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
64. The May of 1913 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer was lacking in urgency and satirical bite, but I found it to have a certain slice of life feel to it that captured its era yet also underlined certain tableaus that are seemingly eternal.
*** The Fool Killer reflected on how the already hopelessly corrupt Democrat and Republican Parties always set aside their fighting to close ranks against any true forces of political reform in the United States. That is especially relevant for us in 2022.
*** Dr. Friedrich F. Friedmann became a well-known figure in 1913. He had come to America from Berlin pushing his Turtle Vaccine, which supposedly treated tuberculosis. He made $125,000.00 for the American rights, but after much fanfare his vaccine was found to be ineffective and his nationwide distribution clinics folded. Skepticism regarding the claims about the vaccine proved to be well founded.
*** An unnamed Chicago surgeon called for people to automatically have their appendix removed rather than wait until they get appendicitis. This call was roundly ridiculed.
*** Pearson and his Fool Killer advocated granting women the vote nationwide.
*** The current pope was making with pompous declarations that were mired in real-world politics instead of religious philosophizing.
*** President Woodrow Wilson recognized the Republic of China, which had been declared in the early months of 1912. Other nations were still hesitant. Pearson mocked Wilson for his failure to persuade other world leaders in joining him immediately.
*** Pearson and his Fool Killer continued to target smokers and drinkers.
*** In a spectacularly inaccurate prediction, Pearson stated that the Democrat and Republican Parties were as good as dead and just needed buried. If only.
*** In another off-base attitude, he railed against continuing to build taller and taller skyscrapers.
*** This issue also featured a pair of whimsical pieces. One presented Pearson and his Fool Killer as inventors who came up with a “News-Bee” flying machine capable of vertical lift-off and of flying around the world in 24 hours. The other depicted them granting recognition to the Republic of China as if they ran a nation of their own.
FOR MY LOOK AT JOE MAGARAC, THE STEEL MILL VERSION OF JOHN HENRY AND PAUL BUNYAN, CLICK HERE