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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (May 12, 1953)
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Tuesday, May 12, 1953
best In the hands of those who are reluctant to as
A New Mentality
I have said that the Silent Generation is fash
loning the Twentieth Century Man. It is not only
suffering and bearing forward a time of transition,
it is figuring forth a new mentality.
In the first place, these young people will be
the first truly international men and women. At
last it has ceased to be a mere phrase that the
By DON PIEPER
The Yale Daily News recently published aa
anniversary issue devoted entirely to a "Study of
a Generation in Transition." Thorton Wilder, a
well-known author, was asked to comment on a
Time Magazine article (Nov., 1951) on The
Younger Generation. The Nebraskan offers Wild
er's thoughts here for your consideration. Please
read them and try to come to some definite con
clusions about yourself.
The Silent Generation
A younger generation has been calling attention world is one- Compared to them my generation
to itself again. These crises in the public ap- was parochial. Their experience and their read-
praisal of the young used to occur at longer in- ing their newspapers as well as their textbooks
tervals; now, with the acceleration of social have impressed upon them that the things which
changes, they appear with increasing frequency, separate them. In the Twenties and Thirties one
Some of us remember the Jazz Age; this was felt oneself to be one among millions; these young
followed by the Lost Generation; now we are in people feel themselves to be one among billions.
a state of alarm about the Silent Generation. They know it not as a fact learned, but as a
. self-evident condition; they know it in their bones.
. On the one hand the individual has shrunk; on
I have been given an article on "The Younger the other, the individual has been driven to probe
Generation" which appeared in Time magazine more deeply within himself to find the basis for
on November 5, 1951, and have been asked to a legitimate assertion of the claim of self. This
comment on it. There I read that these young conviction is new and its consequences are far
people "do not issue manifestoes, make speeches, reaching in international relations, in religion, in
or carry posters do not want to go into the social reform, in art, and in the personal life.
Army Their ambitions have shrunk They want .
a good secure job either through fear, passivity,
or conviction, they are ready to conform They For instance, we went to war against and
are looking for a faith." . among "foreigners" and "enemies." That atti-
All this I recognize. I propose that we read the tude was narrow; henceforward all wars are civil
wars. This generation goes forward not to punish
and destroy, but to liberate oppressed and mis
guided brothers. The Army authorities go into
anxious huddles over the unabashed candor with
CL-..U Dl::.JLITTLE MAN ON CAMPUS
which young men can be heard exploring ways of
The Jazz Age preceded and accompanied the
first world war. There was a breaking of win
dows and great scandal. It made evident to all avoiding military service. The Army like the
that the American home or the partriarchal pat- church. like the university is an echoing gal
tern had come to an end. The young neoDle lerv of out-dated attitudes and sentiments. It still
won the latchkev. Thpn th vniimr mm wn( nff thinks soldiers can be coerced and it still thinks
to the war. That made them heroes. As heroes that the primary qualifications of a soldier are
they acquired more liberties than they had seized courage and obedience. In a machine warfare, the
as rebellious bad boys. The Lost Generation was ser a kind of engineer; his primary virtue
the generation that did not know what to do with is technical skill and his function is co-operation,
its new liberties. The younger generation of to- not obedience.
day is facing the too-long delayed task of con
solidating its liberty and of impressing upon it a
design, a meaning, and a focus. No wonder they
strike us as silent.
Twentieth Century Man
An even greater task rests on their shoulders.
They are fashioning the Twentieth Century Man.
