The Charlotte News
Saturday, June 11, 1938
Site Ed. Note: We include the following editorial from the page of this date, relevant to Cash's editorial of June 2, "The Wrong Villain". Whether you might agree with the approach to human understanding employed by Freud or not, his was certainly not subject to being characterized as "a pornographic Jewish specialty" save by some pornographic Zwinish speciosities.
Salute to One Exiled
By Heywood Broun
The most famous man in Austria has left Vienna and entered into exile. At the age of 82 Dr. Sigmund Freud tears up his roots, but he is taking with him his notes and manuscripts so that he may go on with his work. The Nazi press did not deign to mention his name in reporting his departure, but merely spoke of his school of therapy as "A Pornographic Jewish Specialty."
It is said that London is his destination, and that later he may come to New York. There is no civilized country where Freud will be forlorn, for he is truly a citizen of the world.
It is quite true that medical men still quarrel as to the lasting value of his theories. Possibly the technique he devised is on the wane or will survive only in modified form. Still it seems to me that psychiatrists who reject his teachings at the same time take on some of his phrases and borrow, unconsciously if you like, a little of his approach.
THE LAY PUBLIC HAS MADE HIM ITS OWN
Some of these phrases which were once considered a kind of jargon now are commonplace in the American language. Leaving the medical contribution of Freud out of the picture, his philosophy has touched all writing men and women, boxers and baseball players, advertising copy writers and a few wrestlers.
It is quite possible that Dr. Freud himself may be both puzzled and perturbed by the fact that while he wrote for doctors, his most fervent acceptance has been at the hands of the lay public. And most of those whose way of thought and habit of speech have been affected by the great physician have never read a line he wrote and never will. Topsy (I refer to Little Eva's friend) had a somewhat similar experience. As I remember, both her genesis and development were by word of mouth.
EVEN BASEBALL BOSSES USE HIS NOTIONS
Within the month I was talking to a big league baseball manager, and inquired with solicitude just what was wrong with his shortstop. The manager shifted his tobacco before he answered, "There's just one thing wrong with him. He ought to be the greatest infielder in the game. He can hit and throw, and go to his right or left. The only trouble is that he's got an inferiority complex."
I doubt gravely whether the manager had any knowledge of the source of his inspiration. When Bucky Harris was first managing the Senators a good many seasons back he assured me that when one of the pitchers began to go sour he always tried to find out whether the player's home life was pleasant, and just what kind of trouble he was having with his wife. Some will say that such considerations were always part of the common sense, and that Freud did no more than invent a terminology and some high-falutin' theories. But as far as baseball managers go that isn't true, and I assert that a little man in Vienna who didn't know the difference between a base hit and a fielder's choice wrote finis to the school of McGraw and made the Vitts, McKechnics and Cochranes possible.
AND THE NAZIS CAN'T DESTROY THEM BY FIRE
This, like many of the researches of Freud himself, may not be susceptible to laboratory proof, but verse and chapter can be cited to demonstrate that the modern novel, and to an even greater extent, the modern biography stem directly from the consulting room of the exile.
The Nazis burned the books of Dr. Sigmund Freud in Germany back he May, 1933, and a man who was present told me it was queer to see what long shadows were cast by the dancing flames. The fire could not consume the ideas. They spread out to the world.
There are those who find the concepts of Freud degrading. To me they seem to constitute an eagerness for that deepened comprehension which is the death of prejudice. And when a man of 82 takes up his notes and papers and leaves his home for a free land in which to go on with his work, it seems to me that in his own person that man improves the integrity of his philosophy.
And the following piece re-printed on this date's page:
June 11, 1863
We are informed by a gentleman who arrived last night who had a conversation with an officer on the train yesterday direct from Vicksburg, which place he left a few days ago, that General Johnson had succeeded in crossing the Big Black and that, by a ruse in which he deceived the Federals who concentrated their forces in expectation of an immediate attack from him succeeded in reinforcing the garrison at Vicksburg with a force under General W. M. T. Walker. Four Federal generals are known to be killed, among them General Sherman.
One would have to suppose from that piece that it is best not always to suppose as true that which one reads in the newspaper, especially one which is doctrinaire or committed to some cause other than seeking truth.
Sue and Be Sued
Let's see if we understand this thing. Greenwood County, South Carolina, desired a municipal power plant at Buzzard Roost. The Duke Power Company desired to preserve its constitutional rights in the matter and went to court. The new plant waited upon the court to say what the law said. The law said go ahead. Therefore the County sues the company for $850,000 for taking up time in the courts.
