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H. L. Mencken?
What Remains of the Old Sage's Baltimore
HL
Tue, Nov 24, 9:23 AM (1 day ago)
to james@jameslafond.com
Mr. LaFond,
Ever read HL Mencken? Recognize any continuity between his Baltimore and yours?
Regards,
New Ledford (formerly other fake name)

I titled the book "A Once Great Medieval City" after a quote by H.L. Mencken describing his hometown; a quote that once I heard it, forever echoed in my mind when I walked by ancient buildings of pretentious and awful bulk and beauty in our shared hometown. A man, now long gone, Bob Mergehan, a housing inspector with an English Literature degree, who hired me to interview his fellow inspectors, was always quick with a quote from that old wit.
Bob, like his four fellows, became a housing inspector because of a confluence of events. Local school districts stopped hiring English and History teachers as the educational focus changed to social engineering in the 1970s, and the fact that Baltimore came into the Atomic Age with the most impressive collection of monuments of any mid-sized city. These five men literally became housing inspectors, and had many adventures among the feral denizens of the Monument City, in order to preserve those ancient ruins. They were thus emotionally scarred curators of the precincts of the damned.
Baltimore was traditionally called the Monument City, as, after the anti-slavery laws of the 1790s, and the reduction in African American population, the city became the only successful metropolitan area in all of the South. The history of serving in the Navy and Marines, based on the Baltimore Harbor, compelled the successful Baltimoreans of the early 1900s to erect many monuments to their forefathers. Also, the 1904 Baltimore Fire, happened at the perfect time, as the city was at its economic peak and was easily able to rebuild bigger and better.
An additional taste of the monumental, which I focus on in my novel Skulker Jones, is the stupendous Catholic graveyards in Baltimore, mostly a legacy .
I am a quarter Rhinelander and that was H.L.'s heritage. The effect, all through the 20th and 21st centuries has been of the center of a great empire given way to an infestation of slothful creatures incapable of maintaining anything built by the builders of the place.
My book A Once Great Medieval City, has numerous photos taken by Mescaline Franklin.
Also, the cover of the book Poet, is a photo of the Baltimore Municipal Cemetery from within, overlooking the East Baltimore waterfront.
I have read two articles and listed to one taped interview of H.L. I also read his summation of the works of Nietchse, a creature I have so little tolerance for I am not inclined to look up the correct spelling of his name. H.L. made Neichtze's ideas tolerable for a week of locker room reading, as I read that book while injured and moderating sparring at a karate school...
One thing that does remain of Mencken's Baltimore is the long and toxic memory of a bitter God System and its worshippers. Despite the fact that Mencken encouraged African American movement into Baltimore in support of real estate and political interests intent on breaking ethnic European American voting blocks, reducing wages and flipping real estate to avoid the horror of inherited family homes, which America will never abide, and the fact that he personally rescued people being persecuted by the only evil dictator of the 20th century, when his memoirs were published in the 1980s, these were used by system functionaries in media and academia to discredit his life's work. His true sin was that he was a seeker, which goes against God System Cultism, and thus he has been reviled now for decades, his name a veritable Nazi slur in Baltimore. So the mind-control matrix within which Mencken thought and wrote heroically in search of Truth can never forgive or forget. That has not changed.
Thank you for your interest, Sir.
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Increase Mather XXINovember 26, 2020 10:52 AM UTC

I wonder how smartass Mencken would fair on the Bodymore streets, lol.
responds:November 26, 2020 2:46 PM UTC

mugged in his first 24-hours, unless he dressed in period garb and they mistake him for a high yellow Nation of Islam member...
Tex AlbrittonNovember 26, 2020 9:22 AM UTC

My favorite comment by Mencken is...

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

But this one certainly is more appropriate to The Common Era...

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Tex

(ALWAYS glad for a reminder of good ole H.L.)
responds:November 26, 2020 2:51 PM UTC

I love them both. Thanks, Tex!
New LedfordNovember 25, 2020 7:38 PM UTC

Thanks for the answer. I read a bunch of Mencken several years ago. Interesting you mention America's distaste for inherited houses. Mencken lived with his mother until she died, I believe.

He asked that after his death if anyone remembered him to "...forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl." Sounds like your advice for certain inter-cultural confrontations.
responds:November 25, 2020 10:57 PM UTC

Inherited housing essentially ended in Baltimore between 1965 and 2015, most of it lost in the 65-2000 exodus.