Near Meriden, CT

It wasn’t that the people I met in my brief visit to Radio Mountain were
Uninterested in sex; they seemed to consider it more of a distraction –
Something unnecessarily complicated, like stereophonic sound.

Full of joy, they showed me the radio console they had built themselves:
Monaural, with built in limiting and several sides so that colleagues
Could sit down together and broadcast programs at the same time.

We took a run through the heavenly fields outside the studio, with the dogs.
My arthritis vanished, and the dogs enjoyed the run as much as I did.
Reversing direction suddenly one of them, a large furry bowling ball,
Came in collision with me and we all ended up in a laughing heap.

Over there the transmitting towers pointed, not skywards
Because we were already there, but everywhere, exciting the ether
With celestial bop. So fast. Can you imagine dancing to that?

There is sadness aplenty there too, remembering friends lost.
I actually cried when I saw snow, not knowing it snows
In every month there, a little bit, not like the tragic winter
That sometimes occurs in other parts of New England.

But, being near Connecticut, Heaven could hardly be without snow.
The road to it is easy, about nineteen miles west by south of Hartford.
There is a brook called Sodom near a medical center off I-691.
Take the first exit and follow the brook north to Rte. 71.
Go right, and you will soon see the entrance to Hubbard Park and the Peaks.

Danny Schechter obit March 19, 2015

I am weeping for you, old comrade,
As much for battles won as lost
For friendships ended over principles
The saddened victors living on and on.

I’d like to think of you in some leftist Valhalla
Celebrating endlessly, a hip chick on each arm,
But we all know how irrational that is.
Anyway, your spirit doesn’t need an afterlife.

Every one of us holds a piece of you,
Laugh, memory, idea, note, picture or scar.
We are way too many for you to be forgotten;
A legion of swirling infinite thoughts about you.

God, what an appetite for life, and energy,
If I had one fifth of yours I’d be famous, too.
Was it you who invented Too Much Information?
Did the number of your pages reach one million?

There is a lot in your life to be envious about
Or, for some, jealous. I prefer to think of your mind;
The clarity of it; the ability to distinguish details
From the essential, and to move forward based on that.

¡Adelante!

wbcn003

Please click on the picture for more on Danny Schechter from bspurlin.wordpress.com.

August 1, 1914

EPSON scanner image


René Magritte,

La Grande Guerre

(The Great War)



Zone


À la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien

Bergère ô tour Eiffel le troupeau des ponts bêle ce matin

Tu en as assez de vivre dans l’antiquité grecque et romaine

Ici même les automobiles ont l’air d’être anciennes
La religion seule est restée toute neuve la religion
Est restée simple comme les hangars de Port-Aviation

Seul en Europe tu n’es pas antique ô Christianisme
L’Européen le plus moderne c’est vous Pape Pie X
Et toi que les fenêtres observent la honte te retient
D’entrer dans une église et de t’y confesser ce matin
Tu lis les prospectus les catalogues les affiches qui chantent tout haut
Voilà la poésie ce matin et pour la prose il y a les journaux
Il y a les livraisons à 25 centimes pleines d’aventures policières
Portraits des grands hommes et mille titres divers

J’ai vu ce matin une rue dont j’ai oublié le nom
Neuve et propre du soleil elle était le clairon
Les directeurs les ouvriers et les belles sténodactylographes
Du lundi matin au samedi soir quatre fois par jour y passent
Le matin par trois fois la sirène y gémit
Une cloche rageuse y aboie vers midi
Les inscriptions des enseignes et des murailles
Les plaques les avis à la façon des perroquets criaillent
J’aime la grâce de cette rue industrielle
Située à Paris entre la rue Aumont-Thiéville et l’avenue des Ternes

Voilà la jeune rue et tu n’es encore qu’un petit enfant
Ta mère ne t’habille que de bleu et de blanc
Tu es très pieux et avec le plus ancien de tes camarades René Dalize
Vous n’aimez rien tant que les pompes de l’Église
Il est neuf heures le gaz est baissé tout bleu vous sortez du dortoir en cachette
Vous priez toute la nuit dans la chapelle du collège
Tandis qu’éternelle et adorable profondeur améthyste
Tourne à jamais la flamboyante gloire du Christ
C’est le beau lys que tous nous cultivons
C’est la torche aux cheveux roux que n’éteint pas le vent
C’est le fils pâle et vermeil de la douloureuse mère
C’est l’arbre toujours touffu de toutes les prières
C’est la double potence de l’honneur et de l’éternité
C’est l’étoile à six branches
C’est Dieu qui meurt le vendredi et ressuscite le dimanche
C’est le Christ qui monte au ciel mieux que les aviateurs
Il détient le record du monde pour la hauteur

