The Charlotte News

Monday, January 2, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Add Americana" finds Cash bemoaning a little the state of modern swing music and the jitterbug, as he was wont to do on occasion, (see, e.g., "Jazz and Bach", March 10, 1941), apparently being in relation on this particular to "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" by Ella Fitzgerald which came out in 1938.

Oh, he didn't live so long...

God only knows what he would have done had he ever visited our particular home by say, 5?

'Tweren't nothin' to sing, "She went peck-peck-peckin' around...and if she doesn't bring it back I think I'll die..."

Try that, intermixed with Elvis's version of "Nearer My God to Thee", Mr. Cash.

Oh baby, slow down, you're movin' way too fast... We dipped our feet in dirty water.

Oh hell, lay off him; show us a sixties youngster who listens regularly to rap these days and we'll show you someone who probably left his wallet in El Segundo...or at least in Pascagoula.

All in what you hear in that eeny-weeny, teensy-weensy polka dot cribbola, we posit, rockin' the night away--boom, thump, boom.

This train's bound for Jordan.

Besides, Cash, though it's a nice piece, who wanted to be reminded of the Titanic, whether apocryphal or not that they sang it that night, with Hitler and Tojo preparing the way soon enough, probably for some of those men seated at the bar there, at the beginning of 1939?

Speaking of which, herewith, we incorporate a letter to the editor of this date, stated in response to "Opportunity for Bachelors", December 7, 1938.

Wherein We Enter Into A Bargain

Dear Sir:

I have received a clipping of the very charming editorial of December 7, referring to the idea of establishment of "Little Austria" in this state. I was delighted to find a journalist so well acquainted as you must be with European landscape and atmosphere ready to help bring this about in the interest of America as well as the interest of Europe now in danger of extinction.

I should like to have ten copies of the editorial to send to various people whom it will encourage to work towards this. Will you send the copies to me with a bill? If you prefer that I pay for them with an article then I should like to write for your paper either on the subject of housing or on that of literature used in Austria or some topic which you would like me to describe--I should be pleased to show my appreciation for this helpful little paragraph by doing something more than say thank you.



Chapel Hill.

[Note: We herewith renounce our statement in favor of an article from the distinguished former Austrienne.--Editors, The News.]

Uno, dos, one two, tres, quatro... Matty told Hatty...

Restriction Needed

One thing the New Deal has overlooked is the problem of broken New Year resolutions. Here it is January 2 and the smash-up of resolutions has merrily started. Surely there is a Brain Truster somewhere that can take this commission and bring order out of the whole mess.

The problem really deserves a Cabinet member with broad authorities to regiment, to decree and to restrict. Ah, there it is--restriction. There is a surplus of New Year resolutions. The carry-over from 1938 was tremendous. Some of the excess in 1937 is still on hand, a dreary mess of shopworn merchandise, not worth a dime a dozen.

Restriction in resolves is needed. One good resolution kept is worth ten broken early in January. Better have a resolution with some value than a score reduced to less than half-price. In short, resolve to quit resolving.

Man for the Job

The appointment of Frank Murphy as Attorney General is another proof that once a man gets a job in politics he is permanently on the public payroll. But all the same it is probably a good appointment.

A lot of people won't think so, to be sure. For a lot of people see him as the very head and front of the sitdown strike. That, however, is less than fair. He had nothing to do with inventing the idea of such strikes, or on promoting them. Merely as Governor of Michigan, he had such strikes dropped in his lap, and found himself faced with the problem of deciding whether he should put them down with bloodshed or use more cautious and rational methods. He chose the latter, and that he was right is pretty well proved to us by the fact that nobody died in Michigan, whereas, in states like Ohio, where force was resorted to, they did die. We hold no brief for the sitdown strike, certainly; but there are times when ideas are so much in a state of flux that inaction is better than action. Frank Murphy recognized that, as Davey of Ohio didn't.

What increases our respect for him is that he behaved in such fashion despite the fact that in general he is a man of action. His whole record shows that. And taken with his capacity to withhold action when it is desirable to withhold it, it is a good augur for his success in the job which is now his.

Master of The Lie

"We're convinced that it is indispensable for the vigor and strength of the nation that we fight against the parasitic race (the Jews).

"If other people do not want to undergo this regeneration, that is their affair. We have no intention of converting them to our view."

