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December 03, 1922 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1922-12-03
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~'W4. ~I

of his defunct soul, at the clown of a pretty legitimate extension of An-
the universe who uses his only hope ato e France's "adventure of a soul
of escape :his ..intellect,. not for_ at- among masterpieces." Interpretation,
taining to superiority, but for chasing; classif- lation, catalysis,pedagogy; and
moon-beams: in drugging his intel- their ilk to Orcus! Let 'the critic be
lect with caressing music or caressing an artist in his own right! If this in-
assurance. surgent idea ever- .ets abroad: in the
Mencken's chief argument against land we -shall be able to 'Count the
poetry is that it "attempts to disarm surviving bona fide critics on one
reason", that. it is unintelligible. hand.
* Right here is the the only stroke of It is unfortunate, perhaprs, for the
Sym posium M enckenensms naivete in this whole "philosophy"; consistency of his argument that Mr.
here he must lose his standing as a Mencken does. not adhere to his text
In "Prejudices, third series," we find .s beside the point. In that he does complete cynic. "Reason" and "in- in his own practice. But -consistency
Mr. Mencken still engaged at jarring jar lies his importance. If he can telligibility" imply the validity of is after all, a scarcely-human quality.
the whitewash from the whited sepul- puncture the bladders that inflate the logic It is always sad to see a cynic Coney,
chres of our American institutions. stuffed shirts of our contemporary ;as splendid as Mencken become the
That his method of jarring is some- types and customs in an interesting victim of a delusion even so ingenious VI Star-Spangled Men
times scarcely orthodox and not ac- and withal humorous manner, then and labyrinthine in its mazes as is
cording to the Marquis of Queensbury more power to hin. 'logical method, rationality, intelligi- VIII Iv Men at Random
bility. XIV Types of Men

77!17T 7" 'T

... _
m _

The Value of Mental, Tests

I On Being An American
XV The Dismal Science
XIX Suite Americaine
Mencken, I think, wrote "Preju-
dices:nThird Series," largely for the
sake of the first chapter. "On Being
An American" is easily the best thing
in the book and, with a few other
chanters. is its excuse for being When

snugness and safety; with gratitude to
this man who, in these days .of arro-
gant labor unions and' radical college
men, dares to stand up for the much
abused Capitalist class. Here, at last,
is a man with the courage to tell that
conspiring clique of government
wreckers where to get off. Then, one
stops to think over well what this

Helen LYRCich.

1A Vs

is in the chapter in the third sc-.
of Prejudices that 'presents for
ribald greeting "Star Spangled
" that Mencken tips over moun-

II Hungker: A Memory
III Footnote on Criticism
This Huneker reminiscence is far
and away the most illuminating dis-
course we have read on the man who
is to date America's one valid critic


tains of mirth, bellowing lustily the
hile-a vulgarian indeed. For glori-
>us, unbridled frevolity, flaring, gorge-
ous, excruciating farce this, I think,
'ias surpassed our very best. It offers
circumstantial proof of his contention

