Sunday, Oct 17, 2010
Man's natural instinct, in fact, is never toward what is sound and true; it is toward what is specious and false. Let any great nation of modern times be confronted by two conflicting propositions, the one grounded upon the utmost probability and reasonableness and the other upon the most glaring error, and it will almost invariably embrace the latter. It is so in politics, which consists wholly of a succession of unintelligent crazes, many of them so idiotic that they exist only as battle-cries and shibboleths and are not reducible to logical statements at all... It is so in nearly every field of thought. The ideas that conquer the race most rapidly and arouse the wildest enthusiasm and are held most tenaciously are precisely the ideas that are most insane. This has been true since the first "advanced" gorilla put on underwear, cultivated a frown and began his first lecture tour, and it will be so until the high gods, tired of the farce at last, obliterate the race with one great, final blast of fire, mustard gas, and streptococci.
A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writing, H.L. Mencken, Page 7, http://www.amazon.com/Mencken-Chrestomathy-Selection-Choicest-Writing/dp/0394752090/.
We live in a land of abounding quackeries, and if we do not learn how to laugh we succumb to the melancholy disease which afflicts the race of viewers-with-alarm (vii).