Of all the classes of men, I dislike most those who make their livings by talking—actors, clergymen, politicians, pedagogues, and so on. All of them participate in the shallow false pretenses of the actor who is their archetype. It is almost impossible to imagine a talker who sticks to the facts. Carried away by the sound of his own voice and the applause of the groundlings, he makes inevitably the jump from logic to mere rhetoric.
Henry Louis Mencken
From Minority Report, H. L. Mencken’s Notebooks, Knopf, 1956.
[It would seem to me that the appreciation of the applause is an important item. If the talker causes the listener to think and contemplate it would seem to me that you have an entirely different species than if the talker stirs the emotions with the intent to generate applause.
Still, I understand his point. I get particularly annoyed at actors and politicians that know how to “work a crowd” but know next to nothing about the topic they are pontificating on.—Joe]