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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 10 July 28, 1943

No-Man's Land

No-Man's Land

Please remember.—All contributions, including letters, must be signed. We regret that we are unable to print any unsigned matterial, even if a nom-de-plume is to be printed.


—As I had just been to "Meet John Doe" the night before reading July's Salient, I was the more poignantly touched by your film reviewer's innocent enthusiasm for Capra's latest production. The idea of Hollywood "exposing the criminal methods of Fascists" is too funny.

Actually, the Fascist motif in the film was handled with masterly restraint, and every care seemed to be taken not to feature too prominently or too unfavorably the private army of uniformed toughs. After all, that might have been misinterpreted as a slight upon those loyal servants of the film-magnate's fellow-entrepreneurs, who on occasion so admirably maintain law and order against the agitator and preserve the purity of American institutions. The necessity of preserving those institutions intact, just as they are, was clearly the moral of the film. John Doe, the unemployed "typical American," was no agitator. The John Doe Clubs (though they confessed they had nothing else to do at their meetings) must of course be "non-political." The careful association of the "labour leader" with the Fascist plotters was a reminder that one brand of politician was as bad as another, and that the best thing the people can do is just to love their neighbours and leave politics well alone. The cream of the joke on your reviewer, however, is (if the metaphor may change) his hook-line-and-sinker acceptance of the film's subtle suggestion that by failing to break into national politics, the bankers and oil magnates are baffled "in their attempt to come to power."

Lavishly sweetened with drug-store sentimentality, thoroughly besprinkled with Babbitts and their wives, replete with domestic respectability and the stagiest of Stage parsons, familiarly free from artistic integration or integrity (entirely unconvincing in its closing scenes—who would have a quiet fag Just before committing suicide?) this picture struck me as a typically Hollywood example of backhanded propaganda. Can any good come out of . . . Gomorrah?

—Yours faithfully.

R. S. Parker.


—May I put Mr. Abraham's letter more concisely?

"Gad, Sir, a cad, Sir!"

J. M. Ziman.

Dear Madam,

I find it rather surprising that the elections received rather less publicity than the usual tea dances receive. In the past it has been the custom to give as much publicity as possible to this event, not to shroud the whole affair in a veil of mystery.

I am perfectly sure that a large number of students at this College do not know the procedure necessary to nominate candidates for the Exec. This should be made clear to everyone, not by a small, insignificant typewritten notice on the darkest part of the notice board, but in Salient, and also at student functions like debates and tea dances.

Also, as the candidates are not known by the majority of the students I think it is only right that they should be interviewed by Salient, as was done in the past.

Every effort should be made to publicise the Stud. Ass. elections and to induce in us as much interest as possible. This, in my opinion, was not done this year; rather, the whole affair was kept as quiet as possible. I hope next year a vigorous attempt will be made to bring this event to the notice of students in a more forceful manner. After all, the elections are supposed to be a method of selecting the best people available to run student affairs, and it is possible that these people may be too shy to come forward, but with a little prompting, may be induced to become useful and active members of the student body.

—Yours faithfully,

H. Williamson.

Dear Sir,

—In your last issue B19 besought the students of V.U.C. to "tear down their red flags." He is disquieted, he says, by the political views of 'Salient's' contributors, and—"Nazism was reared within the walls of German Universities."

Let us reassure "B19" that any red flags he may have seen signify our eternal anti-Nazism. As a "frequent reader of 'Salient'" he should be aware that rather than attempting to disturb the internal peace of the country, the majority of contributors to this paper have been doing their utmost to rally all V.U.C. students behind the war effort of a united New Zealand.

"B19" should read more of student activities throughout the world and his bogey will vanish. The stand made against Nazism by the Czechoslovak, Dutch, and students of all occupied Europe should convince him—the Germans have always realised the necessity of shooting or putting in concentration camps large numbers of students. He should remember, too, the Chinese students.

In his intention to express his hatred of Nazism, however, and his desire to have internal peace in this country so that the war may be brought to a successful conclusion, "B19" is working with us. Should we not salute him as an ally?

—I am, Sir,


Editor's Note.—M.: Regret cannot print anonymous letter on infantile level of slogan "Help Hitler to Hell." Inventor, ex-welter weight champ, V.U.C, would be interested to make your further acquaintance.