Tag Archives: neglected folklore

FOOL KILLER THIRTY-SIX: JUNE OF 1910

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 timelessPART THIRTY-SIX: Here’s a look at the Fool Killer’s targets in the June of 1910 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer publication:

*** Women who chewed snuff, whom Pearson and his Fool Killer called “snuff-dipping girls.” (Snuff-dipping girls, they make the rockin’ world go ’round! … Had to be said.)

*** Human traffickers. 

*** People who drank, since Pearson was oddly stuffy about alcohol consumption.

*** In a tongue-in-cheek bit he targeted Bronchitis itself, since stories were in the news about ex-President Theodore Roosevelt battling the illness. The Fool Killer implied that Bronchitis was a “fool” for daring to tangle with Teddy. He also made a joke about Teddy’s personality being so huge it took attention away from Halley’s Comet.

*** People who had predicted that the comet would hit the Earth, wreaking immense damage.

*** Scholars who thought they had discovered the Missing Link in Illinois.

*** Religious hypocrites who wore pointlessly expensive clothes to church just to show off their wealth. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER THIRTY-FIVE: MAY OF 1910

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 timelessPART THIRTY-FIVE: Taking a look at James Larkin Pearson’s version of the Fool Killer and the mythic figure’s targets in the May of 1910 Fool-Killer four-pager. (There was no April issue that year.)

*** Democrat Duncan Brown Cooper and his son Robin. Cooper, who had served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, shot Edward W Carmack to death on the streets of Nashville over editorials Carmack had written criticizing Cooper’s preferred politician – Democrat Governor Malcolm R Patterson.

               So even THEN Democrats apparently grew violent with people who disagreed with their political opinions. Robin was granted a second trial and released. Duncan Brown Cooper was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder … Then pardoned by Democrat Governor Patterson. Some things never change!

*** People who opposed the movement to grant women the vote. 

Mascot sword and pistol*** Pope Pius X. Pearson and his Fool Killer – like the folks at the iconic humor magazine Puck – adored ex-President Theodore Roosevelt and sided with him in the public feud between TR and Pope Pius X over the lack of respect the Pope felt Roosevelt had paid him. Luckily for Pius X the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea kept him safe from the Fool Killer’s wrath. 

*** In a fanciful and poignant vignette featuring a ghost he targeted unappreciative family members who allowed the graves of their forebears to become overgrown and neglected. 

*** The political bosses of Albany, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for their notorious corruption.

*** Cotton millionaire Jim Patten for airily proclaiming that the loss of a million dollars over the past year of a down cotton market was no worse for him than the loss of a dime would be to working class people. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER THIRTY-FOUR: MARCH OF 1910

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 timelessPART THIRTY-FOUR – The Fool Killer’s targets in the March, 1910 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s four-pager included:

*** John D Rockefeller and his Standard Oil monopoly. The Fool Killer fought  Standard Oil and its corporate tentacles almost as much as the real-life Ida Tarbell did.

*** Former Unitarian clergyman J.C.F. Grumbine, who claimed to be in correspondence with the late Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This was one of the earliest references to the Fool Killer’s enmity toward conmen spiritualists who claimed to contact the dead.  

*** The Sugar Trust established by Henry Osborne Havemeyer, which was still rolling 3 years after his death.

*** Dandified men who focused on their clothing to the exclusion of all else. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER THIRTY-THREE: FEBRUARY OF 1910

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 timelessPART THIRTY-THREE: This latest look at the Fool Killer centers on the February of 1910 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer. That month’s targets of the Fool Killer (I prefer no hyphen) included:

*** Crooked businessman Charles Wyman Morse, infamous for assorted financial crimes including fraud and corrupt business practices. The previous month Morse had begun his prison term in the Atlanta penitentiary, where one of his fellow prisoners was THE Charles Ponzi, originator of Ponzi Schemes.

*** Three fools in Swain County, NC who used a radiator in the courthouse building to “thaw” a stick of dynamite for blast-fishing. The dynamite “thawed” so well it exploded, destroying the courthouse.

*** News outlets in the pockets of the wealthy, who used those outlets to downplay their plutocratic abuses. (Some things never change.) 

*** People who were pushing locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina as “the official birth-place of Daniel Boone.”

*** The people involved in high-stakes card games in Saint Louis. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER PART THIRTY-TWO: JANUARY OF 1910

Fool Killer 1910-1929Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE 

Balladeer’s Blog’s readers have been asking me to back up a bit and cover the 1910-1917 run of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer publication before following it any further into the Roaring Twenties. As always, I aim to please the readers, so here we go:

Fool Killer timelessPART THIRTY-TWO: The targets of Pearson’s Fool Killer (I prefer no hyphen) in this debut issue from January of 1910:

*** A flim-flam artist called Grammar who was selling bogus “eternal youth” treatments via his book Perpetual Life, or Living in the Body Forever.

*** Frederick Cook, who, the previous December, had seen his claim to have reached the North Pole ruled invalid and possibly fraudulent by the University of Copenhagen. (The Fool Killer was unable to locate Cook, however.)

*** The “Idle Rich” who had never worked a day in their gilded lives. One memorable line: “A good deal of ‘the cream of society’ ought to be churned.”

*** A Professor Pickering who wanted to raise 10 million dollars to send a message to the planet Mars. Continue reading

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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-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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