Tag Archives: Fool Killer

FOOL KILLER PART THIRTY: MARCH OF 1921

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE 

Fool Killer 1920sAs always part of the fun comes from the way the Fool Killer – in this case James Larkin Pearson’s version in his monthly publication – took aim at politicians from both parties and at other “fools” of the day. March of 1921’s targets:

** Newly-elected Republican President Warren G Harding, who was inaugurated this month. (The change to January inaugurations did not happen until Franklin Roosevelt) Pearson and his Fool Killer referred to Harding as “a steer that the (political) bosses have broke to faithfully pull Big Business’ yoke.”

** Outgoing Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, whom they referred to as a “mule who never did nothing but act like a fool.”

** Big Businesses from around the world. The Fool Killer blamed them for large-scale unemployment and starvation.

** The way boxers could earn $100,000.00 for a prize fight but Nobel Prize winners only got (back then) $40,000.00

** The series of Russian generals that the Allies supported as the leaders of the “official” Russian government against Lenin and the Bolsheviks. (The White – as in Tsarist – Russians against the Red – as in Communist – Russians) Four generals had been so designated and all four in a row soon went down to defeat as the Russian Civil War (1920-1922) still raged. (Sadly, Pearson’s anti-plutocrat sympathies made him support the Bolsheviks for a time.)  Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-NINE: FEBRUARY 1921

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Matthew as the Fool Killer would be perfectPART TWENTY-NINE – As always part of the fun comes from the way the Fool Killer’s opinions are a mix of today’s left-wing and right-wing attitudes. Some you’ll agree with, others you won’t but it’s always interesting. 

Here is a look at some of the Fool Killer’s targets from James L Pearson’s February of 1921 issue of The Fool-Killer.

** People who were fine with spending $23 million apiece on warships but who penny-pinched on contributions to feed starving children in Europe. Ironically given our 21st Century view of him, future president Herbert Hoover was working with the Literary Digest to raise money to send food to Europeans but came up with only $10 million – less than half their stated goal.

** Criminals who were using the military training they received in World War One to efficiently rob banks and armored cars. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-EIGHT: JANUARY 1921

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer condensedPART TWENTY-EIGHT – Here is a look at some of the Fool Killer’s targets from James L Pearson’s January of 1921 issue of The Fool-Killer. New imagery invoked was of the Fool Killer sitting on a high hill picking off fools as the world traveled around him. (A very odd quasi-Axis Mundi) 

** Dr Frank Crane. Pearson and his Fool Killer found Crane to be too sweet and sugary with his “inspirational” writings. The Fool Killer compared him to molasses. If Crane was writing in later decades it’s a safe bet his work would have been part of “Oprah’s Book Club.” 

** An unnamed writer for one of the “plute (plutocrat) publications” who published an article called Bulk Opinion. The writer claimed that “bulk opinion” favored everything the writer supported and rejected everything the reporter disapproved of. This writer was apparently using the vague term bulk opinion the way some people today claim to be on “the right side of history.” (LMAO)

** William Wirt Gilmer, Governor of the American possession Guam. Gilmer had recently invited ridicule by banning whistling, sort of the way modern-day SJW fools try to ban clapping (“use jazz-hands instead”) and the “ok” sign (“a symbol of white supremacy”).

** The “wolves of Wall Street” as such bloated rich pigs were called at the time. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-SEVEN: APRIL OF 1920

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer 1920sPART TWENTY-SEVEN: Here is a look at some of the Fool Killer’s targets from James L Pearson’s April of 1920 issue. As always we find an intriguing mix of attitudes, some of which would please us today or anger us today.

** Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s Attorney General A Mitchell Palmer (as in the Palmer Raids) and his fellow self-appointed censors of supposedly “dangerous” political ideas. Ironically, in 1920 the ideas under assault were Socialist ideas, today it is people espousing Socialism who want OTHER philosophies censored.

