The War Illustrated No 145 Vol 6 January 8th 1945

-•V '¦rTtsT- s€S flKSMSFJ .4 .J There arc times in this fourth winter of black-out when“ I am aweary, aweary,” but never one when 1 go the whole way with Mariana of the moated Grange, and “would that I were dead !”Never. Life at its longest is so brief a business, especially when you contemplate the millions of years that had passed before you were conscious of living and the possi­bility that you will be quite a longtime dead, that I think we ought to regard every hour of it as precious. That is why I am inclined to resent the feeling of-weariness that de­scends upon me when the black-out blackens and the .sleepy feeling, induced by no sun­shine, that comcs upon me too often. Think­ing that advancing years might not unreason­ably account for this, 1 have discussed it with many persons of all adult ages and find, to my solace, if not to my en­couragement, that it- is the common experience of those who are twenty or thirty years my juniors. Surely those -who order our way of life ought to realize this by easing their restrictions wherever that can be done with safety and with­out hurt to our war effort for a lively and good-tempered public is in itself an essential to waging a total war. Yet there are those among our bureaucrats who take a fierce,- sadistic joy in making loyal welland -meaning citizens miserable by unsympathetic consideration of cases of hard­ship resulting from the blind, mechanical application of a general rule to differently con­ditioned individuals.' T t is hardly necessary to detail any of these, as every living Briton has suffered, from the form-filling mania that is com­mon to every department of our bloated bureaucracy, and must have discovered by now thflt the real purpose of many of the forms we are asked to fill up is not to help us in anyway to a fair share of obtain­able necessities so much as to disgust us with the plaguy process of acquiring our due. We then decide to do without it, even to the point of lessen­ing our individual ability to help in tFie national effort. This very commonsense of frustra­tion is, I suspect, not unconnected with the weary feeling I have mentioned, which might be counteracted in some degree at least by a more general recognition from officialdom that those swanking around, clothed in a little authority, are not really a different class of human beings equipped to make the lives of another class, the burden bearers, needlessly hard and gloomy, but that they are creatures “of like passions ”whose function ought to be one of helpfulness to their fellows. It would have been jolly if some of these re­strictive departments had made aNew Year’s resolution to be helpful in 1943 rather than harassing to the ordinary decent folk whose labour is paying their wages. I think I hear someone say wearily, “You have a hope !”Still, the right time for a hopeful heart to beat a little stronger is at the beginning of new year. I am even finding a crumb of comfort in the minutely lengthening day­light which in another three months will banish once again those black-out blues! r v s c u siNGs with a friend of his the other day, a journalist who long since laid down his pen and passed into the shadows, 1 recalled that on one occasion during the last War when he had some part in my own activities, we were together at an entertainment in a certain well-known London club one Saturday evening, when my old friend Lyle Johnstone contributed anew song entitled “Never Again with the Likes o ’These.” Personally, I found its sentiments entirely acceptable and it was set to a rollicking tune which ought lo have given it a greater vogue than 1 think it ever attained. “These'” were naturally the Huns of 1914, but my journalistic friend, who went through life enunciating a sort of mushy idealism 'V.‘ OTStfii <•»>WING CMDR. D. R.S. BADER, D.S.O., D.F.C., renowned “legless” pilot. He was taken prisoner on Aug. 9,1941, after having brought down 22£ German planes (the last being shared) in the Battle of Britain of 1940, and in daylight sweeps over N. France, 1940-41. Drawn by EricK ennfngton: Crown Copyright reserved and just fell short of being a pacifist, was so indignant at the vigorous anti-German feeling of the song that he endeavoured to leave the room in protest, and would no doubt have done so had it not been the custom then in that particular coterie to have the door locked out of respect for the vocalists, so that they should not suffer from members barging in in the middle of their efforts. But probably this was the only time that the locked door stood in the way of a sentimental soul whose kindly feelings for all mankind made him uneasy at the prospect of our never again grasping the hand of the Hun in fellowship. I have thought of him in noticing that a Never Again Society has recently been informed England, and I wonder if they know of the existence of the composition in question, which might serve themas a theme song. At any Irate, can commend it to their attention, as I believed in it then and more strongly approve its sentiment today. one wno nas always taken a keen amateur interest in astronomy I have noted with some surprise the announcement that anew planet, sixteen times larger than Jupiter, was discovered at the end of Nov­ember 1942 by a Swedish astronomer named Dr. Strand, who calculates that the object of his discovery must have a weight of some 5,000 times that of the Earth. This will give one a faint idea of the amount of space still available outside the tiny Solar System in which this Earth of ours has avery minor position. For Jupiter is the largest of the planetary masses that have their orbits round the Sun, which in its turn is one of the smaller of the millions of suns burning within the immeasurable vastness of space. Jupiter is 1,312 times larger than the Earth and is attended by no fewer than nine moons, while we are struggling along with one, but the density of Jupiter is much lower than that of our planet, so that its weight is not rela­tively greater than that of the Earth. 'Th a tan unknown planet 18,000 times bulkier than the Earth has evaded the cease­less investigations of astron­omers from Galileo to Sir James Jeans would abe bit of real news if we were not so occupied with the War that is raging on our own pumpkin of a planet at present. Mean­while, I have my doubts about it, though I had none concern­ing the last authentic discovery of another planet in the Solar System, sincc Pluto (as it was christened) has a diameter only half our own. There would beat least one consolation if Earth were as enormous as Jupiter: a World War on it would be impossible, as a cen­tury might go by before the news that its northern inhabit­ants were exterminating each other had reached as far south as its Australia !/~)ur friends down south, especially the Diggers who write tome, must abe breezy lot. One of the raciest letters I have had of late, the spell­ing of which would have done credit to Josh Billings 01 Artcmus Ward, comes from farther south, Tasmania, and tells me that the writer has been reading TheW a rIll s­tu rated since it began and is so pleased with it that he urges tome keep it going “War or no War.” Personally, I think that we shall all be fairly fed up with the War, as a war, by the time it is ended, but as a period of great adventure and marvellous events it will yield material for thousands of publications in the years to follow. I like this correspondent parti­cularly because he is so frank about my own gossip, which he tells me is sometimes “very tame ”and occasionally “just mush.” But some of the things which ashe, an old soldier (his name, by the way, is Patman, and he writes from Moonah, Tasmania), says about our Blimps I would not dare to quote. Evidently my own parti­cular bete noire of the B.B.C., those'dreadful boomings of Big Ben at nine o'clock, have a value more inappreciable the far reaches of the British Commonwealth than in the British Isles, for this cheery critic finishes up his letter by saying that “all is well, as I have just heard Big Ben striking and now we will hear some of the Colonel Blimps from the B.B.C. studio, which is full of them .”Printed in England and published every alternate Friday by the Proprietors, Thu A m a lg a mated PiieSS, Ltd .,The Fleetway House. Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4. Registered for transmission by Canadian Magazine Post. Sole Agents for Australia mul New Zealand: Messrs. Gordon& Gotch, Ltd .and for South Africa :Central News Agency, Ltd.*— January 8,1943 S.S. Editorial Address: john carp enter house white friars .lon don.e .c .4. i •
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