Greenwood sues Duke for suing. It must have grounds for the suit, else it wouldn't sue. It is significant. If Greenwood can sue Duke for suing, then probably Duke can sue Greenwood for suing for suing. And if Duke can sue Greenwood for suing for suing, then without a doubt Greenwood can sue Duke for suing for suing for suing. And, forsooth, there would be other suits, too. The Buzzard Roost business becomes clearer and clearer, if not, to carry it one step further, clearer and clearer and clearer.
Site Ed. Note: A brawla-brawla soo-it, or so it suits.
Mussolini stooge newspaper, Il Popolo d'Italia, angry at Cordell Hull's speech in Nashville calling on the fascist nations to humanize warfare and quit murdering women and babies from the air, has what it apparently believes is a killing answer. Let the United States, it says, first learne to protect its own children before attempting to teach other countries--the reference obviously being to our kidnapers.
Well, we do, alas, have our kidnapers and killers of babies. But there is one difference Il Popolo overlooked. We brand the killing of even one baby as damnable, the killer as a vicious criminal. We hunt him as we would hunt a mad dog, and when we catch him we are pretty likely to execute him. But in Italy--as in all fascist nations--the killer of a hundred or a thousand babies is called a soldier-hero, his deeds are proclaimed as glorious. And far from being hunted and executed as a criminal, he is carried in triumph, has medals pinned on his chest, and is publicly embraced and kissed by Mussolini.
Paging Mr. Taylor
Mr. Cutlar Moore speaks with a certain asperity. Mr. Moore is, as you know, the ABC chairman who advised the Charlotte police that a Charlotte bootlegger giving the name of Mr. Robert Taylor had bought 33,000 pints of whisky in Dorsey, Md., in April. Our cops have told us several times that there is no bootlegger here named Robert Taylor, that the fellow is obviously a wag using the name of Colossal-land's gift to little girls of forty and upward, and that they can identify him. But now comes Mr. Moore to report that in May Mr. Taylor went right on buying relief for Charlotte's thirst--this time in Peoria, Ill.--and to say pointedly that he thinks it ought to be easy to identify him if somebody really wanted to.
"I gave the officers the numbers of his two trucks and also the numbers of the revenue stamps he used.... We have a pretty good idea who he is ourselves."
But maybe Mr. Moore is unfair. Ourselves, we can guess that the failure of the cops to run in this man, whose real name you can hear from every third man on our streets, is due simply to the fact that between knowing that he sells great quantities of liquor and proving it in court, is a whale of a difference. But still, it is worth trying, for Mr. Taylor is getting away with murder. Tell you what let's do. Let's not bother about the little colored boys swimming in creeks inside the city limits or Chinamen betting pennies on mah jong until we have Mr. Taylor behind the bars--or at least out on bond.
H'ist a Tune
A most heartening interlude in the times is a notice that 3,000 persons are expected to attend a singing convention in Lexington Sunday afternoon. There will be more than twenty quartets there, male, female and mixed; choral groups from as far as Wytheville, Va., on the west and Moncure on the east. It is a state-wide meeting.
Everybody says that what America needs is a return to the simplicities. The theory is that civilization has progressed so rapidly, both onward and 'round and 'round, that it is about to engulf the civilizers. The wheels of civilization revolve fast and they also rotate. They have circular and centrifugal motion: they revolve while in reverse: there are also sidewise motions. Man, caught in this, is like a terrified bug in a whirlwind: he doesn't know where he's going or where he will get off. The result: depression, recession, pump-priming, youth movements, communism, fascism, WPA and the other innovations.
The singing convention is only a sign, but it is a good one. What this country needs is also a return to the family ice cream party, with Mother mixing the mess, Father packing the freezer and the children taking turns at the handle, grinding away until at last the frozen cream is given to the light of the day, with the fight between the twins to see who licks the freezer blade. A few good neighborhood watermelon parties would be fine, a help to returning sanity. At the watermelon party the elders were in happy solemnity, with a patriarch cutting the melon: the happy slosh of eating, and Somebody's Beau running down a shrieking Somebody to wash her face in a luscious piece of melon. There's many an enduring marriage resulting from that; there are grandchildren now wondering what the Government will do for them who owe their very existence to a watermelon face-washing.
