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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 11. June 21, 1939

This Gossip Business

This Gossip Business

When I first paid my subscription to "Salient" I was prepared for the worst, and in spite of this I must admit I was quite pleasantly surprised at the high standard achieved in its columns. The subtle admixture of news and serious writing was quite refreshing after the inanities of one "Smad." I confess, however, that I was surprised and rather disappointed to find last week's issue featuring a long dissertation on the "Defence of Gossip"—surely a subject more suitable to a women's weekly or a third rate "rag." I read the essay very carefully and found about three points [unclear: worthy] of any further thought—the writer certainly carried the fight into the enemy's camp when he said that one of the objections raised to gossip was that it causes mischief. W. H. A. seems to overlook the fact that the very people who do gossip are the ones who cause all the trouble. And as for suggesting that it is a game that can be played under "the right rules." may I ask the writer where he would begin and end his Book of Rules? No person is capable of damming the flow of gossip once he has opened the gates—quite Innocently perhaps, and with little idea beyond a friendly chat. That is the point which W.H.A. has overlooked. He seeks to justify, possibly, his own peculiar emotional outlet in gossip, by labelling all those who chatter with this same peculiar title—a gossiper.

A person may be friendly without necessarily having to sloop to the level of gossipy small-talk. I have no interest in other people's scandals and misfortunes—I like to think of them and to accept them at their face value. What be or she did last night in the hushes round the bottom of the garden may fill in an awkward moment between mouthfuls of Caf tea, but is it important? is it creative? is it friendly? I prefer to cut my conversation rather than descend to puerilities. Let us hope that some day W.H.A. will go and live in the sort of village he envisaged in his essay. I only hope that the finds comfort in chattering about that beauteous blonde he mentioned—lot us hope he never meets her.