January 25, 1934
More than a fortnight has passed since my last rambling notes. Final preparation of the X Club paper, Robert's departure, Wayne's advent, the night school flare-up, and a wave of correspondence, have intervened; and the literary attempt for the Atlantic has used up my key-pounding stock of energy.
The X Club effort was gratifying, in spite of a last-minute conflict with the Shakespeare club, which produced invective over the phone when I was dragged out of bed to be threatened with another change of date. Nothing dire happened, however, and the Knights of the Bard were out in full force to help tear my pet meanderings to shreds. Imagine my chagrin when one of the wolves suggested that it was not easy to interpret just what I am for, and what I am against, but a happy thought cured that. And another suggested that I reminded him of an inexperienced school teacher (this was during a free-for-all portion of the discussion) trying to get order in a class room: well, my school-marm friend didn't realize I didn't give a hoot if they started tearing each other's hair, and my main concern at the time was to try and make heads or tails out of my illegible notes. Although I anticipated an ordeal, it proved only physical - my desicion to create a casual and informal atmosphere, and to enliven it a little at the start with facetiousness, had its reward in the comparative ease of delivery. I broke a lot of ice in this experience, just as in the drama debut.
Robert's departure seems like ancient history now, even though his influence has sticking qualities. Spent best part of a day helping him pack books, rugs, matresses, etc., and enjoyed a final tete de tete in the kitchen guzzling beer and crackers.
Wayne's advent is an important event to me, and will probably prove a god-send to the Church. It would seem utterly impossible for any one human being to strike a responsive chord in all the varigated breeds of humanity in that congregation; but such is the case. Within two weeks we witness not only the old-faithfuls pawing all over him, but even the malcontents are perking up. His philosophy is practical: last Sunday he preached, and every day he has accomplished his apparent forte - develope the common ground, and avoid the incompatibilities. He can encourage and inspire without flattery. For instance: I shall make my literary bow solely because he has expressed a faith in certain qualities which appealed to him - yet he has prepared me for the worst, in the event of rejection. There will be more of you, Wayne.
With no aid from Ames I have dismissed the night school idea with a shrug. His nibbs did not see fit to advertise along the lines I suggested with the thought of attracting a new crop of students, and the quadrupled tuition killed it without a murmer. The final decision occured tonight when registration took place; but I did not not attend, being on duty, not feeling up to paying a substitute to work for me to enable me to attend my own funeral. If I weren't so confounded conscientious I am quite sure I could have worked in on some of the current graft called "relief for unemployed teachers", as undoubtedly some of the less deserving are exploiting. Considering the amount of work involved in preparing a 40 hour course I feel distinctly relieved at the outcome, because of other pressing activities. But I could have used the 60 simoleons. RIP.
So out of the frying pan into the fire, and now we take a fling at Murchudo. Born, raised, and christened by Wayen, this babe is safely on its journey to Boston and the Atlantic. If it doesn't take a nose dive into the Atlantic and come back all wet, I may yet praise the gods of anti-pedogogy. And the Ford may yet escape the inquisition of jacks.
McElroy's Cleveland again reminds me that there is no such thing as an impartial biographer: they are all hero-worshipers. No objections of course, for it must take inspiration of this sort to compel a man to go to the enormous labor and research of ferreting out the necessary data. Most biography is contemporary, or only one generation removed, and the historian digests them a century later. Anyway, Cleveland says "You must capture and keep the heart of any working man before his hands will do their best" in reply to Carnegie's "You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best." And re the Pullman strike the author says "Had the lowering of wages been accompanied by a corresponding lowering of dividends and of officers' salaries, the men would have had little cause for resentment----"
Purchasing of gold by the government to maintain the national credit was first proposed by J.P.Morgan in 1895, and Cleveland bought many hundreds of million from him.
Cleveland's second term sounds a lot like Hoover to me, and I must follow it up with McKinley to complete the analogy.
Priestley's "Wonder Hero" is an improvement on "Angel Pavement", but why didn't he stick to his "Good Companion" style? Cannot blame him for feeling the depression, but he really belongs behind his refreshment counter. Dr. Inverurie has some of the Oakroydian twang. Hear him "If I thought it would get us out of this, I'd turn Bolshie tomorrow. But it won't. I don't like soviets, committees, fools who win elections, officials, half-witted comrads, and damned interference with everything and everybody. I don't like public ownership of property. What the public owns, nobody owns; like something between a museum and a lost dog. There is only one thing that the government should look after that it doesn't look after now - and that's money. Try another financial system. It couldn't be worse than this one. Why, if I'd my way, I'd give every unemployed man four pounds a week tomorrow and make him spend every penny of it. ------All right then, let it go bankrupt. We're supposed to be solvent now, and look at us. Let's try bankruptcy for a change. We'll have grass growing in the City of London, just as we have it here in the ship yards. ---- The world can produce like mad. It started during the war and now it can't stop. Every year new machines, churning out more stuff. In South Wales, for instance, they've plenty of coal but no coffee, whereas in Brazil thery're using coffee to burn instead of coal. Why? Because we can produce but can't consume, and we can't consume not because we've stopped eating and wearing clothes and wanting things, but simply because we haven't got the money. The counters haven't been given out property - there aint enough of them - and so the game's slowing up. Like playing poker with chips made of melting ice. We've got to stop the money game altogether - which would be damned inconvenient - or failing that, we've got to create fluid money, going briskly into circulation among consumers, and stop talking silly nonsense about gold standards and listening openmouthed to bankers." (There is an inflationist for you!)
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