THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 1951
Kill the Dog: He's a Reviewer
The Week's News
. .. IN RETROSPECT .. .
T IS WEEK'S REVELATION of temerity
in the Inter-Arts Union, while not exact-
ly earthshaking, has at least served to em-
phasize the refreshing independence enjoyed
by the Arts Theater Club downtown. As a
professional organization owning their own
theatre, they can produce just about what
they please without having to worry about
how some of the older members of the engi-
neering college teaching staff or the faculty
wives club will react.
It is probably safe to say that no group
would have been allowed to stage Satre's
"Respectable Prostitute" on the campus, and,
pushing all the pious rubbish about "unauth-
orized publicity" aside, the Inter-Arts Union
found Robert Rosenberg's "War Sky", an
interesting anti-war play, just too hot to
Other student groups wishing to use
University facilities are faced with the
same problem and the speech department
frankly pursues a policy built along the
lines of Mr. Podsnap's famous artistic
canon about abiding nothing in literature
which is calculated to bring a blush to the
\ cheek of a young lady.
Now there are probably good reasons for
this sort of policy although for the moment
they elude me, but the point is that the Arts
Theatre Club did present the "Respectable
Prostitute" and have scheduled a Restoration
Comedy and a couple of French numbers
which might draw hitchhikers from Boston.
This was not meant to imply that the
Washington St. group are exclusively con-
cerned with smut or anything of the kind,
but merely to point out that something
superior' to eunuched productions of "Com-
mand Decisin" is being done in Ann Arbor,
and that a greater number of students than
the thousand or so who saw the "Respectable
Prostitute" during its run should treat them-
sel es to some good uninhibited drama.
Editorials published in The Michigan Daily
are written by members of The Daily staff
and represent the views of the writers only.
NIGHT EDITOR: CHUCK ELLIOTT
I HP© ramn flolei
I T IS INCONCEIVABLE that the event
which claims for itself the title as the most
important and auspicious musical event of
the year-the May Festival-can consist of
such an ill-chosen assortment of music as we
are to be given this year.
Last year a Daily editorial complained
of the absence of the claimed balance be-
tween classic, romantic, and modern works
and of the lack of a real excitement in the
music to be performed in the 1950 Festival.
This year they have hit a new low. There is
nothing approaching the musical interest of
the Bach and Bartok works which were the
saving graces of last year's programs. (Even
the claim of balance has been removed from
this year's publicity broadside.)
Because of the musical understanding of
its audiences, Ann Arbor is one of the few
places in the country where there is an in-
terested and enthusiastic response to the
most exciting and difficult works which we
have. This is where we should hear the
Bach Passions, the Bethoven Missa Solemnis,
the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, or the
amazingly beautiful new Hindemith Re-
quiem. The Festival could provide the orches-
tral, choral, and soloistic forces which these
works demand and which are not available
New music could add much excitement
to the programs. The Piano Concerto and the
Shostakovich 1st Symphony are among the
most worn contemporary scores, while the
music of Lambert and of Paul Creston has
not previously been considered exciting. The
Philadelphia Orchestra has recorded the
Bartok Third Piano Concerto, excerpts from
Alban Berg's Wozzeck, and Hindemith's
Noblissima Visione. The excuse that the or-
chestra doesn't have time to rehearse such
works doesn't hold water in these cases. Why
aren't the appropriate soloists brought for
the Berg and Bartok works?
The excitement of a music festival must
come from the beauty and expectation of
beauty generated by the music being done,
not by the reams of publicity-for the latest
evidence see the supplementary pages of to-
day's Daily. We are still waiting for the
Festival, through its choice of music, to be-
come something better than the most in-
ated and pretentious part of our musical ac-
IOMORROW workers for the World
Student Service Fund will start so-
liciting money and pledges to finance
their organization, a relief agency de-
voted to aiding university students in war
We hope they won't get turned away.
WSSF is the only organization pledged
to'aid students. The annual drive, con-
.. A....J,.a ...f m *L......nv onn . .S.'. 4s-u . -1
Defense of the Critics
TN THE NEXT column Mr. Harvey Gross,
the most frequently assailed of The
Daily much villified critics, presents his
case against the letter writers. There is also
much to be said about the critics themselves.
The Daily does not pick its reviewers
off the street, nor does it conjure up the
most brutal sadists to be found this side
of the Huron River. Pre-requisites for
reviewing are few but important. Any re-
viewer should know his subject and be
able to write palatable prose. Each re-
viewer does, we feel, live up to these mini-
However, the opinions, expressed in the
review are, like the editorials printed on
this page those of the writers only. And
The Daily itself, being not a single entity
but a composite of more than 100 staff
members, usually disagrees about the pro-
ductions in the way any normal group of
thinking individuals would.
The Daily, however, recognizes one
thing which seems to have escaped many
of the letter writers. That is, the review-
ers function is to present a critical evalu-
ation of the work. His function is not to
compile an impartial, objective scoresheet
of "good" balanced by "bad" and come
up with a grade of C plus.
Because the reviewers seem to have be-
come the Campus Controversy of the year
(outdoing in letter inches even Willie Mc-
Gee) it is time they received just a brief
* * *
W HEN NOT ARMED with Beethoven
scores, Harvey Gross is a graduate
student in English and has his own classical
disc-jockey radio program. In addition to
long standing and frequent attendance at
concerts, he plays the piano and has studied
music theory and composition.
Bill Hampton whose review of the speech
department's last bill of one-acts provided a
target for letter writers until the Heifetz
concert came along is a teaching fellow in
the English department aid a long-time
Daily cartoonist, drama and movie critic.
He also runs the graduate-faculty Gothic
Film Society and has made his own movies,
among them "The Well Wrought Ern"
which had several campus showings and
was favorably reviewed.
Louise Goss, whose review of the Cincin-
nati Symphony caused some comment, is a
graduate student in the music school, con-
centrating in music literature. She has had
training in piano, clarinet and voice and
teaches a course in Music Literature. This
is her second year of reviewing for The'
Proceeding in the reverse chronology,
we come to the Greenbam-Elliott combine
who did not like "Hanlon Won't Go." Leon-
ard Greenbaum and Chuck Elliott are both
Juniors majoring In English and Night Edi-
tors on this paper. Both have been doing
movie and drama reviews intermittently
since last spring. 4
D. R. Crippen has escaped any all out
attack, but has had a few pebbles thrown
his way now and then. He is a graduate
student in history and one of the organizers
of the faculty-student "Bull Ring" infor-
mal discussion club. A few years ago, Mr.
Crippen wrote a Jazz column for The
Daily. In passing, I might point out that
reviewer David R. Crippen and staff-writer
Davis Crippen are two different persons.
* * *
THESE ARE JUST a few of the names
which have appeared beneath reviews,
but this sampling should indicate that they
are a well rounded and qualified group.
It is interesting to note that every one
of the persons mentioned above, with the
notable exception of Mr. Gross has writ-
ten more favorable than unfavorable re-
views during this year. Also, no review
which praised a production has ever re-
ceived a volume of letters.
Two days before his review of the one-
acts, Mr. Hampton's prose glowed in praise
of the Arts Theatre Club production of
"The Respectable Prostitute." No letter
writer disagreed (or agreed) with him. Pro-
ceding the "Hanlon" review, Mr. Green-
baum liked "Command Decision." Nobody
wrote letters. Miss Goss has reviewed ten
concerts this year. She liked nine of them.
An occasional lone voice commented until
the tenth concert, which she did not like.
Then the letters demanded blood. And so
This adds up to the pretty discouraging
implication that the public insists on praise
for every production from the reviewer.
Since this would mean a complete lack of
critical standards of any sort, we are left to
conclude that the audience resents being
told that just possibly they had not gotten
as much for their money as they thought.
At The Michigan ...
VENGEANCE VALLEY, with Burt Lan-
caster, Robert Walker, and Joanne Dru.
THE HEAD-EM-OFF-AT-THE-PASS boys
are out in their Sunday best here again
with full Technicolor and a star-studded
cast. This is all to the good because the so-
Defense of Criticism
A NUMBER OF LETTERS have appeared
in The Daily complaining about the
music criticism. The authors of the letters
reveal that they not only dislike the kind
of criticism written, but believe criticism of
any kind is worthless. I label this attitude
anti-intellectual, and it can ultimately be
traced to other sources of anti-intellectual-
ism in American life. I propose to analyze
the objections to the music reviews in The
Daily, and show how they grow out of this
distrust of reason and informed thinking.
1. Argument by Authority. This and the
following argument generally support the
objections to an unfavorable review. The
reader will point out that the critic ofthe
New York Times has written a favorable
account of a certain performer; he will then
demand to know how The Daily reviewer-
who has three tin ears and a cloven hoof-
can presume to question such august author-
ity. This is the typical scholastic argument.
In the Middle Ages when a natural scientist
wanted some information on caterpillars he
read Aristotle. As a result many natural
scientists had queer notions about caterpil-
lars. A few of the smarter scientists atually
looked at caterpillars and discovered that
Aristotle was not an infallible authority.
But the letter-writer does not listen to the
music; he spends his time in the library
reading The London Times, The Philadel-
phia Inquirer, et al, and forms his opinions
accordingly. What this writer is saying is
that there should not be any criticism at all;
everything has been said by Aristotle (or
The Philadelphia Inquirer).
2. Argument by Audience Appreciation.
Everyone likes the performance because the
audience applauded vigorously. We are then
to assume that this must have been argood
performance. This argument is hardly
worth discussing. One need only listen to
the radio to find out that audiences will
applaud anyone who can play Yankee Doodle
on the kazoo or who can identify the occu-
pant of Grant's Tomb. My own opinion is
that audiences are too polite; I should like
to hear some spirited booing in Hill Audi-
3. The Folksy Argument. Some readers
have written that they are unsophisticated
and humble; all they want is the opportun-
ity to hear music played. These music lov-
ers are plain, simple people without the
impossible standards of a Daily reviewer.
It does not matter that performances are
bad or that the music is not worth playing;
after all, the musicians are doing their best
and we must not hurt their feelings.
Beneath the folksy argument we detect
anti-intellectualism. The critic is compli-
cated, over-educated, and sophisticated.
What we need is a musical Louella Parsons
who won't 4emand that the horns come in
on time or that the violinists play in tune.
4. Argumentum ad Hominem. Another
familiar argument and one which need
only be briefly discussed. The reviewer "has
no soul," "doesn't enjoy life," writes "effu-
sions," has a funny name (one comic dredg-
es up "a Gross of Gosses") and other in-
anities ad infinitum.
5. Argument by Vituperation and Bad
Writing. This is the lowest point. Here the
letter-writer, smoking in the heat of self-
righteousness, descends to personal abuse
and accuses the reviewer of expressing
"megalomaniac value judgements." These
brave brandishers of the poison pen reveal
the quality of their minds by their fatuous
use of mixed metaphors ("saturated in ab-
stractions") and their artful handling of
the shifted construction.
6. Argument on Humane Grounds. It has
been seriously advanced in thepages of The
Daily that artists should not be criticized
because adverse criticism might prove to be
a traumatic experience, and they might
cease to create. Certain sentimentalists be-
lieve that Keats was killed by the Black-
wood reviewers; actually he died of con-
sumption. And any artist who is possessed
by the demon of creativity will only stop
writing, composing, or painting when he is
* * I*
THOSE WHO have disagreed with the
musical criticism in The Daily for any
of the above reasons have misunderstood the
nature and function of criticism. No one
expects universal agreement with the opin-
ions of a critic, nor does any sensible critic
believe he is infallible. (Although one of the
critics' critics has stated that no critic be
allowed to open his mouth until he can
prove he is infallible!) But a reader has no
right to assume that a reviewer possesses a
disordered mind if he happens not to like
The critic's job is to communicate his
impressions of a work or a performance
as intelligently and as honestly as he can.
He may show errors in judgement or taste
-he likes all of Schubert's music, even the
most trivial or the most sentimental-or he
may be blindly prejudiced-he dislikes Wag-
ner's music on moral grounds-but if he
shows enough sensitivity and love his efforts
will be worth reading.
and around a large cattle ranch just before
and during the spring roundup, the action
is fast, the gunplay occasional enough to be
exciting when it arrives, and the dialogue
effective and to the point.
Xettero TO THE EDITOR
The Daily welcomes communications from its readers on matters of
general interest, and will publish all letters which are signed by the writer
and in good taste. Letters exceeding 300 words in length, defamatory or
libelous letters, and letters which for any reason are not in good taste will
be condensed, edited or withheld from publication at the discretion of the
. . .0
To the Editor:
To the Editor:
IN VIEW OF the profound and
thought-provoking article writ-
ten by Mr. Challis, USAFR, and
the witty parody of lines from
Hamlet by four promising young
wags, I feel it necessary to clar-
ify once and for all my position
on the draft as it affects college
I I believe every man has the
duty to bear arms for his country
in time of need.' I believe that
there should be no arbitrary
classification as to who shall and
who shall not serve. Classifications
should be based solely on the bal-
ancing of the public interest to
*be promoted against the private
interests which would be inf ring-
ed. A classification, exempting col-
lege men simply because they are
college men would obviously be
arbitrary and not in the promo-
tion of public interest. So, too,
would be a mental classification
of college men whereby the cream
of the crop would be 'rewarded' by
being " deferred from service, and
the unfortunates would be pena-
lized, in effect; by being made sub-
ject to service.
However, I will grant that the
deferment of certain groups such
as medical students and certain
engineering students would not be
an arbitrary classification, and
would be in the public interest. I
trust that the four Shakespearean
wags will note that I did not in-
clude law students.
Why Airman Challis took issue
with me, I do not know. My let-
ter was definitely not directed at
any veteran, and I assume, of
course, that since Mr. Challis is
an involuntary member of the
USAFR, that he is a veteran. . .
As to the query concerning my
draft status, I fail to see how that
question has anybearing on the
merits of the issue..
L R. J. Stegner, '52L
* * *
"Of course, I don't know anything about art, but
I know what I'm like ... "
* * 4 *
ArTound th W orld ...
KOREA-Another cycle in the war of attrition appeared to be
over yesterday, but not before UN forces had made dramatic gains
and solidified their position in central South Korea. Faced by the
possibility of another all out Red Attack as soon as the spring thaw
started, the Allies followed the old rule that offense is the best de-
fense. In an attempt to harrass massing Chinese troops and keep
the front agitated UN troops moved forward. The initial push was
marked by slow see-saw battling and heavy Red losses. Red sector
pullbacks turned into mass withdrawals. Finally, the Allies recap,
tured Seoul and the strategic supply base of Hongchon. Friday, Red
resistance thickened as the Chinese regrouped their armies around
Chunchon, 20 miles south of the 38th parallel.
LITTLE BIG FOUR-The "No Progress" sign hung over the Paris
meeting of the foreign minister's deputies from the United States,
Russia, Britain and France. The deputies, trying to decide on an
agenda for Big Four talks wrangled through the week without agree-
ment. Biggest controversy in the discussion was German rearmament
. * * *
LABOR & MOBILIZATION-Labor moved back into the fold
bit by bit this week, as a compromise reformation of the Wage Stab-
ilization Board gathered approval. A double size board of 18 members,
six each from labor, management, and public interests would be set
up to settle a broad field of labor disputes. Labor readily agreed to
the plan. The industrial and business leaders announced that though
they oppose the idea of the committee settling labor disputes, they
will go along with the plan as a body.
CRIME QUIZ-The Senate Crime Committee began open hearings
in New York City Monday and became the nation's number one tele-
vision hit. Leading lady was starlet Virginia Hill, former girl friend
of the ex-Buggsy Siegel. In the male lead was T-V shy Frank "Hands"
Costello, alleged leader of the nation's largest crime syndicate. Be-
tween complaints about his laryngitis and refusals to testify, Costello
was twice threatened with perjury charges. He walked out on Thurs-
day's meeting but returned when faced with arrest. Senators put on
velvet gloves. Costello still refused 'to testify and went home to bed.
DRAFT LAW-When the House Armed Services Committee finally
made up its mind on the draft bill, there were two major differences
between their version and that passed by the Senate last week. Th%
House group called for a minimum age of 18/2 and no limit on the
size of the army. The Senate version would draft 18 year olds and
place a 4,000,000 man limit. The only point on which the legislators
agreed was to have UMT once the current emergency is over. If the
House passes the committee's bill, joint conference meetings will have
to iron out the differences.
STUDENT DEFERMENT-During the week Draft Director Gen.
Lewis Hershey had a change of heart on student deferments. He
started off by condemning the Senate bill that would defer 75,000
"sacred" students a year, and ended proposing a plan of his own.
Nation-wide tests with a passing score of 70 would defer all students.
Freshmen in the upper half of their class, sophs in the upper two
thirds and juniors in the upper three fourths would also be deferred.
The final decision on the plan has been left up toMobilization Direc-
tor Wilson and Manpower Director Fleming.
VANDENBERG - Michigan's senior senator, veteran legislator
Arthur H. Vandenberg was reported to have taken a serious turn for
the worse as he lay in a Grand Rapids hospital recuperating from a
bong series of operations. Throughout the week he remained in a
critical condition, and at last report had not improved.
WILLIE McGEE-Agitation to save Willie McGee, thirty-six-year-
old Mississippi Negro sentenced to die on Mar. 20 for raping a white
woman, reached a climax early last week with the appearance of
McGee's wife on campus. She spoke in her husband's behalf, but.the
cheers had scarcely begun when several law students stood up to
defend the American legal system. In the few days following the
rally, the ad hoc Committee to Save Willie McGee collected names
on a petition to President Truman, and prepared to deluge the powers
that be. Thursday night, the unexpected announcement came from
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black-Willie would be given five days
respite to appeal the case. In giving the stay of execution, Black
lashed out at "pressure tactics" used in behalf of the defense. On
campus, the ad hoc committee bravely held up its collective head, and
went on with the petitions.i
CAMPUS MISCELLANY-Dean Ivan Crawford of the Engineering
College announced his forthcoming retirement after 11 years of ser-
vice . . . Student disinterest marred a potentially worthwhile program
of forums, lectures and seminars scheduled for Religion in Life Week
... Sophomore football player Dave Hill was reported missing since
-Chuck Elliott and
HE: I understand Heifetz does-
n't play straight-forward Bee-
HE: He fusses with and dis-
torts the original composition.
THEY:. Well, well!
HE: His approach to a high
note' is so calculated as to upset
the nervous systems of audiences.
THEY: Well, well!
HE: In fact, Heifetz can't read
music; and his improvisation is
THEY: Well, well!
HE: Honest, Fellows, I read It
all in the Daily's Music Column.
THEY: Ooooohhhh! !!
-M. K. Rasnick, '51
* * *
To the Editor:
DURING THE YEAR, I hue-
been reading the music reviews
of Harvey Gross with more and
more consternation. This morning
that i n c r e a s i n g consternation
broke out into outright anger. I
feel that such reviews are exceed-
ingly in bad taste.
From the sound of his criticism
it seems Mr. Gross intentionally
went "armed" to the concert and
"sure"~ was going to report every
little technical mistake Mr. Heifetz
made. Probably not being able to
do so, Mr. Gross contented himself
with Heifetz's interpretation of
Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata. I
merely wish to state in answer that
it undoubtedly appears that Mr.
