The Charlotte News

Friday, August 4, 1939


Site Ed. Note: As to who in the world, as referenced in "Seventh Day", S. Chester Nixon was, we couldn't tell you. Maybe some local oracle. Maybe the City Attorney. When we try to run the name in a search engine, we only get--well, you know who we get. It's either him or Chester A. Arthur. You remember him, who succeeded Garfield--not the cat, silly.

At least, neither Matt Dillon nor Douglas Dillon came up, though Treasury is a very interesting office to follow.

So much for the power of the internet in those googols.

We told you--we have freedom from our chief editor this week to write as we please and we shall do so as our editor instructs. So save all your cards and letters--and rocks and brickbats and so on and so forth.

Ms. Huneycutt makes a proper and articulate point, well nigh perspicacious to a tee, we'd say. So we include it--for all the Old Johns, Charlies, Sams or Bills out there, whether in need of a library or not.

Mr. Knox, not Frank, fresh from his prison cell, seems to have learned some nice wisdom, too, which is sometimes wont to happen from such tenures, and he not having been afraid to impart it, we include it for posterity.

And please don't be suggesting that Cash played too ruefully with his literary allusions in the title of "Flesh Cries Out"--that it being an oblique reference to Merchant of Venice, then naturally Cash must have been, at least subconsciously, analyzing the Freudian slippages of this savant's obviously loose type...

Read first, please.

Starting with "Not So Silly". (Remembering, too, there being more to the picture than the eye a' first meeteth, though the foregoing editorial is not on the war, the photographs in Life six years hence, both at the liberation of the camps and in the streets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is a collective human cry abounding in the world at such times, from the very grand consciousness of humanity itself, only awaiting the pen and key-tapping of one articulate man or woman to take it down and give it voice for others to reach a heightened state of awareness and thereby congregate around conscience, that which we all know, despite rationalizations to the contrary at times, is the moral good within the universal truth: Thou shalt not kill.)

The Big Lie, after all, did work with Hitler--for a time, anyway.

Again, we do not like furthering old propaganda of this mocker of Meistersingers, but here, for your edification, so that you will remember always with precision for what to look and listen when they raise their unisoned "Tomorrow Belongs to Us" themes and faux naïf chansons de geste, (no aspersion meant to the Free French), it is:

...The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Its notions are never partly this and partly that. English propaganda especially understood this in a marvellous way and put what they understood into practice. They allowed no half-measures which might have given rise to some doubt.

Proof of how brilliantly they understood that the feeling of the masses is something primitive was shown in their policy of publishing tales of horror and outrages which fitted in with the real horrors of the time, thereby cleverly and ruthlessly preparing the ground for moral solidarity at the front, even in times of great defeats. Further, the way in which they pilloried the German enemy as solely responsible for the war--which was a brutal and absolute falsehood--and the way in which they proclaimed his guilt was excellently calculated to reach the masses, realizing that these are always extremist in their feelings. And thus it was that this atrocious lie was positively believed.

The effectiveness of this kind of propaganda is well illustrated by the fact that after four-and-a-half years, not only was the enemy still carrying on his propagandist work, but it was already undermining the stamina of our people at home.

That our propaganda did not achieve similar results is not to be wondered at, because it had the germs of inefficiency lodged in its very being by reason of its ambiguity. And because of the very nature of its content one could not expect it to make the necessary impression on the masses. Only our feckless 'statesmen' could have imagined that on pacifists slops of such a kind the enthusiasm could be nourished which is necessary to enkindle that spirit which leads men to die for their country.

And so this product of ours was not only worthless but detrimental.

No matter what an amount of talent employed in the organization of propaganda, it will have no result if due account is not taken of these fundamental principles. Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success.--Mein Kampf, (also known as "My Struggle Against Reality"), Vol. I, Chap. 6, by Herr Deil.

Thus, in other words, persistent, unrelenting, simplicity, mediocrity, banality: no question, no ambiguity, no hint of appealing to higher thought or rationality, certainly no allowance for independence of speech or thought or opinion, nor any emotion save that which is expressed in terms of the patriotic. There you have it, precisely. Thus, at this time, his tales of Polish atrocities to justify what he would next do.

