designate ethnic groups. But Mencken’sndesignations of Jews in the diarynare purely descriptive, or even favorable.nFor example, Fecher damnsnMencken as anti-Semitic because hennotes in his dairy that a woman he metnwas a “French Jewess.” But wasn32/CHRONICLESnMillion-Dollar Dandruffnby John W. Little IInI’m keening and mooningnBecause my de KooningnIs fading and falling apart.nMy Pollock is poppingnIts drips keep on droppingnIs this what they mean by “pop” art?nMy Schnabel is sheddingnLike rice at a weddingnPlease call the conservator quickly.nMy Rothko is failingnThe colors keep palingnResulting in shades rather sickly.nMy Rauschenberg’s peelingnLike a very old ceilingnOh, Robert, pray what can I do?nMy Leslie is flakingnMy knees are a-quaking.nMiss Handlemen, hand me the glue.nMy Warhol is waningnWhich needs some explaining.nSo why did he leave out the gesso?nThe pinks in my StellanAre starting to yellanMy gallery’s a helluva mess, oh!nEnvoi:nThat euphemism, “inherent vice”n(The modern art insurance rating)nMeans, “Boys, it’s time to up the pricenThe g n thing’s disintegrating!”nMencken then a vicious anh-Germannbecause he describes one Dietrich as an”huge German”? Only in a debasednculture where a simple notation thatnsomeone is Jewish is considered gravelyn”anti-Semitic” could Fecher get awaynwith such an asinine charge. Moreover,nnnMencken’s label takes on furthernmeaning in his very next sentence, unmentionednby Fecher: that “thoughnshe [the “French Jewess”] is polite, shenfinds it hard to conceal ber distrust ofnme as a German.” (Diary, p. 55).nNote that this entry was made beforenHitier’s access to power, when then”French” root of ber seeming anti-nGermanism would leap to mind morenthan the Jewish one.nAnotber supposed evidence ofnMencken’s bias is his diary reference tonLawrence Spivak, later publisher of thenAmerican Mercury, as a “young HarvardnJew.” (p. 71.) But F’echer oncenagain fails to mention the context, innthis case that Mencken immediatelyngoes on to praise Spivak as “energeticnand intelligent.” So that apparently, innFecher’s grotesque universe, even a favorablenreference to a Jew is deemednevidence of “anti-Semitism.”nBut the clincher in demonstratingnthe odiousness of Fecher’s tacdcs is thatn(1) there are very few references tonJews at all in the Diary, and (2) there isnnothing nearly as critical of Jews as innMencken’s letter to his old friend RoscoenPeacock of April 30, 1931, publishednin 1961, in the delightful collectionnof Letters of H.L. Mencken,nedited by Guy J. Forgue. Mencken wasnreplying to a letter in which Peacockncomplained about the behavior of Jewsnon an ocean liner; he stated that, bynand large, Jews are much more intelligentnand charming than other Americans,nbut that “I agree with you thatnthe unpleasant ones are unpleasant almostnbeyond endurance.”nSince Fecher is clearly well aware ofnthe Forgue collection, we can onlynconclude that he is being disingenuousnin basing his volte face on the Diary.nMight it rather be that Fecher levelednthe dread charge of anti-Semitism innorder to hype the book?nIf there was anything that Menckenntruly hated, it was the despotism andnPuritanism of Prohibition, and if therenwas any class of men that he trulyndisliked, apart from his own ethnicngroup of Anglo-Saxons, it was the Baptistsnand Methodists whom he chargednwith fastening Prohibition on America.nYet, far from accusing him of bigotrynand “insensitivity” toward Baptists, thenLiberal Establishment has always delightednin Mencken’s “irreverence” onn