It seems the Day Book’s epic contest has caught on. But, judging from the first results, I should say it has caught on with the wrong type of people.
After all, when I announced the contest the other day, the purpose of which was to help me decide whether columns of the future were to eschew the anti-Semitic motif and be devoted to spreading the gospel of pollyanniasm or to continue to twit the Nazis, I hardly expected that the Nazis themselves would have the gall to enter it.
However, they have had the gall. On second thought, though, it may not have been entirely a spirit of meanness that prompted these scum of the earth to submit their poisonous, obviously subversive essays to this department. They may, after all, simply have been actuated by an overweening desire to win that promised introduction to Oscar Ostrich, der Fuehrer of the anti-Semitic bloc in the Empire of Zoo.
Whatever it was that prompted these beknighted souls to throw their poisoned darts at this Day Booker, one thing is certain. That is, they got the jump on the friendly forces.
Evidently they comprise a highly organized crew. They probably drill nightly in some dank, swastika-decorated cellar in Yorkville. Instead of rifles they wield typewriters. In place of swords they flourish pens. And in lieu of bullets they use a rank “ersatz” ink that mightily resembles ordinary mud.
That these cellar-drilling Nazis from Yorkville are no ordinary Leut’, but have at least the mentality of those animals once lured to destruction by the fatuous notes of a Pie-eyed Piper, is obvious from the ratty way at least one of them has gone about attacking this citadel of pleasure.
In the following letter (yes, I print it in full not merely to confound my enemies, but to show the world that even the bitterest criticism leaves my sense of fair play and good nature undisturbed and unruffled) it is readily apparent that the method of attack is to create dissension within the ranks of the Jewish Daily Bulletin staff. The intention there, of course, is childishly obvious. Once the seeds of strife are implanted in two such prominent staff writers as H. W. and Morris Weiner, the damage, this writer reckons, will have been done. (The method, of course, is to praise one at the expense of the other.)
With the staff torn by internal strife more vicious even than that which sunders the Zionist ranks, it is easily imaginable that the Bulletin will not be able to devote so much time to impeding the Nazis in their nefarious undertakings. So sly, so snide, so Machiavellian a plot, on more mature thought, could not possibly have come out of the Yorkville cellars. I am practically certain that the plot was hatched in the Berlin hothouses and that Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Streicher and Hanfstaengl had their bloody hands in its concoction.
All of which, I believe, should be a sufficiently unbiased and dispassionate introduction to one of the letters received which bears out this point. The fact that this one was typed with a certain degree of neatness and displayed a somewhat elemental ability to use the English language persuaded me to reprint it in full. The others were so puerile and so lacking in intelligence that I hesitated to offend the taste of the Day Book’s intellectual audience by reproducing them.
The letter follows: (In the event no one bothers to read to the end of it, I hasten to affix my initials right here.)
Dear Mr. H. W.:
“I am a constant reader of Mr. Weiner’s column ‘Slants on Sports.’ In fact I can safely say that I haven’t missed reading one issue of the Bulletin in which M. Weiner’s breezy, informative, newsy and altogether pleasant sport gossip appeared.
“At the same time let me say that it is only lately that I have turned to the Day Book feature and have read itâ€”more or less matter-of-factly. (Hear: Hear!â€”Ed.)
“My dear H. W., I have never met your wife but I must say that I admire her adroitness, her perspicacity and her criticism when she withholds her approval of your column. I agree with her in all respects when she terms your journalistic efforts lousy. She is perfectly right in her claim of being fed up with “that sort of stuff.” Why be destructive when you can so easily be constructive? Is the purpose of the Day Book purely one of satirical jibes with anti-Semitism as the sole butt?
“In a recent advertisement the Day Book was featured as a witty, satirical, nonsensical piece of journalism. It seems to me that you must have had a finger in that pie somewhere. Yet, if you ask me, the emphasis should be on the word ‘nonsensical.’
“But to get down to my real issue. (And I don’t mean your severest critic). You mention somethingâ€”more or less in passingâ€” which, because I am a constant reader of ‘Slants on Sports,’ affects me deeply. I have nothing to say to your brilliant shaft as regards the pulchritude of our sports editor. However, I object strenuously when you say that readers of the sports columns are intellectually several steps below readers of the Day Bookâ€”even for argument’s sake. My good man, these words drive home and I, for one, resent them.
“You object very much to the fact that Mr. Weiner’s readers enter his contest. (I made no such objection.â€”Ed.). These contests are worthwhile. (Oh, yeah?â€” Ed.). But, it seems to me, in the very same breath in which you deliver your diatribe against readers of the sports columns who enter the contests you say something that really surprises me. It is the most astounding piece of editorial frankness I’ve seen in any paper I’ve ever read. You wrote, ‘Trundle out your portables, you Day Book devotees! Sharpen your pencils (and your wits, too, while you’re at it).’
“My dear fellow, you strike the center of the matter right then and there. You do admit that devotees of your daily stint need their wits sharpened. Did it ever occur to you, my good H. W., that these very same wits may be dulled by constant hammering on the same subjects day in and day out? Did it also occur to you that should the wits of your Day Book following be sharpened you would lose every devotee that you now superficially lead by the nose?
“Then again, (I have plenty to say. This matter has been boiling and seething in me for weeks but your unethical slams have made the pot run over.) honorable H. W., you are merely writing drivel to fill up space. Your wife was perfectly sincere in her criticism, and to my way of thinking perfectly justified (you said that nice, dammit.â€”Ed.). You do ask your readers to let you know what sort of ‘nonsense’ they would like you to write. But how do you treat it? Evidently you accomplish a very difficult feat and disguise your pen behind a very bland smile and burlesque whatever answers you would receive. The very idea of offering such prizes as season passes to the Empire of Zoo. Really, sir, are you plain crazy, or have your wits been dulled by this endless Day Book nonsense that you are writing?
“I, for one, would like to see a public apology to all the readers of ‘Slants on Sports.’ I don’t know what attitude the sports editor will take on the matter but If I can judge, from the way he writes his columns, he certainly will not stand for this at any cost.
Yours very sincerely,
Constant Reader of Sports.