Sunday, December 30, 2012

The New Age December 12 1912

It's been a while, I can't really explain why.  But I've been reading along, even if I haven't been writing, so I'll do a whirlwind set of posts today to make up for the gap.

First, The New Age Dec. 12th. 

Romney's "Military Notes" are growing more disturbing, as when he declares that "tactical finesse" is "a positive danger" when soldiers should "simply go straight forward at their mark."  Hello Somme.  More on this next post, in which he takes this idea farther. 

"The New Servitude" has a very familiar feel, claiming that business is unfairly speeding up the level of production without raising wages.  This all funnels into advocating guild socialism, of course.

"More Hygienic Jinks," the column that satirizes public health issues, has a great depiction of the eugenics movement as a confused and intentionally confusing mass of pretensions. 

John Masefield is brutally attacked in "Present Day Criticism."  Might relate that to the dueling reviews of Masefield that will come up in Poetry at some point...

As has often happened in The New Age, the real gems are in the letters to the editor.  R. B. Kerr responds to Pound's earlier claim that America doesn't have any geniuses by agreeing!  Blames American lack of leisure.  I wish I could blame the same for my late posts. 

Really the most startling debate in the magazine is the struggle over the "White Slave Bill."  Bewildering--it seems like the Archbishop of Canterbury and company are trying to bring back flogging as a punishment for pimps and johns.  They have a groundswell of more moderate support from people who want to end sex trafficking in England.  But Beatrice Hastings is dead against it.  My picture of Hastings continues to develop: in this issue, a woman writes to her with an example of a time she met a prostitute who was being held against her will (and who the police did not protect).  Hastings reiterates her earlier position that women cannot be forcibly made into prostitutes, then doubles down by attacking equal suffrage!  I want to discuss this with an expert... maybe I'll try to find a book. 


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