Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.
Haas's Holy Cow
Haas's Holy Cow
Sirs,—It seems a little ridiculous for an obscure student newspaper to call a "little magazine" "obscure," but it deserves such treatment for casting vile things at Mr. Haas's Holy cow, "The Arts In New Zealand," I suppose. When you consider that the article was written by Louis Johnson, a man who is still writing poetry, why the sole voice of criticism becomes laughable.
The gospel according to the "Arts In New Zealand" is that the creative artist should be kept well away from art. It is for we students studying English at stage two and three levels who have a monopoly on culture in our society. At our Student Congress we will discuss for hours what an artist is and how many garrets the public purse will set aside for him and then go back to our cabins and read the best imported approved poets from overseas. So it comes to pass that our university is a perfect institution of middle-brow critics and poetasters a la Dwight MacDonald's mid-cult, with the number of students pouring out what the critical pack would call "pubescent nonsense" becoming less and less, and the contributions from students poorer and fewer, to the fly-by-night little magazines.
But it is not only in creative writing that the critic mentality has made students middle-aged. For some number of years the drama club has been a little elite group which casts and recasts a limited number of actors and actresses in productions throughout the year. This is not due to any conscious attempt to create an elite, but rather due to the fact that the number of students who can even walk from one side of the stage to the other grows fewer and fewer. The Drama Club has gone a long time without a real success and it appears unlikely to occur this year because everyone wants to be sitting in the auditorium watching with their lecturer.
I say the tv set for the coffee bars a good thing to help these people out. Yours, etc.