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DECLARING WAR ON "SEX STUFF"
The head of one of the largest public libraries is urging a boycott on
magazines which make a prurient specialty of "sex stuff."
While many persons, scattered far and wide, are satiated and sickened
with so much fictional pandering, it needs leadership, he contends, to bring
this sentiment to a focus. Librarians, he argues, are well placed to take
such a lead.
He may be right. Certainly it is a generally recognized ( part of thd
public librarian's job to keep filth off the book stacks.
At the same time, it is a task calling for unusually fine judgment.
"Sex Stuff," needless to remind either readers or librarians, is of many
kinds; and the rejected of today may be the accepted, yea, the highly hon
ored of tomorrow.
Did you ever, for instance, read that wonderful novel of Tolstoy,
"Resurrection"? The story of the rich prince who in an idle hour seduced
a poor girl, casting her off; the story of how, hunted by men and scorned
by women, she became a tipsy member of the lost sisterhood; the story of
their meeting, after many years, he as a juror, she as a prisoner charged
with murder; and finally the story of how he came to see that his guilt
was the cause of hers, and how he squared the account?
Notwithstanding the lack of disguise with which it deals with one
of the oldest and biggest of human problems, it is today universally recog
nized as profoundly instructive and inspiring a work which humanity
could ill afford to lose. Yet 20 years ago it would probably have been
denied a place on most library shelves.
So if there is, to be a boycott of "sex stuff" let it keenly discriminate
between writings meant to teach and writings meant only to sell.
Interest in sex is fundamental' and eternal. Moreover, in the main it
is wholesome. As light is more sanitary than darkness, so knowledge is
safer than ignorance. Because of the growing perception of these truths
here in America, we doubt that it would be either possible or desirable to
restore the standard of silence which marked our literature a genera
But if the' fakers who are playing "sex stuff" merely for profit can be
scotched without abridging necessary freedom, many, we fancy, will join
us in saying: "Speed the day!"
LETTERS TO EDITOR
- WORLD IN A BAD STATE.
Editor Day Book Such was the
heading in an article Saturday. The
world is in a bad state, maybe, but
one can gamble on it and win that
the people for certain are in a bad
We may not have titled famines
and. royalty, that is, with handles to
their names, but they are here just
the same, only same birds but differ
ent names. Two-thirds engaged in
that which is needless or unproduc
tive. Perhaps they are, but the mass
es want it and so get what they want.
The masses want to throw their
nickles and dimes away night after
night en the "movies," when it would
he far better to go to bed and rest,
save the money for other better pur
poses and also save their eyesight.
The masses want the redlight dis
trict all over the city, saloons at
every corner, newspapers that fill
them with the proverbial "dope," ear
splitting music machines in place of
refined and talented musicians, and
so on ad infinitum. The people de
.rnand all of these, things,- for if they