Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, March 03, 1948, Page 2, Image 2

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    Oregon W Emerald
The Oregon Daily Emerald, official publication of the University of Oregon, Pushed
daily during the college year.except Sundays, Mondays, and final examination periods.
Entered as second-class matter at the postoffice, Eugene, Ure.
Member of the Associated Collegiate Press
a tnArmAw, cusmcss
Managing Editor
Co-News Editors
Co-Sports Editor _
walt McKinney, jeanne simmonds, maryann thielen
Associates to Editor _'
Asst. Managing Editors
Advrtising Manager
Assistant News Editors___
National Advertising Manager . - ....Marilyn burner
Circulation Manager .Bilhjean Riethmiller
Editorial Board: Larry Lau, Johnny Kahananui, Bert Moore, Ted Goodwin, Bill Stratton,
^ack Billings.
For Bedside Reading
If you aren't the type to browse around in book shops, you
may as well turn the page and read “Duck Tracks ’ right now.
This editorial is about a “find,” a "pearl” which we ran
across yesterday in the co-op book store. The book is old,
copyright 1944, but we’d never seen it before and we are like
a kid with a new Buck Rogers pistol (Zap, Zap).
It is “The American Mercury Reader,” a collection of art
icles, poems, plays, and short stories from the American Mer
cury over a 20-year period. One of the most striking features
about this volume is that it costs only a buck.
Many of the selections are from the “old” Mercury of the
prohibition era, and reflect the choleric good humor of Henry
L. Mencken, who edited the Mercury in its early years. There
will be few students who will remember the Mercury of that
age, and most of those who do will remember it only as the
Atlantic-sized, four-bit magazine with the green cover that
father sometimes brought home; it was the magazine he hid
when maiden aunts came to visit.
When the Mercury went Digest-sized in the 30s, and drop
ped to a quarter, it became a little more respectable for the
middle-class home, and while some of the old salt, bile, and
vitriol was gone, it still made good reading. For that matter
it still does.
A few other magazines, notably The New Yorker and the
Readers Digest have put out “readers,” but they have had
their drawbacks. The New Yorker’s books, which should have
been good, were a little large for comfortable reading in bed,
and the Readers Digest lacks that peculiar “character” that
raises the New Yorker and the Mercury above the ordinary
news-stand level.
The paper and type in this Mercury reader are the same
that the magazine uses, and the articles are divided by Roman
numerals, just like the Mercury itself. You know you are
reading the Mercury when you read this book.
The book leads off with Sinclair Lewis’ “The Man Who
Knew Coolidge,” which later became a book of its own. and
includes such immortal bits as Mencken’s sketch on William
Jennings Bryan. Other good non-fiction will be found in
of which appeared later in his “Holy Old Mackinaw;” and
Stewart H. Holbrook’s “The Lumberjacks Go Sissy,” much
Herbert Asbury’s “Hatrack.” “Hatrack” was the story that got
banned in Boston, and got the editor of the Mercury hailed
into court. Unless our memory is failing us,we believe this
“Hatrack” article was later incorporated into Asbury’s lusty,
and somewhat bitter “Up from Methodism. W illiam Brad
ford lluie's “The South Klills Another Negro,” which the
Mercury published in November 1941. is also in the book.
Admirers of the late and often great Raymond Clapper will
be pleased to find his “Happy Days,” an account of prohibition
in the national capital, in the reader.
Such short stories as Sherwood Anderson’s “Death in the
Woods," William Faulkner’s “That Evening Sun Go Down,"
and the Sinclair Lewis story mentioned above, are represent
ative of the excellent fiction in our new little dollar volume.
Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Chillun Got Wings,” a raft
of poetry, and cartoons by Arthur Szyk, Steinberg, Eric
Peters, and E. Schloss, round out the collection of the best
from the Mercury.
The editors of this volume have done a fine job of preser
ving, in book form, some of that distinctively American lit
erature that the Mercury, and often tl\f Mercury alone, car
ried in the years of our childhood and adolescence.
If you are character enough to be a Mercury fan, and we
pray that you are, we suggest you t<;ar over to the co-op and
get one of the few remaining copies. It belongs on your bed
.side table alongside the ash-tray. *
Writing Without Looking,
Columist Views' Years Between'
The preliminary announcement of pos
sibly internecin warfare was printed in yes
terday's Emerald, but I’m going to ignore it
and retire my forces after this one remark:
It’s my opinion, Bob, that what you class as
today’s cowboy movies are not horse operas
in the dauntless tradition of Hollywood's Old
West. They're musicals. And I will agree
that it s disheartening to see a
cowpoke reach for an ocarina
instead of a six-gun; to break
into lyrics instead of shout
ing, “You go for help—I’ll
take the shortcut and head
’em off at the pass!”
Read a novel the other day
and was intrigued by one of
the hero’s favorite tricks. He
was a newspaperman turned
theatrical agent, and in the
years that he had been a reporter he had de
veloped the facility of being able to take notes
in his pocket, wherein he kept a small pad
and a pencil stub.
