( Originally Published 1916 )
"THE food on which fools are fed," says the Standard Dictionary.
In common use the term is the favorite one of cynics to characterize any sort of exuberance.
They also love the words "twaddle," "non-sense," "gush," and "balderdash."
The word cynic has the root-meaning of dog. It is a slander on the dog. The dog is the most sentimental animal known. He has a fit of ecstatic joy at even a glance from you.
When the lover makes a sonnet upon his mistress's eyebrow, it is Flapdoodle, to the cynic.
Read over your last letter, young lady, where he says your brow is like the snowdrift and your neck is like the swan, and your face it is the fairest that e'er the sun shone on. Flapdoodle !
Coo to your baby, little mother, and speak your infantile dialect, and ask him, "Does urns want to come to urns muzzers?" Flapdoodle!
Preach to the crowd gathered in the slums, O Salvation Army Lassie! Put tears in your voice, and make the spiritual appeal a red-hot heart force; bring the drunkard to sobriety and the smirched woman to repentance and a new life. Flapdoodle!
Plead for the cause of man, 0 social dreamer! Seek to put business upon a base of absolute justice, and to get for every human being equality of opportunity. Impractical ! Flapdoodle !
Strive to abolish the accursed error of punishment, with its inhuman prisons and gallows trees, and substitute the organized prevention of crime and the scientific healing of the criminal. Flapdoodle !
Plead for the right of all children to play, to be duly equipped for life, and to be kept out of economic struggle by the mothering state. Flapdoodle!
Speak for the right of every woman to the full privilege of a human being. Flapdoodle!
Declare, O President of the United States, for the better way of self-restraint and patience, and against the medieval monstrosity of war, in dealing with a neighbor state. Flapdoodle !
Work, Mr. Lloyd George, for the protection of mothers, the alleviation of poverty, reforms in land holding, and the curbing of age-old privilege. All the Wise Ones cry out Flapdoodle!
Write, O Newspaper Man, not with dull prosing, but with the fire of conviction, words that throb like hearts alive. Flapdoodle !
So say the Critics, the Experienced, the Old-Hearted, the Sophisticated, the Burnt Out, from all whom the good God deliver us!
Give us, rather, the wonder of youth, the rapture of lovers, the gush of the enthusiastic, those that yet can weep over a book and wipe their eyes at a play, women who cuddle babies and are foolish over their husbands, men who can yell at a ball game and whoop at a political meeting, poets who still hear Pan's pipings, and patriots whose throats choke at the sight of their country's flag.
Thanks be! there are yet a thousand Fans, Sob Sisters, Giggling Girls, and Lovesick Swains to one Cynic ! We wish him no harm, but one of him is a crowd.