Mencken waxes serious, as in this case, apparent friend had said. It does not of the arts. Mencken has produced a
he "biteth like a serpent and stingeth seem quite so encouraging. True, the picturesque genre of the flamboyant
like an adder," and the lips of an great mass of dissatisfied kickers had James, touching up with an apprecia,-
hundred academicians ,cannot suck been shown to belong to the "have- tive brush his Gargantuan thirst and
out the virulent truth he has injected. nots". An impossible dangerous lot. passionate devotion to "so genante
More than two thirds of what he has "Das Kapital", however, somehow Leichen beer."
said in this chapter is true. seems lower in the scale than the Huneker and Mencken knew each
According-to Dir. encke, u.American proletariat, by the time Mencken gets other and were friends during the
society is in a state of deterioration, through with the two. The very ex- latter part of Huneker's life. Mencken
which he attributes to biological cuses one is forced to find for capital, knew and understood this Irishman
causes. The colonial stock is dying condemn it. And the praise bestow- with Magyar modulations, his idio-
off and is being replaced by a low- ed upon patriotic and honest bankers syncrasies and weaknesses. He is, to
grade, exhausted reasantry. He scouts seems less welcome when touched off Mencken's notion, more nearly the
the notion that American people con- with the comment that those very true critic than any contemporary,
stitute "the youngest of the great peo- bankers, during the war, sold "Liberty but George Brandes. The real Hune-
pies." "The average American- is a Bonds at 100 to poor stenographers and ker,th-e Bacchic Huneker, takes life in
prude . . . his vices are not those then bought them back at 83." Such these pages. It is one of the few
of a healthy boy, but of an ancient insinuation! studies which gives us that insight
paralytic. . If you would- penetrate In "The- Nature' 'of -Liberty" and In into his personality that Huneker!
to the causes thereof, simply go down "The Forward Looker", Mencken re- himself -was so- keen on in his own
to Ellis Island and look at the next deems himself slightly through his work. With the recent "Letters" it is,'
shipload of immigrants. Y'ou will not sane appraisal of the individual who I maintain, the best Introduction to
find the-spring of .youth in their. step;. is always seeking a. panacea- for the appreciation 'of this highly-seasoned
you wil-find the shuffling of exhaust- ills of society, aidis eyer complaining personalsity.
ed men. From such exhausted men, of lacking sufficient freedom. These. The Footnote on Criticism is ob-
the American stock, has sprung." -Iindividuals .forget the relative nature viousl anmo rdmentsto Criticismt
tMencken points out that a distinct of "freedom. They work themselves- of Criticism of Criticism" in thefirst
decline in our national life has set up into .varying degrees of insomniaPrejudices. Mr. Mencken has changed
in, due to the deterioration 'of- the 'worrying about everything fron the his mind'- about the theory of his pro-
American stock. Speaking of "the perversion .of .art.:to th miserable fesion. It is a sign that Mr..Mencken
multiplication of taboos" in the United failure of the ec. profs to prove their is still free from hardening of. the
States, he says: "The taboo, indeed, threadbtare theories. 'And they "shake arteries.and petrifacton of the cere-
is the. trade mark of the-.savage, and the air-with sobs every time . . . some brum.,
jWith hiscutmrvioanfe-
wherever it exists it; ia relentless and poor Russian is deported for reading customary vigor and free-
effective enemy of civilized enlighten- Karl Marx . . . and every time agents ness of. statement, which has made him
mient. iof the Department of .Justice throw an so -mts-nderstood by shortsighted ac..
.He scores our lack of a national Italian out of the window". The ademicians, he says that no critic
culture, and says that. "the official in- trouble with these eternal kickers is worth his salt ever sticks to the
telligentsia of the American universi that their conception of "liberty" and -subject of his criticism. Heholds
ties . . . are timorous -and orthodox" "freedom" is theoretical They can- that the proper critic is an artist, dif-
He inquires what the average Ameri- not understand that'in -practice; these fering from the so-called creative art-
can scholar would do if he could not abstracts must be put into playt ist only beause he finds his raw
borrow wholesale from English lit- through the never-failing medium of rater - th w e cl real
erature. How could we get beneath the -policeman's nightstick-especially. ifrather,than what we call"real
the surface of our politics if it were where there are sacred rights to guard. W oe
not for Viscount Bryce's book? These ntay be the rights of the coal th ne t res o the crtica ae.
Our politics, says Mencken, are baron to exterminate the women and t neat theories of the critics game,
chiefly clownish. American politick- children of a troublesome strikers,_ It is an extension and, it seems to m,
ans take themselves with deadly se- colony, or the right of an all powerful ___
riousness and-at the same time behave judge to attain Czardom via the in-
like inordinate simpletons. junction. Whatever the nature of
The downfall: of our government is those rights may be, they have greater SELECT
predicted, as a result of this whole- claim to protection than the cranks
sale decline, which includes a loss of and criminals opposed to them. I *
anything- like a military spirit. The Mencken redeems himself. But he G fts Th
writer forecasts a serious military re- seems rather uncanny at times, and i
verse in some future war followed by one does not feel perfectly safe. .He Last
revolution and a one-man government. has a habit of turning treacherously
The chapter is devastating in its at you just when you think he is your
criticism, more effective because of best friend. He is, withal, a scamp; Gifts of jewelry, gems
its essential truth. It should be read and he ought, in my mind, be suppress- or watches are al-1
thoughtfully by the advocates o our ed. I don't believe he would make the ways- sure to be ap-
"melting pot," which is actually turn- safest kind of reading for our coddled preciated because they
ing out, not a refined molten product, college men. For one thing, it might are permanent gifts-
but a miserable international hash, cause - them to do some individual te la ntrgit-
"The Dismal Science" says little, thinking. And that is always bad for they last. Our dis-
outlining in brief the author's views "college spirit", especially with re- play of gift articles is
on political science. "Suite Ameri- gard to "show rushing" and the like. at its best right now
caine" in an index to America's great, Saul Carson. -so drop in now and.
such as "the winner of the beauty con- 1 look things over. You
test at Egg Harbor," and other like y..Ad Imaginem Del Creavit illum may see just the thing
celebrities. you want.
Debert Clark. IVII The Poet-and His Art w
e rtlk No Kantian jargon conceals the
"philosophy" of Mencken. In the two A Small Deposit will Hold
lv Ths Kapital chapters entitled "Ad Imaginem DeL Any Article
IX The Nature of Liberty Creavit Ilum" and "The Poet and{
XI The Forward Looker' His Art" there is an arresting andi
Mencken is a downright scamp. His novel pointednesa -combined with an
three prejudices entitled "Das IKap alntst domestic clarity.
ital", "The Nature of Liberty" and Other critics and .cynics have de- .
"The Forward Looker" prove my con- scribed themselves as rebels- against I
tention beyond any doubt. - He doesn't the conventions and' trammels that W
"play fair" and, as -a result,.beeonmes..Society or theology-has clamped upou - ii
rather hard 'to understand at- times.!humanity and the individual, Mencken STATE STREET:
One reads the greater part-of a chapter'does not stop here. He laughs at
like "Das Kapital" with a- feeling of human, nature itself, at lan so proud,

