Quotes about H. L. Mencken
4 Sourced Quotes
When H. L. Mencken unpacks his idiomatic brasses, tunes up his verbal strings, and gets in readiness his phrasal wood winds to orchestrate a fugue in damnation or in praise of man, god or book, his all too meagre audience cancels all other engagements to be on hand at the initial presentation. The result, that audience knows, will be an experience of pure enjoyment. His musicianship is unfailing. His program is unsatisfactory only in its impermanence. Though the theme he proposes is invariably Mencken — Mencken apropos of this or that — he gives it infinite and intricate variations.
'The most common of all follies,' wrote H. L. Mencken, 'is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.' In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints... and gods.
If you consider the great journalists in history, you don't see too many objective journalists on that list. H. L. Mencken was not objective. Mike Royko, who just died. I. F. Stone was not objective. Mark Twain was not objective. I don't quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.
H. L. Mencken once said that nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. That is not true. I have come to believe that it pays to make all your layouts project a feeling of good taste, provided that you do it unobtrusively. An ugly layout suggests an ugly product. There are very few products which do not benefit from being given a first class ticket through life.