Thursday, February 11, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 11, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page provided the expected news that General Eisenhower, just appointed commander of all Allied forces in North Africa, had been nominated by President Roosevelt to become the fourth living four-star full general. He joined Generals Pershing, Marshall, and MacArthur in that status, General Pershing having previously retired.

Prime Minister Churchill addressed the British people for the first time after returning from the Casablanca Conference and from his meeting with Turkey's President Inonu, saying that the Allies must "make the enemy burn and bleed in every way that is physically and reasonably possible, in the same way as he is being made to burn and bleed along the vast Russian front from the White Sea to the Black Sea." The Prime Minister stated that the Allies would invade Europe within the ensuing nine months "with the utmost speed and energy and on the largest scale". The declared intent was pregnant with echoes of the urgency sought by both the people and the press of Great Britain.

From Russia, the triangulation to capture Kharkov moved apace, with armies crushing from the northeast to within 36 miles of the city, from the southeast to within 22 miles, and from the south to within 6 to 10 miles--pretty good measurements for the Ukraine, leaving the west, at the Azov, quite behind to starve into submission.

In Tunisia, the British Eighth Army moved toward the vital Mareth Line, the heavily fortified "Little Maginot", behind which Rommel's forces had congregated. A heavy artillery duel with Rommel's rearguard forces was reported to have been initiated at Ben Gardane, 25 miles west of the Libyan-Tunisian border--33 and a third miles from Ben Casey and his rat terrier.

The President had nominated to the D. C. Court of Appeals Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold, head of the antitrust division of the Justice Department, recently making news for seeking an injunction unsuccessfully against Caesar Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians, who had banned all music from the airways which was either recorded and not live or live but performed by non-union musicians, including high school bands. Mr. Arnold had also recently filed suit on behalf of the Government against the Associated Press for creating a monopoly by providing its services only to selected newspapers and not generally to all the press.

Tom C. Clark, future Attorney General, appointed by President Truman in 1945, future Supreme Court Justice, also appointed by Truman, serving from 1949 to 1967, and father of future Attorney General Ramsey Clark, appointed by President Johnson in 1966, would assume the post vacated by Mr. Arnold.

Regarded as a friend of Labor, two years earlier Thurman Arnold had nevertheless warned of certain monopolistic practices going on within the building trades, practices which had putatively caused housing prices to rise commensurately. He had also testified to Congress the previous March that Standard Oil of New Jersey, while developing a viable, cheap synthetic rubber, had sold it to Germany, causing a criminal scandal.

When Mr. Arnold had first assumed the post in June, 1938, The News had remarked wryly that his $45 car, in combination with his position of trust-buster and a $9,000 annual salary, put him squarely in line for the presidency, at least judging by the advantages a vintage automobile plus a fancy salary had conferred upon native Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, eventually to become near heir of the Hope Diamond and, even less nearly, step-husband once removed, of The Washington Post.

On the editorial page, "Red Victory" paints a foredoomed portrait of Nazi Germany in light of the sweeping assault on the German armies of the Ukraine and Caucasus, after the recent end to the Siege of Stalingrad. It suggests that a move might soon begin from that region and from the Middle East, from Turkey, from Egypt, from Palestine and Syria, toward the Balkans, and predicts, that if such move should occur, the end for Hitler would be nigh.

"Escapists" draws a portrait of the follies still being vigorously pursued, despite the Red victories over the Nazis, by the Dies House Un-American Activities Committee, chasing shadows around the Capitol in search of Communists within the Government, only to find those so labeled and consequently terminated to bob right back up again in new, equally compromising positions.

Florida golden sunshine Representative Hendricks of the Committee cited, ejaculatorily, several examples of this nefarious practice of sustained tolerance for Reds, despite the whip to the daycoach rider by Dies & Co., among the employees of the Executive Branch, including, most notably, Maurice Parmlee, formerly on the Board of Economic Warfare, until terminated after Chairman Martin Dies of Texas wrote to Vice-President Wallace of Iowa, properly informing the Vice-President that Mr. Parmlee had previously advocated, within the typeset of several books he had authored, the verboten practice of gymnosophy in America, (whether accompanied by illustrative drawings and photographs, not being revealed), only to find now that, as of November 2, 1942, Mr. Parmlee had been re-hired, as a member of the Railroad Retirement Fund, onto the Government payroll, even if at a salary significantly diminished, to the tune of a thousand bucks no less, from his prior dominant position.

The piece sardonically concludes, "The boys are having as much trouble with their Reds as the Nazis in Wonderland."

We assume, but do not know, that the remark may have carried with it some double-entendre, help us Rhonda. Just say no, no, no, no, no. Lest you be rapt by the gymnosophistic Anaconda, that being the copper basilisk.

The gentleman's letter to the editor, advising the use of less sulfuric, more natural fertilizers, reminds us that the other business discernible in that nightmarish lead segment of the episode we summarized for you from our favorite 1960's tv series, in addition to the piano store, wherein they probably played "More", was a Health Food Store, probably a subliminal message meant to be conveyed to "Fatso" of the previous episode, still out on the farm, no doubt, in Kentucky, awaiting more mail from his new old friend.

