Henry Louis Mencken

United States journalist and literary critic (1880-1956)

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...the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.Rate it:
A formula for answering controversial letters -- without even reading the letters Dear Sir (or Madame) You may be right.Rate it:
A man always blames the woman who fooled him. In the same way he blames the door he walks into in the dark.Rate it:
A man's women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phrase makes it, feminine intuition.Rate it:
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.Rate it:
A sound American is simply one who has put out of his mind all doubts and questionings, and who accepts instantly, and as incontrovertible gospel, the whole body of official doctrine of his day, whatever it may be and no matter how often it may change. The instant he challenges it, no matter how timorously and academically, he ceases by that much to be a loyal and creditable citizen of the republic.Rate it:
Bachelors know more about women than married men if they didn't they'd be married too.Rate it:
But any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood, and that is what happened to Jesus.Rate it:
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.Rate it:
Every man is his own hell.Rate it:
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.Rate it:
For every problem there is a solution which is simple, clean and wrong.Rate it:
For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.Rate it:
For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.Rate it:
It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office.Rate it:
Legend a lie that has attained the dignity of age.Rate it:
Life is a dead-end street.Rate it:
Life without sex might be safer but it would be unbearably dull. It is the sex instinct which makes women seem beautiful, which they are once in a blue moon, and men seem wise and brave, which they never are at all. Throttle it, denaturalize it, take it away, and human existence would be reduced to the prosiac, laborious, boresome, imbecile level of life in an anthill.Rate it:
Love is like war easy to begin but very hard to stop.Rate it:
Love is the mistaken belief that one woman differs from another.Rate it:
Love is the triump of imagination over intelligence.Rate it:
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution.Rate it:
No man ever quite believes in any other man.Rate it:
No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.Rate it:
One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.Rate it:
School days are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, with brutal violations of common sense and common decency.Rate it:
The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.Rate it:
The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore.Rate it:
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.Rate it:
The fact that I have no remedy for the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong possibility that yours is a fake.Rate it:
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.Rate it:
The only cure for contempt is countercontempt.Rate it:
The only really happy folk are married women and single men.Rate it:
The typical American of today has lost all the love of liberty, that his forefathers had, and all their disgust of emotion, and pride in self- reliance. He is led no longer by Davy Crocketts he is led by cheer leaders, press agents, word mongers, uplifters.Rate it:
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.Rate it:
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.Rate it:
There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible, and wrong.Rate it:
Time is the great legalizer, even in the field of morals.Rate it:
To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia--to mistake an ordinary young man for a Greek god or an ordinary young woman for a goddess.Rate it:
We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.Rate it:
Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.Rate it:

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