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May 28, 1935 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1935-05-28

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TUESDAY, MAY 2a, 1933

THb1I6-[ J1:',-1 MT 11lVl.lVCH~NIY TUI" 1! MY 25,1935 . - a


I= !

pyschologically efficient, but the University should
do all it can to help those students who disagree
with the psychologists.

_ __ t




BY AND LARGE all comedy may be said to be
built around incidents, or idiots, or ideas.
Of these three categories the first two, which in
the ordinary terminology are known as comedy of
situation and comedy of characters, are much the
more common. The play which successfully at-
tempts to provoke laughter by the presentation
and ordering and juxtaposition of sheer ideas is
very rare. 'The theater of Geofge Bernard Shaw is
of this latter variety.
Certainly the ablest and perhaps the only pur-
veyor, at work today, of comedy falling in the
class of comedy of idea, his most recent concoc-
tion, "The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles," was
seen in Ann Arbor for the first time last night. And
although "the Simpleton" may not be the best
thing he has done, certainly it is not the poorest.
One of the big difficulties that inheres in the
production of the comedy of ideas is that actors
have to be found who are able to handle the lines.
For, although anyone can detect, and be irritated
by, a clever line uncleverly spoken, it is not every-
one, nor even every good actor, who can utter clev-
erness in the properly clever way.
The cast of "The Simpleton" lives up to the de-
mands made upon them. To Romney Brent go top
honors for his performance in the title role and
lead. Nazimova, in a part which doesn't give her
too much to say, is, as everyone expected she would
be, quite convincing. I thought she was a bit on
the dew and honey side in the speech in the first
act about nature, but I'd have to see it again to be
really sure. Otherwise she was very good. Viola
Roache was grand, particularly in her first two
crosses, where her portrait of susceptible middle-
age was excellent, from the tone of her voice to
the indignant toss of her head.
Handley and Holmes, I thought, missed a lot of
the laughs which are there in the parts, but maybe
they just can't help feeling a little la-de-da.
But to get back to Mr. Shaw's ideas. Audiences
seem to have a congenital predilection for having
their legs pulled, and no doubt lots of people in Ann
Arbor are going to lie awake nights this week fret-
ting about the exact, or in fact any, meaning im-
plied or hinted at in "The Simpleteon of the Un-
expected Isles." This reviewer is among those who
'is not going to lie awake, because he happens to
believe that Mr. Shaw doesn't really worry about
trying to be consistent or meaty.
Some of the old ideas, to be sure, are there, car-
ried to new and more optimistic conclusions. The
last lines of Pra and Prola, for instance, may be
interpreted as a sort of idealized version of what
Candida and Marchbanks would have been able
to say if only she had guessed the secret in the
poet's heart, and followed him out of the door.
But with the exception of this and one or two
other thoughts to be derived from the whole play,
Mr. Shaw's evening with his Simpleton, like most
of the other entertaining evenings he has con-
trived, is to be described, not as a serious onslaught
on the citadels of ultimate philosophy, but merely
as an epigramatic field day, fresh, stimulating,
often side-splitting - but not much more.
A long time ago Mr. Shaw wrote, "It is danger-
cus to be sincere unless you are stupid.' Mr. Shaw
has never been stupid.

The Empire State of the South, the gor-
geous home of bliss and its companion, ignor-
ance - Georgia - blclssed us with the follow-
ing incident that took place up in one of its
mountain counties. A history professor and
a preacher friend were driving along a dusty
road and stopped to inquire the way from a
half-grown boy. His total ignorance prompted
the professor to ask him a few questions.
"Say, son, have you ever heard of George
The boy thought for a while, then spat and
said: "Can't say that I has, mister."
"How about Robert E. Lee?"
"Ain't niver heard o' him noither."
"Or Governor Talmadge?"
The two friends looked astounded at this
lack of knowledge, even of the present all-
for-the-dirt-farmer governor. However, the
preacher now brilliantly thought of another
"Have you," he questtioned, "ever heard of
Thc boy thought a while and then visibly
brightened as if they had at last struck com-
mon ground.
"I think I has, mister," he answered. "Ain't
he the guy whose last name is 'damn.'"
* * .*
The Daily Illini editorializes about those im-
pending finals. "The question of final examina-
tions is coming to the fore again, and there will
be plenty of students complaining - many of them
with cause.
"Some will complain because they were supposed
to have learned something; they can be disre-
garded. But those who complain because they
expressed an intelligent opinion that didn't agree
with the instructor and received a low grade will
have something to complain about. Also those
who don't think that an examination should be a
matter of who has the best memory will have a
legitimate complaint.
"The criterion of education is not who is the
best parrot or who has the best capacity for re-
membering facts, but rather, who has the broadest
knowledge of the why and the how of the course."
According to a story coming from Dart-
mouth a freshman ran for a doctor recently in
a decided hurry, and upon reaching the
learned individual, told him in no uncertain
terms that his roommate "was in a sad, bad
shape. Basing his deduction on the ungodly
hour and the blurred accents of the humble
freshman's voice, the doctor inquired sympa-
thetically, "What seems to be trouble. Is he
seeing pink elephants?"
Came the somewhat astounding reply. "No,
the room's full of them, and the darned fool
can't see a one of them."
A Washington