'. "-
Are Truly Frittdl
T HE gift made foryou
alone, by a dear frend,
.has a ncharming Christmas
spirit, "a spirit of'thoughtful-
ness, that no other gift -can
possess. The Art -,Section
has bits of mierchandise ad-
mirably suitable for hand-
made gifts. There are num-
berless articles already for a
bit of hand work including
things for every person on
your Christmas list!, Now is
the time to stitch' a happy
Christmas thought into a gift.

(Ernest B. Skaggs) f srtter. In psychology we distinguish 'Starting out low grade idiots we lidiot and the greatest geni
T-e writer o this article has heard betwen habit connections on one might aspire to be Newtons if granted ity to learn quickly and ea
my"notions" exressed about the and and reflex and instinctive con- the age of a patriarch. _quick comprehension and
so manyhnectio on the other. The former are Correlating the test results with ac- tan well and concentrate
campus and- at large concerning the connections -established in the nervous tivities which are generally agreed up- -these things come to us
uses and values of mental tests that system by the trial and error method s nature. Environmental e
4 in the lifetime of the individual. The, on as involving native keenness or ca-
he feels a few statements, made by t th. pacity, the test results give striking hinder or further, but give
one directly interested in the field, latter are connections functionally es- testimony that they are in harmony 'and woman the same envir
tablished by heredity and maturation. with these other criteria to a favorable f practice and we will sti
might be of some value. Opinions Now is talking an instinct or habit? degree. One thin must be remem- differences which our tes
heard vary all the way from firm be- The tendency to vocalize is instinctive, bered-do not condemn intelligence All in all, it seems rather
liefs that our mental tests are "mar- but no babe was ever born that could tests for not testing that which they that general intelligence t
velous" to the other extreme view that sing and speak at birth. The lan- were never designed to test. Many a ceed so well at getting a
thea rtyguage reactions are associativesysic-ege man is stalking about, listed capacity-in a certain re
they are worthess.Needeless to say tems (habits) se.t up in the course of in the upper ten per cent on the in- way, perhaps, and yet wit
either extremeuisererectlyeabsurd andtlifi.-
either extreme is nerfectiy absurd and life. Itelligence scale, but a woeful failure ing success.
merely reflects an emotional outburst Something of the -same situation ob- as a student. He has intelligence, but
Unfortunately not eve critic of tests tains as regards the matter of native intelligence amounts to nothing at
has been trahued ieae laboratory sci- capacity and acquired knowledge. But! co'lege if not applied to college work.
ences and thus learned the necessity the point to be made here is that the the tests do not pretend to measure
or suspended judgment and the patient former can only be estimated in terms volitional and emotional qualities, in-
method of building tr co: cepts out of c° the latter. The facts accumulated terests, and the like. On the other
accumulated facts. Moreovei. every- alone must decide whether we are get- hand as we go though the school sys-
body is a psycholog' and aG equa ting at a native capacity in our tests. tem, from the grades up through col-
right to speak upon vesy roem of- The opinion of most of the .men in lege, we find a positive correlation.II
human behavior! t ' state- 'the field of mental measurements is In our own wor; we have found that
gn~eneray hel opinion -' 5rogthe that, at present, with all their defects
generally held opinion r>>:ryciologists tests of general intelligence are really the lowest ten per cent on the intelli-
who are active in the field of mental getting at native capacity to a degree gence tests do not attain an average
measurements. thti!eyecuagn.Bifyltgrade in college and constitute most
that is very encouraging. Briefly let
The process of establishing tests is us review some of the evidence. of the "flunks." The average person in
simple and common-sense in principle. Children from some of the most ad- on the tests stands, in general, aver- Afrrut tii'2Et
First it must be decided "what" is de- verse social environments at times age in school work. This shows sim-
sired to be measured. Then tests are stand very superior on the tests (ave ply that the tests correlate well with;itlttq
arranged which essay to "tap" or even having superior vocabularies).fthepersons ability to learn, and the
"test" this something or group of On the other hand children from the Iability to learn is largely a native ca- 234 Nickels Arc