Pupille Christ de l’œil
Vingtième pupille des siècles il sait y faire
Et changé en oiseau ce siècle comme Jésus monte dans l’air
Les diables dans les abîmes lèvent la tête pour le regarder
Ils disent qu’il imite Simon Mage en Judée
Ils crient s’il sait voler qu’on l’appelle voleur
Les anges voltigent autour du joli voltigeur
Icare Énoch Élie Apollonius de Thyane
Flottent autour du premier aéroplane
Ils s’écartent parfois pour laisser passer ceux qui portent la Sainte-Eucharistie
Ces prêtres qui montent éternellement en élevant l’hostie
L’avion se pose enfin sans refermer les ailes
Le ciel s’emplit alors de millions d’hirondelles
À tire d’aile viennent les corbeaux les faucons les hiboux
D’Afrique arrivent les ibis les flamands les marabouts
L’oiseau Roc célébré par les conteurs et les poètes
Plane tenant dans les serres le crâne d’Adam la première tête
L’aigle fond de l’horizon en poussant un grand cri
Et d’Amérique vient le petit colibri
De Chine sont venus les pihis longs et souples
Qui n’ont qu’une seule aile et volent par couples
Puis voici la colombe esprit immaculé
Qu’escortent l’oiseau-lyre et le paon ocellé
Le phénix ce bûcher qui soi-même s’engendre
Un instant voile tout de son ardente cendre
Les sirènes laissant les périlleux détroits
Arrivent en chantant bellement toutes trois
Et tous aigle phénix et pihis de la Chine
Fraternisent avec la volante machine

Maintenant tu marches dans Paris tout seul parmi la foule
Des troupeaux d’autobus mugissants près de toi roulent
L’angoisse de l’amour te serre le gosier
Comme si tu ne devais jamais plus être aimé
Si tu vivais dans l’ancien temps tu entrerais dans un monastère
Vous avez honte quand vous vous surprenez à dire une prière
Tu te moques de toi et comme le feu de l’Enfer ton rire pétille
Les étincelles de ton rire dorent le fond de ta vie
C’est un tableau pendu dans un sombre musée
Et quelquefois tu vas le regarder de près

Aujourd’hui tu marches dans Paris les femmes sont ensanglantées
C’était et je voudrais ne pas m’en souvenir c’était au déclin de la beauté

Entourée de flammes ferventes Notre-Dame m’a regardé à Chartres
Le sang de votre Sacré-Cœur m’a inondé à Montmartre
Je suis malade d’ouïr les paroles bienheureuses
L’amour dont je souffre est une maladie honteuse
Et l’image qui te possède te fait survivre dans l’insomnie et dans l’angoisse
C’est toujours près de toi cette image qui passe

Maintenant tu es au bord de la Méditerranée
Sous les citronniers qui sont en fleur toute l’année
Avec tes amis tu te promènes en barque
L’un est Nissard il y a un Mentonasque et deux Turbiasques
Nous regardons avec effroi les poulpes des profondeurs
Et parmi les algues nagent les poissons images du Sauveur

Tu es dans le jardin d’une auberge aux environs de Prague
Tu te sens tout heureux une rose est sur la table
Et tu observes au lieu d’écrire ton conte en prose
La cétoine qui dort dans le cœur de la rose
Épouvanté tu te vois dessiné dans les agates de Saint-Vit
Tu étais triste à mourir le jour où tu t’y vis
Tu ressembles au Lazare affolé par le jour
Les aiguilles de l’horloge du quartier juif vont à rebours
Et tu recules aussi dans ta vie lentement
En montant au Hradchin et le soir en écoutant
Dans les tavernes chanter des chansons tchèques

Te voici à Marseille au milieu des pastèques

Te voici à Coblence à l’hôtel du Géant

Te voici à Rome assis sous un néflier du Japon

Te voici à Amsterdam avec une jeune fille que tu trouves belle et qui est laide
Elle doit se marier avec un étudiant de Leyde
On y loue des chambres en latin Cubicula locanda
Je me souviens j’y ai passé trois jours et autant à Gouda

Tu es à Paris chez le juge d’instruction
Comme un criminel on te met en état d’arrestation

Tu as fait de douloureux et de joyeux voyages
Avant de t’apercevoir du mensonge et de l’âge
Tu as souffert de l’amour à vingt et à trente ans
J’ai vécu comme un fou et j’ai perdu mon temps

Tu n’oses plus regarder tes mains et à tous moments je voudrais sangloter
Sur toi sur celle que j’aime sur tout ce qui t’a épouvanté

Tu regardes les yeux pleins de larmes ces pauvres émigrants
Ils croient en Dieu ils prient les femmes allaitent les enfants
Ils emplissent de leur odeur le hall de la gare Saint-Lazare
Ils ont foi dans leur étoile comme les rois-mages
Ils espèrent gagner de l’argent dans l’Argentine
Et revenir dans leur pays après avoir fait fortune
Une famille transporte un édredon rouge comme vous transportez votre cœur
Cet édredon et nos rêves sont aussi irréels
Quelques-uns de ces émigrants restent ici et se logent
Rue des Rosiers ou rue des Écouffes dans des bouges
Je les ai vu souvent le soir ils prennent l’air dans la rue
Et se déplacent rarement comme les pièces aux échecs
Il y a surtout des juifs leurs femmes portent perruque
Elles restent assises exsangues au fond des boutiques

