The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 17, 1954, Page Page 2, Image 2

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    Page 2
Lincoln, Nebraska
Editorial Comment
Yes, There Is A Santa Claus
Throughout the centuries men have written
great social doctrines and codes for living. A
multitude of these works have survived and
remained ever applicable to present day Situa
tions. And what is being thought about and
written today may also obtain a similar place
la the literary hall of fame of the future.
This literary ability is not confined to men
in one field but includes scientists, philosophers,
politicians, psychologists, poets, essayests and
newspapermen. Each has contributed some
great, work or works to the world society and
has received recognition for his efforts in
relation to the degree of social acceptance.
Such was the case of an editorial writer on
the 1897 staff of the New York Sun Francis
P. Church. On Sept. 21 of that year Church
wrote an editorial which has remained a classic
on the subject of Christmas and Santa Claus.
Perhaps many of you will remember it better
as an answer to a letter writen by Virginia
O'Hanlon, a child who wrote to the Sun for a
solution to a typical childhood problem.
So, because it is ' Christmas and because
Church's editorial hits so near to home in the
minds and hearts of many people to whom
Christmas has a special meaning, The Nebras
kan reprints the famed editorial which was
entitled "Yes, There Is a Santa Claus."
Dear Editor,
I am Eight years old. j
Some of my little friends say there is no
Santa Claus.
Papa says "If you see it In the Sun it's so."
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa
Virginia O'Hanlon.
Dear Virginia,
Your little friends are wrong. They have been
affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.
They do not believe except what they see. They
think that nothing can be which is not compre
hensible by their little minds. All minds, Vir
ginia, whether they be men's or children's,
are little. In this great universe of ours man
is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as
compared with the boundless world around him,
as measured by the intelligence capable of
grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He
exists as certainly as love and generosity and
devotion exist, and you know that they abound
and give to your life its highest beauty and
joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if
there were no Santa Claus! It would be as
dreary as if there were no Virginias. There
would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no
romance to make tolerable this existence. We
should have no enjoyment, except in sense and
sight. The eternal light with which childhood
fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as
well not believe in fairies! You might get your
papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys
on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but
even if they did not see Santa Claus coming
down, what would that prove? Nobody sees
Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is
no Santa Claus. The most real things in the
world are those that neither children nor men
can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on
the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof
that they are not there. Nobody can conceive
or imagine all the wonders there are unseen
and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see
what makes the noise inside, but there is a
veil covering the unseen world, which not the
strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart.
Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can
push aside that curtain and view and picture
the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is
it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there
is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus? Thank God! he lives, and he
lives forever. A thousand years from now,
Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years
from now, he will continue to make glad the
heart of childhood.
Logic kd Nauseam
Resolved: That God Has a Place on Campus.
The headline, which appears in the news
columns of The Nebraskan introducing church
news to student readers and which has been
the church column headline since Sept. 25,
1953, has currently been under fire in The
Nebraskan Letterip columns. -
The Nebraskan has not commented further
editorially for several reasons.
First, because the headline does not violate
Journalistic ethics of editorializing in the news
columns as has been accused.
Second, because we belive that the headline
has been tested of its acceptability by the fact
that, after a year's publication, it has only
recently been attacked.
And third. The Nebraskan felt that there
was actually no argument because ethically
tha headline violates nothing except the per
sonal views tof a few students.
, Let us say that the following remarks are in
explanation of the headline's use, rather than
in defense of it for The Nebraskan regards
its answer as clarification of policy.
Beginning with the Declaration of Independ
ence the United States was established "with
a firm reliance on the protection of Divine
Providence," and the authors assembled "ap
pealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for
the rectitude of our intentions." Therefore, the
United States as set forth in the Declaration
of Independence was established as a nation
with a majority belief in a Supreme Being,
that being God or whatever name one chooses
to give Him.