           The Fool Killer complained “a little handful of self-appointed bosses around Washington think they must be the sole judges of what a hundred and ten million Americans may read or hear.”

** The New York State Assembly – as usual called “the ASS-embly” – for refusing to seat the five elected members of the Socialist Party. Pearson and his Fool Killer saw this as invalidating the votes of the 60,000-odd New Yorkers who had voted for the candidates. The Assembly refused to seat the elected representatives solely because of the political party they belonged to.

           The Fool Killer pointed out that there were still parts of the South in 1920 where it was considered as disgusting to be a Republican as it was to be a Socialist. The point being “how would the country feel if the state legislatures in the South took it upon themselves to unseat elected Republicans like New York had unseated the Socialists?” Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-SIX: MORE FROM KLARENC WADE MAK

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore.

FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Banjo Player by Maynard Dixon

Banjo Player by Maynard Dixon

PART TWENTY-SIX: THE FOOL KILLER (1918) – Last time around I posted plenty of quotes from Mak’s incarnation of the Fool Killer, quotes that would upset both the political left AND the political right here in the 21st Century. FOR THOSE QUOTES CLICK HERE

This time I’ll look at the uniquely stylized America that Mak depicted his Fool Killer traveling through, delivering poetry recitations and lectures plus sharing recipes during down time between slaying fools. Mak’s America seems like a Frank Baum-influenced alternate reality filled with beautiful scenery but marred by politicized religion plus the tyranny of callous tycoons and the elected officials they have in their pockets.

The Fool Killer is followed on his meanderings around the country following the harsh winter of 1916 into 1917 and up through late 1917. Our title figure takes on quasi-chivalric airs and his escapades an urbanized Faerie Queen feel. He spouts original poetry at the drop of a hat but retains the jarring element of violent judgmentalism that afflicts every incarnation of the Fool Killer.    

The Klarenc Wade Mak version of the figure seems to regard his mission in a Darwinian way, like he’s a natural force cleansing the land of fools the way that harsh, unforgiving nature inevitably weeds out those too weak to survive. As ever, the delusions of a serial killer taint the high-minded objectives that the Fool Killer pays lip service to.

Fool Killer by Klarenc Wade MakNot that our folk figure’s targets don’t deserve to be opposed. This Fool Killer battles the abomination of Child Labor, the profit-mongers who sponsor it AND the Judges who perpetuate it through their decisions striking down attempts to eliminate the ugly practice.

He also champions women’s suffrage and fights for the working class against both the bloated rich pigs who exploit them AND the sleazy Union Leaders who sell out the workers in exchange for privileges that only management can hand out.

Here’s a fuller examination of this Fool Killer’s adventures as he wanders Mak’s Surreal States of America: Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-FIVE: KLARENC WADE MAK

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore.

FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

PART TWENTY-FIVE: The 1918 one-shot publication called The Fool Killer was written by Dr Klarenc Wade Mak, poet, author and socialist political candidate for mayoral office in Kansas City, MO around 1918. Mak had also written Ekkoes (sic) from the Hart (sic) and Mental Dinamite (sic).

Mak’s 1918 work is sometimes confused with James Larkin Pearson’s 1910-1917 and 1919-1929 publication called The Fool-Killer. Both Mak and Pearson wrote poetry, both published works using the Fool Killer name and both were open about their sympathy with socialist politics of the time period.

Fool Killer condensedPer the surviving correspondence of Eugene V Debs, Dr Mak once invited Debs to speak in Kansas City, MO at an event where Mak and other socialist candidates would be appearing.

Despite the “socialist” label, Klarenc Mak’s Fool Killer had that quality I have appreciated about nearly all the Fool Killer items I’ve come across: Attitudes which would outrage BOTH the political left AND right here in the 21st Century. Even the socialist label as Mak’s writings define it refers to workers, NOT “people who want something for nothing” as he calls them. (He also calls them parasites.) So even that brand of “socialism” would offend both right-wingers and left-wingers of today. For different reasons, of course. 

