The column got lost in the schuffle last week. No; I didn't have too many Christmas spirits. It was written, and on the editor's deck as per usual. Not having seen his nibbs for some time, I don't know any more what happened to it than you do. But since it is my pet column, I think I'll do some speculating. First guess: it got crowded out by a lot of last minute greetings from some worthy Hamilton merchants. Second theory: it got buried under the usual litter on the editor's desk. Third Hypothesis: the editor decided he didn't like my brand of Christmas cheer. Any of these hunches are satisfactory explanations as far as I am concerned, and if the truth doesn't hurt too much I'll let you know the answer when I hear it.
Perhaps that last paragraph will convince you that I use the first person singular entirely too much. Now that is a very debatable question. After all, aren't the two most important people in the world you and I? At least that is true of letter writing, and this is the same sort of a gossipy, hit or miss, free lance style. Just look at most any personal letter you receive and see if it does not boil down to "I am I; you are you; and the rest of the world is something else which matters a little but not very much." You may say that what is appropriate for letter writing is not necessarily a good excuse for everlastingly inflicting an overdose of ego on long suffering newspaper subscribers. True enough, but give me credit for mentioning you occasionally. Furthermore, I'll let you in on a little secret: the purpose of assuming this style of writing is to free myself from any taint of artificiality; you can be pretty sure that what I say comes straight from the shoulder, and from six inches below the left shoulder at that.
But talking about oneself is a little dangerous, if carried to excess. One difficulty I have experienced in connection with the column is due to the necessity of concealing my identity from you. Consequently I have to judge for myself the merits and failings of my efforts. Of course that phase of it is rather unsatisfactory. Nobody can see himself as others see him. Now it occurs to me that if any of you have had your interest aroused during the past ten weeks since the inception of the column, you may feel inclined to offer your criticism through the Editor of the Press. You cannot be too generous nor too harsh to suit me; You see, a vote of confidence is needed.
In return for this favor I shall do something which I have not done since childhood days: I shall make a New Year's resolution. I promise to write at least one column during 1937 in which the pronoun "I" will be conspicuous by its absence. In fact I'll say at least two. What more could you expect?
Some weeks ago I bewailed the passing of the home-centered Christmas. I think I overdid it. At least, what I said does not apply to this community as a whole. This year anyway, I noticed so many examples of good feeling, home reunions, and unselfish generosity, that all my commercialism worries looked like Republicans. In other words, whatever I said was true, but I neglected to be optimistic.
Perhaps, being a Republican, I cannot help viewing most everything with alarm. Naturally, whatever prosperity we now enjoy may or may not be attributed to the Democrats; that's a matter of opinion, and not demonstrable. Whatever caused it, I'm for it. The Democrats finally got a break by getting into office on a rising tide, and have done a thorough job of entrenching. Now as a parting shot of the old year let's make a rash prediction. During the next two years the Democrats will get smug and satisfied, just as their predecessors did during all those lean years. Then watch the balloons burst.
I hope I am wrong, but the worst committment they have to live down is the displacement of the philosophy of opportunity by the enervating grasping for security deprived of responsibility.
Go To Next entry Return to entry dates