But, by the time it aired, Fatso was in jail, after shooting one of his accomplices in the earlier barn burning, claiming to the local sheriff, who, they say, was married to Mrs. Deker of the Alaskan cruise ship episode, wherein the doctor and some of the other Orient Express passengers engaged in shooting skeet with rifles from the cruise ship while on the way to Ketchikan, that he thought it was the escaped doctor who wanted to cure him of his fear of horses of which he had been disenamored all over again, after being thrown and breaking his neck while jumping the fences on the farm, becoming much too lost of his fear finally, when combined with his never remedied drinking habits, after the good doctor had to desert his charge before the regimen of treatment was complete--per the usual course.

Dare we say it, the next episode, which aired December 3, 1963, had within it, yes, a magazine promoting, prominently in fact, female gymnosophy. We are shocked, shocked, that being past our bedtime, that tv was quite so surreptitiously disseminating of disgustingly vulgar material in those days, even if in black and white, material therefore more artistically inclined than the more colorful variety found only in health food stores and parakeet shops.

In this episode, the former All-American fullback, operating under an obvious alias, Martin Rowland, who married into Denshaw's furniture fortune, (rather, a weak-kneed, spineless, vacillating, toady selected and bought by Mr. Denshaw for his loose-moraled, hot-lipped daughter to own as yet another bauble), for whom now the doctor worked as a delivery boy, and who, in that capacity, as the doctor was fulfilling his prescribed responsibility, given him by the fullback, of returning an "art film", of understated, apparently nefariously vulgar, content, to the store for safekeeping until ready for the refrigerator, witnessed some ultra-violence, the accidental homicide of the fullback's best friend, a jerk jealous of the fullback's marriage into fortune and regularly letting the fullback know it, so much so finally that he earned a punch to his glass jaw from the fullback, beside a dark-colored Lincoln Continental hardtop parked in the dark of the parking lot outside the Excelsior Club, Mr. Rowland then driving off, unaware of his friend's demise, in his Buick Electra convertible with the autronic eye, ultimately became Inspector Drebin, even if by the end of the autonomic episode, after being forced to confess to the fisticuffian rough-housing by the good doctor, who had remained behind, to his own significant peril, especially in light of the secret policeman, Mr. Angstrom, electromagnetically motivated, robotically in the hire of Denshaw's, to free from jeopardy, not doubled, an accused bum, Mr. Tibbetts, not one-armed, unfortunately for the doctor, who happened along after the homicide and rolled the body for its booty, thus picked up and facing murder charges, well-promulgated in the newspaper and on the tv, claiming the while to be "The Wrong Man", Denshaw's fullback husband, within 19 years to become Drebin, was sentenced to jail for the "accidental" homicide.

The name of this episode was not, as one might anticipate, "Gymnosophy .38 on the Train, (Lighting Cigarette after Cigarette Until Everyone Died of Lung Cancer, Even Before the Wreck)", but rather "Glass Tightrope".

As there was no circus in town, or even glassblowers, we don't wish to speculate on why that title came to the script writer's mind, or whether it may have derived somehow from the gymnosophistic manual, custodially maintained in trust by the stockroom boy, no doubt, assiduously avoided by the good doctor, busy composing in Greek another letter to Fatso, all anent the ferule aspects, yet weight-reducing attributes to be obtained from vigorous wrestling in hot, steamy, smoking gymnasiums full of gymnosophists, a prescribed course the doctor, no doubt, recommended to Fatso, in combination with the health food diet, to undertake with his thin brother, more evenly thus to distribute the loads.

Perhaps, this gent's composition bares the answer.

Or, perhaps that tattoo which was borne by she of the circus who rode a horse.

In any event, this episode also was directed by Ida Lupino who, along with her little dog, obviously had broken out.

Inspector Drebin went on to subsequent police file fame.

We have to pause to wonder why it is that one-armed Johnson has yet to make even an appearance in the series after two and a half months, and roughly two years worth of running, if, as he proclaims, the doctor is indeed innocent. Maybe, he wasn't really a doctor at all, just some escaped lunatic roaming the countryside pretending to be one. Indeed, maybe Lt. Gerard wasn't really a cop.

Drebin may have been the real cop, pretending to be a driveling, sycophantic, pulingly pusillanimous polecat, actually working undercover to expose the gymnosophy ring proliferating within the town's furniture stores, on behalf of his employer, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Daywatch Branch.

His next mission, should he choose to accept it: Determine the moral fitness, and probable association with known Communist Party members, of a troublemaker who goes by the improbable name, Kit Marlowe.

We, ourselves, are still trying to determine how it is that Jose Alfredo Jimenez became Un de Los Tres Charros when, all along, we thought he was Sr. General Fulgencio Batista, the well-known Mercury astronaut.

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