Mark Twain's 1900 rewrite of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, strangely apropos today


Originally published at:


We have legalized the Trump-ets and are guarding their retreat;

There you go, ready for 2017 now with depressing ease.


This was Twain’s response to the Philippine-American war which overcame Spanish control. In true Orwellian fashion, controlling the language describing this resulted in McKinley issuing the Proclamation of Benevolent Assimilation.


The altered photo doesn’t make sense. Isn’t Twain the anti-Trump?



That is BRUTAL.

Too damn long to tweet, though.


Post an image of the text, instead:


Gotta have space to sell our Grand American Products! Also, Otis’ explanation!!!

After fully considering the President's proclamation, and the temper of the Taglos, with whom I was daily discussing political problems and the friendly intentions of the U.S.A. Government toward them, I concluded that there were certain words and expressions therein such as "sovereignty," "right of cessation" and those which directed immediate occupation and so forth, which though most admirably employed and tersely expressive of actual conditions, might be advantageously used by the Tagalog. The **ignorant classes** had been taught to believe that certain words such as "sovereignty," "protection," and so forth had peculiar meanings disastrous to their welfare and significant of future political domination, like that from which they had been recently freed.
I don't think they were quite as ignorant as you might've thought, Gen. Otis.


I wonder what Clemens would think of today where reality has become more absurd than any satire could ever hope to be.


NPR the other day was interviewing Stephen Kinzer, author of “The True Flag” (@Amazon), about the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt being a horribly racist imperialist, and Twain being one of the more vocal opponents of it. Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” figures prominently in the pro-imperialist discussion as well.


I’m going to keep my eye on this Twain fellow. Good stuff.


He has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.


“Roughing It,” about Twain’s years out west, is amazing.

It begins with a detailed account of his stage coach ride out to Nevada, where he’d been invited to work for his brother, a state official. An actual non-cinematic account of the Wild West, and silver-rush California and Nevada. Bonus visit to Salt Lake City in pre-state hood Utah.

“Life on the Mississippi*” is almost as good. A then-and-now look at steamboat travel. Includes a horrific account of escaping a boiler explosion that (as I recall) killed one of Clemen’s brothers. Also, murderous outlaws, makers of counterfeit olive oil bragging about shipping cottonseed oil to Italy and then shipping it back.

*Dear lord, I spelled that right w/o needed spellcheck.


I heard a rumour he was dead, but that may have been exaggerated.


In a modern context, the folks at the Onion have to work extra hard now… Thankfully, we still have the Weekly World News.


I don’t know, the third volume of his autobiography was first published last year. Can’t happen if he’s dead, right? :wink:


Can’t find him on Facebook ?. Isn’t he aware of the value of self promotion?.


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