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O be successful in the American The heroes and villains in the Ameri
drama, an argument must be of such can drama may be classified as follows: a quality that it coincides with the belief
Villains of nine tenths of an American theater audi
Crooks ence. In other words, an unsound argu
Lawyers American drama, a character must be of Brothers
Cousins such a nature that his opinions differ from the opinions of the hero, who has no
VII opinions. 1
The so-called "punch" in an American
play is that part of the play that has been III
stolen from a play by Brieux. The ingénue in a play containing a wo
VIII man "star" is a female character who is older and homelier than the “star" and The heroine in the play is the best-lookwho wears an unbecoming dress. 2
ing woman in the cast.
A “Play of New York Life" is any
play that does not reflect New York life. In the American theater, "the play 's the thing" in the following proportion:
X 1. The "star.” 2. The press-agent. 3. The scenery. 4. The lighting effects. 5.
"Comedy relief" — relief from comedy. The modiste or costumer.
6. The play (provided the play is not a good play).
The star system-a substitute for act
ing. V For a theme to be regarded as a new
Acting-a substitute for drama. and sensational theme in the American
XIII drama, two things are essential: first, the theme must be an old theme; second, Drama-a substitute for moving-picthe theme must have no basis in fact. tures. 1 Hence the term "sympathetic,” usually applied to the hero. 2 This is what is so often referred to as the star "system.”
GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLY
(“Uxor pauperis Ibyci”)
BY LOUIS UNTERMEYER
PICTURES BY THELMA CUDLIPP
like Pholoë How can you seem so outrageously gay! To smile at the lads who repay her in kind, Think of your years—it is sad and absurd, But when you approach them, they rapidly
Acting this way.
Lord, are you blind!
Truly, old lady, it 's time that you ceased Strange-you won't see that the thing all this.
which delights a man Here, with young girls, you should Is always the dancer and seldom the never be found
danceStop those ridiculous antics; at
A Thyiad with white hair and wrinkles least all this
affrights a man; Running around,
He looks askance. ...
Roses and romance and wine-jars are not for you
There is the loom and the raw wool to comb;
Right here at home!
THE SENIOR WRANGLER
DELIQUESCENT SOCIALISM I ADMIT that freedom of thought includes the freedom of not thinking; that it includes the inalienable rights of absent-mindedness, complete irrelevance, forgetfulness, divagation, ambiguity, and confusion, all of which are essential to the mind's pursuit of happiness, especially in the happy hunting-grounds of political discourse. I am not one of those inhuman folk who would pin a Socialist to his premises; but I do think our present-day Socialists are far too careless in what they say of brotherly love. It is possible, says one of them, for men to live like brothers, each working for the good of all, and he sees signs that we are now approaching that blessed consummation. But human nature once perfected, any social system would work well, and brotherly love would shine as brightly through a trust, or a pool, or a poker-game, or one's own personal and private capitalistic peanut-stand, as through the very best of brand-new Utopian world devices.
Why bother with Socialism if the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand? Why socialize further the prince of a biscuit factory who has already risen to the conception of his private business as a sort of consecrated social job? To expropriate him, and shut him up in a phalanstère, and pay him in labor checks, and exact of him his due share of chamberwork, garbage-collecting, iron-puddling, and tailoring, is altogether superfluous, if he is an all-round, fully developed, social proto-martyr at the start.
That is the trouble with this latter-day breed of spineless, lukewarm, and propitiatory Socialists. They let the life-blood out of their thoughts, and their arguments die of weak concessions. Give us back the good old two-seed-in-the-word supralapsarian Marxist if there is to be a debate of the matter. He gave the enemy something to think about and the faithful something to do. He did not wait for “eternal justice” or assume a brotherly love. He assumed that the employer never had any, and never could have any, except through Socialism. “A vampire sucking the blood of the workingman" — that was the way he spoke of him. And a good, rousing sentiment it was, and made people feel that they should be up and doing something, if it were only pounding the table and letting the beard grow long.
Professor Simkhovitch in his new and admirable book on Marxism has shown how one after another the Socialist leaders have abandoned their faith. And a social movement "can no more keep alive without faith than faith can keep alive without miracles." The overwhelming majority of Socialists to-day are, he says, tending to be mere reformers. They even say that "industries expropriated in a revolution would prove to be empty shells,” and though they remain members of the Socialist parties and repeat the same old “melodramatic phrases,” they have long since explained Socialism away.
It seems to be in the very nature of a Socialist, as soon as he has found and settled on his premises, to long for escape. For fifty years Socialists have never seemed so much at home as when living outside their definitions. I suppose it is not right at the present time to try to limit the term Socialism to any particular way of thinking, though it may still imply some peculiar activity of feeling whether with or without thought. Find the greatest common factor of a Socialist Church Leaguer, Laborite, Reformist, Guesdist, Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Social Democratic Federationist, North German Orthodox, South German Heterodox, Biological Sociologist, Sociological Biologist, Syndicalist, Shavian, Fabian, Hervéist, an H. G. Wells, and a Eugene V. Debs, and I doubt very much if it will turn out to be a principle. I doubt if it will be anything more definable than a sort of mental glow.
The "economic interpretation of history" has gone by the board, and so has the Marxian theory of value, and so has the “revolution," and so has the “class war," and there is little to be hoped from the Socialism of the future, for if we may believe Professor Simkhovitch, Socialists will become even tamer than they now are, though it is hard to conceive how that is possible. I have known the completest of fogies, even a leading citizen of the city of New York, to confess in a coquettish way and in a sort of stage-whisper, that he is, after all, a bit of a Socialist himself.
Drawing by Held
AN ABJECT APOLOGY TO COLONEL WATTERSON
Vein, there appeared a squib upon perhaps nothing worse than many loose what we took to be some recent editorials accusations to which a lifetime of conflict, by Colonel Henry Watterson.
more or less rough-and-tumble, has someThe editorials in question were, it now what hardened my sensibilities." appears, not from Colonel Watterson's “I never minded ‘horse-thief.' I even pen, so that a humble, though tardy, apol- in time grew used to the card-playing picogy is certainly in order. We tender it tures and the mint-julep jokes. They cheerfully to our old and trusted friend. were the penalties fixed upon the atrocious
One of our baser insinuations was to crime of being a Kentuckian. But, to be the effect that Marse Henry's English charged with the corrupt use of my oracstyle tended at times to be a trifle cata- ular tongue-with fouling the limpid chrestic. It was this charge, we suspect, depths of the well of English undefiled that prompted the colonel to write us an does stick in my gizzard. I appeal to your outraged but good-natured letter from sense of justice. Do me the favor to masFrance, a portion of which we are mak- sacre the culprit; give him a first-class fuing bold to print. He says:
neral, and, after sending the bills to me, bid “Gentlemen :
him rise from the dead and sin no more! “What 'catachrestic' may mean or im- "Sincerely, HENRY WATTERSON."
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