The preamble to the Constitution of the State
of Nebraska states: "We, the people, grateful
to Almighty God for our freedom . , .," and the
Constitution itself provides that "All persons
have a natural and indefeasible right to worship
Almighty God according to the dictates of their
own consciences . . . Religion, morality, and
. knowledge (however) being essential to good
government, it shall be the duty of the Legis
lature to pass suitable laws to protect every
religious denomination in the peaceable enjoy
ment of its own mode of public worship, and
to encourage schools and the means of instruc
tion." With these two major points of reference we
feel we have given a satisfactory explanation
of the social and political acceptance in our
nation and state of a Supreme Power a God.
And according to journalistic ethics what is
acceptable to tha majority of society and pro
Tided allegiance and protection in documents
of law is acceptable for publication in news
columns without the fear of editorializing.
You may note that the above quoted state
ments specifically state "according to the dic
tates of their own consciences" and "its own
mode of public worship." The documents do
not set forth any law or suggestion as to what
degree or in what form worship takes. How
ever, it does establish the object of worship
whatever the degree or form as being God.
, The logic of the attackers is based on degree
of belief. The Nebraskan believes that to what
extent a person accepts a God is his own per
sonal matter. To point out the various degrees
of belief on our campus: some of the religious
houses on campus feel that the headline infers
that God is thrown in and barely included
among the many other activities on campus,
that He has only a small portion of the student
interest. In other words God does not have
large enough place on campus. The opposite
view -of the persons who attacked the headline
in the Letterip column presents the argument
that for God to have a place on campus is a
mere supposition and that there are those
students who believe that God does not have a
place on campus, and those who do not believe
in a God at all.
The Nebraskan headline does neither dictate
what place on campus God holds nor what
place God should hold. Therefore, logically
there is no attempt to influence students' degree
of belief. But the headline does refer to God.
That there is a God and that He is on campus
is upheld by society's accepted faith in general
and documents of law specifically.
An attack upon the headline as a quarrel
over the degre of faith the campus has in a
God should be confined to philosophers, theo
logians and speculators. The Nebraskan does
not attempt to invade these realms. Our policy
stands that God Has a Place on Campus is
not an editorialization in that our nation, state
and society are were founded upon guidance
and protection of a Supreme Being God the
proof of acceptance evidenced in documents of
law and judged as a common truth. J. H.
Two-Fifths Headache
The arrival of the second semester, or any
semester for that matter, always brings prob
lems with it. However, the second semester
of the 1954-55 school year might be the beginning
of what will become the number one student
headache class scheduling.
For those who have taken time to read the
front page of the class schedule this problem
is readily apparent. For those who have not
taken the time, this sentence will serve some
thing other than a repititious function: "Uni
versity regulations require every student to
schedule two-fifths of his classes in the after
noons andor on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday ,
mornings." This ruling is an old one which fell
in disuse some years ago and which has been
revived this year.
The reasons for its disenterment is simple:
too many students take their classes between
the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday,
Wednesday and Friday. Their love of these
hours and these days has caused, according to
the Office of Registration and Records, a
shortage of open classes and class rooms at
these times.
The ruling will be enforced this semester on
an individual basis; that is, students with all
or more than 80 per cent of their classes
scheduled for MWF might be forced to change
their schedule to include TThS or MWF after
noon classes.
No definite schedule has been established de
fining the basis on which exceptions will be
made. Enforcement of the two-fifths rule will
be the responsibility of a few persons who will
allow exceptions or force changes on their own
interpretations of the individual case.
Floyd W. Hoover, director of Registration
and Records, has shown outstanding ability
on coping with the problems and difficulties
in setting up a registration system with so
few snarls as is in operation now. He has
attempted a solution to an obvious problem.
However, the solution as it stands now is in
complete, even dangerous, in that no definite
policy for enforcing the two-fifths rule has
been set up.
Students could go a long way in helping
themselves by making suggestions of how a
well-intended, necessary program, such as the
. twe-fifths rule, can be carried out. The Ne
braskan "Letterip" column and staff members
are an excellent channel for such suggestions.
