Hey, Sanders, how about 'apex of moronia'? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hey, Sanders, how about 'apex of moronia'?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 8:43 AM

LITTLE ROCK ROOTS: For storys heroine.
  • LITTLE ROCK ROOTS: For story's heroine.
A reader provides an entertaining link to a daily feature provided by his Nook reader.

On this day in 1931, the Arkansas state legislature passed a motion to pray for the soul of H. L. Mencken. One of Mencken's Laws was "Nature abhors a moron," and one of his favorite pastimes was to attack the South for being especially ruled by the "booboisie"; upon finding itself elevated to "the apex of moronia," Arkansas had apparently had enough. Mencken had drawn international attention with his mocking reports on the Scopes Evolution Trial in 1925, but he had long-attacked the South for its devolution from "a civilization of manifold excellences" to a Home Sweet Home for "Ku Kluxery," "Bible Belt barbarism," "poor white trash." His single most famous and influential assault was the 1920 essay, "The Sahara of the Bozart" (i.e. beaux art). To his earlier claim that the South was "culturally, about as dead as the Yucatan" Mencken added so much sand that it was now "almost as sterile, artistically, intellectually, culturally, as the Sahara Desert"

There's more, including how Mencken and Arkansas inspired Anita Loos to make the heroine of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" a Little Rock native. Loos once commented:

The name of my heroine Lorelei Lee was invented although her birthplace was not and Mencken himself had a hand in that. For I wanted Lorelei to be symbol of our nation's lowest possible mentality and remembered Mencken's essay on American culture in which he branded the state of Arkansas as "the Sahara of the Bozarts." I therefore chose Little Rock for Lorelei's early years; Little Rock, which even today lives up to Mencken's choice as a nadir in shortsighted human stupidity.

Only when the legislature is in session.

Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Optometrists win surgery privileges

    Optometrists won a pitched and expensive (judging by lobbyist effort) against ophthalmologists today. The Senate approve Sen. Dave Wallace's HB 1251 to amend state law to allow optometrists to perform certain surgical procedures.
    • Mar 20, 2019
  • Senate approves tobacco tax increase to pay for income tax cut

    Sen. Jim Hendren by a single vote won Senate approval of is proposal to deliver a $100 million income tax cut to lower income people to be financed by an increase in tobacco taxes. The vote was 18-14, with three not voting.
    • Mar 20, 2019
  • Analysis disputes state claim that people who lost Medicaid coverage went to work

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has blown a raspberry at the administration's assertion that many of the thousands who lost Medicaid coverage for failure to comply with the new work rule just might have gone to work.
    • Mar 20, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation