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May 04, 1958 - Image 8

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Michigan Daily, 1958-05-04
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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

Sunday; May 4, 1958

Sunday;May 4, 1958

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

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INTERPRETER-He must interpret the parts of the blot plus the over-all view. He gets four min-
utes in which to interpret. Sometimes it takes at least three fourths of the time to think up an inter-
pretation. Blots sometimes resemble only blots.
Different pproach
To Self-Analysis
Do-It-Yourself Psychology Trend
Reflected in Parlor-Type Game

THE YOUNG LIONS-Nazi Christian Diestl (Marlon Brando, right) finds opposition
to German thought in the French girl Francoise, whose humanity gives her courage.

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI-Nicholson (A
with his understanding of war and decide whethe

New Philosophy for

War,

Fun

BOOKLET HELPS-A animal interpretation of this blot might
point out an individual, according to the booklet accompanying
the game, who is immature.

This Popular Entertainment Form Now Realizes
The Impossibility of War for a Human Society

By THOMAS BLUES
T HE LATEST IN parlor-type
games, Person-Analysis, should
not be any threat to the die hard
Monopoly and Canasta fans. Based
on psychological ink blot tests, the
object is to guess who interpreted
a given ink blot. Of course, there
are several fringe gimmicks that
make it a game. There are two
teams, each attempting to out-
interpret the other, a point scor-
ing system, slightly less compli-
cated than pinochle, a pad on
which to jot down interpretations,
and a booklet explaining what cer-
tain interpretations might indi-
cate about the interpreter.
If taken lightly, the game is
mildly amusing for a short time.
One team is shown an ink blot.
Each member of that team puts
his name at the top of his "in-
terpretation sheet," and has four
minutes in which to write out an
interpretation of the blot. When
time is called by the "master ana-
lyzt" the interpreting team's cap-
tain mixes up the sheets, pulls one
at random, and reads it to the
members of the guessing team.
IT IS THEIR JOB to determine,
on the basis of the interpreta-
tions, who interpreted. (Before be-
ginning each player recites a brief
personal history). Points are
scored or subtracted for correct
or incorrect guesses following
which the teams switch positions,
something on the order of base-
ball. It can go on for hours, de-
pending on the durability of the
amateur analysts.
The direction booklet claims
that the game is "a revealing psy-
chological game for adults based
on the latest psycho - scientific
techniques."
"You will see," it continues,
how your mind operates, what oth-
ers think about you, about them-
selves and how their minds oper-
ate."
The booklet helps the players in-
terpret the interpretations by in-
cluding a list of what certain in-
terpretations might mean about
the interpreter and which 'can
give you some insight into the
workings of human nature."
THOSE WHO GIVE animal in-
terpretations (most frequently
made, according to the booklet)
may be "nervous, quick, active,
bright, and might have a tend-
ency. to emotional immaturity.
"General interpretations," such
as geography, landscape, vege-
table, 'might indicate a person of
Thomas Blues, Daily asso-
ciate personnel director, spent

average mentality who cannot rise
above the common place thought
level ."
These helpful hints continue in
abundance and remind one of the
penny scales which tell fortune
with your weight. The booklet
draws the line on sex, mentioning-
that sexual interpretations 'will
probably be given by people not
easily embarrassed and may be
given more frequently by men than
by women," an amazing bit of in-
sight into human nature.
T HE PLAYER who is forewarned
is forearmed in this game. By
reading the booklet before the
game he can later reveal a stalwart
personality. A 'shape and color
interpretation" might indicate a
person with good emotional con-
trol and reasoning. 'A' person who
would seldom offend others and is
often helpful and civic-minded."
Or, a three dimensional interpre-
tation might point out a person
with "a good insight into himself
and the finer intellectual capa-
cities with some special talent or
gift."
On the surface this game seems
harmless enough - if played by
children. In the hands of adults,
howevever, it may be slightly on
the dangerous side. The vision of
amateurs fooling around with psy-
chology is rather chilling.
Although the danger is not as
apparent as it would be if there
were'do-it-yourself atomic fall-
out kits, it does exist. It lies in the
basis of togetherness, personality
tests, and the team concept-the
idea that everyone must know all
about how the other guy, and our-
selves, operate. There is no pri-
vacy in this concept, not even in
the mind.
ONE CAN IMAGINE a group of
close friends after playing
Person - Analysis. Comments and
though might be, 'I always had a
lot of respect for Bill, but when
he interpreted that blot to be a
young girl being crushed by a
steam-roller-well, I don't know."
Or, Jack is a nice guy, but-that
interpretation of a bear rug clear-
ly indicates a reflection on his
sensual feelings." According to
the booklet a texture interpreta-
tion might "be given by an indi-
vidual with strong sensual feel-
ings.'"
It might be though, that the
game could help in many social
and business situations. Consider
inviting the new neighbors for a
little game and then evaluating
their potential value to the group.
In doing so, controversy might be
averted. Or the employer might
have his newest emnlovee over for

likes, dislikes-all important
the team concept.

to

THIS NEW GAME certainly has
its place in the evolving social
concept of togetherness, coopera-
tion, and suburbia-the idea being
that controversy must be avoided.
Persons must be revealed to their
associates and their motives evalu-
ated, otherwise suspicions may be
aroused.
If carried to extremes the idea
of having to know everything
about everybody, including your-
self, nobody would do anything.
We would all be too busy evaluat-
ing our motives, deciding if they
are valid or whether they would
rouse suspicion when compared to
the norm.
ship has ever been able to suppress
for a long period of time.
The easy way out for the indi-
vidual who wants to keep his mind
and motives private apparently is
to cheat while playing the game.
But this would not do because, of
course, cheating on an ink blot, if
caught, only reveals that the in-

terpreter has something to hide-
and who would not be suspicious of
that person? And if a person saw
nothing but a blot in a blot, this
would clearly indicate that, as
the booklet tells us, he "probably
has an unusual lack of ideas and
imagination." Horrors!
ALTHOUGH THE GAME prob-
ably is not especially danger-
ous, simply because no person is
going to reveal himself even to
his best friends in such a situa-
tion, it is a danger signal of the
inroads that psychology is making
on our lives. Certainly, psychology
has its place in society just as
physics and medicine have their
places. But one wonders how far
this relatively new and unproven
science can go. Like nuclear test-
ing, too much may be dangerous.
If used to treat the mentally dis-
turbed it can be a valuable aid to
humanity. But when used to re-
veal the minds and motives. of
psychologically healthy persons, it
is rather disgusting. Freedom of
thought is extremely precious and
is one freedom that no dictator-
YET SOCIAL PRESSURE, a tre-
mendous force, might be able

leMAir~GAZt tIE

to turn the trick if we are foolish
enough to be taken in by the
current craze of motivational re-
search, and personality testing.
Used in a limited respect, these
methods of looking at human na-
ture might be valuable, but when
emphasized to impossible extremes,
to a point where people become in-
terested as an everyday matter in
looking into themselves and into
others the thought of the results
is unbearable.
Psycho-Analysis, while not the
bugaboo, of our society, may in-
dicate the trend and point directly
at the danger of mis-used and
overemphasized psychology in our
daily lives.
YELLEN:
'Shepherd'
Bjoa lanc"e
Lackinfg
THE PASSIONATE SHEP-
HERD. By Samuel Yellen,
Knopf. New York. 245 pp.,
$3.50.
By DONALD A. YATES
SAMUEL YELLEN has, for many
years, contributed to the pages
of the "small magazines," scholar-
ly and university-supported publi-
cations for the most part. He has
developed a certain facility for
story-telling and has a sense of
what constitutes a story-which
removes his work from the scope
of they popular and slick mass-
circulated magazines.
In The Passionate Shepherd he
has selected a representative group
of his tales. Lovers of a good story
well-told will be interested up to
this point. The truth is that the
books holds much disappointment.
THIS REVIEWER was unfortu-
nate enough to read the title
story first. It is an excellent story
about a college, professor who
realizes one day he has lost the
essence of his real being, that he
no longer possesses the quality
that identifies him to his friends
as a real human being.
HBut, unhappily, The Passionate
Shepherd is the best piece in the
collection and no other story chal-
lenges it.,The balance of the pieces
are facilely handled exercises
which, like Stoneville Pike and The
Glass Jaw, develop a nice emetion
without ever seeming to get it in
a proper frame.
In the presence of this collec-
tion, one is impressed by the ap-

By VERNON NAHRGANG 1
THE LANDING on the beach met1
little strong opposition from the
enemy and soon the marines were
moving into the jungles toward
the heart of the island. The Japa-
nese weren't to be seen, but they
spoke often, dropping an officer
in the paths and halting the ad-
vancehbriefly while anxious eyes
searched out the sniper.
An hour and a half later, the
months-long drive on Guadalcanal
was ended and the weary but vic-
torious troops were marching out,
waving and calling and exchang-
ing greetings with the soldiers who
had just moved in for the "mopr
ping up" operation.
This was Guadalcanal Diary, a
post-war movie that took the
book of the same name and trans-
lated it to the screen, producing a
film that glorified war and the
dangerous but honorable duty of
the soldier.
GUADALCANAL DIARY was ty-
pical of a long series of war
films that began with World War
II and continued for some years
past the end of the war. The main
theme of these films was always
the patriotism and heroism, the
power and the glory of war and
the men who fought it.
Each film created its own heroes
and sacrificed them to the rigors of
combat. But the types were always
the same: the preacher, the blond
young kid, the Catholic, the smart
alec from New York, the Italian,
the Irishman, the Jew.
Sentiment ran high with each
of these, and as they fell from
the bullets and mortar faced in
the line of duty, the tears were
supposed to run higher.
Yet the outcome was always the
same-victory and glory. The war
films of the forties had little to
say but were unanimous in saying
the same things for war and say-
ing them sweetly.
For it was wartime, and the im-
portance of a "united effort" dur-
ing the war was prime. The excite-
ment of battle scenes lured audi-
ences to-the theatres and the films
did their part in maintaining high
degrees of patriotism. Wartime was
no time to question a patriotic ef-
fort.
SINCE THE WAR, the war film
has taken a different outlook on
war and its relation to mankind.
Its popularity at the box office has
continued as escape-seeking audi-
ences have sought the excitement
and tension of noisy battle scenes,
but the philosophy of the war
Vernon Nahrgang is city
editor of The Daily and con.
tributes regularly as a mem.

