The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 27, 1939


Site Ed. Note: ...Maybe, three hundred and ten million, tops, sir. And in any theater, hot or cold.

War is Hell, as they say.

As an aside, "Hellzapoppin", after it became a moompicter, was playing in the theaters when Cash died on July 1, 1941.

And just why the printer thought The Man Come to Dinner, we don't know--unless, maybe, they were CIO.

In "Discovery", we find that the robot has nothing on the singer peering through the good glass at Bessop's Castle.

In the end, you know, the walrus was pall.

And, though attributed to Bosch because of its center portion's resemblance to the center portion of his "Hell", the above etching is nevertheless signed "Bruegel". Well, Shakespeare, by any other name, is de Vere, after all, or so some say to this day. Thus, we decline explanation for the variance. It is of no moment to us anyway, as the point we are making by its presentation presently does not vary by the artist's name.


Who Uses A Labor Union To Impose His Notions

It is a quaint little irony that one of America's full-fledged censors should come from the ranks of organized labor. Labor, being theoretically, at least, the underdog, might be supposed to be in favor of freedom of expression on all occasions, by way of keeping the record straight when its own rights are menaced or alleged to be menaced.

But such airy considerations do not at all bother Mr. James C. Petrillo, president of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, an AFL union.

Two shows had come to Chicago, George White's Scandals and George Kaufman's "The Man Who Come To Dinner"--a third "Hellzapoppin," was coming. And all three have lines in which John L. Lewis, and his CIO come in for attention.

Their total effect, indeed, might be supposed to make Mr. Lewis out a more or less comic figure. But that consideration also did not bother Mr. Petrillo. Any mention of Lewis or his union was propaganda which might conceivably lead some AFL innocent astray. Mr. Petrillo simply wasn't going to have old Boss Lewis mentioned if he could help it, and he could help it. Under threat of withdrawing his musicians from the shows, and so destroying them, he got the offending references deleted from all the scripts.

Only one thing brightens up the performance a little. Mr. Sam Gerson, manager of one of the theaters involved, observed that whereas the lines in the Kaufman play used to read, "Well, I guess John Lewis won't like that," they'll now read, "Well, I guess Mr. Petrillo won't like that."

Mr. Petrillo does not seem to have laughed.


The Reds Find Out That Lord Gort Knew His Onions

The Red armies, with cards falling against them, know the answer.

They knew all along, it appears, that the Finns were tough babies, and that if you were smart you didn't expect to conquer them precisely with the ease that the Nazis expected to run over our astonishing French cousins.

Mr. Stalin inevitably must be a sad man. He set out to prove to the Western world that the Russian armies were just as tough as the West feared they were. But now those armies are in flight before the Finns as completely as they were once in flight before the Frenchmen and the Germans that Napoleon carried along with him on his march to Moscow. And with no such comforting prospect as that which lay in front of Napoleon as he burned Moscow. The snows this time fight against Russia.

Truth is that Mr. Stalin's armies are hams at war. And that truth is so evident that the great Western powers are now smiling openly in his face. England and France are going to send Finland all their aid they can spare, and that is a good deal, seeing that Mr. Hitler can't make up his mind really to get tough on the Western Front.

Lord Gort, the English commander, remarked when this war started that, while machines were all very well, the thing which still counted was the men behind the guns. Lord Stalin and his henchmen have found that out.

Site Ed. Note: As Chief of the Imperial Staff, Gort advocated by 1938 a British policy of continental defense of France and the Low Countries against German attack; when challenged as to the unlimited warfare such a defensive effort might provoke, he cited Kitchener for his proposition that "no great country can wage a little war".

Hitler, of course, took the course of gathering his materiel first off of the Eastern Front, and via the routes afforded thereby, before heading to the Low Countries and France in spring, 1940 with a full tank.

Then, there was Dunkerque. It would, indeed, be no little war.

Perhaps, Gort knew his ronyons, too.

In any event, we venture boldly to say that the Driver steered by the Bog onion, while the wise men of the East steered by the Dog onion.

