The Charlotte News

Monday, October 10, 1938


Site Ed. Note: As you may have noticed from time to time, we rather enjoy the musical word. Much can be learned out of the old dictionary, be it Oxford's or Webster's or the American Heritage or Treasury of Words (or whatever that one was called we used to have in elementary school away back there when the Greeks were getting ready to invade Troy and General Taylor was preparing to fight at Buena Vista or the crucifers of Salem were convening their cruciatory inquests to satiate their pre-pardoned desire for fire in the petri dish).

But, blessed us be a'times with the spark of hieromancy and not the least bit ourselves hierophobic, and having also studied the Eleusinian fables of Demeter, both directly and through Aristophanes, we have until this day never happed upon this one which Cash uses in "Boys Go Too Far", mildly slapping with the proverbial rule the wrists of the Harvardians who got a bit carried away, crimsonly, with the Legionnaires, that is, epoptic hierophancy.

So if you honestly know what that means without looking it up in one of the aforesaid sources, or even what it is on earth we just said ourselves without likewise consulting the source of all such mystery, you are probably ahead of where we were behind before we did so; in fact you are likely Harvardian or at least crimson. We hope you catch up therefore to where we were behind before you found out before we did what it meant.

And speaking of the Bi-Centennial year, we suppose we know now, after reading "Let 'Em Eat...", that had Cash lived to be 76 how he might well have voted in that fateful year. It was an interesting year to be sure, as it followed the end of the "long national nightmare", pardon us, national incubus, and as we began laughing ourselves rather silly on Saturday nights lively come 11:30.

We also attended that year ourselves a rather well-known trial out in San Francisco. But as that had not yet occurred in 1938, we shall wait until another more appropriate day to comment upon it. Suffice to say for now, that outside the court there was a bit of a circus parade. And we seen it. And it was good.

Inside, after waiting in line to get in from 4:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., or longer, just to get 15 minutes in the gallery, and pass on out, was, you might suggest, a somewhat foolhardy waste of time. But not really.

And there is nothing like sitting on the floor of a crammed hallway and watching people walk by you who appear before you, and have since you were a wee tot, on the nightly news, nationally.

It was something.

We shall mention more of that later.

But peanuts are fun.

And we enjoy them ourselves sometimes.

And we enjoyed 1976 and even '77, '78 and '79.

It was a wild and crazy time.

As for 1980, well, you can keep it.

We like jellybeans, too, but they are too sweet and rot your teeth.

Peanuts don't.

Pineapples don't either. But, once opened, they must be refrigerated or they go sour.

Peanuts don't do that either.

Ford has a better idea. But W.I.N. was not one of them. So Chevy won that year.

We shall refrain from discussing the rest for fear we might offend the hierophants; thus to remain acroamatic.

But, we can't refrain from observing that perhaps one of the problems with the elementary school named below was just that, its name. It might have been easier to fix its problems had it simply changed to Coolidge, though Hoover wouldn't have worked either. Nor, for that matter, Mill House.


A Masterly Move

The most horrendous thing with which a public high school may meet is to be dropped from the accredited list. The accredited list is a device by which educational associations maintain certain standards, mostly of teacher salaries and number of teachers, and what happens if the standards are not maintained is that graduates of such high schools cannot enter college without standing an examination.

It has always seemed to us (1) a little unfair to place the onus for underpaid or overworked teachers on the pupils, and (2) a trifling accommodation to dispense with examinations for those pupils from the accredited schools who, assumably, could pass them in a walk. But never mind that now. Consider instead the ingenious manner in which the local school authorities, threatened with the dropping of Harding High from the accredited list because it had no full-time librarian, resolved these difficulties and preserved Harding High's status. They telescoped four second grades into three and converted the freed teacher into a librarian. And everything is hotsy-totsy now.

High Cost of Campaigning

Walter George has spent $49,496 in beating the New Deal and old Gene Talmadge in Georgia, according to his report on campaign expenditures. Of that $3,365 came out of his own pocket, and the rest was contributed by "friends"." Governor Rivers of the same state reported spending $37,777.66 to secure renomination to his post. And in Maryland, Millard Tydings reports having spent more than $50,000, mainly contributed by "friends" in beating the New Deal candidate for his Senatorial seat. What the New Deal candidates themselves spent does not yet appear, but it was probably as much as they could raise--and they undoubtedly could raise plenty.

