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Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 6. May 31, 1955

Original humour lacking ... — 'Scrappicade '55'

Original humour lacking ...

'Scrappicade '55'

"This is not funny," wrote the Editor of this year's "Cappicade" in a belated apology on page 49. He was not wrong—or rather, those sections of the magazine which were really amusing had, unfortunately, been borrowed from a large number of other publications, ranging from "Punch" and the "New Yorker" to "Man" and a number of Australian university periodicals. While the humour content of a publication which contains work by artists such as Thurber, Charles Adams and Virgil Partch can certainly not be discounted, "Cappicade '55", as the quintessence of V.U.C.'s talent in wit, satire and broad humour, must be considered an abysmal failure.

It must in fairness be mentioned that this was by no means entirely the fault of the people responsible for producing the magazine. There were a number of unfortunate happenings which could not possibly have been foreseen, and which had the effect of crippling the organisation to such a degree that the final hectic compilation, I am told, strongly resembled salvage operations on a ship hopelessly smashed on the rocks. Perhaps Exec. can profit by this year's catastrophes and appoint a "Cappicade" committee as well as merely an Editor for next year.

Faced with the task of making a Judgment on this year's "Cappicade." I find myself at something of a loss as there was so little original material, and so little of even this that possessed particular merit. Brockie's cover had a certain quality of [unclear: whimsicality] though not such more); and among Patston's several efforts his gentle dig at the popular conception of a student, and the one of the R.A.F. mechanic making toast by the heat of a Jet engine of a Vampire aircraft, raised a corner of the mouth. It was a little unfortunate that the company of artists that these two local contributors were in rather detracted from their real merit.

There was One Lodge piece in an advertisement. With the finest cartoonist of the New Zealand scene living in Wellington, surely he could have been commissioned to do some work for "Cappicade." Lodge is not of course a member of the Students Association, but the policy of commissioning local artists Is used by the capping magazines of the other university colleges. It certainly is for more commendable than that of pirating from other periodicals.

The articles are not very worthy of comment either. Nearly all were reprinted from other capping magazines or publications of various kinds. If we forget, however, these "contributions" we are left with a very thin core of material mainly devoted to C.M.T., which was to have been the oringinal theme of the magazine. Some of this is reasonably good. The Guide to C.M.T. Recruits," with its account of the typical army activity of digging a hole and filling it in again, would have raised a few guffaws from those who had themselves been through the mill—or is it the treadmill? I wouldn't know.

After patient research I discerned in the "Cricket Team for Malaya" several rather shocking and surrey puns which had at least the merit of originality and much painful Thought; while a definite glimmer of genuine satirical humour shone out from "A Child's Guide to Malaya." which cowered timorously a few pages from the rear. It would be kinder to make no comment at all on the several remaining original contributions. These were not up to standard and had there been a reasonable selection of original contributions they should have had little chance of reaching print.

This year's "Cappicade" reached probably an all-time low. "The Dominion" accused VUC of producing consistently good rugby teams, consistently good cricket teams and consistently poor Cappicades." If this be true—and certainly this year's effort does little to refute the statement— the fault cannot be said to lie with the people—lamentably few in number—who have devoted time and energy to keeping the institution going.

Part of the trouble—probably a large part—lies in the extremely poor advertising for contributions. Posters demanding contributions should be put up in prominent positions before the end of the session. The idea of offering prizes for the best cartoons and articles is also one that the Executive could well bear in mind. It would certainly provide some increase in incentive.

But basically the blame must rest on the main body of students. If "Cappicade" is to reach a worthwhile standard and to have any value as a student publication, obviously there must be a very much greater number of original contributions from members of the Students' Association. Let us piously wish that next year sees a little lightening of the load of lethargy under which the affairs of the college seem continually to struggle. Amen.

J. D. Dawick.