T. W.
JJw ykJbhadJicuv
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Elena ben Associated Collegiate Press ' EDITORIAL STAFF
IatercoUcxiate Press Koiot.. ,. t Wmx
BejjrsstBtativet National Advertising Service, iti,r..V.'.V:.V::.V.V.V. '." J"f"KE5
Incerrtorated Nw Editor .. . . . Mrtuu Umum
wwiiaw Cop Editor Brne Bnurmaan, IMcto Kellman,
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fm trm diurnal conlu oa ttM pmtt at tha Board, ,".. . . ,
aafea aart at aa aMbr at tfea fecalo at ttoa Boartr Drtpe. rrr4 Daly, Joanna 4ws: Bsha Stiff-
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1." " 2,lTTV,m'.V. I Cjnnta Hurat Both. Broa. Marten,
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Tm(aa and ananilnartoa atrtoa. aa teat it aahltshad BUSINESS 8TAFF
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- V. .After la Bale- Manaaara Bra Bo,?nt. Barbara Kick.
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aa at avauai rata at aaitata rrvxded lor ta Bcctioa UnulaUaa Hanatiar cU nuief
On Behalf Of Scrooge
Dickens' Meanie
Called 'Visionary'
(Thla writing la reprinted from tha
December 1C53 issue of the Harrard Alam
aaa. Tha author a professor of history at
that University, tint made his defense of
Hcroota'a attitude toward "l'aletime" la a
speech to tha Signet Society several years
In this uneasy age of changing
perspectives, literary and otherwise
writers thought to have been per
manently buried suddenly re
emerge as significant figures. Oth
ers who were once classics fade
into semi-oblivion. And if authors,
why not their characters?
I venture to salute the holiday
season with a word on behalf of
- one of these characters, an unrec
ognized hero of nineteenth-century
literature, a kind of finctional Leon
idas at Thermopylae of Old Guard
at Waterloo. He yielded in the end,
but only after the powers of the
supernatural world had been turned
loose on him. Granted that ad
miration for this lovable old ec
centric is a highly personal emo
tion of mine. I don't expect every
one to share it, but, no doubt,
most people respond more sympa
thetically than I to the approach
of Christmas. Put me down at
the outset as the spectre at the
Christmas feast, the jarring note
in the Christmas carol.
One must admit that Ebenezer
Scrooge was not without his weak
nesses. He was a bit on the
brusque side and short on urban
ity. His conversational range was
fairly limited. ("Humbug" was a
less than adequate comment on the
Christmas saturnalia that he was
doing his best to resist.) But
Scrooge was blessed with a cer
tain acuteness of perception, at
least until his flagrantly synthetic
refomation. He could detect an
avalanche when it was merely a
little snowslide. Christmas at the
Cratchits' may have been harm
less and Jolly enough, but it was
the beginning of the road that
would lead to the office party. Noth
ing could have more shrewdly an
ticipated the emotions of millions
of latter-day parents than Scrooge's
exclamation, "I'll retire to Bed
lam." Now obviously Dickens didn't like
Scrooge and certainly didn't under
stand him. He assumes that
Scrooge's tastes are unnatural and
misanthropic, whereas in essentials
they will strike many of us as being
merely sensible. For example,
Dickens seems to think it strange
that the old man doesn't warm
to the prospect of dinner at his
nephew's. But nephew, though
well-meaning enough, was a hearty
type, and nephew's wife, possibly
suffering from a thyroid complaint,
seems to have been one of those
bouncing hostesses who was de
termined that all should have a
good time, whatever the conse
quences. It was not only nephew and wife
who offered the hazard, for wife's
female relatives, apparently six or
eight strong, converged on the par
ty. Poor Scrooge suffered not only
from indigestion but especially
from indigestion contracted at
large family dinners. At nephew's,
while sitting around stuffed and
torpid, he would be easy prey for
the amateur musician and parlor
game enthusiast. The former,
Scrooge's niece, played some agree
able innocuous airs on the harp.
