H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

H. L.
Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken
1880
1956

American Newspaperman, Editor, Writer, Critic, Iconoclast, Satirist, Acerbic Critic of American Life and Culture, American English Scholar

Author Quotes

The virulence of the national appetite for bogus revelation.

There comes a time when a man must spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats.

Syllogisms … la Mode ? If you are against labor racketeers, then you are against the working man. If you are against demagogues, then you are against democracy. If you are against Christianity, then you are against God. If you are against trying a can of old Dr. Quack's Cancer Salve, then you are in favor of letting Uncle Julius die.

The best client is a scared millionaire.

The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable. To be sure, theology is always yielding a little to the progress of knowledge, and only a Holy Roller in the mountains of Tennessee would dare to preach today what the popes preached in the thirteenth century.

The intellectual heritage of the race belongs to the minority and to the minority only. The majority has no more to do with it than it has to do with ecclesiastic politics on Mars.

The New Logic ? it would be nice if it worked. Ergo, it will work.

The real charm of the United States is that it is the only comic country ever heard of.

The war on privilege will never end. Its next great campaign will be against the special privileges of the underprivileged.

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.

If x is the population of the United States and y is the degree of imbecility of the average American, then democracy is the theory that x X y is less than y.

In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.

It takes only one Communist to ruin a labor union. It takes only one drop of Oleum tiglii to turn a respectable class of rye into a Mickey Finn.

Love begins like a triolet and ends like a college yell.

Metaphysics is almost always an attempt to prove the incredible by an appeal to the unintelligible.

No man of genuinely superior intelligence has ever been an actor. Even supposing a young man of appreciable mental powers to be lured upon the stage, as philosophers are occasionally lured into bordellos, his mind would be inevitably and almost immediately destroyed by the gaudy nonsense issuing from his mouth every night.

On Franklin D. Roosevelt: If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he so sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary on the White House backyard come Wednesday.

Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.

If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.

Is it hot in the rolling mill? Are the hours long? Is $15 a day not enough? Then escape is very easy. Simply throw up your job, spit on your hands, and write another "Rosenkavalier".

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.

Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.

Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.

Author Picture
First Name
H. L.
Last Name
Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken
Birth Date
1880
Death Date
1956
Bio

American Newspaperman, Editor, Writer, Critic, Iconoclast, Satirist, Acerbic Critic of American Life and Culture, American English Scholar