WHAT HAS HAPPENED to gas warfare? Will gas be used before the war ends? These questions have been asked for the past two year and it is more important than ever now for us to know the answers. If gas is to be used, we must be prepared for it. If there is little chance of chemical warfare, we need not worry about gas masks, decontamination materials and all the complicated and expensive business of gas defense, but may use our energy for other important work. Until Japan entered the war the question, “Why hasn’t gas been used?” was a good one.
IN THE MIDST of the storm and the thunder, the lightning strikes. American industry and the press have demanded of labor whether, after opposing a cut in wages, it dares to look General MacArthur in the face.
THIS IS A TIME of storm and smoke; of darkness, as Carl Sandberg found the time of Lincoln to be. Death is in the air. So is birth. Within the body of our wartime world we can feel the life of the future stirring. Beneath the sound of the guns, we can hear its first, protesting cries. In fury, all the forces of the past are raining their blows upon it. We bear it fearfully, seeking to shield and cherish it. Yet we forget the astonishing strength of the will to live with which all forms of life come into being. We stand in shyness before the future that we carry within us.
I have been on this pitch for quite a long time, and now I should like to inquire why we as the nation which produces the movies should never have developed any sound school of movie criticism. That we haven’t is obvious; read your papers. Why we haven’t is probably owing to the ineradicable ignorance in theatricals of the ordinary writing hack, and to the fact that the ordinary reviewer on a newspaper or magazine is traditionally an amiable chump who has been kicked upstairs.
The Maltese Falcon is the first crime melodrama with finish, speed and bang to come along in what seems ages, and since its pattern is one of the best things Hollywood does, we have been missing it. It is the old Dashiell Hammett book, written back in the days when you could turn out a story and leave it at that, without any characters joining the army, fleeing as refugees or reforming bad boys, men or women.
The American occupation of Iceland and the substantial American forces sent to Trinidad and British Guiana are grand good news. They mean that he giant of the Western World is at last rousing him-self from his long, almost fatal lethargy and is preparing to fight for his way of life. Iceland in German hands would be a great danger to American security, It could control North Atlantic shipping so as to make supplies to England almost impossible.