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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 10, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-03-10/ed-1/seq-2/

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read the stories in the Herald about reporters sneaking around the cabarets
I feel sorry for the reporters and for the editors who will play that hypo
critical game. But then I'm prejudiced against spies, spotters and sneaks.
Most newspapers try to make circulation by making a fight against
some abuse or another; and some of the abuses are real and some are
imaginary. The freer a newspaper is from the malign influence of Special
Privilege the more aft iQs to tackle
real vice. And if it is so hooked up
that it can't attack Big Vice, it makes
hysterical attacks on Little Vice
and gets nowhere.
When an honest newspaper or an
honest politician attacks Big Vice he
shouldn't make the mistake of fight
ing Little Vice at the same time. For
then he is very apt to lose the sup
port of both the rich and the poor.
A smart political boss who wants
to feather his own nest by serving the
rich is always indulgent toward the
pleasures of the poor, even though
some of these pleasures may be con
sidered vices by the cultured class.
Take dancing for illustration
there is actually no more downright
indecency in the dancers in a cheap
First ward cafe or cabaret than there
is in the dancers at the swellest ball
at the Blackstone hotel. The work
may be a bit coarser in the one place
than in the other, but it is essentially
the same the difference being main
ly a, matter of clothes. I seriously
question whether there is as much
exposure of female nakedness in the
cheapest cafe dance as there is at
one of the swellest social functions
of the so-called "best" people of Chi
cago. And when you get past the clothes
and right down to the human hide,
you'll find the same old human na
ture. I don't dance, but I like to see
others dance and enjoy themselves.
I have watched dancing in many of
the loop cafes and at some of the
swellest functions, and I was satisfied
that the main difference in class was
clothes.
I don't think a dancing cafe is any
place for young, impressionable
girls. Neither do I think a swell so-
ciety ball is any place for young, im
pressionable girls. But I have no ob
jection to women old enough to, take
care of themselves going to either.
And I know that a lot of women who
are conventionally decent whatever"
that is go to both places.
However, the general run of hu
manity wherever I see it looks as rea
sonably decent as humanity really is,
and probably more so than it really
wants to be. Of course, I don't know
what's going on in the minds of the
decent-looking people I see about me
in cafes, theaters and other public
places where folks resent, but I don't
care. It's none of my business any
how. And I'm thankful that people
about me can't always tell what's
going on in my mind.
I'm discussing this matter now' be
cause of its connection with politics.
The political boss generally comes
from the loins of common folks. He's
naturally vulgar, no matter how
much culture he may attempt to
cover it up with. And he understands
human nature better than the cultur
ed reformer because human nature
itsehMs naturally what we call com
mon and vulgar. At that, I think 95
per cent of the culture of the cultured
reformer is hypocrisy and pretense.
That goes for most of us.
In politics the support the reformer
gets comes in two ways, money from
the rich who want to exploit the 95
per cent, and votes from the great
middle class who have decent fam
ilies, go to church, lead decent lives
and who can't afford the -vices and
crimes of the rich and ar,e not driven
by poverty to the vices and crimes of
the poor.
Comparatively, this class is not
large in the First ward, but is verv
large in the so-called residential
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