And all the while, in those days, Huey Long had yet even to be born.

What the Niyonians needed, however, given what occurred later, the requisite, as they said, of the lancet, was instead merely a squill.

New Fighter

The Germans Improve On The Older Messerschmitt Planes

The Messerschmitt fighting plane has figured largely in the news dispatches since the war began. In September, it was supposed to be the fastest battler in the world. However, disinterested American observers have insisted all along that its speed records had been set up with doctored gasoline. And the reports we have had from the Western Front have indicated that the plane was in fact inferior to such ships as the American Curtis because of its lack of maneuverability.

Apparently the Germans themselves had concurred in that judgment. For now the British, after their attacks on the German naval bases, report that they have encountered a new Messerschmitt.

This one has two motors, whereas the older model had only one. It is [indiscernible word] capable of a speed of 336 miles an hour. And in addition it has machine guns [indiscernible words] capable of a range of a thousand yards.

The range of the [indiscernible word] guns in the British planes is only about 300 yards.

The British claim that one of their bombers accounted for five of the ships in recent actions. But perhaps the Germans have not been altogether lying in their assertions that they had all the best of these battles. Speed is far from being the whole story in air combat. Nevertheless, when it is combined with maneuverability, it is decisive.


Mr. Stalin Flounders Before His Midget Opponent

The book in which the story is written is frowned on in the land in which Lenin lies enshrined as a god, but Joseph Stalin was in his youth, in addition to being a cutthroat, a student of divinity. And so it is not improbable that he has some acquaintance with the story of David and Goliath--which should furnish him a parallel in his reflections these days.

He is reported to have called up 300,000 of his crack troops for service on the Finnish front, and to have taken good care to put them under the command of the Russian generals most friendly to himself. And well he may.

It is unnecessary to suppose, indeed, that Finland by herself can defeat him. But she may well be his undoing just the same. The Lacedemonians at Thermopylae did not defeat the hosts of the Persian King either, but they nerved all Greece to rise to do it.

And all the men of Israel, when
They saw the man, fled from him
And were sore afraid.

And so it was in Europe until the Finnish war began. England and France cowered before the threat of this man the staff of whose spear...

... was like a weaver's beam;
and his spear's head weighed six
hundred shekels of iron; and one
bearing a shield went before him.

And Lord Mussolini plainly pondered whether or not it were best to go along with the Nazi-Red gang, unpalatable though that might be to the prejudices of his people.

But the prestige of Stalin's arms is already weakened, almost beyond repair. Sweden and Norway are being nerved to send "volunteers" and cash to the aid of the Finns. England and France grow careless of his threat--send munitions and planes. And a long war fought under the cloud of an early ignominious defeat is probably something the Stalin regime cannot survive.

So David prevailed over the Philistine
with a sling and with a stone,
and smote the Philistine, and slew
him; but there was no sword in the
hand of David.


England Has The Right To Claim This Leadership

The broadcast of King George VI to the effect that his people are "prepared to sacrifice everything in order that freedom of the spirit may be saved to the world" may sound slightly mawkish. And still, it is in the great tradition of England.

In the United States we are inclined to assume that the notion of constitutional liberty arose with ourselves. But actually, of course, the thing was invented in England. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were both ideas which were first laid down in John Milton's "Aregopitica" [sic] [and] in John Stuart Mill's "Liberty." And before that there was Magna Charta. The latter, indeed, mainly guaranteed the rights of the nobles, to the exclusion of the commons.

The English ruling classes are among the most undemocratic in the world. Yet the tradition of liberty has made its home in England as nowhere save perhaps in the United States. France, as a matter of fact, is probably more democratic than either England or the United States. But despite the slogan, "liberté, egalité, fraternité," freedom, as such, has never got established in the Republic as it has existed in England for two centuries.

Site Ed. Note: John Milton, perhaps in a sense, speaking of the other aspect which freedom gives, pensive per taps, also wrote this.

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