There are other simplicities which could well be revived to help man save himself from civilization. The railroads are missing a bet in not encouraging the population to go to the station and see No. 10 come in at 5 o'clock every afternoon. Where is No. 10 now, anyway?
In brief, brothers, sing a song, cut a watermelon, pop some corn together on a Winter's night, and you will feel better. Imagine a communist or a fascist sitting around a fireplace popping corn and laughing at Father's jokes! They simply couldn't be communists and fascists and do that at the same time. And besides, Father wouldn't let them in if they were.
Site Ed. Note: Popcorn, and peanuts, and watermelons, batting to clean-up the fodder's last swellin's, --we'll slake us out to the rawl-game, slake us out by the cawl. Never have ever seen more falling drips than late, always just 'nother a prating snake, so we'll...
So then the calkin fell and hit the turf beneath the cold steed by the engine's rounding as it picked up speed and the ground dusted down its hesitant freeze, breathing, breath by breath, with the rushed fall through the trees.
Watermelons, Wytheville, and No. 10 trains. Those'll do it every time-- Magic rhymes and stean scenes.
Symbol for a Candidate*
It develops that Dr. Thurman W. Arnold, who succeeded Robert Jackson as Assistant Attorney General in charge of trust-busting, does after all have Presidential ambitions--or at least ambitions to go up higher. As we recall it, he started out by poking fun at the suggestion that he might have his eye on the Presidency in taking a job that had got Mr. Jackson commonly mentioned for the post--the intimation being, we supposed at the time, that he thought the suggestion ridiculous.
But alas and alas for human frailty. Dr. Arnold has bought himself a new automobile. It is a square top "of ancient vintage," with high, spoked wheels, and those old-fashioned striped awnings--do you remember 'em? It cost $45. And--Dr. Arnold makes all of 9,000 smackers per annum. Which comes pretty close, we think, to being quod erat demonstrandum.
There may be places in the United States where it is still necessary to explain to some people what bees are buzzing in the bonnet of a man who makes as much as $9,000 a year and rides in a $45 automobile, though we doubt it. But, certainly, it is not necessary in our Tar Heel country which has had Bob Reynolds before us for six years.
Facing the Facts*
The Hornets Nest Post of the American Legion has adopted for its own the movement to provide of up-town comfort stations in this fair and friendly city. And that is a good thing, for the Legion is a numerous and a compact and a politically-influential organization, so that it may succeed where others have failed. We hope so, at any rate.
Meanwhile, in spite of the delicacy of the topic, it ought to be fully understood what we mean when we say comfort stations. The New Webster's is blunt on the point. A comfort station is a public toilet (U.S.). But our own understanding of the term goes further than that and further than those candid little French kiosks which tickled the doughboys so. We see a zestful place to which a shopper may repair between shops and compose and refresh herself. An up-town park it may be that we are thinking of rather than a series of business-like stations on every other corner. Besides, all corners are already occupied by filling stations, which have their rest rooms and in that respect are institutional in character.
But let's not allow a tendency to take cover behind euphemisms mislead us into campaigning for one thing when it's something else we want. Is it a comfort station (U.S.) or is it restful places the Legion is sponsoring? The second includes the first, but the first does not include the second, and therefore would be deficient unto our civic needs.
Site Ed. Note: Relevant to that which appeared on June 4, we received too late for the earlier deadline one more from our acquaintance in the Caribbean, this time unsolicited, leading us to believe he must have been tipped somers down the tracks, but no matter.
The attached note simply read: "Given that which you have imparted to me separately from this, and after it, yet imparted elsewhere, unknown to me, before it, too, if this one does not produce horripilance, nothing will, you bothersome frikkadel."
This one, he says, was written in latter September, 1991, "a haunting night", he insists, and, as before, before he ever saw anything of any of these pieces, including the March, 1939 article, the one linked from the piece of June 4; all matters, through great effort and expense on our part, we have been able to verify independently, without question, through the most reliable of documentation and sources of impeccable repute. We would not bother to re-print them for you otherwise.
The scene, he says, is set in the wee hours of October 1, 1939.
Suddenly, he awoke to a knock at the door. It was a far away knock, unlike any knocking he had ever heard from this point in his apartment. It appeared to echo loudly from the hallway. It was made the more shrill by the heavy plastered walls. The hall had an eerie quality by night; perhaps by deign of its faded-to-cream, white chipping paint and its broad open space, devoid of anything, save a couple of brass-plated sconces on the walls affording dim shadows which danced nightly in flight as the Showman's Petrouchka.