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AsOthers See itt
The Time Has Comet
(From the Yale Daily News)
TJIHE COLLEGES have provided for almost every
conceivable type of undergraduate but. one.
The good athlete and the athlete who is only
mediocre, the scholar and the amateur politician;t
all find ample opportunity to exercise their tal-
ents in the activities of the University or their col-1
lege. Yet there remains one group which has not
been sufficiently considered - a group consisting
of non-athletes with time on their hands who
would enjoy entering some College activity if theya
could but find one.'
To provide a wider field for this type of man
the Colleges must extend their already elaborate
social plan. This step, which we have recommend-
ed more than once, has met with reluctance and
hesitation from college masters, and rightly so.
It has been a wise policy to give organizations a
chance to arise spontaneously during theib first
two years, rather than try to force them down
the throats of college members. But now the
time has come for the masters and fellows to take
the initiative. If undertaken tactfully and with
the cooperation of undergraduates, this can be
done with a semblance of spontaneity.
The possible organizations which can be formed
are many. Glee clubs can be organized to aug-
ment, or take the place of, the impromptu singing
heard nightly in college courts. Orchestras, bridge
clubs, chess clubs - a fertile imagination could
add many more to the list.
Competition can be extended to these activities
just as it has been to athletics. A contest to find
the best glee club, bridge tournaments, a series
of debates; all events of this sort tend to cement
the ties of friendship within a college, between
students and fellows, as well as to unify the col-
leges themselves into an organized whole.
Quietly Learning
THE NEW SERIOUSNESS among undergrad-

THERE is one part of Secretary Ickes' contribu-
tion to the radio symposium of explanation by
which the first billion of the work-relief fund
was launched on its allotted way, with which Re-
publicans generally - and many disgruntled Dem-
ocrats soon or late -would quarrel. The base of
their protests will be poles apart, however.
Said Mr. Ickes:
"In our new program, just as with the one
now drawing to a close (presumably relief and
PWA), there will be no place for political log-
rolling. No part of this huge sum of the people's
money will go into a pork barrel . . . There never
has been an inside track to public works money
and there will be no back-door entrance to work-
relief allotments and projects."
SPENDING four billions would be a job for any-
body. Spending it, or as much of it as is need-
ed to give the depression its final knock-out, in
about 14 months . . . The announced administra-
tion purpose . . . will be a big job for the Walker-
Ickes-Hopkins trio even without attempting to
keep their skirts clear of politics. And spending
it under the new "yardstick" described by Walker
to govern allotments, a yardstick different from
that Ickes created to measure the original public
works disbursements, is foredoomed to invite both
inter and intra-party howls of politics.
In the handling of that original three billion
dollar public-works jobmaker, Secretary Ickes
unquestionably managed to keep charges of polit-
ical pork-barreling to a minimum. The price of
that, however, was sharp tongued criticism over
the slowness with which work was made available
for the unemployed.
There still is much of that fund unexpended.
The dominating factor of the previous Ickes yard-
stick in making allotments was the usefulness of
the project. The new works-relief yardstick sub-
ordinates that to the job-making potentialities of
the work undertaken.
THEN, too, jobs are to be taken to the workers,
not workers to the jobs And projects are to be
placed, so all three agree, in such localities as most
require re-employment stimulus. If that means
anything, it means that big-city areas will get

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