The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 19, 1941


Site Ed. Note: Imagine a time when the average airplane factory worker earned between $20 and $25 per week, about $1,000 to $1,200 per year, while the president of his company pulled down $166,000, the vice-president, $76,500. Imagine that when the lower paid of these workers went on strike for better wages, the President sent in the army to preserve order and prevent retaliation against those who would voluntarily return to work. And imagine yet further that, without first settling their demands, the workers did return to work for the benefit of the country--and to avoid losing their defense-industry draft deferment.

Imagine that the next model automobiles available in the country, to be released in the early fall, would be stopped in mid-year production to shift to airplane, tank and jeep manufacture--that there would be no new cars produced in the country for four full years to come.

Imagine newspapers taking some delight in the prospect of Joe Stalin's Russia being back-stabbed by Hitler's Germany, an old-time barn burner brewing over there between America's and democracy's two chiefest enemies--only to find within a few short weeks, America sending aid to Joe, with the Prime Minister of Britain stating in explanation of his enunciated hope for Joe's victory, "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons." That alliance between America, Great Britain,and the Soviet Union would soon follow.

This then was a day in the life, mid-June, 1941.

Installment 16 of Out of the Night is here. Young itinerant propagandist Jan forsakes his gal, that is his comrade, to travel now to Montevideo, (probably aboard a ship called the Python, though we are not imparted that information this journey out), to deliver some heavy metal film containers for the Comintern, after which he returns to Antwerp to find his lady love in the hospital after a mysterious self-performed operation, nevertheless now eager to become a Bolshie along with Jan.

Perhaps, incidentally, the little squigglies have once again fooled our eyes into believing that the name given her by Jan was "Firelet" when in fact it appears now to us to be instead "Firelei"--maybe sort of like Sarah Lee. We actually prefer Firelet--as it conveys a definite, fulsome spirit of revolution: let the fires begin, fire in the hole, burning ring of fire, Chevrolet, that sort of thing.

Whatever the case, that combined with the big brass bedstead to which G-Man Easy still is handcuffed on his way out the door of the barge being blown to bits by the foreign agents with the little black and white fox terrier named "Checkers", who responds to the inner groove, suggests, in further combination with the popularity in 1930 Germany of the Nazi Party's Horst Wessel lied and the fact that in April, 1941 Senator Pepper counseled the bombing of Tokyo from China, that in the year 1969, something happened out in Nashville to open our eyes, even if we didn't fully realize it at the time.

And, clearly, neither the Mermaid nor Popeye deserved that.

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