Wilbur looked about, feeling himself outside his normal state of consciousness. Too much wine, he thought. He looked at the fan twisting back and forth, back and forth through the swirling air around its cutting-blade, curling into itself, then reversing as he stared at it the longer.
The curtains blew up fiercely from the open window. It beckoned. He went. Looking into the night street of Charlotte, he saw nothing but pavement and a masked yellow halo of light provided by the streetlamp. There was no sound now, no knocking.
The lamp in his room by the bed was a short, stubby one with a silk-pleated shade. His sister had provided it when he moved from Shelby in '37. That was familiar and real. But he looked about to see all things familiar looking vague--quite unfamiliar. He thought to himself that he wished Mary were there instead of in Asheville. How comforting she could be to him at times like this one where the simple turned complex, the ordinary turned odd.
Nothing was happening in one plane. Wheels were churning up dust and mud and blood in another.
Suddenly, the knocking resumed, piercing his ears to the point of actual pain. The echoes again from the hall. He felt disoriented as he turned to see the door vibrating beneath someone's obviously insistent fist. The little Westclox Big Ben said 3:33 on its face. Everything still seemed basically normal. There were no Dali melting beds or clocks, Picasso angular, overtoned abstractions, or window frames arched in the Toledo surreal of El Greco. All was square and true and firm to the touch.
The knocking resumed, louder this time. No voice. Only knocking. Was this as something from Macbeth? Was the person the harbinger of some ancient childhood mocking injury caused and now come to pay him at Beelzebub's door, using as excuse for timing it now Wilbur's resisting further journey into the unaccountability of setting down ink on the Ancient Sins of his forebears?
Was this Poe, normal but abnormal?
Whatever the presentation, mockery or surreal or stupored presence, he felt himself inexorably drawn apodally, by flotation rather than footsteps toward the door. He had no means of motivating himself closer to the doorknob. It could be seen but not easily found.
He laid grasp on it finally and turned. Nothing occurred. He remembered the lock. Of course, the lock. He remained, fumbling, and finally managed to unhitch the latch. He opened the painted, paneled pinewood door and it creaked as always. But this instance brought with it some ominous quality worthy of Walpole's Castle of Otranto or some Mary Shelley-inspired monster movieola.
He then saw before him the strangest personage--at least the strangest he had ever glimpsed this side of Mason & Dixon.
He did not know the man. He was old, with a ruddy face, dressed like an old Confederate with a floppy country boy's hat and ragged denim pants, suspenders over a long-john top, a gristled beard and piercing, cold hazel eyes. He said nothing.
Wilbur finally managed words: "May I help you?"
The wan pallor of the man bespoke the death throes and the heavy, insistent, incessant breathing further corroborated the likelihood that this soldier of the ages had little time before the spadesman would begin his last dug-in trench. He seemed to try to utter something through his gaping mouth but could form no audible expression.
Wilbur glared at him, straining, disbelieving his senses. He did not have his spectacles and could see but a slightly fuzzy disfigure amid the gloom of the hallway. For some reason, almost desperate to engage the man's good nature, Wilbur then offered sociability, not his custom, certainly to a stranger such as this and at such an hour.
"Would you come in and speak with me awhile, sir? I am writing a book about you, I think, and I wish you to hear my thoughts on it."
The man said finally in grimy, dirt-soaked sorghum slur, "Baw, I be ninety-three and standing at my door is a damned-to-hell fat, bald Yankee. I seed him not for he seed not me; and in his brain my bay-net I shall p."
With that, the man lunged at Wilbur with a sharp piece of metal, produced seemingly out of the electric fan's breeze. Wilbur tried to grasp the jagged, pitted piece of steel and did. He caught a momentary glimpse of a deteriorated band around its distal end. A relic from the Civil War, maybe. Whatever it was, it disintegrated beneath his fingers; no sooner than the man in the darkened doorway had first spoken to him, he was gone as if into ether.
Wilbur stood looking up and down the hallway, with every shuffle of his socked feet making a slipping-squeak which bounced around the stretch of the walls. There was no one. No other sound, now. The fan still played its fly-humming, cadenced chorus from within the apartment.