Then the sisters and the cousins
and the aunts tackled the game
issue in earnest forfeits, blind
man's bluff, and the whole deadly
As long as Scrooge was asleep
and convoyed by the Spirit of
Christmas Present, he thought it
all great fun. But, awake and in
his right mind, he regarded it as
an unutterable bore. To Dickens,
preferring to sit on the sidelines
while parlor games were in prog
ress was a sign of a perverse
taste. .To others it Implies ordin
ary intelligence.
I have said that Dickens didn't
like and didn't understand Scrooge.
But Scrooge didn't like Dickens
and understood him only too well.
Dickens, he foresaw, was creat
ing the modern Christmas under
the appealing fiction of the "old
fashioned Christmas" and using
him, Scrooge, as the instrument.
He was correct in his suspicion that
the genuine old-fashioned Christ
mas had little in common with the
marzipan-covered fiesta of Dickens.
... At the time Scrooge made
his appearance, mid-winter peace
was still hanging in the balance.
Social tranquility was not Irretriev
ably lost for the month of Decem
ber. The rowdy-religious Christ
mas had never recovered from the
regime of the Puritans and the Vic
torian Christmas had not yet come
to full flower.
(However) Scrooge found himself
an unwilling participant in the
creation of a modern myth. Wash
ington Irving had already launch
ed the old-fashioned Christmas in
America, and now Dickens was
preaching the same gospel even
more persuasively to the Victorian
middle classes.
During the 1840's the ingredients
of the old-fashioned Christmas were
assembled in England. From Hol
land, probably by way of the
United States, came St. Nicholas,
alias Santa Claus, who in due
course was assimilated into the
English tradition of Father Christ
mas. Within a few years the av
arice of children and tradesmen
was to be further stimulated by
the introduction of the Christmas
stocking, persuroably from Ger
many via America. As for the
first Ckistmas card, that lacked
only a month of being a twin of
Scrooge himself, to the old man's
considerable embarrassment.
Scrooge, being a persistent fel
low of long experience in the world,
was disturbed by what he saw de
developing . . . Ebenezer could
that this comparatively unprelent-
ious Christmas of the mid-40 s
would presently get out of hand.
Dickens he pictured as a kind of
Victorian sorcerer's apprentice
Frankenstein is entitled to take
the Christmas vacation off who
was releasing forces over which he
would have no control, and he had
even less regard for Dicken's ag
ents. . . . The Ghost of Christmas Yet
to Come, an untrustworthy spook,
had gravely misrepresented the
Christmas of the future. Scrooge
cannily suspected that the Ghost
was not telling the whole truth
and that the future Christmas
might well turn out to be an intol
erable strain on digestion and dis
position, even on the social fabric
itself. Did the Ghost intimate that,
a hundred years hence, the elec
tronics industry would move in on
the old fashioned Christmas and
"Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer"
would blare from loud speakers
from Portland, Maine, to Portland,
Oregon? Was there any warning
of that gruesome compromise be
tween food and drink, the sticky
Christmas eggnog?
Scrooge's premonitions, most of
us would concede, have been amply
justified. The propaganda for the
from the pen of Dickens was to
have consequences far different
from those which its author in his
innocence had sought. Scrooge's
clarity of vision needs no further
emphasis. The argument must
now be shifted from his head to
his heart. Was he, in fact, the
flinty miser Dickens describes?
. . . Though by no means. in
different himself to pounds, shill
ings and pence, Scrooge was out
raged by the notion of putting
price tags on nostalgia. Whole
sale present-giving, he was aware,
formed no part of the traditional
English Christmas. But from Christ
mas boxes for servants and trades
men, through sweetmeats for the
children, and Christmas annuals,
it would be only a step to pres
ents tor everybody, the principle
of saturation-bombing to holiday
To accept Scrooge as an incip
ient humanitarian admittedly re
quires an exercise of the imagina
tion; Ebenezer, being an English
man, did not wear his heart on
his frayed sleeve. (However) our
pilgrimage to the austere quart
ers of Ebenezer Scrooge has, I
hope, made him seem a less
repellent figure.
