Wilson he described the swearing-in as Uncle Sam taking off a pair of dirty clothes, then putting them back on.
He described the fools lining up for hours just to catch a glimpse of political figures as they paraded by, and sneered at the unseemly imperiousness of the inaugural ceremonies for a supposed democratic republic. (I agree.)
The Fool Killer also labeled the military band a “Murderer’s Union.” After additional insults regarding the pomp and circumstance and the “glittering generalities” of Wilson’s inaugural address, he moved on to other topics.
Some of his other targets this month:
*** The toadying astrologer who prepared a horoscope of the “present and past lives” of the soon to be wed high society Helen Gould and Finley Shepard. In the kind of idiotic obsequiousness shown to celebrity couples of today, like the repulsive Harry and Meghan, the astrologer depicted the pair as soul-mates during the days of ancient Babylon, then Egypt, then the Roman Empire and so on to 1700s France and finally the present day. The Fool Killer wryly pointed out that money can even buy aggrandizing gibberish like this.
*** An unnamed writer in the British Medical Journal who claimed that poets could gain inspiration by taking occasional doses of Epsom salts. (?)
*** Joseph Patrick Tumulty, the personal secretary of Woodrow Wilson.
*** The economic gulf which Pearson and his Fool Killer blamed for fueling prostitution and human trafficking.
*** Pundits and religious authorities who claimed 1913 China was rapidly becoming Christianized.
*** The dishonesty of his frequent foes in “the plutocrat newspapers” or as we would say today, the corporate media. Also, he referred to Chief Justice Edward Douglass White, Jr as “Injustice White.” A lame, low-hanging joke but what can you do?
*** People who opposed granting women the right to vote.
*** An unnamed priest that was supposedly guaranteeing parishioners that he could be paid for sufficient prayers to get their loved ones out of Purgatory and on to Heaven.
*** New Yorkers who acted like their city was the center of the world.
Some of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks this time around:
“Never give advice – it is better business sense to charge for it.”
“The poor fools reap a fool’s reward trying to imitate the lives of the rich fools.” That’s ESPECIALLY relevant to today!
“An honest mind is in continuous progress, but that of a fool is forever fixed.”
“The loudest mouth frequently accompanies the most brainless head.”
In a parody of Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural address, he pretended one of Wilson’s lines went “Let us try to remain at peace with the other nations of the world and do what fighting we do against the American working man.” He also wryly joked that Wilson said our army may not be ready to take on the armies of other countries, but was prepared to shoot down striking workers.
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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