Thursday, December 2, 2010

Envy Is Such a Bad Thing

But I can't help feeling sentence-envy when I read this bombette from H. L. Mencken:

Here, more than anywhere else that I know of or have heard of, the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly – the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat-slittings, of theological buffooneries, or aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villainies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances – is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only the man who was born with a petrified diaphragm can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night, and to awake every morning with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-school superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows. ("On Being an American")

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely gravid and enviable.

    Yes, it was this Mencken what made me offer up the meat-show -- because I've never lost the swastika fig leaves or the spirulina XXXXXXXXXXXs you made. . .theme & variations sets a barbless hook. I knew you couldn't leave it, À REBOURS.