film itself has changed from the
grateful, appreciative acceptance
of war to the questioning of its
very existence.
Replacing the war glory films
like Sands of Iwo Jima were From
Here To Eternity and Battle Cry,
movies that kept the types, char-
acters and conventions, but studied
more closely the individual's re-
action to his participating in war.
Already the war film was moving
away from total drama to a part-
philosophy.
There were still films of the for-
mer type, however, which had be-
come in the early fifties recruit-
ment films. Audie Murphy's To
Hell and Back was the most fla-
grant example of army propa-
ganda, created to drive weak minds
from the theatre and into the
glorious uniforms available at the
corner draft board.
TODAY, the -movie-going public
is confronted with a more
thoughtful approach to the place
of war in human society. The cur-
rent trio of films, Paths of Glory,
The Bridge on the River Kwai, and
The Young Lions, keep battle
scenes to a minimum and concern
themselves with the more philo-
sophic aspects of combat.
Each of these films finds its
own degree of success in its own

way; each of them turns on the
same basic approach to the rela-
tionship between man and war.
War is seen as one great, perfect
game where the rules are iron-
clad and where orders must be fol-
lowed to the letter. Man is a sen-
timental being, an animal unable
to overcome his emotions and feel-
ings for his fellow man.!
Can man, then, play the game
of war?-This is the question that
the war films pose today. Man's
inability to set aside personal
emotions and follow specific or-
ders and rules makes him a loser
in war.
Questions of the ethical nature
of war or of its destructive quali-
ties for mankind as a whole often
appear in these films, but they
serve only as masks for the central
question of man in the game of
war,
O F THE THREE FILMS, The
Bridge on the River Kwai
makes the crudest, most direct at-
tack on man's part in war. The
very setting on the River Kwai,
between the giant, wooded hills,
subdues the war effort to nature
and to other animals who, like
the birds soaring over the area,
are above the petty concerns of
man.
Nicholson, an Indian Army
colonel held by the Japanese, pro-

vides the supreme example of sub-
jection to the codes of war. Per-
sonal torture cannot shake his de-
termination to follow the law. As
a result, the devotion he gives to
his work for the Japanese leads
him to a double master, placing
him finally in a situation where
the correct action appears to him
uncertain-and delay means loss
of the game.
In contrast, the American Shears
cuts corners where his personal
comfort seems to him of prime
consideration. When Shears and
Nicholson meet in the final at-
tempt to blow up the bridge,
Shears is killed in the line of duty,
having given all he could, while
Nicholson cannot see what he must
do, and, fortunately, falls con-
veniently on the detonator, blow-
ing up the bridge.
The "young kid" type is also
here in commando Joyce, the boy
who must learn to kill. He does
learn, finally, but the thought of
turning on one of his own men
when necessary is too clouded with
man's sentimental, emotional na-
ture and he, too, dies.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
is too "neat" for what it has to
say. All ends well for the "good"
side, even if there is total destruc-
tion. The presence of the neutral,
in the guise of a medical officer, is
too obvious a conclusion-his wan-
derings over the battleground and

Vol. IV, No.

7

Sunday, May 4,

1958

CONTENTS

Different Approach to Self-Analysis
By Thomas Blues Page Two
"The Passionate Shepherds"-A Review
By Donald Yates Page Two
A New Capital From the Ground Up
By Ashok Sibal Page Three
Nuclear War and the Future
By Lane Vanderslice Page Four
Students Visit Detroit
By Thomas Turner Page Five
Sabres, Rapiers and Beer Steins
By Erhard Lippman Page Six
New Philosophy for War Films
By Vernon Nahrgang Page Seven
Faith and Communism
By Michael Kraft Page Eight
MAGAZINE EDITOR-Carol Prins
PICTURE CREDITS-Cover: Upper left-Kirk Douglas in "Paths of
Glory," photo courtesy Bryna Productions, Inc.; Upper right-
MarIon Brando in "The Young Lions," photo courtesy Twentieth
Century-Fox Studios; Lower-Photo courtesy Ashok Sibal; Page
Three: Photos and Mop courtesy Ashok Sibal; Page Four: Asso-
ciated Press; Page Four and Five: Daily photos by Bruce Bailey;
Page Six: Cartoon courtesy Colloquium, magazine of the Free
University of Berlin; Page Seven: Upper left-Parley Baer, Dora
Doll, Liliane Montevecchi and MarIon Brando in "The Young
Lions," photo courtesy Twentieth Century-Fox Studios; Upper
right-Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa and Geoffrey Horne in
"TheBRridaeon theR ivr'K' a i. " ro r"'ortes v C"'umiaPn i'-

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