H. L. Mencken
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"A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in."


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"A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable."


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"Adultery is the application of democracy to love."


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"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."


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"A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman."


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"A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness but after that he begins to bunch them."


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"Historian: an unsuccessful novelist."


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"All government of course is against liberty."


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"We must be willing to pay a price for freedom."


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"Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other and the candidates spend so much time making each others speeches that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in."


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"Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing they marry later for another thing they die earlier."


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"Nine times out of ten in the arts as in life there is actually no truth to be discovered there is only error to be exposed."


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"To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia - to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess."


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"In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one."


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"The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression."


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"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place."


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"Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroners inquest."


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"The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line."


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"War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands."


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"There are men so philosophical that they can see humor in their own toothaches. But there has never lived a man so philosophical that he could see the toothache in his own humor."


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"Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age."


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"We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine."


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"Every man sees in his relatives and especially in his cousins a series of grotesque caricatures of himself."


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"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."


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"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for as for me I rejoice that I am not a Republican."


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"It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man."


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"The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown the complex the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."


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"Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good."


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"The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated."


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"The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of Gods children but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil."


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"The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom."


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"The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore."


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"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."


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"Honor is simply the morality of superior men."


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"If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish."


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"When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands."


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"Communism like any other revealed religion is largely made up of prophecies."


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"The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral."


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"It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world as pastors teach but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously."


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"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."


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"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence."


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"Marriage is a wonderful institution but who would want to live in an institution?"


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"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest insane intolerable."


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"Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another."


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"Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body."


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"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."


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"There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good."


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"Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love."


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"Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy."


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"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."


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"Time stays we go."


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"I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense."


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"Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop."


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"What men value in this world is not rights but privileges."


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"To die for an idea it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!"


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"Bachelors know more about women than married men if they didnt theyd be married too."


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"Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time."


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"Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them."


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"We must respect the other fellows religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."


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"For it is mutual trust even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe. Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end."


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"Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward and you will have the truth about him."


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"The only really happy folk are married women and single men."


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"No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby."


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"Husbands never become good they merely become proficient."


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"I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant."


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"Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience."


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


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"Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it."


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"Poetry has done enough when it charms but prose must also convince."


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"It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise just and omnipotent God but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods."


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"Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage."


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"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."


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"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."


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"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."


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"I believe that all government is evil and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time."


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