Chamblee54

The Revenge Of Samuel Clemens

Posted in History, Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 7, 2017








Mark Twain left earth to take care of itself on April 21, 1910. Now that 100 years have passed, his uncensored autobiography is about to be published. As True Slant tells the tale, Reports of Mark Twain’s resurrection are greatly exaggerated.

Samuel Clemens is an icon of americana, his books a staple of high school english. The clever sayings of Mr. Twain are quoted to this day. On his death in 1910, President William H. Taft said
“Mark Twain gave real intellectual enjoyment to millions, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come. He never wrote a line that a father could not read to a daughter.”
The White House predecessor of Mr. Taft was Teddy Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt became famous as a result of what Mr. Twain called “the iniquitous Cuban-Spanish War”. When the newly conquered Philippines did not greet the Americans as liberators, a brutal little war broke out. There were reports of massacres of women and children by American troops. This conflict led Mr. Twain to write The War Prayer, which would not be published until after he was dead. (Teddy Roosevelt became President after the murder of William McKinley. Some people speculate the Mark Twain was involved in the death of President McKinley. There used to be some youtube videos with more information, but they have been taken down. )

The truth is, Mark Twain was a rascal, with many sharp opinions about religion, big business, and war. As Henry L. Mencken wrote
“Instead of being a mere entertainer of the mob, he was…a destructive satirist of the utmost pungency and relentlessness, and the most bitter critic of American platitude and delusion, whether social, political or religious, that ever lived.” His present day image of Colonel Sanders, played by Grandpa Walton, is far from the mark.
But then, Grandpa Walton is not what many think. He was played by Will Geer, whose birth name was William Aughe Ghere . Mr. Geer, a member of the Communist Party, organized a violent dock workers strike in San Francisco. The co organizer of that strike was Mr. Geer’s boyfriend, Harry Hay.

Getting back to Mark Twain, it seems like some people don’t like to have their heroes tarnished by reality. True Slant wrote a feature that is the basis of this post. (The text part anyway. The pictures are from The Library of Congress . HT to dangerous minds. ) It seems like when the True Slant author, Mark Dery, posted a link to his article on Facebook, Chaos ensued.

Weekend Update: Apparently, some Bronze-Age bible troll reported my Facebook link to this essay as “abusive,” presumably because Twain was an atheist and Huckleberry Finn, one of the most banned books in a nation that stinks to heaven of god-bothering, is the devil’s handiwork. Now, due to Facebook’s guilty-until-proven-innocent logic—a rule of thumb that wins the Idi Amin Dada Award for enlightened online governance—I’m unable to repost. Anything. Whether you like Twain or my work or not, I hope you’ll consider reposting a link to this page on your Facebook page as a way of saying you support free speech. If that sounds like product placement, mea culpa maxima.) YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Facebook appears to have repealed its ban on my links, at least for the moment, restoring the link to this article. Heartfelt thanks to all who stood with me in free-speech solidarity by reposting a link to this essay on their FB pages. Twain would be proud of you!

In the sandbox epic Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance , a philosophical ramble detours on the concept of mythos over logos. The concept is that people, when presented with information that disproves there illusion, will continue to believe in the illusion. This would seem to be the case here. The inspiring story of Mark Twain is threatened by the reality of the writers last work. (Actually, this autobiography was dictated to a stenographer, rather than written.) People would rather feel warm and fuzzy about a myth, than read the truths of the mythmaker.

This is a repost. A few things have happened since 2010. Autobiography of Mark Twain has seen three volumes released. 13% of the Volume One comments on Amazon are one star. True/Slant has been purchased by Forbes, and links for this article no longer work. A new edition of Huckleberry Finn has been issued, with America’s favorite dirty word deleted.

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