The real Horatio Alger story?

He was kicked out of his job as a minister at the First Unitarian Parish of Brewster, Mass., for sexual misconduct with boys.

Here is further information.  Here are further sources.  For the pointer I thank RL.


Such was life in Lincoln's America.

Everyone knows that the age of consent as never deviated from 18, even when the life expectancy was 22 and no human died a natural death.

Therefore everything else he accmplished should be eschewed from the cannon.

He was a bad person who made interesting contributions to his countries' culture and ethos. Something as if Hitler had been a good painter or George W. Bush had been a good painter.

perhaps here is the lesson
at the end of the day
watch out for celebrity tautologies/ists

So what you mean is that we make idols just to deatroy them afterwards?

mebbe zardos literally means
beware people who speak in tautologies?

Why would they?

to be annoying?
or they could work in the cable news

But did he collude with Russia?

Yes, to buy Alaska.

How does this information contribute to anything?

It is more of simply digging into the past to find things we can be upset with.

Well, Horatio's sexual needs were his sexual needs, and it didn't kill those boys: they all went from from rags to riches. I'm sure they were thrilled to hang out with Fellatio Alger.

paging ms. streisands high school
tautology teacher!

Gives a whole new meaning to his book "Ragged Dick."

I want to hear more about Jerry Falwell Jr and the pool boy!

So, as we've slowly increased our transparency level, we just see more and more sex scandals. My guess is, sex scandals are super common everywhere and everywhen.

'sex scandals are super common everywhere and everywhen'

Well, in those places where sex was not scandalous, there probably weren't too many sex scandals. Those Pompeian brothel frescoes were not scandalous to the Romans, after all - they were just business as usual.

Of course, scandal can involve anything with a clever enough twist. That a leading citizen would go to a high class brothel would not likely be considered worth any particular mention. However, if that same leading citizen used a brothel whose main customers were soldiers, that might lead to gossip - and gossip is always a good starting point for creating a scandal.

A pointlessly salacious post, not worth the gotcha/haha effect; already familiar to readers of The New Yorker, which a couple years ago resurrected Horatio Alger, whom we should otherwise have almost forgotten, merely to recount details of his sex life which (I would have thought?) really should not be employed in this way by a literati inclined to judge others for insufficient wokeness on sexual matters. Perfect counterpoint to the bail story. A very real cost of prolonged and relentlessly publicized criminal trials is the way they push softheaded people to marinate in, indeed exult in, the base and sordid for years.

"whom we should otherwise have almost forgotten"

Then, how do we know who he is? It is funny how some people bend backwards to defend pedophiles.

Just keep telling yourself that, if it is necessary to your sense of self.

We know him as an adjective, nothing more. Much like we know Quisling or "Mrs. Malaprop."

The New Yorker - they too want to have everything both ways. Reject all bourgeois norms - or pretend you can somehow keep them while stripping away all their particulars - keep them alive just enough to exploit them, pretty frequently, because titillation sells.

I am sometimes surprised this two-facedness is not more remarked upon, even by radicals - because there is only malice in it.

I think the norms are clear and even you should be able to understand them: little boys (or girls, by the way), no!

What do you mean is that we make idols just to destroy them afterwards?

Not sexually abusing children is not a bourgeois norm. It's a pretty much everyone except NAMBLA norm.

Heck, even the Taliban first started accumulating political capital by rescuing Afghan boys kidnapped by warlords to be used as catamites.

Yes. Whatever their other sins and errors, the fundamentalist Muslims of the Taliban stood up against that practice; if Catholics, but for a few traditionalists and outsiders, have not been willing to face facts in the same way, it is surely redundant to point out that The New Yorker would hardly wish to.

I wonder if he appeared in blackface in his high school yearbook.

The story is sad, but what now? Horatio Alger stories are not exactly well read these days, the self-improvement meme in them is openly mocked by SJWs. Do these stories drop into the same memory hole as Kevin Spacey movies, Michael Jackson songs, Bill Cosby TV shows, and reruns of Prairie Home Companion?

Here is an irony. Nathaniel West did a satire of the Horatio Alger stories from his caustic progressive perspective. The novel was called
"A Cool Million." One chapter in the novel had the protagonist captured and offered gay services, coyly presented. Maybe West knew something.

Do these stories drop into the same memory hole as Kevin Spacey movies, Michael Jackson songs, Bill Cosby TV shows, and reruns of Prairie Home Companion?

Or Hitler's paintings and Stalin's literary criticism? Yes, sure.