Tu es debout devant le zinc d’un bar crapuleux
Tu prends un café à deux sous parmi les malheureux

Tu es la nuit dans un grand restaurant

Ces femmes ne sont pas méchantes elles ont des soucis cependant
Toutes même la plus laide a fait souffrir son amant

Elle est la fille d’un sergent de ville de Jersey

Ses mains que je n’avais pas vues sont dures et gercées

J’ai une pitié immense pour les coutures de son ventre

J’humilie maintenant à une pauvre fille au rire horrible ma bouche

Tu es seul le matin va venir
Les laitiers font tinter leurs bidons dans les rues

La nuit s’éloigne ainsi qu’une belle Métive
C’est Ferdine la fausse ou Léa l’attentive

Et tu bois cet alcool brûlant comme ta vie
Ta vie que tu bois comme une eau-de-vie

Tu marches vers Auteuil tu veux aller chez toi à pied
Dormir parmi tes fétiches d’Océanie et de Guinée
Ils sont des Christ d’une autre forme et d’une autre croyance
Ce sont les Christ inférieurs des obscures espérances

Adieu Adieu

Soleil cou coupé


Guillaume Apollinaire, Alcools, 1913.

July 30, 1914

“Let Papa plan not war, for with the war will come the end of Russia and yourselves, and you will lose to the last man.”

Grigory Rasputin; telegram to Anna Vyrubova, July 30, 1914.

Batiushka. I write you while in pain and stretched out in a hospital bed. Dear friend, I will say again a menacing cloud is over Russia. Lots of sorrow and grief. It is dark and there is no light to be seen. A sea of tears, immeasurable, and as to blood? What can I say? There are no words. The horror of it is indescribable. I know they keep wanting war from you evidently not knowing that this is destruction. Heavy is God’s punishment. When he takes away reason that is the beginning of the end. Thou art the Tsar Father of the People, don’t allow the madmen to triumph and destroy themselves and the people. They will conquer Germany, and what about Russia? If one then thinks very hard, there has not been a greater sufferer since the beginning of time. She is all drowned in blood. Terrible is the destruction and without end will be the grief.”

Grigory Rasputin; telegram to Tsar Nicholas, July 30, 1914.


To present as precise a picture as possible of the territorial division of the world and of the changes which have occurred during the last decades in this respect, we will utilize the data furnished by Supan in the work already quoted on the colonial possessions of all the powers of the world. Supan takes the years 1876 and 1900; we will take the year 1876 – a year very aptly selected, for it is precisely by that time that the premonopolist stage of development of West-European capitalism can be said to have been completed, in the main–and the year 1914, and instead of Supan’s figures we will quote the more recent statistics of Hübner’s Geographical and Statistical Tables. Supan gives figures only for colonies; we think it useful, in order to present a complete picture of the division of the world, to add brief figures on non-colonial and semicolonial countries, in which category we place Persia, China and Turkey: the first of these countries is already almost completely a colony, the second and third are becoming such.


We thus get the following summary:

COLONIAL POSSESSIONS OF THE GREAT POWERS

(Million square kilometers and million inhabitants)

Colonies Metropolitan countries Total
1876 1914 1914 1914
Area Pop. Area Pop. Area Pop. Area Pop.
Great Britain 22.5 251.9 33.5 393.5 0.3 46.5 33.8 440.0
Russia 17.0 15.9 17.4 33.2 5.4 136.2 22.8 169.4
France 0.9 6.0 10.6 55.5 0.5 39.6 11.1 95.1
Germany 2.9 12.3 0.5 64.9 3.4 77.2
U.S.A. 0.3 9.7 9.4 97.0 9.7 106.7
Japan 0.3 19.2 0.4 53.0 0.7 72.2
Total for 6 Great Powers 40.4 273.8 65.0 523.4 16.5 437.2 81.5 960.6
Colonies of other powers (Belgium, Holland, etc.) 9.9 45.3
Semi-colonial countries (Persia, China, Turkey) 14.5 361.2
Other countries 28.0 289.9
Total for whole world 133.9 1,657.0

V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism


elegances0314-p27

Thursday, July 30, 1914.

… Excited groups argued in the streets and below my window, on the Neva quay, four moujiks who were unloading wood stopped their work to listen to their employer who read the paper to them. Then all five made long speeches with solemn gestures and indignation writ large all over their faces. They crossed themselves when the discussion came to an end.

At two o’clock this afternoon Pourtalès went to the Foreign Office. Sazonov received him at once and from his first words I guessed that Germany would refuse to put in the restraining word at Vienna which could save peace.

The very attitude of Pourtalès was only too eloquent. He seemed a lost man, for he realizes now the consequences of the uncompromising policy of which he has been the instrument, if not actually the author. He sees the inevitable catastrophe and is collapsing under the weight of his responsibility.