They are called upon to illlstrate what the Ger-
Jhe Nature Of Beliefs
Most of us were Protestants; the beliefs held
by others were the objects of our all but condes
cending anthropological curiosity. Today these
young people are interested in the nature of be
lief itself. Some of us in the previous generations
hurled ourselves into social reform and social revo
lution; we did it with a personal passion that left
mans call a "life-style" for our times. This work luie room Ior aeiiDeration and long-time plan
is usually done by men and women of middle age, ninS- To correct one abuse we were ready to up
but in the accelerated tempo of these war-punctu- set manv a benefit. It was of such crusaders that
ated years a man or woman of forty-five is out tne Sidney Webbs were finally driven to say. "We
of date. He does not respect or despise the same hate moral indignation." The emerging Interna
institutions as an intelligent person in the middle tional Man wil1 move less feverishly in his en-
twenties, does not read the same books, admire larged thought-world. This generation is silent
the same art, nor agree on the same social or cul- because these changes call not for argument, but
tural premises. The Silent Generation (loquacious Ior rumination, ihese mistakes of the previous
enough among its contemporaries) holds its tongue generation are writ large over the public prints,
because it cannot both explore itself and explain
The first charge against these young people is These young people are setting new patterns
apathy. They do not fling themselves into causes; for the relation of the individual to the society
they are not easily moved to enthusiasm; the ex- about him. The condition of being unimpressed by
pression on their faces is impassive, is "dead pan." authorities and elders has thrown them back more
, resolutely on themselves. They are similarly un-
impressed by time-honored conventions. For in-
But I know where they learned this impassiv- stance, young married couples today make a few
ity. They learned it at home, as adolescents, concessions to the more superficial aspects of so
guarding themselv'ts against their parents. Guard- rial life. In my generation young brides suffered
edness is not apathy. In all my reading I have if their street address was not "right" and if their
discovered no age in which there was so great table silver was not distinguished. Young men
a gulf between parent and child. A seismic dis- were very conscious of influential connections,
turbance has taken place in the home. Within commissions in the Army, membership in good
forty years America has ceased to be a patri- ciubs. Members of this generation exhibit a sin-
archy; it is moving toward a matriarchy but has gular insistence on wishing to be appraised for
not yet recognized and confirmed it. There is themselves alone. How often I have known them
nothing wrong with a matriarchy; it does not con- to conceal sedulously the fact that they come of
note any emasculation of men; it is merely a shift privileged family. This insistence on being ac-
of balance. What is woeful for all parties is the cepted as an individual produces an unprecedented
time of transition. These young people grew
in the fluctuating tides of indeterminate authority. I've always been an awful liar. I'm trying to get
A latner was no longer held to be, ex officio, wise over it." A veteran, in the presence of his strick
and unanswerable. The mother had not yet en parents, informed a mixed company that he
learnea tne ruies oi supporting and circumscribing had been a "psycho" for six months after the war.
her new authority. Father, mother, and children Such expressions reveal the consolidations of a
have had daily to improvise their roles. This led liberty the liberty of belonging to oneself and
to a constant emotional racket in the air. The not to a social faction,
child either learned a silent self-containment or
fell into neurosis. "At
The second change is that they "aim low" These paragraphs have been part description,
they want a good secure job. The article in Time part explanation, part testimony of faith. Faith
says that, as far as their domestic life is con- is in constant correspondence with doubt. It may
cerneo, xney iook lorward to a "suburban idyll." be that these young people have been injured by
the forces which have been sweeping across the
world in their formative years. It may be that
What they want, at all cost, is not to find them- what I have called their self-containment is rather
elves in "false situations." Life is full of false sit- a cautious withdrawal from the demand of life,
uations, especially American life today. The most It may be that they lack passion and the con
frequent and glaring of them is incompetence in structive imagination. My faith returns, how
high places. My generation saw a great deal of ever, with each new encounter. I have Just
this in government, In the Army, in culture, and crossed the ocean with a boatload of choice young
In education. We exercised our wit upon it, but we "Fulbrights" (all hail to the Senator!). The traits
were ourselves (not yet free of patriarchal in- I have been describing reappear constantly. They
fluence) still vaguely respectful of rank and of- have two orientations well in hand ,to themselves
lice and status. This generation is not impressed and to the larger ranges of experience. It is
by any vested authority whatever. And their toward those middle relationships that they are
freedom to Judge authority is accompanied by their indifferent current opion and social usage and
willingness to be judged. Their caution reposes the imperatives of traditional religion, patriotism,
upon their unwillingness to exercise any authority and morality. Their parents wring their hands
or responsibility for which they do not feel them- over them; their professors find them lukewarm
selves to be solidly prepared and adequate. They or cool; the Army grows anxious; we older friends
hate the false and they shrink from those conspic- are often exasperated. These impatiences are pro-
uous roles which all but inevitably require a cer- voked by the fact that they wish to live correctly
tain amount of it. I find this trait very promis- by their lights and not by ours. In proportion as
Jng. Plato was the first to say that high place is we are free we must accord them that.
The Daily Nebraskan
Member: Associated Collegiate Press Intercollegiate Press
Advertising Representative: National Advertising Service, Inc.
Madison Ave.. New York 17. New York
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Marianne Hamnn, Kajr Nky, fynlhla fli-ndonnn. Marilyn
Huttua, Willi 'llraoh, Marilyn Mltahcil, B-lh Hnhwiir, (Iraa
Harvrv. Dun llllkrmrlrr, Nancy Odnrn. Marpfa Mlrkl.n. Nat.
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ers themselves, mostly high-'
minded men, cannot really wish
to put religion through the com-i
mercial and suppression sieves.
