Editorial: Points of View

The present is not much of a time for mirth, yet it is difficult for one watching events with an understanding eye and from a somewhat detached standpoint, to repress a chuckle of amusement at the endeavours of our masters to dress up those events for the eyes of the mass of the population whom Carlyle’s rough tongue stigmatised as fools. To take smaller things first, there is a world of humor in these adepts at all sorts of merciful butchery, from the bayonet which gives such pleasant point to the joke to the tank which rompingly rolls fellows into the mud, greeting the German’s “spiked club” with a howl of indignation. News reaches us of a poor fellow terribly wounded—and not by an enemy shell—from whose intestines several pieces of shell have been taken, and who is not likely to-recover. But there is nothing barbarous about that—it is a result flowing from the last word in explosives, the highest achievement of science applied to murder, the very acme of our civilisation. It must be a pleasure to “cop a dose” from such a gentlemanly product of brain and progress. But to be hit on the head with a contrivance which was known in the age of chivalry—ugh !

Again, the military have been lauding the anonymous informers who have sent information concerning “shirkers,” and commending the writing of such letters as honourable and patriotic work. But what was the ethical status of the anonymous letter-writer before the war ?

Some little time ago the English Press gave some scornful attention to a German professor who was alleged to have foreshadowed the need for the general adopition of bigamy in Germany after the war in order to replenish her population. But the “Romford Recorder” recently reported the following as occuring at a local tribunal meeting :

“Mr. Poel (the employer) : Applicant is a married man, with children.
Lieut.——(military representative). So he ought to be. Nowadays every man ought to have children, whether he is married or——
I mean if he isn’t married he ought to be.”

The strategic retreat was handy.

But the case which directly inspires this note is the attitude of our masters and their allies toward Grecian affairs. There is “slim” Constantine, the villain of the piece, who so dastardly keeps his country out of the war, and there is “heroic” Venezelos, who is bent upon dragging it in. And Constantine declines to put the question of peace or war to his people in the open, honest way in which our rulers put it to us before we so enthusiastically took up the fat man’s burden, bayonet, and bomb. And he refuses because he knows his subjects would jump to arms, as is proved by the difficulty of protecting the Allies’ embassies at Athens and the fact that 15.000 men have flocked to the Venezelist standard out of a population of several millions. But the fact remains that in Athens they call Venezelos a rebel, and if he were in that city he might be brought to the Athenian Old Bailey and furnished with a collar of a similar pattern to that dealt out in the London O. B., to others smitten with his complaint. However, the matter of the moment is a loan for the Greek PATRIOT.

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