The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 27, 1938


Site Ed. Note: As for "Tit for Tatting", we shall leave it to your imagination as to precisely what it was that Mr. Mueller performed at the Iowa State Fair. But it may have been something the exposure of which would have garnered considerable audience on YouTube even today.

"In the Name of Education" reminds that the world of 1938 is not so very far away from us in some locales. Witness the story out of Texas this week in 2006 where the art teacher was fired for taking fifth graders to the Dallas Art Museum wherein they were exposed to paintings and sculpture of nude men and women, adults no less, in the altogether.

Horrors! Why, no punishment to this loathsome renegade, unfit to wear any longer the moniker "teacher", would be too lacking in scruples for the school authorities to administer. Lashings in the public square, stretching on the rack, paper cuts under the fingernails; hemlock, yes hemlock--let her have it!

We are most pleased to see that the surrounding communities of Dallas have so profound a regard for the cleanliness and purity of untrammeled minds and spirits of fifth graders as to find inspiration in the Greenville, South Carolina watchers who thought it properly disgraceful to display the Apollo Belvedere au naturel and so called for a halt to it, as Cash dutifully reported for The News, in March, 1928.

Why, we ourselves, for instance, became unduly warped in the third grade by being allowed to have our saintly young eyes sullied by the presence in the classroom of the National Geographic's photographic tour of Angola in the fall of 1961, showing, disgracefully, partially nude African tribal women from the waist up. And, you can see what happened to us as a direct result of this too early exposure to that.

Hooray for the Puritans of Texas! Keep our children unexposed to trash and filth! (And as infants, feed them milk only from a straw, please. No, wait, make that a spoon. On third thought, better just shoot it at them across the room with a squirt gun. Actually, maybe just eliminate liquids from the diet of the little ones altogether.)

In fact, we think they should ban the viewing of people altogether from the schools, lest we run the risk of stimulating prurient interest, especially among the boys, for we all know where the minds of young lascivious boys run at that age--and believe us, it isn't pretty--; in fact, isolate each student in a stainless steel cage, free from all worldly stimuli whatsoever, equip each teacher outside those cages with guns, preferably Uzis, but definitely not just those sissy ones which merely stun, to watch over the little kiddies, and make each child read only the Bible and the Pledge of Allegiance throughout each school day, recitation of each of which by heart within the space of four hours on the beat of a metronome before graduation from each grade may occur being mandatory.

Taking them to an art museum? Hurumph--why, that is just asking for it. Dallas Art Museum Naked--see what they're teaching them by subliminalization? Four letter filth! Next, they'll be teaching them to become artists rather than soldiers. What will happen to our country then? We'll be overrun by terrorists from one side, wetbacks from the other. There'll be no end to it.

We shall have no more of this. Build the fence, arm the teachers, remove all art museums from the landscape. Hell, arm the students, too.

Now, that would be art. Not this, this...

Tit for Tatting

In Des Moines is Walter M. Mueller, heretofore unknown to fame, but all the while for more than four years he has been laying the groundwork for what may be the emancipation of men. In the first test of his experiment he routed the women and came through victoriously, so he must have been right.

In a woman's world, hemmed in on this side, in stitches on that and with the crochety always to avoid, Mr. Mueller set about to do and dare, to proclaim his rights. For why, he puzzled, should women be permitted the glory and benefits of tatting, while cruel conventions denied that privilege to men. He set about to tat, and tat he did. He braved the sneers of competing women and the jibes of spiritless men who, unlike him, had not the soul of crusaders. Dauntless, discouraged not at all by the smugness of entrenched women, he tatted day in and day out, spurred on by the thought of emancipation. And this last week he met the test. At the Iowa State Fair he bravely submitted his tatting in competition with that of veteran women tatters--and he won. He said he did it to cure his nerves, but that was subterfuge, patently. Any man who would take to tatting and to exhibiting his tatting had a swell nerve to start with.

It Didn't Happen Here

The torturous deaths of four Philadelphia convicts, who were baked alive by steam in the county prison, is so horrible a thing to contemplate that imagination shudders and emotion wells up with shame that men should kill men like that. This was a performance that wasn't brutal, for brutes may fight, but never torture: it was lower than animal. It harks back to Venetian tortures, but the comparison is weak, for in this prison there was no excuse of religious fanaticism. The thing plainly reveals some dark and sinister quality in the human mind that normal, civilized humans will never understand.

