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Buchen, Walther (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VII, No. 7 (April 1910)

Editorials,   pp. 38-39 ff.

Page 38

  Why is a class president? If the Sphinx
of old time had propounded that dainty
little conundrum she would have put the
people that she asked it of in an awful,
awful fix. We go to great trouble each
semester in order to determine who is the
most artful and lavish bill poster in any
one aggregation of wire-pulling geniuses
and when it is all over we are generally
too tired and disgusted to ask what it is
all about. We can see a perfectly good
and valid reason for a Senior class presi-
dent, but what the others do besides hold
office we have never been able to figure out.
But then, our mathematical education has
been sadly neglected.
  The educational value of the once-a-
semester elections is, undoubtedly, great.
Not for a moment would we pretend to
deny that. It's just great. The candi-
dates find out who their true friends are
and reward them, and they also find out
who their foes are, and lay beneficent plans
of soaking them as to the head at the very
first opportunity. This, of course, adds in-
terest to the deadly monotony of college
life besides exercising the primitive emo-
tions that are generally allowed to drop
into the background among civilized peo-
ples. Also, elections determine the sound-
ness of the judgment of the committee
backing some one ticket in as far as the
vice president is concerned. The girl that
can draw the best support on the grounds
of looks, popularity, attaches, etc., gets
elected, and it is a proud moment for the
embryo politician when his girl judgment
is backed up by his class.
   There was a time, long, long ago, when
 people read real poetry because they liked
 it. Of course, that was a very long time
 ago, and we no longer do it, because it
isn't conspicuously the fashion. One has
to think when one reads poetry, and we
are too tired to think. What the Tired
Business Man wants is a little musical
comedy to help him forget the toils of the
day; what the highbrow lady wants is a
little more or less rotten drama that clear-
ly shows the unutterable depravity and
weakness of human nature. The T. Busi-
ness Man gets what he wants; the H. B.
lady gets what she wants; everybody is
happy and the penurious poet with his
throbbing brow can go work on the C., Al.
& St. P. section for a living-unless he
is enough of a universal genius to write
musical comedy songs that will get across
the footlights and stick in the heads of the
listeners for maybe as long as two days.
  The eager-eyed young man who lives in
today's world and still nurses an earnest
yearn to be a poet had better throw on
his slow speed and consider the reporting
business as a means of liquidating board
bills. We, the great American people, are
too tired-we wouldn't say crude for the
world-to hear real poetry. If somebody
can come along and tell us, in a swinging
jargon, some story that we wouldn't care
to read out loud to our sisters we will call
him a poet-and even buy his books-but
real and legitimate poetry-nay, nay. The
Saturday Evening Post for ours.
   We would like to say a few well-chosen
 words on the fine, large subject of jour-
   The day of the orator is past and the
 daily newspaper has taken his place. In
 the old days, when some great orator lied,
 we said he was a liar and he was forever
 relegated to that great and silent place
 where all those who betray the people ulti-
 mately go. Nowadays, when a newspaper

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