"For Heaven’s sake," he said to Sazonov, "make me some proposal I can recommend to my government. It’s my last hope!"

Sazonov at once put forward the following ingenious formula:

If Austria will recognize that the Austro-Serbian question has assumed the character of a European question and declare her readiness to delete from her ultimatum the points which encroach upon the sovereign rights of Serbia, Russia undertakes to stop her military preparations.

Still in a state of collapse Pourtalès staggered from the room, stammering feebly and his eyes staring.

An hour later Sazonov was ushered into Peterhof Palace to make his report to the Tsar. He found his sovereign sorely moved by a telegram the Emperor William had sent him during the night. Its tone was almost menacing.

If Russia mobilizes against Austria-Hungary the rôle of mediator which I have undertaken at your urgent request will be compromised, if not made impossible. The whole weight of the decision to be taken now rests on your shoulders and you will have to bear the responsibility for war or peace.

Sazonov read and re-read this telegram and shrugged his shoulders in despair.

"We shall not escape war now! Germany is obviously evading the mediatorial intervention for which we asked her and all she is after is to gain time to complete her military preparations in secret. In these circumstances I don’t think Your Majesty can postpone the order for general mobilization any longer."

The Tsar was deadly pale and replied in a choking voice

"Just think of the responsibility you’re advising me to assume! Remember it’s a question of sending thousands and thousands of men to their death!"

Sazonov replied:

" Neither your Majesty’s conscience nor mine will have anything to be reproached with if war breaks out. Your Majesty and the Government will have done everything to spare the world this terrible visitation. But now I feel certain that diplomacy has finished its work. We must henceforth think of the safety of the empire. If Your Majesty stops our preliminary mobilization all you will do is to dislocate our military organization and disconcert our allies. The war will break out just the same at Germany’s appointed time – and will catch us in hopeless confusion. "

After a moment’s reflection the Tsar said in a firm voice:

"Sergei Dimitrievitch, ring up the Chief of Staff and tell him I order general mobilization."

Sazonov went down to the hall of the palace where the telephone cabinet was and transmitted the imperial order to General Janushkevitch.

It was exactly four o’clock.


Maurice Paléologue- An Ambassador’s Memoirs

July 29, 1914

export (8)

L’Humanité

The last session of the International Socialist Bureau was held at Brussels on July 29, 1914. The following resolution was adopted: “The International Socialist Bureau, at its meeting held today, July 29, upon listening to the reports of the representatives of all countries that may be involved in a world war on the political situation in those countries, has resolved unanimously that it shall be the duty of the workers of all nations concerned not only to continue but to further intensify their demonstrations against the war, for peace, and for the settlement of the Austro-Serbian conflict by international arbitration. The German and the French workers shall exert the most energetic pressure upon the governments of their respective countries in order that Germany shall restrain the war ardor of Austria, and that France shall obtain from Russia noninterference in the conflict. The British and Italian workers shall, on their part, support those efforts with all their energy. The extraordinary congress which is being called to meet at Paris will be a vigorous expression of this will for peace of the international proletariat.”

franz


10

9

15

27

The German language of my childhood was the dialect that was spoken also in Lower Bavaria; I was neither able to forget it nor to learn the Viennese jargon. The longer I stayed in this city, the more my hatred increased against the mixture of foreign nations that began to eat up this site of old German culture.

The idea that this State could still be maintained even then seemed ridiculous to me.

Austria was at that time like an old mosaic; the cement which held the single little stones together had become old and brittle; as long as the masterpiece is untouched, it can still pretend to be existent, but as soon as it is given a blow, it breaks into a thousand fragments. The question, therefore, was only when the blow would come. …

If formerly in Vienna, Germany had above all else appeared to me as an unshakable colossus, now, however, anxious doubts sometimes began to rise in my mind. With myself and in the small circles of my acquaintances, I was wrathful at German foreign politics, and also at what seemed to me an unbelievably frivolous manner with which one faced the most important problem that confronted Germany in those days: Marxism. I really could not understand how one was able to stagger blindly towards a danger the ultimate effects of which, corresponding to its own intentions, were one day bound to be monstrous. In those days I warned those around me, as I am doing today on a larger scale, against the fervent prayer of all cowardly wretches: ‘Nothing can happen to us!’ Was not Germany subject to exactly the same laws as all other human communities?

In the years 1913 and 1914, in various circles, some of which today stand faithfully by the movement, I expressed for the first time the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation is the question of the destruction of Marxism.