There is nothing unusual about any of this, of course. It is the way the game of politics is played everywhere in the country. But it is nonetheless something which is incompatible with either democracy or clean government. It means the candidate must either be wealthy in his own right or that he must secure funds from others who are wealthy. And such friends do not always contribute simply out of overwhelming affection for the candidate. Moreover, the great part of these funds are inevitably handled by ward-heelers, with the result that, whatever the candidate himself intends, they often go, among other things, for the outright buying of votes or the rigging of election frauds.

Boys Go Too Far

When Harvard men put on handlebar moustaches to keep up with the pretties at Radcliffe who are wearing hoop skirts, nearly everybody grins. When Harvard men take Cambridge after a football game people continue to grin, save for an occasional sourpuss caught in the jam. Even when Harvard men line up in picket lines and get their heads cracked, or get into fights with the cops or roadhouse keepers, the majority keeps on grinning. After all, Harvard has its traditions, and not all of them run to the broad A or the epoptic hierophancy of Professor Irving Babbitt. And boys the world over will be boys.

But when the Harvard men go out and deliberately attempt to break up an American Legion parade by violence--well, we refuse to take it too seriously, and still it hath not a pleasant ring. These Harvard men have a perfect right to dislike the American Legion, if they choose. Ourselves, we often don't like the shenanigans, such as those at Jersey City, in which some Legionnaires indulged; for these shenanigans strike at the very basis of that Americanism which the Legion professes to be out to protect. But the American Legion has exactly equal rights "peacefully to assemble" with Democrats, Republicans, Baptists, Catholics, Harvard men, and Communists. And when Harvard men attempt to interfere with that right, they are guilty of exactly the same thing the Legionnaires were guilty of at Jersey City. Furthermore, the crime is compounded in their case by the fact that they belong to the most highly privileged and presumably the most intelligent of American groups.

Such Harvard men deserve the works, which the Harvard authorities promise to visit upon them if they can lay hands on them. We hope they lay hands on them.

Hitler's Peace

Adolf Hitler yesterday served notice, in effect, that if there is peace it will continue to exist purely on conditions that he gets what he wants at every step. Mr. Chamberlain's whole scheme of "pacification" was slapped contemptuously in the face with the declaration that Mussolini is "the only real friend we possess," and with the warning that "the internal construction" of England and France make it possible for "friends of peace" like Chamberlain and Daladier to be thrown out of power in a day, to be replaced by "a Duff Cooper or Eden or Churchill." The last is equivalent to saying that the only English and French governments he would really trust in an agreement would be governments which had themselves been pro-Nazified.

It is interesting nonetheless, to observe that even Hitler feels it necessary continually to assure his people that he really craves peace and that the only reason he would go to war would be to "protect" Germany. One of the things the late crisis proved conclusively is that the German people themselves, for all their "military spirit," did not really want modern war. And with very good reason. It has been Germany's habit since 1870 to fight her wars on other people's territory. But if war came with France and England now, Germany, as every sensible German knows, would probably get a bitter dose of her own medicine. Instead of enjoying, with Italy and Japan, an exclusive franchise to murder babies abroad, she would have to pay for bombing planes over Paris and London with bombing planes over Berlin.

The threat of such a war might be the best real guarantee of peace in Europe, if only the minds of all Germans were not so wholly at the mercy of Hitler's propaganda machine.

Let 'Em Eat Peanuts

Naturally there are too many peanuts, which depresses the price to farmers, and compels the Government to step in and buy peanuts to be diverted to oil and bi-products. Too many peanuts there have been for the past several years, and too many peanuts there will be for years to come. Naturally, we say. For if ever a product cried for exploiting, it is peanuts.

How many times a week, now, or a month or a year, do you think about peanuts? We thought so. People just don't sit up thinking about peanuts. But, ah! Let a hawker come around crying, "Peanuts! Fresh peanuts!" And immediately everybody's mouth begins to water. Five-cent pieces appear, the noise of much cracking fills the air, and hulls and skin and elusive goobers litter the floor in little piles.

A funny thing about peanuts is that once you start on a bag, you can't stop until you finish it. One peanut leads straight on to another. The first peanut is like the first olive, or the first kiss. But the last peanut in the bag is as good as the first. That can't be said about olives.

There is a great inarticulate, unsuspected mass yearning for peanuts--peanuts in the flesh, so to speak--and all that the Government or the peanut growers need to do is to introduce this demand to the over-supply and it would munch its way through in jig time. The popcorn people, with their automatic vending machines, have got the idea, but for peanuts you still have to go to the circus or the fair or make a special trip. The country must be made peanut conscious.


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