The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 27, 1937


Site Ed. Note: The "article in a magazine" to which the first editorial refers is, of course, the well-known hit piece, "Close View of a Calvinist Lhasa", by Cash, appearing in the American Mercury for April, 1933.

We observe, in passing, on this first piece below that, that is if it’s not already taken somewhere by some group of whom we’ve not heard, "Plymouth Rockers" would make just a swell name for a band, maybe one with a neo-folk, quasi-Renaissance kind of influence, with faux heavy metal inlays going for it. It’s yours for precisely what it’s worth.

First hit song on the first Plymouth Rockers album, to be titled, "Cape Codders May Flower, (Provided La Niña Don't Get There First)", begins this way: "Scotch and soda, jigger of gin…" Well, our mind draws a blank; you make up the rest. How about something like: "Oh what a bell you’ve clapped me in, oh my. Do eyes feel rye? Cry blue meany, liberty's fine, but do you prefer white or some red wine? Do eyes feel ryer than uptight tres guys?..."

Send us a postcard and we’ll even provide you with the chord arrangement. Destiny awaits. We’re serious.

And if the first album fails, you can always make up a song about the subway system, or just the Big Dig.

Thank ye, thank ye very much.

Here’s the rest of the page.

Before Lhasa, Mecca

We hate to give up any "firsts," but it's probably true that Charlotte isn't, as we are always assuming, the town with the greatest moral fervor per square inch to be found in the United States. That honor really belongs to Boston. As witness--last week the Boston Licensing Board notified 350 clubs, hotels, and restaurants that, under an old Massachusetts law banning all forms of amusement on Sunday save only sacred concerts, any of them which hereafter indulged in the orchestral or mechanical music, floor shows, singing, or even radio programs on Sundays, would be hauled into court and fined.

The town, of course, is the stronghold for old New England Puritans. But its modern masters are largely Irish, and these Irish have turned out to be better Puritans than the Plymouth Rockers themselves. And between the two--

There was an article in a magazine once that pinned the name of Calvinistic Lhasa on Charlotte. Maybe that was right, too. But there is an even holier town in the world than Lhasa--Mecca. And Boston appears to have a mortal lock on the title of the American Mecca.

Against Copious Wars

An assertion that war with Italy was necessary, allegedly made by the French minister of the Navy "after copiously drinking champagne," has stirred the Italian Press. They call the minister a liar. They should be thankful that he had not been copiously drinking North Carolina corn. In that case the minister would probably have already declared war.

The result would have been terrible. The Russian ministers, after copiously drinking vodka, would call for mobilization. The German Herrs, swollen with beer, might immediately start on Paris. John Bull, having swallowed Scotch and soda, might put his fleet into motion.

The best thing in a case like this is to have Governor Olin Johnston, of South Carolina, declare a holiday and shut up the liquor stores of the world until the excitement subsides.

The world wants no copious wars.

People have funny ideas after copiously drinking. At the time they seem like colossal ideas. The next morning they do not seem so good. The French minister is now probably copiously eating crow in the presence of the other French ministers.

Note for the Medics

The old-fashioned country doctor was a figure of importance and romance. The practice of modern medicine today owes the old doctors vast debts for what they taught. Yet to practice medicine as it was practiced fifty years ago would be unthinkable to today's specialists. They lift rubber-gloved hands in horror to think of the unsanitary measures of the old men, and they laugh tolerantly at some of the old red-flannel and calomel cures. Medicine today is a congeries of precise and glittering specialties.

It seems to be a good system, for the race is healthier than in the old days.

But rapid clinical examinations and passages from one office to another in this age of specialization, are rapidly weakening what doctors like to call "the relation between the patient and his family physician." Even the general practitioner, a rare fellow these days, is usually so hurried (if he's good) that there's precious little time for those blurts of intelligence, and those quiet, long chats that sometimes cure a sick person quicker than pills.

It's an idea for the doctors to think about as they make their [indiscernible words] socialized medicine and [indiscernible words] medicine by the state. We leave the practice of medicine and surgery to the specialists, of course; but from the patient's point of view--well, docs, too many of you have little more confidential relations with your patients (so eager to know you better and to feel that you know them!) than the specialist who announces trains at Grand Central.

Compliment for the New Deal

Stuart Chase is an economist--unorthodox, some call him--and a conservationist. Earlier this week he appeared before a House committee and declared that the sheer waste of natural resources in this country throughout the years had deprived ten million Americans of a decent living. As Mr. Chase put it,

"For every field gullied, a man gullied."

There always seem to be so many critical things which need saying about Mr. Roosevelt and the New Deal that it is a pleasure to vary the routine by handing out an unqualified compliment. And the Roosevelt administration, whatever one thinks of it, deserves a pheasant feather in its cap for its intelligent land policy. Indeed, a land policy of any kind, intelligent or obtuse, is a novelty. Mr. Chase reminds us of the lack of any consistent land policy before Roosevelt, and he charges up a tremendous damage to it.

A few of Mr. Roosevelt's conservation ideas have not borne fruit. The Shelter Belt, for example, though many of the trees are said to have lived, has not yet been proved feasible or worth its cost. But the restoration of humus to the soil by crop rotation and legumes, the prevention of erosion, flood control, as far as it has gone, and the return of marginal acres to a wooded state--all these have been unspectacular services of this administration for which succeeding generations, if not this, will return devout thanks.

Sound Logic

When some of the employees of Davega-City Radio, Inc., a New York firm, went on strike, Sue Sieggel, who has worked for the firm nine years, elected to remain at her job. Then on November 10, one of the striking workmen set up to picket her home with a sign calling her a strike-breaker. She had him haled into Washington Square Court for disorderly conduct, and last Thursday Magistrate William Klapp adjudged him guilty and slapped a five dollar fine on him, after arguing that under no view could the woman be called a strike-breaker.

The magistrate, it seems to us, is entirely right. About the unwisdom of strike-breaking, whether by plug-uglies or the importation of "scab" labor, there is no longer much dispute. But a woman who has worked for a firm nine years is obviously neither plug-ugly nor "scab." If she doesn't elect to go out when her fellow-workers go out, that's her affair, and regardless of the wisdom and unwisdom of the decision. The union has no more right to coerce her than the employer has to employ plug-uglies to coerce the union. And if enough of her sort stay in to wreck the strike? Well, and good. The only way that is likely to happen, with plug-uglies and scabs barred, is for a majority of the workers to be of her sort--for the majority to choose to stay in. And such a case would seem to argue pretty conclusively that the strike should never have been called in the first place.

We See By the Record*

The Senate of the United States was debating the problem of whether to apply control to potato growers or not to apply it.

MR. COPELAND: I have in my hand a letter from a citizen of my state, and I wish to read just one or two sentences... The writer of this letter says:

"New York State farmers voted 14 to 9 in favor of the proposition (that is, the potato growers) but the fact is that probably not 3 per cent of the farmers polled voted. They were too much disgusted with the proposition to do so..."

There's an argument for you, lords and peers. And if Mr. Copeland's farmer is telling the straight of it--then the potato growers of New York jolly well deserve to have something rammed down their throats that they don't want at all. It may easily be true that their opinion would have been ignored in any case. And high and lofty disdain, the will to refrain from all action in the world, may now and then be admirable. But not for citizens in a democracy confronted with a decision on something which immediately concerns their own interests. If they don't take advantage of that chance to make their will perfectly clear, they can't kick against whatever happens to them.

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