DURING the years of my unruly youth nothing had grieved me more than having been born at a time when temples of glory were only erected to merchants or State officials. The waves of historical events seemed to have calmed down to such an extent that the future appeared really to belong to the ‘peaceful competition of nations’ that means a quiet mutual cheating, excluding forceful measures. The individual States began more and more to resemble enterprises which cut the ground from under each other, stole each other’s customers and orders, and tried to cheat each other by every means, setting this in a scene which was as noisy as it was harmless. This development, however, not only seemed to endure, but it was intended to transform the world (with general approval) into one big department store, in the lobbies of which the busts of the most cunning profiteers and the most harmless administration officials were to be stored for eternity. The business men were to be supplied by the English, the administration officials by the Germans; the Jews, however, would have to sacrifice themselves to being proprietors, because, as they themselves admitted, they never earn anything but only ‘pay’ and, besides, they speak most of the languages.

Why could one not have been born a hundred years earlier? For instance, at the time of the Wars of Liberation when a man really was worth something, even without ‘business’?! …

Already during my Viennese time there hovered over the Balkans that fallow sultriness which usually announces a hurricane, but at times a brighter light flashed up only to return immediately into the uncanny darkness. But then came the Balkan War, and with it the first gust of wind swept over a Europe which had grown nervous. The time that followed, however, weighed heavily upon the people like a nightmare, brooding like the feverish heat of the tropics, so that in consequence of the continued anxiety, the feeling of the impending catastrophe finally turned into longing; might Heaven at last let Destiny, no longer to be restrained, take its full course! …

On the southeast border of her realm Austria had an inexorable and mortal enemy who challenged the monarchy at shorter and shorter intervals, and who would not have given in till finally the favorable moment for the destruction of the realm had actually come. One had reason to fear that this event would happen not later than with the death of the old emperor; but then perhaps the monarchy would no longer be in a position to render any serious resistance. The entire State, during these last years, was represented to such an extent by the person of Franz Joseph that from the beginning, the death of this aged personification of the realm was looked upon by the great masses as the death of the realm itself. It was indeed the most cunning artfulness of the Slav policy to create the impression as though the Austrian State owed its existence to the really wonderful and unique skill of this monarch; a flattery which was the more favorably received in the Hofburg as it corresponded least of all to the actual merits of the emperor. …

If at that time the Viennese government had given the ultimatum another, milder wording, this would not have changed anything in the situation except perhaps the fact that the government itself would have been swept away by the indignation of the people. Because, in the eyes of the great masses, the tone of the ultimatum was much too considerate and in no way too brutal or even too far-reaching. Those who today try to deny this are either forgetful empty-heads or quite deliberately cheats and liars.

The fight of the year 1914 was certainly not forced upon the masses, good God! but desired by the entire people itself.

One wanted at last to make an end to the general uncertainty. Only thus is it understandable that for this most serious of all struggles more than two million German men and boys joined the flag voluntarily, ready to protect it with their last drop of blood.

To me personally those hours appeared like the redemption from the annoying moods of my youth. Therefore I am not ashamed today to say that, overwhelmed by impassionate enthusiasm, I had fallen on my knees and thanked Heaven out of my overflowing heart that it had granted me the good fortune of being allowed to live in these times.

A struggle for freedom had broken out, greater than the world had ever seen before; because, once Fate had begun its course, the conviction began to dawn on the great masses that this time the question involved was not Serbia’s or Austria’s fate, but the existence or non-existence of the German nation.

For the last time in many years, the German nation had become clairvoyant about its own future. Thus, at the very beginning of the enormous struggle the intoxication of the exuberant enthusiasm was mixed with the necessary serious undertone…

What man desires, he hopes and believes. The overwhelming majority of the nation had long been tired of the eternally uncertain state of things; thus one could only too readily understand that one no longer believed in a peaceful adjustment of the Austro-Serbian conflict, but hoped for the final settlement. I, too, belonged to these millions.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

July 28, 1914

internationalecontrelaguerre


The Socialist International Against the War; L’Humanité, 28 Juillet

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Roganeau, François-Maurice; femme se peignent; Salon de 1914


“Let me speak freely to you, my dear colleague. This is a grave moment and I think we respect each other enough to have the right to speak our minds without reserve … . If the Austro-Serbian differences are not composed in twenty-four hours, or two days at most, it means war, a general war, a catastrophe such as the world has never known. This calamity may still be averted as the Russian Government is peace-loving, the British Government is peace-loving and your Government itself claims to be peace-loving.”

At these words Pourtalès burst out:

“Yes, indeed, I call God to witness! Germany is peace-loving! For forty-three years we have preserved the peace of Europe! For forty-three years we have pledged our honour not to abuse our strength! And it is we who are now accused of desiring to precipitate war … History will prove that we have right on our side and our conscience has nothing to reproach us for.”

“Have we already got as far as finding it necessary to invoke the verdict of history? Is there then no chance of safety?”

Pourtalès’ agitation was such that he could speak no more. His hands trembled. His eyes were a mist of tears. Quivering with anger he repeated:

“We cannot, we will not abandon our ally … No, we will not abandon her!”

