We’re all in this together — but you’d be forgiven for wondering if some people are a bit deeper into it than the rest of us.
When you hear about well-placed politicians reassuring the general public as they quietly liquidate their portfolios, well, H.L. Mencken provided a quip for just that occasion:
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
Obviously we should refrain from spitting or slitting at the present moment, but it seems as good a time as any to stay home and hoist.
Henry Louis Mencken was not a normal man. Born in 1880 to a doting Baltimore cigar maker, he was raised on literature and principles. You know how whenever someone says “it’s the principle of the matter,” they’re just never going to pipe down? Mencken was better at that than anyone in the United States, and he argued through newspaper columns, books and magazines at an estimated rate of 5,000 words a day for 40 years. He loved and hated his country in equal measure, once declaring that he continued to live there for the same reason men went to zoos. It was a spectacle, and spectacles are copy.
Mencken argued that “every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under,” which is probably true. And yet, the most cynically comforting line of his, the one that provides solace the morning after most election nights, and the one that might lead you to leave the black flag in the drawer, is this:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Quick quips; lightning
“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
— Don Marquis
“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”
— Mark Twain
“Moral indignation is in most cases 2% moral, 48% indignation and 50% envy.”
— Vittorio De Sica
This marks the 41th issue of Get Wit Quick, a weekly newsletter that thinks the better of thinking. Mencken could’ve written my book Elements of Wit: Mastering The Art of Being Interesting in 10 days and saved me a lot of trouble. Tap that ♥️ below good and hard.
wit..........., wait, ..........what?
The 41th issue ?!?
This is what happens when things are overly automated. 😎