Mak’s Fool Killer expressed disapproval of capitalism AND disapproval of abortion, so again we see that both the Left and the Right of today would be hard pressed to force a quick and easy label on this Fool Killer. Pretty refreshing!

Before returning to Pearson’s monthly publication I wanted to post some examples of Mak’s incarnation of the Fool Killer expressing sentiments tweaking both ends of the political spectrum by today’s standards:   

Fool Killer by Klarenc Wade Mak“When a man has lived long enough to have tried all the bad things in this world he generally wants to hang on a little longer just to see if the Republicans and Democrats won’t invent some NEW evils.”

“The highest part of an education is finding out how much of it isn’t so.” (In the distant past this would have applied to right-wing domination of the educational system, but for decades now it has applied to left-wing domination of the educational system.)

“Wrong ideas are not an education, they are mental weeds, the base materials that prejudice is made out of.”

“If your religion can’t stand being criticized it is in the same class with the gold ring that’s afraid of acids. Such a ring is not gold at all – only a base pretender; and the same with the religion that can’t stand the acid test of criticism – it’s just as spurious and should be rejected.” (Left-wing zealots try to censor all criticism of Islam, right-wing zealots try to censor all criticism of Christianity and Judaism. At present, however, the left-wing book-burners have the help of the Silicon Valley Robber Barons/ Techno Fascists to help them in their censorship jihad.)

“The misdeeds of Democrats are about as plentiful as the drops of water in all the oceans, while the crimes of Republicans are as numerous as the seconds in Eternity.” Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART TWENTY-FOUR: OCTOBER 1900 – FOOL KILLER VS THE MAFIA

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer cop USEPART TWENTY-FOUR: October, 1900. I just received another emailed Fool Killer Letter from the actual supernatural figure himself.

Eddie or Mr Wozniak or Balladeer or whatever you go by:

At present I’m here in Oregon smacking around Antifa scumbags. I fought the Democrat KKK thugs in the 1870s and I’ll be damned if I’ll let these masked Democrats prey on people. What is it with Democrats and hiding behind masks? Antifa’s name is nonsense. Like the old saying goes “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

Steampunk Fool Killer copAnyway, since you and I are agreed that both Democrats and Republicans are criminals and worse I got to thinking about my last missive to you. That communication ended with me entering another period of hibernation on New Year’s Day 1900 after dealing with the town of Folly, Texas.

Like I mentioned then, my supernatural inheritance on my Daddy’s side causes me and my belongings to somehow transport back to my hidden cave til it’s time to wake up again. This time I woke up in early October of 1900 wearing that blue, buttoned outfit that lets me pass as anything from a boat pilot to a policeman – like in Facts for the Fool-Killer, that book from my time in and around Buffalo, New York.

I emerged from my cave, yawned, stretched and relished the crisp autumn air and then set out for Buffalo, NY. I mentioned last time that while I hibernate, events in the real world come to me like dreams, so I’m always up to date on the national zeitgeist. I also know where I’m meant to go when I wake up. 

Peter NissenBy mid-October, mostly using trains, my favorite means of travel, I arrived at Niagara Falls just as that Peter Nissen character made his final voyage in the custom boat he had named The Fool Killer. He and his First Mate were forced to abandon it in the dark and neither they nor any search parties ever found it.

That was because I stepped in after they had fled that night and hauled the boat free to commandeer it for my own use since Nissen had commandeered my name without my permission. With my more than human strength it was no real problem, of course.

I had brought along some of my Daddy’s eldritch tools from the days of his blacksmith business in the early 1800s and by daybreak I had improved on Nissen’s custom craft to make it suitable for my purposes. I could even pilot that boat up or down or behind the falls – though I usually waited until there were no prying eyes about for those particular maneuvers.

Anyway, I spent almost ten years dispensing justice to fools all along the Niagara River and Lake Erie. Continue reading

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