Taking notes while looking at something
else? Just the kind of trick a motion picture
reviewer should master, I thought, and so I
tried it while seeing “The Years Between.’’ I
had anticipated some little trouble in reading
the notes, but nothing so bad as what I act
ually had. Here’re the notes; maybe you can
make them out.
. . . J. Arthur Rank . . U-I . . . Prestige Pic
release . . . the Years Between . . . Muir Math
eson does music . . . sounds good so far . . .
Michael Redgrave, Valerie HobsonFlora
Robson she’s probably good . . . pic opens
June 40 . . . pastoral scene . . . awful dreary
funeral . . . “sturdy British” sermon . . .
Hobson’s half half smile sets mood? damn
good gestures . . . uses bodytoonot onlyhands
memories of dedhusband Michael over
done . . . fine goodbye kiss . . . English trains
. . . propaganda on sturdy, rugged Britishers
here . . . son bum kid actor . . . doesn’t look
like either.either . . . more propaganda . . .
Robson wasted . . . good setsCarter? people
don’t act like people dammit. Hobson really
There were some more exclamation points
after that, much bigger than mere type can
indicate, but as I interpret the preceding mess
Miss Hobson was great, Miss Robson was
not up to par, Air. Redgrave didn’t partic
ularly register, and there was a lot of prop
aganda in the picture. Come to think of it,
that’s just about right, as I remember.
Finally got around to seeing “The Yearl
ing” and liked most of it very much. Jane
Wyman was surprisingly good, but I could
have stood a lot less of Gregory Peck being
homespun. Somehow he doesn’t make it
come off completely. I didn’t know whether
it was sad or funny when he stood by the
grave of the little boy who had loved animals
and prayed, “Lord, I sure hope ya got some
varmints up thar . .
Other good movies in town over the week
end, judging from campus comment; I was
particularly sorry that I didn’t make it to
see “Body and Soul,” which seems to have
been especially well liked. As for cinema fare
in the hinterlands, get Tom Hazzarcl to tell
you the plot of “Charlie Chan and the Red
Dragon,” which infested Springfield for a few
days. Must have been an interesting picture.
Items from Roundabout $
Xo matter how strict and tough father
may be there’s still a tug at the heartstrings
when he sees his boy tilt his first pinball
* * x
The fat lady says she isn’t worried about
a meat shortage yet. She has
n’t even used up all the stuff
she hoarded during the last
* * *
Since St. Louis seems in
doubt as to whether to go
ahead with a World’s Fair,
anyone desiring to meet -uuuie may nave to
make other arrangements.
* * *
Criticism of the Long Island railroad’s an
tiquated equipment by angry New York
commuters is disputed by one former rider
who said he always rather admired the line's
policy, that, if a door came off in a passen
ger’s hand, he got to keep it.
jjc :j«
A doctor says he can identify a man’s oc
cupation by the location of his calluses, and
the veteran copyreader tells the doc to mind
his own business.
5*5 * *
The young hussy in the strapless gown,
sniffs Aunt True, should have had a strap
elsewhere and earlier.
>*c sfc
England is to export a perfumed floor cov
ering and Cousin Diillingwater plans to in
stall it in his parlor so that when he falls on
his face he can always explain he is merely
inhaling the rug’s rich bouquet.
Education — Not 'Rights’
(From the Texas A&M Battalion)
The now familiar battle of words about the
feasibility of a program of federal aid for educa
tion—a politics-ridden issue that has been pro and
conned almost to death—is back in print again,
or should we say still?
Senator George D. Aiken of Vermont has in
troduced a bill into congress calling for federal aid
to schools. In addition to renewing the fight for the
eventual approval of the program, the bill has
brought forth a volume of words, oaths, threats and
moans from a variety of individuals who would
rather die with states rights at their side than see
schools receive financial help from the government.
The arguments against federal aid for public
schools are familiar; they have been aired over
and over again: breeds socialism . . . infringes on
states’ rights . . . will mean beginning of the eend
of civil liberties . . . our children will be seduced
by government propaganda if the latter takes over
the schools.
To attempt to refute these arguments without
consuming several reams of paper would be use
less: suffice to say: Are the people of the United
States going to stand indignantly and defiantly
on "their constitutional rights’’ while their chil
dren “learn in one-room shanties and are taught
by underpaid, and in some cases, unqualified teach
It seems to us that it is time the people of the
United States stopped worrying about a possible
loss of abstract "right” and began looking out for
the welfare of their children.
As the alleged leading nation of the world the
United States possesses a school system of which
she can hardly be proud.
The percentage of failures in colleges show,
among other things, the lack of preparation in
high schools. The elementary and high schools of
the United States in general, rural areas in par
ticular and southern rural areas especially, are do
ing an Undeniably poor job. The situation has ex
isted a long time. The states concerned have done
little to remedy the situation themselves.
It seems logical that these states, having failed,
would be willing to turn the task of revitalizing
Ameiican education over to the federal govern
The need is for education—not “rights.” If
America produces a literate, capable generation
of college graduates in the next 20 years, the
rights will take care of themselves.
* * * *• = •*• •»\'T