. . , Plainly the time has come
for the twentieth-century Scrcog
ians to rebuild Ebenezer's repu
tation. Perhaps a formal organi
zationsay "Scroogians for Holi
day Inaction" is indicated. There
must be, many disaffected adher
ents of Saint Nicholas who could be
easily won over to Saint Ebenezer,
especially u they were not re
quired to embrace his Total Ab
stinance Principle.
Friday, December 17, 1954.
'Summer Of Happiness'
AAovie Lauded
As 'Beautiful'
Once in a great while a movie
is filmed which is so exquisitely
beautiful in every facet that one
feels quite unable to discuss it ade
quately. Such a movie is "One
Summer Of Happiness" now show
ing at the State Theatre. Although
spoken in Swedish and "under
standable," in the sense, of words,
only through the medium of English
subtitles, I felt that the movie
might have been even more beau
tiful had the subtitles been omitted
entirely. For the simplicity, the
sensitivity with which this ' story
was filmed, gave it a universal
appeal far beyond the immediate
cogency of verbal expression. I
wish I had the space to take each
scene individually and discuss Jt;
but since I don't, I will merely
say that, in general, the photog
raphy was done with infinite taste
and discretion, the acting was han
dled with restraint and intelligence,
and the story was the quintessence
of simple and poetic innocence.
In regard to the photography, I
felt that it so far outclassed the
average run of films that there
would be no ground for compari
son. Every shot said something
relevant to the story, yet nothing
was grandiose; the subtle studies
in human character given in the
very first scene of the movie, for
example, are worthy of the Grand
Prize awarded this film at the
Cannes Film Festival.
The acting and the story must be
discussed jointly, since they are
ultimately dependent upon 'each
each other for life. The acting
had the quality of intense un
derstanding that can only be
achieved by artists, and the story
Butck Convertible; 1941, good conrtition.
Radio and heater, good rubber. Just
what you have been looking for t a
price you can pay. Draftee, must
sell. See It at 1021 Que Street,
Laundrymat, 5-8108.
Riders to Chicago Share expenses
Leaving Dec. 22 Return Jan. 2. CalT
8-9679 (after 9:30 p.m.)
Riders wanted to New York for Christ
mas to share expenses. Ph. 6-3714.
they acted was one of the raresl
pieces oi Deaucy one couia imag.
ine the story of love between the
souls of the eternally and tragi,
ally young. It was the story of
innocence in a world of self-right.4
eous hypocrisy,, of delicate human
emotion amid the grossness of over
civilized ignorance. This is an hon.
act mniria on1 fM that
, . J c
son, it is misunderstood. t
My main criticism lies not with
the film itself, but rather wih the
audience which hooted and snig
gered at its loveliness. Perhaps I
saw it on a poor night, but I left
the theatre very much disgusted
by the audience reaction. The mov.
ie was advertized as "for adults
only" but the advertisement should
have read for adult minds only.
To reduce this film to the level
of pornography is, in my eyes, to
reduce the tenderness, the nobility,
the immortality of man to a ludici
rous and slighly Jaded joke.
Toulouse-Lautrec once said, when
accused of painting lewd pictures,
that the obscenity was not in his
work but rather in the mind of
the spectator. For me, the hoots
and cat-calls, obviously an expres-
sion of vicarious excitement, which
I heard in the climaetic moments
of this film were proof of the
high degree of adolescent thinking
in the minds of those 21 and over.
"One Summer of Happiness"
has all the poignant, momentary
beauty of innocence; it is pure
poetry and if viewed with a sens,
itive, intelligent mature attitude,
it is bound to touch the deepest,
most responsive emotions in the
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