Sunday, December 30, 2012

The New Age December 19 1912

Highlights from this issue:

The first column in The New Age is always "Notes of the Week."  This week's is a really interesting piece on a railway worker who was fired for being drunk OFF duty.  Unfortunately for the railroad companies, this guy Knox was a forty year veteran railroadman who was always sober on the job and friends with every worker in England: the injustice led to a 10000 man strike. They were protecting, as the column points out, their freedom from having every moment of their lives scrutinzed and regulated. 

Beatrice Hastings continues her assault on the "White Slave Bill," which has been passed in the last week without much substantial debate (much to her chagrin).  She calls out the people who want flogging reinstated to recognize the connection between violence and lust, adroitly turning the tables on the moralists.  I can't help but feel like the truth must be somewhere between the two extremes I have encountered in these last issues: women need more substantial protection under the law, but the lust for blood has clouded the real issue.  There's a certain women's-lib edge to Hastings, who (if she is right) is claiming that women deserve the freedom to leave the strict moral universe of post-Victorian England.  Which of course they do.  But the picture she paints of prostitution is much more of the courtesan than the streetwalker.  Arthur Rose's short story "The Downfall of Elizabeth," later in this issue, must be by Hastings or a sympathizer.

Things get a little postmodern (early) in the "Present Day Criticism" reviews section: in which the author (Orage?) reviews a reviewer, pointing out that his christmassey schmaltz is hilariously bad. 

The Insurance Act, including compulsory contributions, is just like Obama's health care plan.  But 1912. 

And one more before I'm up to date on The New Age.  Then other reports.

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