Posts Tagged ‘South Dakota’


MOUNT RUSHMORE, n. An aesthetic disaster in South Dakota. A desecrated mountain bearing the likenesses of four dead politicians chiseled into its flanks–in other words, graffiti tagging taken to its logical extreme. Every year, this unnatural wonder is reverently viewed by hundreds of thousands of camera-toting, polyester-clad Americans, a people who cherish kitsch ugliness as they do the infliction of pain.

(As regards Mr. Tangerine Man’s personality cult, the mass of plague enthusiasts who’ll shortly befoul that formerly beautiful mountain with an orgy of chest-beating and butt-kissing, H.L. Mencken had their number a century ago: “The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages.”)

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover