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May 26, 1957 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1957-05-26
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Page Two


Sunday, 'May 26, 1957

Sunday, May 26, 1957


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Fad or Legitimate Fight Against Fear?



DITTO 0-11


THE SPECTACLE of a man pay-
ing his respects to a bull in-
spires the greater part of the
American public with a feeling
somewhere between disgust and
In our eyes bullfighting is a bar-
baric, inhuman and rather inde-
cent relic of the days before civi-
lization. Or as the lady from the
Society for the Prevention of Cru-
elty to Animals delicately put it:
"I have never seen anything quite
as revolting."
The lady had a point. -ullfight-
ing runs counter to all the rules of
fair play and sportsmanship that
Americans have been taught since
the first grade.
As a sport it is indefensible. But
as an art it contains moments of
extraordinary intensity that makes
the brutality seem eminently rea-
sonable-and this is what Ameri-
cans find difficult to understand.
A TTEMPTS have been made to
educate the public. The first
and perhaps stiU the best was
Ernest Hemingway's Death in the
Afternoon, published in 1932.
Hemingway had been before the
public for ten years by the time
he came around to writing his
more or less non-fictional account
of the bullfighting world in an at-
tempt to explain the spectacle
"both emotionally and practical-
It was evident even then that he
was something important in
American letters, and many read-
ers learned about the bulls simp-
ly because ten years earlier they
had learned about Hemingway.
Death in the Afternoon is not

(Continued from Page 7)
problems arise. Tranquilizers can
only be sold on a prescription basis.
Some unscrupulous dealers are
capitalizing on the popularity of
the drugs and operating "peace
pill" black markets. Also, overen-
thusiastic users share their supply
of pills with friends.
People who bypass their doctors
and acquire tranquilizers on their
own face the possibility of undesir-
able side effects due to overdosage
or over-sensitivity to the drugs.
. More important, however, they
may accept the tranquilizers as a
substitute for the psychotherapy
which they may require for ade-
quate mental health.
The American Psychiatric Asso-
ciation has warned the public and
doctors that the casual use of1
these drugs to relieve everyday-
tension is "medically unsound and
constitutes a public danger."
"Use of these drugs," the Associ-
ation says "is no more to be en-
couraged than use of any other
drugs except where medical diag-
nosis shows a drug is needed to
maintain the life and functioning
of a person.
"The prescribing of the tranquil-
izing drugs for emotional illnesses
carries with it an obligation for
continuing appraisal and super-
vision by physicians fully aware
of the psychiatric symptoms in-
volved and the potentials of their
course of development, alteration
or remission."
THAT'S A pretty big order for
the family doctor to fill. The
burdens of a general practice often
preclude a complete knowledge of
psychiatric procedure.
Evidence that doctors may be
succumbing to pressure from the
public and drug companies comes
from the fact that of the 10 com-
pounds most frequently prescribed
in 1956, three were tranquilizers.
What are the social implications
of having a large share of the na-
tion on tranquilizers? Dr. Miller
poirus to speculation that "if this

of a psychology class agreed toI
take an unnamed pill an hour be-
fore the test. Half the students,
selected at random, received a Mil-
town.- The -rest received a blank
pill which has no effect- on the
nervous system.
Performance on the exam was
not impaired ror those who re-
ceived Miltown but was, in fact,
slightly better than that of the
neople who received the blank pill
(though not significantly so). Per-
haps the Miltown reduced the
arxiety and apprehension which
interfere with efficiency on exams.
One student who took a Miltown
before a French 31 final last
semester later remarked: "I still
had a few butterflies in my
stomach but I didn't worry about
There doesn't seem to be any
imminent danger of Miltown re-
placing No-nods as the pre-exam
Living in an automotive age, we

might wonder whether the increas-
ing use of meprobamate means
that we have many drivers on our
highways who are constantly
"doped up" or whose reactions are
slowed. The Mental Health Re-
search Institute finds that mepro-
bamate, even in double the usual
dosage, produces no adverse effects
on driving ability, steadiness and
TRANQUILIZERS s h o u1.d be
around in our society for a long
time. We'll probably discover new
and better ways of using them.
But like atomic energy, tran-
quilizers can both create and de-
stroy. They may help solve the
problem of juvenile delinquency
by transforming destructive, in-
corrigible children into calm, co-
operative, and well-behaved child-
ren who no longer resist psychi-
atric efforts to help them. Or they
may assist wartime brainwashers
in controlling the minds and ner-
vous systems of captives.
There's still much to be learned
about tranquilizers. Congress is
aware of this. The same Congress
which provided the death penalty
for persons convicted three times
of peddling narcotics has granted
two million dollars for research on
the tranquilizers. In doing so, it
named Dr. Gerard the national
chairman of the advisory national
committee for the use of psycho-
Tranquilizers may have herald-
ed a new era in medical research,
during which scientists will unlock
many of the mysteries of mental
and emotional disturbances.

Come in-watch the new DITTO
D- 11 liquid duplicator turn blank
paper into crisp copies of anything
you type, write, draw or trace
through reproducing carbon-at
the touch*of a button! It's amaz-
ingly low-pricedl

the most finished work that Hem-
ingway has produced. It is a dis-
organized book that contains
something on practically every one
of Hemingway's favorite topics.
It also -contains some paragraphs
that will probably be the best writ-
ten on bullfighting.
But for all Hemingway's rambl-
ing, he did little more than make
a small section of the public-his
public-tolerant of the violence.
The philosophy of the art was
foreign to Americans, and it was
going to take something more ex-
plicit than Death in the Afternoon

. L. Mencken, the fair, judicious
surveyor of the American
scene, could say after reading
Hemingway's book: ".. . the sport
is brutal, but there is no evidence
that it is any more brutal than
The point is that bullfighting is
brutal beyond the wildest inten-
tions of football. The polite code
of sports ethics has no place in
the bullring. It is not that the

to make them appreciate that phi-
losophy-or even recognize it. I

odds are against the bull-the bull
has no odds.
The animal is part of a highly
organized, formal drama of death.
Its death is essential to the suc.
cessful culmination of the drama,
and no amount of blustering from
the SPCA can change that salient
For strictest accuracy, however,
it must be admitted that every now
and then a bull gets off scot free,
on the grounds of exceptional
bravery, and then goes on to be-

I 314 South State I



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trend continues we may lose our
Yankee initiative. We may lie
down and let the Russians come
We might hope that tranquiliz-
ers, properly used, will helpus
operate at peak efficiency, un-
hindered by unnecessary worry and
anxiety. It's too early/to tell what
the net effect of tranquilizers upon
our society will be, but some clue to
the answer may have come in a
recent experiment at the Univer-
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midterm exam, the 276 members




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