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-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.
Not 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