@B.B. - you mean Nathanael West [sic, no 'i']?: (Wikipedia) "Nathanael West was born Nathan Weinstein in New York City, the first child of Ashkenazi Jewish parents, Anuta (Anna, née Wallenstein, 1878–1935) and Max (Morduch) Weinstein (1878–1932),[2] from Kovno, Russia (present-day Kaunas, Lithuania), who maintained an upper middle class household in a Jewish neighborhood on the Upper West Side. West displayed little ambition in academics, dropping out of high school and only gaining admission into Tufts College by forging his high school transcript." - notice Mr. NW would not do well in today's #MeToo environment, since he forged his academic records (recall Oprah's author of "A Million Little Piece", also Doris Kearns Goodwin the US Civil War historian, and also, or pace, depending on your political forecasting skills, Joe Biden).

Bonus trivia: the South African founder of the Boy Scouts had, say some, a fondness for boys. What sort of fondness? Why do you ask? And the ancient Greeks in many city-states (it varied from city-state to city-state, showing it was not genetic but environmental) thought man-boy love conventional but homosexual love between two adult men of the same age as ridiculous, the opposite of today's mores.

as we all know, the "real story" is always what's most transgressive to modern mores. everything else is just a convoluted cover-up.

(not to pick specifically on our host, who was just making a reference & has called out this "devalue & dismiss" pattern in the past)

And as far as I can tell, he did NOT recycle.

Cursed be his name.

Actually, I am seeking a grant to produce a documentary about it: Leaving The West, Young Man.

Next up: Plato.

I began reading one of Alger's books a few years ago, and despite having previously borne up under the likes of "East Lynne" and "Lady Audley's Secret", I couldn't finish it. Much as I'd hoped to find something to enjoy in the much-sneered at Alger, he doesn't even qualify as good late 19th century trash, at least to this 21st century reader.

That's true of anything written at any time. Moby Dick by Melville (who also may have had a gay episode with Hawthorne, which a modern author has made a story about) was considered unreadable trash back in the 19th century. And I'm sure whatever pop culture produces today will be considered trash 100 years from now, maybe a lot sooner.

"Moby Dick" was well-regarded in its time and, literary urban legends to the contrary, did not sell all that badly in its first U.S. printing. Melville's NEXT book, "Pierre" was genuinely unpopular.

It's no surprise that Alger's prose is inferior in every way to that of every canonical American author of the 19th century. What I didn't expect, was that it would be worse than the middle-brow best-sellers of his day. He was essentially a pulp writer.

Thanks, Wikipedia informs us that indeed Moby Dick was well received by UK critics, and in fact it sold "OK" but not at all great, see below. Back in those days people worked for $1 a day, so $1260 in lifetime earnings for Melville from Moby Dick was about 3.5 years of 'minimum wage' earnings, which for one book is not bad, though Melville lived for another 40 years after his magnum opus. Melville would have done better writing pulp fiction like Horatio Alger,and gone from rags to riches at a cost to his opinion of himself. Note some of his other books sold better it seems. The people who buy pulp fiction, like my hot Filipina gf, are addicted to it and it pays to cater to their needs.- RL

(Wikipedia): The British printing of 500 copies sold fewer than 300 within the first four months. ... Bentley recovered only half on the ₤150 he advanced Melville, whose share from actual sales would have been just ₤38, and he did not print a new edition.[131] Harper's first printing was 2,915 copies, including the standard 125 review copies. The selling price was $1.50, about a fifth of the price of the British three-volume edition.[113] About 1,500 copies were sold within 11 days, and then sales slowed down to less than 300 the next year. ... In 1855, a second printing of 250 copies was issued, in 1863, a third of 253 copies, and finally in 1871, a fourth printing of 277 copies, which sold so slowly that no new printing was ordered.[131] Moby-Dick was out of print during the last four years of Melville's life, having sold 2,300 in its first year and a half and on average 27 copies a year for the next 34 years, totaling 3,215 copies. Melville's earnings from the book add up to $1,260: the ₤150 advance from Bentley was equivalent to $703, and the American printings earned him $556, which was $100 less than he earned from any of his five previous books.[132] Melville's widow received another $81 when the United States Book Company issued the book and sold almost 1,800 copies between 1892 and 1898.[132]

It's called popular fiction because that's what it is. Pulp fiction is popular. Any randomly selected person is more likely to read popular fiction than any other, so if your Pinay GF (half your age) enjoys pulp fiction she is in no way abnormal.
H.D. Thoreau was said (by himself, it was said) to have had a library with 500 books, all written by himself, and all the same book (namely, Walden). It wasn't what you'd call popular back then, but in the meantime it has been read widely (by me at least).
BTW, the Beatles were not overrated. (Testing my hypothesis that mentioning "Beatles + over or under + rated" will elicit response from the Beatles Cuck Troll Bot Farm).

“At the same time, it seems, he tried to atone for his sin and repress his sexual urges. ... and he informally adopted two street boys who lived with him in his apartment.”
Is that the Straussian part of the article?

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