Saturday, May 17, 2014


Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash in Alaska with famed pilot Wiley Post, was known and loved for his Country Boy image in a world that then prized urbane sophistication and “polish.” His frank lack of gravitas, and unadorned examples of homespun wisdom prove him to have been one of the most endearing political sages in our history. His observations still seem fresh and pertinent.

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back in.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral here is: When you're full of bull, it's wise to keep your mouth shut.


  1. Oh yeah, Thersites, he was a Cornpone Cracker with a hideous hick accent who fell for the New Deal mentality, and became one of its most ardent proponents all right, but even so he had lot of native intelligence, and certainly new how to play the cards he was dealt to great advantage.

    Have you seen the house he lived in -- and the so-called "ranch" he owned? They positively REEK of Comfort and Financial Security

    He didn't survive the Depression, but that was only because he was -- literally -- flyin' a bit too high above the Common Crowd.

    He was extraordinarily popular, and became a true American Icon long before the term was coined.

    I have wondered if the character of Lonesome Rhodes might not have been modeled on Will Rogers?

    I'll tell you one thing: My estimation of him sank rapidly when I saw he had the despicable habit of talking while chewing -- WHAT? -- his CUD? -- tobacco? -- a HAMBURGER?

    Someone from my Dad's generation who frankly didn't like him, called him "A Country Slicker."

    Was he just a Dear Old Darling, or a Damnable Devious Devil in Disguise?

    I guess it all depends on your point of view.

    One thing's for sure, love him or hate him, he was an American Original.

    I would call him A Folksy Old Fox.

    Looking back, I'd say he had a lot in common with Harry Truman.

    Yagotta watch these Hicks from the Sticks. Despite their rumpled Aw Shucks! appearance, they can be as smart as a whip, as sharp as a tack, slick as a greased pig, and hard as nails.

    I'm thinkin' Bill Clinton here, ain' choo?

  2. Simply put he was quite a character. America ran out of the cloth Will Rogers was cut from long ago.

  3. I honestly don't know whether that's good or bad, Les.

    WR is a lot like Lincoln -- a legendary figure we've been conditioned to admire, but whose attitudes leave much to be desired on closer inspection.
    In both cases it's become all-but-impossible to separate the man from the myth. The "hagiographers" have seen to that.

    I tend not to accept what we hear ether from the Debunkers or the pious Venerators.

    Are you familiar with A Face in the Crowd? Andy Griffith's chilling portrayal of folksy, foxy, dirtbag who becomes an Icon and then a Demagogue who makes the tragic error of believing the myths that have grown up around his rise to fame and fortune.

    It MIGHT have been based on the Will Rogers phenomenon. It just struck me today how startling the similarities are between the two.

    There has always been something in Will Roger's face I've been never been able to like or trust. He's a bit too reminiscent of those guys who traveled the Old West in Conestoga wagons hawking worthless patent medicines and cure-all tonics to gullible rubes.

  4. Wasn't Will Rogers a member of the Democratic Party?

  5. PS: A Face in the Crowd is one of my favorite films. My Western Civilization through Film class watched it last year.

    BTW, some of what Will Rogers said could well have been said by Bob Hope later. Mr. Hope was an excellent political satirist.

  6. Sorely missing in today's political discourse...

    Although he supported Roosevelt's New Deal, he could just as easily joke about it. (from Wilipedia)

  7. Will Rogers was a product of his times, as we all are. He was just more brilliant than most.



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