“The entertaining American writer H.L.Mencken”

johnboy 29 April 2007 8

I normally don’t have much to do with Jessica Wright. I understand she’s got a column in the Sunday edition of the Canberra Times where they try and be relevant to younger readers. Today that column made it online.

It’s a little whinge about locking the gates of Weston Park and the impact that will have on unplanned pregnancies. Or, in her words: “It is a modern lover’s lane, kissy corner, if you will, and has seen many a romance start within its confines”.

As memory serves, from the days of my own back seat adventures, many parks were locked in the early 90’s and it had less to do with wowserism than vandalism and used rubbers left lying around places children are meant to play.

But this bit really crawled up my nose:

“The entertaining American writer H.L.Mencken once defined puritanism as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

Jessica has adjudged the great titan of 20th century American literature, the mighty champion of free thought and contrarianism, and determined that, at his irreducible core, he can best be described as an “entertaining American”.

H.L. Mencken’s wikipedia entry describes him thusly:

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956), better known as H. L. Mencken, was a twentieth-century journalist, satirist, social critic, cynic, and freethinker, known as the “Sage of Baltimore” and the “American Nietzsche”. He is often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century.

Here endeth the rant.

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8 Responses to “The entertaining American writer H.L.Mencken”
seepi seepi 12:52 pm 30 Apr 07

I’m still missing Michael Boddy’s food column – and that’s been gone about a decade.
Cedric Bryant’s gardening column in the Chronicle was gold too – before they put him in the Canberra Times and edited out all the insane (funny) bits.

bonfire bonfire 12:01 pm 30 Apr 07

they should bring back chris shanahans wince column.

seriously – it was the first page id turn to.

now its just gone!

bonfire bonfire 8:52 am 30 Apr 07

at least you dont read cayla dengate. what a bimbo.

la mente torbida la mente torbida 8:40 am 30 Apr 07

What a moron… the gates of Weston Park have been locked at night for years. A marked decrease in the trashing of facilities in said park is the only outcome I’ve noticed.

I-filed I-filed 10:29 pm 29 Apr 07

And there it is first hit on quotationspage.com.au. If any snark had the time or inclination to case through her earlier writings, I suspect they would find many such simple search results intended to give the impression of erudition! Note to Ms Wright: it will usually show if a writer is unlikely to have read a quoted author ‘in the raw’. Do credit quotationspage or Wikipedia for their work next time!

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 8:41 pm 29 Apr 07

Jess is a young lass who got a journo job at the Times on the back of her Mums ability to run a restaurant. Probably offered free meals so the girl could get start – she couldn’t run a cafeteria….

Its a waste of time and effort to read her rubbish. I’d prefer JB’s random Crikey-esque rant

Hasdrubahl Hasdrubahl 2:58 pm 29 Apr 07

I imagine you could be a twentieth-century journalist, satirist, social critic, cynic, and freethinker….and still be entertaining.

tommy tommy 2:38 pm 29 Apr 07

You started out badly as soon as you admitted to reading the Sunday Canberra Times…

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