Baltimore Evening Sun (27 March 1914): 6.
Succinct history of booming in Baltimore:
1912—Sis! 1913—Boom! 1914—Ah!
A DAILY THOUGHT. Put me down, if you insist on a classification, not as a Socialist, or an atheist, or a stoic, or a revolutionist, but as a man who refuses to lie under the smothering blankets of regulated virtue, legislated honesty and hypocritical religion.—Theodore Dreiser.
Dr. Howard A. Kelly on the talent behind the uplift:
This small, pesky, dissatisfied, turbulent minority, which * * * will ever remain discontented with things as they are, however much they may improve.
But on what theory does Dr. Kelly argue that the ukases and behests of this “small, pesky minority” should be obeyed by the majority? On the ground that it is of superior value? Or of superior sagacity? If so, then where is the evidence of that superiority? And if it does not exist, then why should the majority pay any heed to these specialists in other folks’ sins, these virtuosi of pious horror?
Further views of Sir William Osler on the alcohol question, as quoted by Dr. John Marshall, President of the army examining board for dental surgeons:
If I were called upon to state which of the two, in my opinion, causes the most evil, alcohol or decayed teeth, I should unhesitatingly say decayed teeth.
But Dr. Osler, of course, is no longer accepted as a competent medical authority. He had a long season, but the Rev. Dr. Charles M. Levister finally scotched him.
From an editorial article by some anonymous clergyman in Wednesday’s Evening Sun:
The bitter cry of exploited, wronged and suffering humanity goes up all day long.
With all due respect, Pish! No such bellow goes up “all day long,” nor even part of the day—save in the imagination of professional tear-squeezers and upyankers. These gentlemen make a good living redressing the “wrongs” of the downtrodden, and when they can’t find such “wrongs,” they boldly invent them. Witness the monkey-shines of the grafters who run the I. W. W., that fairest flower of the uplift. Witness the daft old maids who whoop and tear their hair over the hypodermic needle, the dance hall, the moving-picture parlor and the minimum wage—with occasional pauses to weep for the murdered dachshund. Some of these virtuosi really believe in the bosh they emit, but it becomes more and more evident that the majority of them grind it out for revenue only. The uplift, indeed, has become the king of grafts. The easiest way to get money today is to discover some new “wrong,” and then start a society for fighting it, with a fat salary for the chief matador, and a corps of eager stickers paying it.
Meanwhile, the common people display a hunkerous indifference to their self- consecrated saviors. Far from being crushed by their woes, they are light-hearted and even merry. True enough, they have their troubles, but so does everybody else. Taking one day with another, they get far more of joy out of life than of tribulation. They are born, grow up, court, marry, have children, rear them, go on the shelf and die—the eternal biological cycle. They get enough to eat; they have roofs over them; they read the newspapers and the medical almanacs; they vote and yell; they see plenty of moving pictures; they get down to River View or Back River on summer Sundays; ever and anon they rush the can. It would take weeks to explain to most of them what their wrongs are. Of the great perils and curses which eat at their vitals—on the subscription blanks of the uplift vereins—they have never heard.
How many working girls show any interest in the sweating rush to save them from destruction? How many of them think that the presence of a snouting policewoman makes a dance more enjoyable? How many of them subscribe to the new moral theory—so productive of contributions, publicity, easy jobs!—that they will all become prostitutes unless they are spied upon eternally? Not many, believe me. The working girl can take care of herself, and she has a clear right to do it without uninvited aid. If her fellow kisses her you may be sure that it is because she likes it and has designs upon his freedom. It he gets too fresh she clouts him in the eye. Such is the True Romance. Such is the unmoral way that nature has. Sorry the day when the immemorial duel of the sexes is regulated by the sexless!
What is the well-spring of the uplift? What is the motive behind it? On the part of its professional practitioners, I am convinced, it in nothing more glorious than a desire for easy jobs. Uplifting, once a recreation for the soft-hearted, has now become the definite trade of a sharp and pertinacious class of men. To it they devote the eloquence of cart-tail evangelists and the chicanery of circus press-agents. In the pursuit of their business they display no more respect for the truth, no more regard for public order and the public welfare, and, in many cases, no more sense of common decency than so many patent medicine quacks. And even those who start out in all sincerity commonly take color from the rest before they end.
As for the persons who support these very dubious,. and, to an increasing degree, highly dangerous agitators and fictioneers, they may be divided roughly into two classes. On one hand are those who are well-meaning, but credulous and over-sentimental—in brief, the old maids, male and female. On the other hand are the gay fellows who turn to the uplift to satisfy their wille zur macht, their will to power, their yearning to make other folks dance as they pipe, their impulse to tyrannize and punish. In the case of some of them this impulse takes on a pathological significance; in the case of others it is merely the lordly desire which is in all of us, exaggerated and misdirected. A good many of these uplifters, at bottom, are energetic and useful citizens, the sort of men who might really help human progress. Their menace lies in their easy yielding to skillful tricksters and flatterers, their naive attitude toward all things bearing moral labels, their utter inability to pursue an intelligible mental process, once their emotions have been aroused.
Unless my snouters lie more than usual, we backward-lookers are in for a fearful lambasting at the hands of the Rev. Dr. Sunday. Lay on, old top; lay on! Murder us all you please—but don’t forget the vice-crusaders! Give us one hot sermon on them—and we’ll shake hands and call it square.—Adv.