somethings, as the case may be. These finest environments may stand inferior pacity.79
tests are then given to large unselect- or feeble-minded on the tests-in spite Nature has not been equally kind'Phone 795-W
ed groups and the average perform- of every educational advantage. You 1to all her children. There is a gigan- MRS. GRACE VAN St
ance found. Then persons taking the f cannot get blood out of a turnip and tic distance between the vegetative i
tests are ranked as average (normal), you cannot get intelligence out of me-
above average (super-normal), or be- diocrity or feeblemindedness,
low average (sub-normal). You do' In the sanve family, under apparent-
this sort of thing every day when you ly similar social conditons, our tests
walk down the street and say, "He is show that sisters or brothers may rank "KEEP CHRISTMAS WITH
taller than average," or "Smith. very differently.
ahead of me, is a wonderful student!" i Children have been taken from poormAKODAK
The psychologist merely uses a mo'o environments and given the beet of
refined method,- using definite stan- care and education. While this sort
dards and , ethods of -measuring. of.experiment has not been carriedid
Tests of general intelligence pretend out extensively in the past, enough Little Jane is no happier with her new doll
to measure the higher -intellectual pro- !has been done to indicate that the in- th he th h e odak!
cesses-ability to concentrate attention telligence quotient 'changes little.tan is M thr wit er newK.
to learn; that is, to form associations, Feebleminded children, so definitely
to retain .experiences, to judge and classed by the tests, stay feebe-mind- Let us show you the Kodak that will happily
reason. Many tests are put into a giv- ed despite every attempt to change
en system in order to test out these their intelligence status. solve yourL gift problem.It's here.
many- aspects of intelligence.- Wher * * 1
'the results are all in, an index is used - Again the curve of mental growth,
to denote -how any given indivit -sal which all the workers find, parallels
stands as regards his general intelli-- the physiological growth curve re-
gence. A good memory, a good atten- tmarkably. The intelligence matures up
tion, an ability to do abstract think- I through the years until about fourteen
ing-none of these alone are general 'and from then on the curve scarcely,
intelligence, -but all furnish the basis rises. By twenty-ne or two the nat-
of "all-round ability." aive capacity has ripened to the limit
In the tests of special abilities ar (notice, we did not say, however, that
disabilities we attempt to measure the the person ceases to grow in know- .Ar324ABLL AD 190i5ns e ad)r tl e
indiidul agins theaveage er-ledge). If our tests merely tested ac-i
formance with regards to some more cumulated knowledge (habit arcs) 719 N. UNIVERSITY
fohenaoce withlregards tousometmorelh
specific trait or form of behavior, as' ten our itelligence would steadily
such things just mentioned under the increase, as measured by the tests
heading of simpler processes. A test .
may be devised to see how quickly you
can form associations, as the digit
symbol test. Or we may use a test to
see how long the subject can keep a
sustained attention, or. how well he
can retain certain experiences. Again
we might test one as to the ability pos- -
sessed in forms of abstract reasoning.
These are merely examples of such
types of tests and their practical value
i obvious. -







* *
Perhaps the most often heard ob-
jection to the tests (especially the gen-
eral ability tests) is that they do not
succeed in testing native-ability. There
is a fine chance to split hairs over the
There is no American poetry in the
sense that there is French or Chinese
poetry. In other words there is no
poetry so deeply rooted in our soil
and tradition that a foreigner can
never fully understand it, and I doubt
whether such a poetry is to be de-
sired. In spite of all efforts America
remains a thing seen and not a man-
ner of seeing. America is not a point
of view, a style, or a mode of thought,
but' a subject merely; a subject that
has been most brilliantly developed
in Paris -or by Scandinavians. Ameri-
can poets do not exist, but (to witness
. Sandburg and Aiken) there are cap-
able poets in America.-Maicolm Cow-
ley in "The Dial."

Evening Clothes
Golf Suits
Nickels Arcade

Monday and -Tuesday there will
be a speclal- sale of glass and
tea.towels stamped readyto
work. The sale will be limited,
not more than- six to a -custom.
er, and the price will be 19c.

. .r

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