(EDITOR'S KOTBi Tb followlnt editorial
by Clayton T. Grliiwold wa published In
a raceat una of. Prubytuiaa Ufa.)
Is Bishop Sheen contributing to
the moral and spiritual strength
of America through his appear
ances on the Admiral sponsored
television program "Life Is Worth
Living"? Or is he dragging the
Church down to the ways of the
"money-changers in the temple?"
An answer to these questions
may help also to shed light on
another problem that is troub
ling many Americans of all
faiths today. "Should religious
leaders be sponsored by com
mercial advertisers on tele
vision?" First, let us examine the ob
jective! of those who are in
volvedBishop Sheen, the Ro
man Catholic Church, the Ad
miral Corporation, and the
Bishop Sheen is the head of the
Society for the Propagation of the
Faith of the' Roman Catholic
Church in this country. His
worthy objective is to win as
many converts as he cn to the
Roman Catholic faith. As an aid
to that end he accepted the invi
tation of the -Du Mont Television
Network to occupy the "death
watch" Tuesday evening at eight
o clock, a time when most tele
viewers dialed to either the Mil
ton Berle or the Frank Sinatra
So refreshing an improve
ment was Bishop Sheen over
both these rivals that the Frank
Sinatra program shortly died
and the Milton Berle program
had to be put into the hands of
a program super-surgeon named
So successful was Bishop Sheen
in building an audience that he
won himself a commercial spon
sor and countless awards as the
television man of the year.
The Roman Catholic Church
must be pleased to have so able
and successful a spokesman. Yet
hierarchy and laymen must be
troubled by some of the implica
tions of the present arrangement.
Does it foreshadow a day when
television stations will no longer
give time free as a public service
for the broadcasting of Roman
Catholic programs but will re
quire that sponsors be found for
According to the arrangement
with the sponsor, Bishop Sheen is
to sound as little as possible like
a Roman Catholic priest. He is to
talk about ethical, moral and pa
triotic subject! which have inter
est to all people and will offend
no one. He is to use his great skills
and his magnetic personality to
build good will for his church.
And by his wearing of ecclesiasti
cal robes and having a statue of
the Virgin well centered in the
background there is no doubt as
to the particular denomination he
We suspect there are many
pressures on the Bishop the
hierarchy pressing him to in
clude more of the distinctively
Roman Catholic teachings in his
programs, and the church lay
men urging him to let well
enough alone and to win friends
and influence people by being a
good fellow and not revealing
too much that would alienate
part of his audience.
The Admiral Corporation is
probably interested in two things
and its president, Ross Siragusa,
in an additional third. The Ad
miral Corporation is interested in
the worthy objectives of winning
good will and selling its products.
Its president, said to be an ardent
Roman Catholic layman, should
be given the highest praise. Surely
his earnest desire is to make
America finer through the influ
ence of Christian teaching. And
he appears to be the type of cour
ageous layman who loves his
church and does all he can to
The public, which eventually
decides these matters, turns to
television for entertainment, for
information and for the excite
ment of living in a larger world.
But however much they like
the Sheen program, many view
ers. Including churchmen of all
faiths, are beginning to feel
sorry for Bjshop Sheen on two
counts. They are wondering if
he has not got himself trapped
in the unfortunate position for a
churchman of being a salesman.
Just as "Uncle Milty" sells cer
tain gasoline and lubrication
products and "Lucy" sells a par-!
ticular brand of cigarettes, so now
Bishop Sheen has been made the
"show" to pull an audience fori
the sale of certain manufactured
Sympathy goes out to Fulton
Sheen for the second part of the
trap in which he has been en
snared. An advertiser is anxious
to secure the largest possible au
dience of potential buyers of what
he has to sell. For that reason he
does not wish to offend a single
televiewer. So Bishop Sheen has
been told he must not present
sectarian views lest he oTfend
Protestant and Orthodox Chris
ftians, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, :
Thus he is forced to disguise
himself and try to sound like what
he is not. To a degree he is asked
to sound like Pollyanna and then
is criticized because often he does
sound like Pollyanna.
lie is denied on the air the
right of integrity, the right to
talk like what he is, one of the
ablest preachers and teachers
in the world today and an ar
dent exponent of the Roman
This commercially imposed limi
tation on the Bishop is not fair
to him, and it represents a great
threat to freedom in America today.
Totalitarianism has advanced a
long way when America accepts
the "never offend" philosophy of
the advertising fraternity and sup
presses the real freedom of speech
of leaders like Bishop Sheen. Ro
man Catholics as well as Protes
tants, Jews, and all other men of
good will should be concerned to
from Fulton Sheen the
1 - - - - --H
4X1 COrV INUSffARY
by MECTHiOLATt I. CHMP
HOTS'. TESTS twill
flWM Tn'.J IOC.