Maurice Paléologue- An Ambassador’s Memoirs


OUTSIDE NEWS FROM WIRE AND CABLE

Freeport, Ill. Becoming suddenly
insane on train, Anthony Busch, La
Salle,- 111., stabbed himself. Will re
cover. -.
Kansas City. Florence Krumm re-
stored to life by pulmotor after being
pronounced dead.
Indianapolis. Harry L. Crawford,
32, former Peace Construction Co.,
dead. Auto slid over embankment.
Indianapolis. Ceo. Wise, Austrian,
dead from stab wounds inflicted by
Tom Dvorak. Quarreled over Servian
war.
Ottawa, Ill. Sparks from Illinois
river steamer set fire to shrubbery in
forest reserve section state park at
Starved Rock. Two acres or forest
burned.
Kewanee, III. Bernard J. Reeves,
35, probably of Philadelphia, found
dead along Burlington tracks. Believ
ed hit by train.
New York. Dropping pretense of
insanity, Hans Schmidt, priest who
cut up body of Anna Aumueller, made
plea for new trial. Claims girl died
result of illegal Operation. Says he
cut up body to protect physician.
Washington. Pres. Wilson urged
by Sen. Pomerene to name Sully
Jaynes, negro lawyer, recorder of
deeds in District of Columbia.
Madison, Wis. Helen Emmert, 3,
drowned in Lake Monona.
New York. “Becky” Edelson, an-
archist, broke hunger strike she has
maintained in workhouse on Black
well’s Island. Two soft-boiled eggs
did it.
Williamson, W. Va. Aleck Cher-
noff returned marriage license he got
24 years ago to county clerk. De
cided he wouldn’t need it.
London. Queen Mary’s latest
economy order at Buckingham Pal-
ace is to shut off incandescent lights
at gateways.
Washington. House passed Lever
bill designed to kill dealing in cotton
futures by imposing prohibitive tax
on such transactions.
Freeport, L.I. So ill she had to be
assisted from auto into her home, Mrs.
Florence Carman, indicted by grand
jury on charge of having killed Mrs.
Louise Bailey in her husband’s office,
returned here.
New York. Shortage in bathing
suits threatened. 2,000 girls who
make the garments may strike.
Pittsburgh. Patrick McKeown, re
tired merchant, gave wife but one
penny in last year and that was for
church, according to her testimony in
divorce suit.
Norfolk, Va. Battleship Kilgie,
formerly Mississippi, bought from U.
S. by Greece, formally turned over to
that nation.
Denver. Western Federation of
Miners’ convention refused to go on
record as having advised that mem
bers should arm themselves so that
I if operators imported gunmen during
labor troubles they would be prepared
to protect themselves and families.
Washington. House agricultural
committee favorably reported Hum-
phrey resoltuion inquiring whether
there is “press agency” in dep’t of
agriculture.
New York. With war in prospect
Europe engaged approximately $10,
600,000 of American gold for imme-
diate shipment

Švejk at police headquarters in Salmova street

Now, after a succession of beautiful sunny days in the mental hospital, Švejk was to be subjected to round the clock persecution. Police inspector Braun arranged a meeting with Švejk with all the cruelty of the Roman Emperor Nero at his loveliest. Hard, as they did when they said: “Throw the bastard Christians to the lions,” Inspector Braun said: “Lock him up!”

Not a word more or less. Only the eyes of police inspector Braun flashed a strange, yet perverse delight.

Švejk bowed and said proudly: “I am ready, gentlemen. I think locked up means the same as a cell, and one is as bad as the other.”

“Aren’t we getting a little expansive,” said the policeman. Švejk said: “I am completely humble and grateful for everything you do for me.”

In the cell a man sat pensively on the bunk. He sat listlessly and it was evident in his countenance he did not believe the grinding of the key in the cell door meant that it was opening to freedom.

“My compliments, sir,” said Švejk, sitting down next to him on the bunk, “do you happen to have the time?” “The clock is not my master,” said the thoughtful man.

“It’s not so bad here,” continued Švejk, making conversation, “this bunk is made of polished wood.”

The serious man did not answer. He stood up and began to walk quickly in a small space between the door and bunks, as if hurrying to save something.

Švejk meanwhile observed with interest the graffiti on the walls. There was an inscription in which an unknown prisoner promised to high heaven to have a fight to the death with the police. The text ended: “You’ll get it good”. Another prisoner wrote: “Kiss my ass, cocksuckers.” Still another simply stated the fact: “I was locked up here June 5, 1913 and was treated decently. Josef Mareček businessman from Vršovice.” And there was one shattering its depth: “Have mercy, almighty God. . . ” And under it:” Kiss my a__ .” The letter “a” was crossed out and on the side written in capital letters ‘COAT TAIL’. In addition, a poetic soul wrote the verse: “By the stream saddened I sit, the sun hides behind the mountains, on the shining ridge, where dear Milka dwells.”

The man who was running back and forth by the door, as if he wanted to win the marathon, stopped and panting sat down again at his old place, put his head in his hands and suddenly shouted: “Let me out!”

“No, they will not let me,” he spoke for himself “let me get out of here. I’ve been here since six o’clock this morning.”

