Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mencken territory

When police officers found an agitated Nicholas Smith mixing substances and asked what he was doing he replied: "What does it ------- look like? I am making a bomb". The 53-year-old was grating soap into a saucepan at his home after trawling the internet for bomb-making tips, a court heard.

The two officers were responding to a complaint about eggs being thrown at his house in May when they found Smith "stressed and anxious" as he made the concoction. Smith was arrested and during an interview, he said: "I just wanted to kill them, I had enough".

Was it not H. L. Mencken who once said, "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats"?

We've all been there. And in a country where, increasingly, the lawbreakers occupy positions of power and influence, and the needs of ordinary people are neglected by a police force more interested in harassing the innocent than bringing criminals to book, a lot more people are going to feel the need to revisit Mencken territory.