Carelessness Closed The County Library

Dear Sir:

I'm just an old country woman, pushing 40, and I'd give my two remaining teeth if I could figure out some way to reopen that sealed treasure-house, the library. But who am I to delve into higher finances, when feeding, clothing and educating five children has me gasping?

P. D. C. locked those doors. The P stands for Pure, the C for Carelessness, and you can write your own ticket for the D, but mine's a four-letter word ending in N. We thought the other fellow would vote. He thought we'd do it, so the fiasco occurred. We didn't mind a tax at all. Just neglected to cast our ballots, so the old library with an "Et tu, Brute" went down in defeat.

Reminds me of Old John. Bet the same thing has happened to you, though his name may have been Charlie, Sam, or Bill. Well, anyhow, we heard Old John was ailing. Meant to send some flowers, drop around to see him, but things kept cropping up and we didn't get around to it. Then one day we picked up the evening paper and found out Old John was dead.

Strange how memories came flooding back. The times we'd had together. How we always secured advice and information from him. How he made us see in imagination far places we might never hope to see in reality. The hours he had made delightful, which might have been dull and tedious. Then in his time of need, we let him down. Too late to do anything for our old friend.

But it isn't too late to do something for our old friend, the library. Talk up another election. I'll bet those aforesaid teeth against a brand new set of false ones that we'll slap the ballots down so fast and furiously that the locks will be automatically jarred off.

Mrs. C. H. Huneycutt

5122 Monroe Road

P.S.--Heck! Why didn't I write this letter last week? With no competition I could have pocketed that three bucks. Ah, woe is me! Charge that, too, to P. D. C.

He Sees Modern Preachers As Venal

Dear Sir:

If I were asked to give a title for my letter, I would name it "The Modern Preacher."

Truly, our Charlotte ranks high in practically every fundamental way, when compared with other cities and towns in the Carolinas. Sad but true, our city has a high rank with modern preachers. When I say modern preachers, I mean the preachers who are more scientific than godly. I mean the preachers who will preach to suit the members of the congregation that are better financially situated than others.

For example, if the "big shots" of their churches engage themselves in the "Butter and Eggs" racket, then the preachers will preach that "it's all right to play a little Butter and Eggs." If the same class of members are in league with the bootleggers, then they say, "it's all right to take a few shots."

A modern preacher preaches to suit his high standing people and to obtain money. The spiritual preacher preaches to suit God and win souls.

Herbert P. Knox.

516 South Alexander Street

P.S.: Please note that I am a recent prison convert from a Georgia prison.

The Flesh Cries Out

Solons Stop Fighting And Listen For The Bell

It's a little late in this season of Congress to talk about economy. The damage, coming to how many billions nobody yet knows has already been done. Moreover, part of the responsibility for this extravagance traces to Congress exclusively, which took the bit in its teeth and ran away with the farm relief appropriation.

And as for any sign that Congress has changed its nature, which is essentially greedy, or that it has resolved to come off the spending spree and return to the ancient principles of frugality and orthodox fiscal practices, that does not appear.

It's simply that the boys are weary. They want to go home. For seven solid months they have stayed on the job, and now they feel entitled to a vacation, even as you and we.

And it is that weariness which engenders the defiance, born of exhaustion, to say nothing doing to the Great White Chief. A plague on him! A plague on Tommy Corcoran and Benny Cohen, on Eccles and Ickes, on Henry Wallace and Bob Wagner! A plague plate on everybody! We want to go home!

Not So Silly

Hitler Applies A Rule Proved By Practice

Adolf Hitler's insistence on manufacturing "legal" grievances might seem at first glance to be a little silly. For instance, that uproar about Poland's breaking the terms of the Danzig customs union in banning the importation of herring and margarine allegedly produced in the "free city." The terms of that union specifically provide that Poland shall have the right to inspect the processing of Danzig products, to make sure they do come from there. The Danzig Nazis have now refused that right, and the Poles very justly suspect that there is a reason--that the margarine is actually coming from Germany and that the herring were caught by German fishermen, not Danzigers. What the thing seems to really come to is a high-handed demand that Poland must allow German goods to enter its borders duty-free.

