Laughing in the Jungle

Laughing in the Jungle

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 0405005032

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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and he was proceeding—awkwardly, gropingly, and humorously—to accomplish that end. These three people—along with Blakelock, Koska, Lonie Burton, and Jack Kipps who still repeatedly came to my mind—began to represent, or symbolize, to me life in the United States. Haphazardness, chaos, violence, and accident had ruled their lives. Even the “rebirth” of Podgornik had been accidental and violent; to be “reborn,” it had been necessary that he fall off a ship’s gangplank, bump his head on a

gettin’ in the ring?” Steve shook his head. Oluf continued to admire Steve’s style of fighting. Finally he proposed that Steve become a fighter and let him manage him. “I tell you,” said Oluf, “you can become a crackeryack of a boxer. Battlin’ Nelson is a countryman of mine, but he ain’t got nothin’ on you. You’re a crackeryack!” Having licked him, Steve, of course, had no grudge against Oluf, and after a while he said: “O.K.,” and put himself into Oluf’s hands. For weeks then Steve skipped

ribs fractured; shabby, bent as though weighed down by a vast burden—a defeated crusader. That evening I wrote in my diary: Saw Lonie Burton... He is a living proof to me (perhaps soon to be a dead one) that one cannot afford to plunge too far into the economic and social issues of American life. One is too apt to be caught in their ramifications, overwhelmed and crushed, without beneficial result to anyone... CHAPTER XIX The “Assassin” of Woodrow Wilson I During the Wobbly strike in San

Wobblies. The country was being swept by the first wave of anti-Red hysteria. There were great strikes along Puget Sound. The Wobblies tied up the port of Seattle, and American Legion boys warred upon them. Kipps soon attained to a sort of leadership among the Seattle I. W. W.’s. He wrote pieces for Solidarity and other Wobbly sheets, which often printed his portrait, playing up his part-Indian ancestry in an attempt to offset the patriots’ charge that the movement was un-American and appealed

the mob—organized mediocrity—was bound to frustrate him. So, in a sort of self-defense, Mencken was a “cynic” and “sneerer”; he laughed at and ridiculed America, perhaps, because that was one way of preserving his sanity and health in the crazy, unhealthy jungle. For several years I agreed with Mencken that the sensible thing to do for a sensitive and intelligent person who could not help being interested in the American scene was to look upon it—upon the whole “gross guttering, excessively

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