In a fit of communicativeness he stood up and asked Švejk: “Do you happen to be wearing a belt I could use to do myself in?”

“That I do for you gladly,” answered Švejk, undoing his belt, “I have never seen anybody locked up hanging on a belt – only it’s annoying,” he continued looking all around, “that there is nothing to fasten on. The window handle won’t hold you. Unless you hang kneeling, by the bunk, as that monk did in the monastery of Emmaus, who hanged himself from the crucifix over some young Jewess. I love suicides, so get it on.”

Švejk thrust the belt into the hand of the gloomy man. He looked at the belt and tossed it into a corner and began to weep, rubbing his tears with his black hands, and shrieking, gasping: “I have kids, I’m here for drunkenness and immoral life, Jesus, my poor woman, what I will say at the office? I have kids, I’m here for drunkenness and immoral life,” and so on and so on.

Finally, after he calmed down a bit, the man went to the door and began to kick it and pound it with his fist. Behind the door were heard footsteps and a voice: “What do you want?”

“Let me out!” he said with a desperate voice. “Where?” was the question from the other side. “To the office,” said the unhappy father, husband, officer, drunk and libertine.

There was laughter, laughter and then ghastly silence in the hall as steps again moved away.

“It seems to me the guy must hate you when he laughs like that,” said Švejk, while the hopeless man again sat down beside him. “That kind of guard when he is angry, can take power, and he can get even angrier, and do anything he wants to you. Sit quietly, if you don’t want to hang, and wait and see how things develop. If you are an official, married, and if you have little ones , it is, I admit, horrible. You’re probably reckoning that they will fire you if I’m not mistaken.”

“I don’t know,” he sighed, “because I can’t remember what I was doing, I just know that I was kicked out of some place and that I wanted to go back there to light a cigar. But it started out very nicely. The head of our department was celebrating his saint’s day and invited us to a wine bar, then we went into a second, a third, a fourth, the fifth, the sixth, seventh, to the eighth, the ninth… ”

“You want me to help you count?” asked Švejk. “I understand this one. I was once in twenty-eight different places in one night. But I swear, I never had more than a maximum of three beers in any one.”

“In short,” said the hapless slave, who celebrated his department head’s name day so spectacularly, “when we had moved through about a dozen different places, we noticed that we had lost the chief, although we had tied a piece of string to him and led him along like a dog. So we went back to look for him everywhere until finally we lost one another and I found myself in one of the cafes at night in Vinohrady, a very decent place where I drank some liquor straight from the bottle. What I did then, I do not remember. I just know that two policemen brought me here and both reported to the desk sergeant that I was drunk, behaved indecently, hit a lady, slashed up a stranger’s hat that I took off the peg with a pocket knife, chased away the girl band, accused the head waiter in front of everybody of stealing twenty crowns, broke the marble table top where I was sitting, and intentionally spat into the black coffee of a gentleman unknown to me at the next table. That’s all I did, at least I can’t remember anything else. But I’m not a troublemaker! And believe me, I’m a good, intelligent man who thinks of nothing else except his family. What does all this mean? ”

“Was it a lot of work to break this marble slab,” Švejk asked him with interest, “or did you break iit with one blow?”

“All at once,” said the intelligent gentleman.

“Then you’re lost,” said Švejk thoughtfully. “They’ll show that you prepared for it by working out. And the coffee, the gentleman, where you spit, was it without rum or rum?”

And he did not wait for an answer, explaining:

“If it was with rum, it will be worse, because it’s expensive. In court, everything counts, it all gets put together to make it amount at least to a crime”

“The Court…,” the dutiful family man whispered despondently, and hanging his head fell into that unpleasant state in which a person is eaten by remorse. *

“Do they know at home,” he asked Švejk, “that you are locked up, or will they have to wait to find out from the newspaper?”

“You think it will be in the papers?” naively asked this human sacrifice to the feast day of a superior.

“Absolutely certain,” was the direct answer, because Švejk never had a habit of hiding something in front of others. “The story about you will give all readers of newspapers a tremendous kick. I myself love to read the box about drunks and their jackpots. Recently in the Chalice a guest didn’t do anything else except that he himself broke a glass over his head. He threw it into the air and stood under it. They took him, and in the morning we read about it. Or in Bendlovce I gave one to a mortician and he slapped me back. To be reconciled, they had us both arrested, and now it was in the afternoon rags. Or if that counselor broke two coasters in the Cafe Corpses, think it was investigated? The next day he was in the papers. The only thing you can do, once you are in prison, is send a correction to the newspapers about the report which was published about you, stating that it does not concern you, and that the persons of that name are not even relatives, and have no connection with you, and you must write home to tell them about the correction and have them cut it out cut out and keep it so you can read it once you are released – are you cold? ” asked Švejk, concerned when he saw that the intelligent gentleman was shaking. “We have had a little to too much cool weather at the end of summer.”

“I’m done for,” wept Švejk’s companion, “I’ll never get promoted.”