Gross has absolutely no concep-
tion as to how musicians, includ-
ing concert artists and conductors
alike, undertake the performance
of music. If Mr. Gross would care
to do some investigating he will
discover that'Rachmaninoff in his
recording of his own Second Piano
Concerto very often plays passages
much faster than he himself in-
dicated in his own score!
Needless to say, Mr. Heifett is
the greatest violinist in this coun-
try today and to write such a re-
view as Mr. Gross wrote last night
shows a complete lack of musical
knowledge. I do not mean that
merely because Mr. Heifetz is so
great he should be given rave re-
views all the time. On the contrar
a sincere critic last night could
have pointed out his unbelievable
hesitancy as well Qs the frequent
spottiness of his technical attack
which is a rare phenomenon com-
ing from Mr. Heifetz. Th, just
tends to prove stronger Mr. dross's
lack of sincerity. I wish to recom,
mend that you re-evaluate the N
merits of Mr. Gross as to whether
or not he is a worthy music critic
for The Daily.
-Bob Kapel, '53
To the Editor:
HAVE FOLLOWED the tirades
of Daily critics for some time
now-but Mr. Gross's review of the
Heifetz concert IS THE LAST;
First of all, might I say that
Mr.' Gross has espoused a lost
cause. Unfortunately there is no
such animal as absolute music
without the services of a perform-
er wh: ch seems to be what he is
looking for. Granted that themu-
sic should be the pcus of atten-
ti-, it sould also ne evident that
no man, however devoted to mu-
sic. can perform a selection with-
out devN'oping some ideas of his
own anout the music.
Heaver. forbid that an artist
should tamper with the tempo or
repeats in a score, especially since
it is weh known that Beethov m
d.n not take the trouble to indicate
dynamics or tempo as often as he
might have. There is quite a dis-
crepanry in editions of music, and
in cplnans on how certain pas-
sages were meant to be played.
At this roint I am tempted to say
that it is well Mr. Gross armed
himself witha score so that he
could find something to "criticize"
for approximately three-fourths of
There may come a time when
perfectio7 is achieved, but until
that stime such "'excrutiating. per-
formances" as this last concert will
continue to be enjoyed by almost
all, minus an anxious flapping of
One last word-very large pro-
fuse thanks to Louise Goss for
keeping a few shreds of hope for
the world of music alive.
Edited and managed by students of
the University of Michigan under the,
authority of the Board in4 Control of
Jim Brown..........Managing Editor
Paul Brentlinger...... ... City Editor
Roma Lipsky ........ Editorial Director~
Dave Thomas............Feature Editor
Janet Watts............ Associate Editor
Nancy Bylan. ........ ..Associate Editor
James Gregory ........ Associate Editor
Bill Connolly..........Sports Editor
Bob Sandell.... Associate Sports Editor
Bill Brenton.... Associate Sports Editor,
Pat Brownson Associate Women's Editor
Bob Daniels........Business Manager
walter Shapero Assoc. Business Manager
Paul Schaible..Advertising Manager
Bob Mersereau......Finance Manager
Bob Miller.......Circulation Manager
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All rights of republication of all other
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(Continued from Page 2)
Pi Tau Sigma: Meeting, Tues' March
20. M.E. Computing Room, 244 W. Engi-
neering Bldg. Chapter projects and fin-
al vote on new members for this semes-
ter will be discussed. All members are
requested to attend.
Pre-Med Society: Meeting, Tues.,
March 20, 7:30 p.m., Room 1300, Chem-
istry Bldg. Movie, "Journey into Medi-
cine." Speaker: R. A. Correll of the
Armed Services Information Center.
"Draft Status of Pre-medical Students."
All interested students invited.
Ballet Club: No regular meeting this
Monday. Rehearsal for cast at Barbour
Gymnasium, 7 p.m.,
Dear me, t"1 No, you don't, Gus. Noi ofat ll.. 1
The child is right, Q"Malley. There 1S
tswoi s 1 a." .:' .I
... 'Here! this plaid! It 's an