X WILL NOT
"Don't take th' book out of th' library, class I forgot to
put it on the reserve list."
Ifs The Rule
MUS Alay Change Rules
At Workshop Suggestion
The Associated Women Students!
may make some changes in AWS!0,wi v,
,i j i n . a iiwujc icui cadi iau ca
rules at a meeting Tuesday. lto the AWS Board.
ii mese cnanges are made, it would be composed of girls from
will be partly due to three work-! each organized house on the cam
shop discussions which the Board 'pus, since at the present time
neia may o. ai tnese workshops some houses are not represented
University coeds aired their views on the AWS board. Although this
concerning three areas of AWS group would not have the nower
&upervision: ruies, university to vote, it would be able to pre
standards and AWS point system
xne Kuies Workshop dis
cussed changing second semes
ter freshman hours back to 9
p.m. instead of 10:30. Most of
the coeds felt that 9 p.m. would
be better for freshmen. The
general opinion of coeds on
changing Sunday hours to 11
p.m. was also in favor of the
earlier hour of 10:30 p.m.
The workshop also recom
mended that if a student has twn
hours of downs, she should hp tp.
quired to have 8 p.m. hours on
weeks nights. At present the
minimum is four hours of downs.
lhe standards workshon dis
cussed several recommendations to
De included in the AWS Rule book
which is given to freshmen at
the beginning of the year. These
would include proper wear on
campus (no jeans or slacks except
on appropriate occasion), smok
ing habits and no drinking in nr.
ganized houses or at campus functions.
sent its views and suggestions con
cerning the work of the board.
Re-evaluating the point sys
tem to make it fairer to girls
in activities was the main dis
cussion in the point system
workshop. In addition they dis
cussed enlarging the appeal
board and making It more in
formal. They suggested that the
president of any organization
involved in an appeal be con
sulted in making decisions con
cerning over-pointed coeds.
The workshop discussed adding
certain house oifices such as so
cial chairman to the point system.
At the present time, house presi
dents, vice-presidents and pledge
trainers are pointed.
By MARIANNE HANSEN
Soring and picnics along with
cut-classitis are almost synony
mous. So, with the help of thk
weatherman, the Ag Union gen
eral entertainment committee if
sponsoring an all-Ag campus pic
nic Thursday afternoon.
Softball games and sports will
begin at 4:30 p.m. on the west Ag
campus picnic grounds. At 5:30 a
picnic supper, for which a nomi
nal fee to help cover cost of food
is being charged, will be served.
Supper tickets may be purchased
any time this week at the Ag
Union booth for 25 cents.
The third annual event is under
the direction of Mary Ellen Ma
ronde. eeneral chairman: Don
Leen, games and Junior Knobel,
Tonight the Ag campus is host
to another picnic the annual
workers, chosen by board mem
bers, are given recognition cards.
Spring brings picnics, but it
also winds up another activity
the weekly movie Saturday night
in the Ag Union and bunday
night in the city Union. This
weekend's movie will be the last
for the semester "Panic In Th
Streets," starring Richard Wid
mark and Paul Douglas.
"The movies have proved to be
one of our most popular activi
ties," Mrs. Peters, Ag Union Ac
tivities Director, said.
She added, "This year here hat
been a bigger attendance than in
any previous year."
Consequently, the Ag Union is
conducting an informal survey to
determine what types of movies
students most enjoy. Saturday
night's movie audience will check
its favorites, providing an indica
tion of student preferences in
choosing next semester's movies.
Picnics, movies an art gallery,
too. The multi-service Union is
now a miniature supplement to
Morrill Hall. Ranging from "Tin
Can Battle" to "Spring in New
Orleans," 13 paintings from the
collection of the University Art
Department have been hung in
the main lounge. The house and
office committee, under the guid
ance ! of Polly Ackerson, wasre-
sponsible for making the arrangements.
Why don't you go out to the
State Hospital and give yourself
a a a
That's a nice suit you have on
didn't they have your size.
Interfraternlty Council will hold
a special meeting following th
ROTC parade in Room 316 of the
Army and Air Force joint ROTO
parade will be held at 4 p.m.
Corn Cob mass meeting will be
held in Room 315 of the Union at
New Student Council will hold
its first meeting at 4 p.m. in Room
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miLLER C PAIflE
"AT THE CROSSROADS OF LINCOLN"
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