“No, never,” said Švejk, perfectly willing to agree. “If he wants to punish you, not take you back at the office, when you’ve done your time, I don’t know whether you’re going to find another place anytime soon, because any employer, even if you wanted to work collecting dead animals off the street, would require Probity. You’ll be paying for those moments of pleasure, for sure. And how are your wife and kids going to live while you’re sitting in the clink? Or will she have to go begging and teach the children the usual vices? ”

There was sobbing:

“My poor little ones, my poor wife!”

The conscienceless penitent stood up and talked about their little children: There are five; the oldest is twelve years old and is in the Boy Scouts. He drinks only water and should be an example to his father, who misbehaved for the first time in his life.

“The Boy Scouts?” exclaimed Švejk. “I’ll tell you about the Boy Scouts. One time in Mydlovary in Zlivi, Deep district, district marshal Ceske Budejovice, just when we were there with the Ninety-first on exercises, the farmers from around organized a hunt for Scouts in the municipal forest, who were all over the place in there. They caught three. The smallest of them, when he was being tied up, wailed and squeaked and pleaded so much that that we hardened soldiers couldn’t stand looking at it and took off. While the the three Scouts were being tied down they bit eight peasants. After being beaten with rods they confessed to the Mayor that there wasn’t one meadow in the area that hadn’t been flattened by the Scouts sunbathing, And they insisted that the acre of rye near Ražic that burned just before the harvest, burned by chance, when they were roasting a deer on a spit, which they killed by creeping up on it with knives in the municipal forest. In their lair in the woods they found over half a quintal of bones of poultry and wild life, a tremendous amount of cherry pits, lots of green apple cores and all such good things.”

The poor father of the Scout was not to be appeased.

“What have I done?” he lamented, “I have ruined my reputation.”

“Indeed you have,” said Švejk with his innate sincerity, “After what happened, you have destroyed the reputation of a lifetime, because it will be all over the papers, and even people you know will add something to it. That’s the way it always goes, and nothing can be done about it. There are at least ten times more people the world with destroyed reputations than those with a clean reputation. Not to worry. It is unappreciably unimportant. ”

In the hallway sounded strong steps, the key rattled in the lock, the door opened and a policeman called Švejk’s name.

“Excuse me,” said Švejk chivalrously, “I’ve only been here since twelve o’clock noon, but this gentleman has been here since six o’clock in the morning. I’m in no hurry.”

Instead of answering, the strong hand of the police officer pulled Švejk into the hallway and silently brought him up the stairs to the first floor.

In the second room sat the Police Commissioner at his desk, Mr. fat genial countenance, who said to Švejk:

“So you are therefore the Švejk? And how did you get here?”

“In the ordinary way,” answered Švejk; “I came here in a procession of policemen, because I didn’t think it was very nice of them to make me leave the mental hospital without lunch. I don’t like being treated like a kicked-out slut.”

“You know what, Švejk,” said the Commissioner benignly, “The thing is that here, on Salmovce, why do we have to be angry with you? It will not be better if you send to police headquarters?”

“You, as the saying goes,” said Švejk satisfied, “are master of the situation. A walk over to police headquarters now in the evening is quite a nice little walk.”

“I’m glad that we are agreed,” the police commissioner said cheerfully. “Is not better if we agree? That’s true, Švejk?”

“I also tremendously like to take advice,” said Švejk; “I will, believe me, Commissioner, I will never forget your kindness.”

Bowing respectfully, he left with a police officer for the guardroom and a quarter of an hour later Švejk had already been seen on the corner of Ječná Street and Karlovo Square in procession with a second police officer, who had under his arm a voluminous book with the German inscription Arrestantenbuch, heading for the police station.

At the corner of the Spálené Street Švejk and his escort met with a bunch of people who were thronging around a poster.

“It is the manifesto of His Imperial Majesty declaring war,” said a police officer to Švejk.

“I predicted it,” said Švejk, “but in the mental institution they still know nothing about it, although they should have first-hand knowledge.”

“What do you mean?” asked the policeman to Švejk.

“Because there are so many officers locked up,” said Švejk, and when they came to the boisterous, shoving crowd in front of the proclamation, Švejk shouted:

“Emperor Franz Josef! This is one war we will win!”

Someone from the enthusiastic crowd ran his hat over his ears, and accompanied by a crowd of people, the Good Soldier Švejk stepped through the door of police headquarters:

“We will certainly win this war, I repeat it again, gentlemen!,” said Švejk, saying thus goodbye to the crowd who escorted him.

And somewhere, at the distant end of history, Europe suffered from the truth that tomorrow would destroy the plans of today.

______________________________________________________
* Some writers use the term “they are gnawed by remorse”. I do not consider this usage entirely fitting. A tiger eats a man and does not gnaw.

Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války
Švejk na policejním ředitelství v Salmově ulici
Jaroslav Hašek
Translation Copyright (c) 2015, William J. Spurlin
All rights reserved.