A Seat at the Bar, with H.L. Mencken and George Orwell

A Seat at the Bar, with H.L. Mencken and George Orwell

George Orwell

Z24.1679 H.L. Mencken

H.L Mencken

The name of this blog comes from being fearless and telling it like it is.From a young age, my parents taught me to question the world around me. As a kid, I did not believe in Santa Claus. The story, in my mind, had holes in it. That’s where it all started.

A lot of my writing stems from what I have read about H.L. Mencken and George Orwell. Both men were journalists, writers, columnists along with telling it like it is. Those are the things I try to emulate.

Here are some quotes from the men along with my thoughts on current events:

“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” -George Orwell

Orwell saw the writing (no pun intended) on the wall. For instance, our founding fathers wanted independence from England. They wrote the Constitution for that very reason. Meanwhile, most of them owned slaves. I hope I don’t have to point out the hypocrisy here.  

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

Between Fox News, CNN, Breitbart and The Daily Show, it is hard to tell who is actually practicing standard journalism. All of the media outlets I mentioned often tell their viewer that the other networks are lying. That’s enough to make someone’s head spin.

 “A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?” – George Orwell

When I write, I put myself in the position of the reader. Why should I care? How does reading the blog affect me? How long will it take to read this? Those things I think about since most people do their reading on a tablet or smartphone.  Short, sweet and to the point is the motto.

 “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.” -H. L. Mencken

See the patriot act along with the manufactured controversy with President Obama and the First Lady in regards to the pictures taken at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Another smokescreen to take our minds off what really matters. Running inference.

 “It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” -H. L. Mencken

Not a week goes by when we hear about our elected officials doing something shady. Living in a city and state known for scrupulous politicians, we are almost oblivious to it. I’m often told that I should run for political office. I don’t want to take six showers a day to wash off the dirt I might have done that day. I tell the truth and upset the natural order of things. Nobody likes a shitstarter.

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” – H.L. Mencken

This is my favorite of Mencken’s quotes. I am an American. I love my country but I dislike some of things that are done in its name. When someone points out the hypocrisy, they are often called unpatriotic. Dissent is good.  Not exercising our right to free speech is un-American to me.

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