But there is one consolation. It is good this thing did not happen in the South. Had it been in Georgia, or Florida, or North Carolina (God forbid!), the Yankee press would have risen in screaming wrath: investigators, social service workers and professional cause-bearers would have descended upon us to carpetbag sensationalism. The issue would have been drawn not as an incident, but as an indictment of the whole social system, and a shame flung in the faces of all the South.

No Change of Direction*

The President's admission that the Wagner Act could stand a little clarifying, expressed at a press conference, probably doesn't mean that he is going to recommend any fundamental changes in the law or that he is any the less keenly in favor of unionism. If he were, his announcement on the point would have been preceded by something other than a visit from William Green, the big labor man.

No, what the President will recommend, in all likelihood, will be mere procedural changes, such as giving defendants in NLRB hearings a chance to challenge the Government's facts, more sharply defining units for collective bargaining purposes, and permitting employers to encourage and assist a union of their choice provided that union is bona fide and allied with some recognized labor organization like Mr. Green's AFL.

By no means is it to be rashly assumed that the President's willingness to re-examine the form of the statute is any indication of a change in his broad labor views or dissatisfaction with the way in which the act has been administered. He is known by now as a strong believer in labor organization, which is precisely what the act and the board that administers it were intended to promote.

Bad Baby

Mexico's defense to Secretary Hull's demand for payment for expropriated farm lands belonging to Americans is that he seeks preferential treatment for Americans. Mexico has enthusiastically gone Communistic or nationalistic or something which, because it is a process still in flux, is yet unclassified; and during the first three years of President Cardenas' regime he seized 22,000,000 acres of land from its owners and divided it among something like 750,000 peasants.

Dispossessed Mexican owners of expropriated land, the total value of which is in excess of $700,000,000--absurdly beyond any present or future ability of the Mexican Government to pay--will take what they can get when they can get it, and like it. If they don't like Cardenas' promises--all right; he will withdraw them. But Secretary Hull will not hear to this manner of settling American claims. Not that he ever expects actually to collect what Mexico owes--indemnities for previous expropriations have long since ceased. He simply cannot afford to recognize this principle as a proper basis for one country's relations with another.

An obvious out for Mexico is to concede the Secretary's point, agree to pay a reasonable sum or any sum, and then forget about these later claims as it has about earlier. The reason, in all probability, that Mexico doesn't proceed blithely to do this is that it knows the nuisance value of any dispute with Uncle Sam. Its chief hold upon our friendship and continued restraint is its geographical position between North America and Latin America. A quarrel with Mexico would be bad advertising indeed for this country's devout wish to play the good neighbor to the rest of the Western Hemisphere, and the more Mexico hollers, the more frantically Uncle Sam searches for ways and means to quiet it.

In the Name of Education*

Up in Madison County three discharged school teachers have gone to court over their jobs. The charges they make are, that a member of the County Board of Education came around demanding $10 apiece from teachers (and getting it); that a school committeeman came around demanding a lump sum of $35 from the teachers of Center School (and getting it); that principals and teachers who voted against the re-election of the aforementioned County board member were dismissed summarily, one of them after 37 years' service.

They take their education lightly and their authority over-seriously up in the mountain districts. In nearby Macon County two or three years ago, for instance, the school board handed down a decree that school teachers must not, under pain of dismissal, attend any dances, round or square, public or private, during the school year, and were to refrain from any other social activities of any kind on the evening or night before a school day. And before that in Jackson County, where the breathtaking magnitudes of height and distance ought to make a man ashamed of any littleness, it was brought out that the chairman of the County Democratic committee demanded party contributions from teachers over whom his son was superintendent. If this wasn't coercion, it had all the earmarks of it.

The localities insisted, after the State took over the support of all public schools, that they be left control. The principle of local self-government, they argued, entitled them to no less; and the State agreed. But sometimes the more we see of local self-government, of which the foregoing is a sorry illustration, the less we think of it.

Site Ed. Note: We don't know how you feel about it, but we have a funny feeling that the item from the Stanly Omniscope might have been placed by a Congressman. After all, from 1929 on, after "Wings" and "The Jazz Singer", wherever there was an omniscope, a foley olio would sure to follow.

Anyhow, the other sound and light shows from this day and the previous one combined are here.

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