But that is so plain that nobody will have any doubt about it? And Mr. Hitler is merely wasting his time in trying to palm off such inventions on the world? Not so, however. He himself lays down in "Mein Kampf" the rule that a brazen falsehood is easily made believable by constant reiteration. And that he is right is pretty well borne out by the evidence. For there are plenty of people, some of them of great rank, who are still ready to believe, in the teeth of the record, that the case of Danzig is really only one of "self-determination" and that Hitler is probably telling the truth when he says he doesn't want to choke Poland to death--exactly what he once said about Czechoslovakia.

Two-Way Trap

But It May Not Catch Anything In The End

Congress, it appears, may have done more in the Hatch Bill than it intended to do. Yesterday Frank Murphy intimated to reporters that it is quite probable that the thing applies to state officials who use Federal funds. That, he said, was not yet a formal opinion, but there was language in the bill which seems to mean as much.

And if so--why, that, masters, includes almost every state agency in sight. And as Murphy himself pointed out, it specifically includes the state highway boards and commissions.

If that is true, then there is going to be a great deal of consternation in the various State machines. For the spending agencies which use Federal funds, with their large bodies of employees, are, of course, the mainstay of those machines. And particularly in the state highway boards, which almost everywhere represent the single most important hunk of patronage--and so of votes and contributions to the campaign chest, under a little discrete pressure.

It would be nicely ironic, and more than fair. The Hatch Bill was indubitably designed to hamstring the Federal executive machine, and return its patronage and power to the state machines. And if Congress got caught in its own trap, the sight would be comforting.

But we are not too hopeful that either the executive machine or the state machines will be cleaned up by this bill. The first axiom of practical politicians is that there are more ways of skinning a cat than one--or a dozen. And, as old experience has shown, there is a whale of a lot of difference in this country between passing a bill designed to fumigate politics than actually getting it fumigated.

Seventh Day

Thou May Sell Watermelons But May Not Press Pants

According to Lawyer Basil Boyd, the City Attorney who drew up the Blue Laws, their principal intent was to prohibit Sunday movies, baseball games and the operation of pool parlors. In short, to put a crimp in the pleasuring of the populace.

So the attorney argued in City Police Court in defense of clients alleged to have been selling watermelons on the Sabbath. They got off.

Yesterday in the same court was heard the cases of two pressing club proprietors. They were convicted of pressing pants on Sunday in violation of the clause prohibiting the operation of any regular business except a variety of businesses for which specific exception is made, and they were handed suspended sentences and costs.

But obviously it is no great fun either to press pants or to have them pressed, and so this offense does not come within the purview of the ordinance. On the other hand, the sale of watermelons is plainly tainted with pleasure for the vendee, and indubitably there will be one or two left over at the end of the day with which the vendors and family may pleasure themselves.

The two decisions are backward. They don't make sense. We cannot find their common denominator. In fact, we give up and refer the whole thing to Mr. S. Chester Nixon, to see what he can make of it.


He Made All The Sounds Usual In Such Cases

On the assumption that if a candidate ever came right out and said, "Sure, I ache and yearn to be President," the solar system would be apt to blow up, that system was safe enough yesterday. Mr. Taft made all accustomed pompous noises. The job of the next President, he said, was going to be a most unpleasant one, and as for himself he was doing all right as a Senator. Though, of course, if duty called--.

The job is going to be unpleasant, well enough. Indeed, Mr. Taft rather underestimated than overestimated it. The President who intends to reduce expenditures anywhere to hack off any part of the New Deal is going to be in for trouble from every group which has acquired vested interest in it, just as the Ohio Senator said. The farmers are going to be all for throwing people off relief, slashing off handouts to business, to city housing, etc. But they are going to want, not smaller farm benefits but greater ones--and will have blood in the eye for the man who dares deny 'em. And so mutatis mutandis with Labor, with those business men who have benefited by Governmental handouts, and so on. Practically everybody, you see, is in favor of economy--only, each man thinks it ought to pass over the particular trough at which he himself feeds.

But in addition to all these vested interests which a President will have to face, he is also going to have to face those of the boys who want to try to go back to 1929 and good old Mr. Hoover. Steering a rational course among all these is going to make the feat of Jason in steering through the Symplegades, the rocks that obdurately opened and clapped together, look like a sinecure.

Still, it is plain that Mr. Taft does hope to tackle the job. The dream of being first tends to make a man a little dizzy like that. But, of course, it would never do to confess to the public that he thinks he could turn the magic trick--anyhow, would like to be king for a while.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News--Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.