Baltimore Evening Sun (24 January 1912): 6.


The daily thought from “Also sprach Zarathustra”:

And when I saw the devil, I found him earnest, thorough, deep, solemn. He was the spirit of gravity.

From an earnest but ungrammatical essay by the Hon. Thomas G. Boggs in the current issue of the Baltimoreische Blaetter, the monthly comic paper of the Honorary Pallbearers:

There are critics and critics. Honest, constructive criticism by able and earnest persons is valuable. The object and service of such tend to betterment, for which every human and communities of humans should and do, as a general thing, strive for. But the critic, or rather he who criticizes to flippant, reckless and evev smart Aleck manner, for fun and personal gratification, who offers no remedies for that with which he may justly find fault, is a pusillanimous pest and a damage to his community. We have in Baltimore, connected, unfortunately, with one of our newspapers, such a one. He is given a latitude that is surprising—far beyond the editorial privileges in the same paper. We are told that he writes certain editorials which praise Baltimore and its people, while on the same page, over his own signature, he abuses the city and those who are endeavoring in an unselfish manner to benefit the community.

Reducing these amazing snarls of verbiage to simple English, one discovers that they set forth two propositions, to wit:

1.) That I engage in loathsome critical vivisections wantonly, and with no intelligible plan of improvement in mind.

2.) That I am two-faced, or rather two-handed, writing anonymous eulogies of Baltimore with one hand and signed attacks on Baltimore with the other.

Such are the allegations of the Hon. Thomas G. Boggs, editor of the Baltimoreische Blaetter and chairman of the standing comittee on boggus statistics. My answer thereto may be divided into two asseverations, viz:

1. I deny absolutely that I have ever, at any time since the year 1900, written a single line anonymously, for The Evening Sun or any other publication, which has conflicted, in any essential, with any article bearing my signature.

2. I deny absolutely, and with a staggering emission of oaths, that I have ever written a single paragraph about the needs and defects of Baltimore which has not revealed on its face, or by plain implication, a definite and intelligible plan of improvement.

But what plan of improvement? A very simple and workable plan. A plan, in brief, involving a rising of the civilized and intelligent people of this town against buncombe and balderdash, fake and fraud, sophistry and salve-spreading—against the Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association and its gaseous resolutions, its oblique attacks upon good government, its boggus statistics—against all the other camorras of boomers, with their childish rivalries and back-bitings, their idle blass-musik and windjamming, their incessant manufacture of Prominent Baltimoreans—against all the militant moralists who seek to make life in Baltimore as dull and depressing as life in the House of Correction—against the Old-Fashioned Administration, its rabble-rousers and frauds, its chicaneries and indecencies—against that low and revolting form of journalism which apologies for such things and encourages such things—against all that saturnalia of bluff and bluster, of quackery in business and politics, of disingenuousuess and stupidity, of noise and nonsense, of slobbler-gobble and rumble-bumble, of false starts and false pretenses, of maudlin bawling and tin-horn magic, of rotten respectability and stuffed dignity, which makes every true Baltimorean ashamed, at times, of his city, and honestly fearful, at other times, of its future.

I myself, my dear Tom, am a Baltimorean—a Baltimorean of the third generation, born here, living here in great contentment, and hopeful of finding a quiet resting-place, along about 1975 or 1980, in Loudon Park. I have the greatest faith in Baltimore—and not only in the future of Baltimore, but also in its present. The one thing we suffer from, at the moment, is a plague of bad advisers, of moral, political and economic charlatans. On the one hand we are besought, with loud yells, to make improvements which would not be improvements at all; on the other hand, we are taught that the best way to deal with certain pressing evils is to deny them. Under the first heading fall most of the plans of the so-called boomers; under the second heading, to cite but one example, falls the joint effort of the Health Department and Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association to sophisticate the mortality returns.

Such enterprises, I believe, are dangerous. It is dangerous to spread the crazy notion that commercial prosperity is the only measure of a city’s progress, and it is dangerous to preach the doctrine that evils are best dealt with by denying them. But despite all this false teaching, despite all this quackery and flapdoodle, this mountebankery and mendacity, this rhetoric and rottenness, Baltimore wobbles along. We Baltimoreans get enough to eat; we live in decent houses; we are pretty well satisfied with our comfortable old town. And if, from baffled boomers, comes anon the allegation that we are stupid, that we are slow to comprehend, that we do not rise promptly to ideas, then we may answer quite safely, in defense of our intelligence, that we still have sense enough to see the essential hollowness and insincerity, the guff and gabble, the buncombe and balderdash of boomery.

A can of sardines to any spirltualist who can send a spook to haunt me.

Alleged remark of the late Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, as quoted by a New York anti-vivisectionist in a recent letter to The Evening Sun:

In not a single instance known to science has the cure of any human disease resulted necessarily from this fallacious method of research.

To account for which, two theories suggest themselves: (a) that Dr. Blackwell had never heard of the work of Louis Pasteur, and (b) that Dr. Blackwell never said anything of the sort. I incline toward the latter theory, not because I have any direct evidence to support it, but because I am familiar with the habits of anti-vivisectionists.

The betting odds in the downtown taverns, as my liquorish spies report them:

1 to 6,000 that the convention falls for it. 20 to 1 that none of them stuffers won’t never be tried. 100 to 1 that all of them ex-sheriffs will still be hanging on to the money on January 1, 1915.

Question respectfully addressed to the Hon. Henry A. McMains, D. O., press agent of the League for Medical “Freedom,” Maryland Branch:

Is it or is it not a fact that the Leahue for Medical “Freedom,”Maryland Branch, defends, as perfectly sane, the doctrine that it is possible to cure cancer by correspondence?

Only 1,210 days more! And to March 4, 1913, only 405 days! Gott sei dank!