Thus Dr. Paul Goebbels, Minister of Falsehood to His Majesty, Adolf I. And nowhere has he ever made an utterance which more completely justified his job. They say he is on his way out--that before the end of the year he will be in a concentration camp and maybe even under the headman's axe, because he has failed to keep other nations from expressing their scorn for the brutality of the Nazi (observe that we did not say German) Jewish policy. That is hardly fair. For the job was an impossible one. It means that Dr. Goebbels had to try to suppress free speech, not only in Germany but also in the other nations. And despite our headaches, free speech is too dear at least to the United States for him to have a chance of success. However, we don't mind if he lands in a concentration camp or falls victim to the headman's axe. Nobody minds. The fellow is one of the most unlovely characters who has appeared in the modern scene.

All the same, he has never more signally shown his mastery of falsehood than in the statement we have just quoted. He began it with a lie in calling the Jews a parasitic race. He adds to that lie when he claims that their expulsion will add to the "vigor and strength" of the German nation. Spain spent 200 years trying to recover from such an expulsion of the fifteenth century. And he crowns the lie when he says that he has no notion of trying to persuade other nations to adopt the same policy. Nazism, of course, is a world revolutionary policy, and does its best to inject its poison into the veins of other nations.

At All Costs

The Nazis, as usual, started with a falsehood. The stooge journal, Voelkischer Beobachter, observed that, with things as they are, "the hope expressed by the American Foreign Office to the German charge d'affairs for an improvement of mutual relations lacks every foundation." But as a matter fact, Mr. Welles says that he never expressed any such hope.

"Does," demands the official communique rhetorically. "Does the United States want at all cost to provoke a conflict with the German people?"

The answer is, of course, that the United States doesn't want, and isn't going--by any rational standard--to provoke a conflict with the German people or any other. But that "at all costs" means strange things in the mouths of the Nazis. For England and France, for instance, it means that the people of those countries must abrogate their national rights and customs and take care not to elect Mr. Eden or Mr. Churchill or Mr. Blum or anybody at all that Lord Hitler doesn't approve of, and that they must stifle free speech and the free press so far as Lord Hitler and his cohorts go. And for the United States, it seems to mean that we must abrogate the whole Bill of Rights, shut up everybody who dares state his opinion of Mr. Hitler's crimes, and at the same time give German stooge newspapers the right to insult our officials at will while we apologize abjectly for every fancied insult to Germany committed on this side of the water.

In a word, it seems to mean the right of Germany to bully as it pleases. And so long as it means that--let Lord Hitler put it in his pipe and smoke it, the United States is prepared to face conflict or anything else rather than submit.

A Great Lady Passes*

A great lady lies dead in Charlotte. She was the wife of a great man, and old Dr. Alexander Graham was a great man, as everybody who ever knew him knows. It was his fortune to live out his days on a purely local stage but that was only the fortune of war--literally. Had he lived in any other time and any other place than the time after the Civil War and the place of the South, he would have reached the highest places. But a great man he was--and perhaps a greater man for the very fact that he gave his life to helping build up knowledge in a country that was in a bad way.

Mrs. Graham, however, was a great lady in her own right. And her children are the witnesses. Dr. Frank is perhaps the greatest of them all. And through him her influence goes marching through all North Carolina, and through the nation for that matter. For the university he has built is as Herbert Agar said at Chapel Hill last year, the center of civilization in the South. And that university is at last the creation of old Dr. Alexander Graham and Mrs. Graham. But it is not only Dr. Frank. "All the men were brave and all the women were virtuous." So runs an old inscription on a tombstone in Westminster Abbey. But all the Grahams can rightly claim to be both brave and virtuous, in the very largest sense of the words.

A great lady lies dead. And we take off our hats to her memory.

Add Americana

The hymn singer was sobbing "Nearer My God to Thee" from the radio in the front of the eating place. His voice, deep and sepulchral, with the husky undertones of a native blues singer, penetrated to every corner of the establishment, ferreting out the diners in the booths and causing the beer drinkers on the stools of the counter to shift uneasily. The desultory efforts at conversation trailed off into silence, and the heavy atmosphere of a funeral fell deeper and deeper.

Then from one of the booths emerged a young woman of sixteen or seventeen Summers. With determination she marched upon a piccolo in the back of the place, inserted a nickel. Abruptly a band blared forth, in the Tommy Dorsey manner, and then a voice appeared--the mincing, swinging voice of a throaty female, announcing that she had at last found that yellow basket the absence of which so upset the country last Summer. The young woman listened, swayed, broke into the strange contortions of a jitterbug which goes by the name of dancing these days. In front the hymn singer was still going strong.

Almost simultaneously both the singers ended. The young woman went back to her booth, a little flushed, smiling. And on the radio a hillbilly band began to pick out a hymn--maybe that one about being ready for the train, maybe another--on Hawaiian guitars...


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