Wilbur walked back inside, rubbing his forehead furiously as he always did when perplexed. He felt peculiar and weak. He caught a peripheral glimpse of himself in the old mirror bequeathed him by his great-grandmother who died in Charleston four days before Sumter. He saw blood on his face, lots of blood. The mirror was old and the image conveyed was broken. The silver plate of the backside near the perimeter in one corner had vanished; the wooden backing of the glass shown through the boundary line of the frame so as to complete the split image of his blood-soaked countenance with wood fibres sticking over the image of one eye. The crack in the mirror sliced right through the reflection of his throat: the idea thus formed by conjuration that he had received from this old apparent veteran his visa to Milton's Hell.
Wilbur looked more closely to the mirror and saw the blood now dripping in gulps from his face. He looked down to his feet and saw them drenched in red. Yet there was no pain. He stepped aside hoping that by the doing of it, the image wiped clean of the mirror would dismiss the moment's panic of seeing the book's inner recesses flowing everywhere.
He looked around and there was blood all over the apartment. The fan picked up some of it, splashed it in freakish patterns on the walls.
He spoke aloud, timidly, as if a student, hesitant to ask a question for fear the teacher would raucously mock him for stupidity at its folly.
"What in God's name has happened? I feel nothing. Yet I bleed. I am dying. What has happened? Has the brandy finally numbed my nerves even to the grossest stabs of a stranger's bayonet?"
He heard himself speak with strangely heightened awareness of his words coming back to him as if he quoted some unknown sort of stilted Elizabethan drama page--or perhaps, almost equally webbed in the sub-conscious, some Dixon decoupage of anachronistic, overly emotive, starbursting flourish with exclamations aplenty in tow.
He now turned his head once more to the side and saw nothing unusual in the mirror.
Where was the wound?
There was the blood still, but no apparent cut of the flesh from which it emanated. How could he still be standing and thinking and walking about so calmly?
Was he already dead, merely seeing himself as he is but actually was no longer?
He looked again in the mirror, getting right up on top of the dresser to which it was attached. At once, he shrieked with agony. He saw something about his neck which gave him to stop breathing. He started in abject terror, looking, looking ever more closely, ever more clearly into the mirror, to see something, to see what it was, who it was, which had him by the throat.
Suddenly there was knocking again.
Site Ed. Note: And one summer Tuesday evening, not unlike this one, in the same city where we write these words now, though in a different place within that city, we sat and listened from the tv to a speech, a very special speech, to our ears, then and now, one we shall never forget--one we shall never forget for its moving spirit, its calm, its level-headedness, and its intelligence and leadership, courageous leadership in the face of great resistance which beset certain areas of the country and certain subsets of the citizenry most viscerally within those areas.
Some proponents of the general message contained in it complained that it had come too late. But we believe that there is no such thing as that which is late when men and women, adults and children alike, insist for time and times, systemically so, upon reveling in the past, that which was and was not, pasting to that past a color-book image of it, rather than encountering it with dignity and realism, noting in the perfumed fields of former battle what went wrong then, what was wrong with that way of things, that system, the moral correctness or not of which was fought out in those perfumed fields, as the quiet gloom there is broken by the faint trace of the crickets' chirp in the ravine just across the way from you as summer evening light, the last piercing avenues from it to your eyes, begins to arrive, and all subsides back to rest--the realism to its glorious mistakes as well as its glorious honor.
This speech was one which we shall always remember, and with a faster paced rhythm inspired to the heart and mind by it, an insistent rhythm, one which accelerated us, accelerated our nation and our world by a hundred years, maybe by a thousand, maybe by double that number, as we still trembled then in the memory of those perfumed fields.
It was yet another beginning, one which was sought at the founding after the Revolution, at the re-founding after the second revolution, but one which avoided in the end, at the end of that day, those harshest of results which had come a hundred years before it, as the days passed on in tribute to that time, a century earlier.
And though with unseen harsh results even then yet to come both for individuals and for the country, and most especially for its leader, in those days a hundred years later, "life better for all" would result from it, that speech and the wisdom which inspired it and that which it inspired.
So listen to this speech, this calm talk, whether you heard it then or not, that summer night, and understand as we somehow did, even then in our youth, its bravery and the sacrifice contained within its calm and purposeful brevity, articulating one hundred years of time passing then. Consider it, as we did, both then and later, often later, and again, even now forty-three years afterward. Inspired by it, we decided to, and did eventually, enter the profession of law. Others were no doubt likewise inspired to enter various life-changing circumstances, most good, perhaps some not so. But change would come, and far greater and faster than it likely ever would have, at least in our estimation, without this speech to the nation that evening, June 11, 1963.
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