The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)
Front Rankers and Rank Fronters.
Think big, go big and be big,” is the slogan of the quick'n and the straight griffin to the wide open graces of existence. Britons are still the biggest little people in the human hotchpotch, in spite of themselves individiously. As singular nouns they are subjective to the verb “to be,” but considered as an aggregation of ideas, they conspire to promote something bigger than themselves.
There are peoples who think big, but fail to match the colour of their thoughts with the fabric of their actions; there are others who are so busy going big that they have no time to encourage the passenger service between heart and head, and still others who were born to be big, but missed the right train of thought to the highlands of Humanity.
The elephant is big, but being bereft of bigotry, he is no bigger than he doesn't know he is: the gnat, being a fly of personality and unaware of how much he can't do, is as big as the elephant, who is only as elephantine as his perception.
Which proves that perception is only “early doors” to Imagination or an advance screening of the feature films of the Future. Quoting from the same advertisement, Ideals are a close-up of Big Bill Truth in a love scene with Josephine Justice. An idealist is one who is big enough to get a screw at the screening over the swelled heads of the front-rankers, or the rank fronters.
Cold Truth and Hot Dog.
Britain (and I offer an apology for punting on the home stable) is big because she is big enough to know how small she is. After all, Humility is only a sense of proportion, and a sense of proportion is essential to the painting of mind-pictures. Working the argument to skin and bone, the greatness of bigness is not a matter of arms, alms, mechanised morals, dehumanised commerce, and hot dog generally, but an unawareness of the greatness of Greatness and a realisation of things as they are and not necessarily as they are advertised.
Britons are what might be termed two-handed sentimentalists or manual thinkers, which are aliases of the idealist. A dreamer is a still-life worker, or an example of slow emotion, but an idealist acts his own scenarios, and never looks back.
Looking back is backing luck with an overdue promissory note or trying to refill a bottle with the headache it produced. The skipper who steers with his eyes on his wake is due to wake where ships have wings and sailors don't have to care. It is said that history repeats itself: if so, why look back at it, when by waiting for it to catch up, you can get it on the second bounce.page 14
It is impossible at this juncture to say who won the great European fracture, but Britain is prepared to post the Past as missing and write off the cost of breakages. This is forgiveness with cash discount, and is so oblivious of the obvious that it is almost sublime.
The Obvious and the Oblivious.
The obvious is something everyone else is thinking, and therefore is as open to suspicion as a jemmy in a jeweller's. If everyone thinks what everyone else thinks it is usually wrong because it is founded on precedent, and precedent is yesterday's car wearing to-day's numbers. The rebels against precedent are pioneers in the realms of imagination. When Stephenson produced his whistling kettle he strayed so far from the path of precedent, that had he adorned an earlier epoch he would have made his last trip by rail before he had made his first.
Imagination, after all, is the writing on the wall, or a poster postulating probabilities unprobed. Thus it is reasonable to believe that the more unreasonable a prognosis may read the more reasonable it may be. Britain's unreasonable reasonableness in promulgating a brotherhood of notions and a notion of international forgiveness regarding the big bust of 1914 and the succeeding reverberations, brands her as a lady who profits from her mistakes.
Where There's a Well There's a Way.
Britain has spent fifty per cent, of her time making mistakes and the other fifty unmaking them. Falling into a well is easier than falling out of it, but provided you can keep your respiratory end above the water line, each bout of well-sinking adds to mental well being, until finally you become so wise that you can get out of wells without falling into them. It is true that “where there's a well there's a way” This kind of dropsicality is productive of tolerance for the lop-sided-ness of others.
The Dogs of Doggerel.
Tolerance is Imagination with the lining turned outwards, or a fellow-feeling derived from the bumps of experience. Britain, whose history is studded with more excavations and pit-falls than the average city thoroughfare, owes her bigness to her bruises. Decorated with doggerel the situation is something adjacent to the following:—
Let carping critics cease to sniff,
And use their “beans” for half a jiff,
And from the jug of reason swig
The reason why the nation's big,
And why from ev'ry sort of stew,
Our native land has blundered through.
The dog who harbours fleas is rich
In knowledge as to canine itch,
And bears a sympathetic wheeze
For other dogs who harbour fleas.
A lack of fleas must always tend,
To harden him from end to end.
In fact a dog without a flea
Is lacking in that sympathy
That brands all meanness “infra dig,”
And makes some dogs and nations big.
The Doldrums of Depression.
Trouble is a blessing so well disguised that in comparison a sausage is an open secret. But trouble has its advantages like deafness at an oratorio, or cauliflower ears at a vegetarian lecture. Recently we have passed through so much triple-plated trouble in compressed form, that the experiences of the Ancient Mariner read like a page from the Deadhead's Diary. If the darkest hour is before the dawn, we are in for a dawn that will demand smoked glasses. In comparison, a shining example wearing an illuminated address will look like a liquorice baby by twilight. Already there is a perceptible quiver of agitated air in the Doldrums of Depression. The sails of commerce slap sluggishly, and the skipper of the schooner Perspirus prepares to run before the “trades.”
Let's follow the fortunes of the schooner Perspirus through the seas of Persiflage:—
It was the schooner Perspirus
That sailed the wintry sea,
And the skipper took Prosperity
To bear him company.
Her eyes were as blue as blue could be,
And all her teeth were crowned
With gold that should by rights assay
Ten florins to the pound.
But ere the binnacle was boxed,
And everything in nick,
Prosperity went green as grass,
And presently was sick.
Thereafter in her bunk she moaned,
Nor shewed her face on deck:
The skipper knew by all the signs
He'd get it in the neck.
He sawed a section off the gaff,
And braced the mizzen poop,
And called the crew abaft the bunt,
To say, “we're in the soup.
Prosperity has took the count,
And we are all at sea.
We'll have to cut the rations down,
The crew, although their belts were slack,
Reacted true to form,
And furled the bowsprit willingly,
To counteract the storm.
And when the surging billows sank
To what they ought to be,
The skipper said, “She's ne'er so bad,
But we are still at sea.”
For not a breath of air was there.
The skipper cried “were skinned
Unless the elements conspire
To help us ‘raise the wind.’”
At this Prosperity appeared,
A trifle green it's true,
And somewhat groggy on her pins
Like partly melted glue.
At this the skipper's spirits rose,
The bosun's mate said “Heck!
We'll sink our groans to Davy Jones—
Prosperity's on deck.”
At once the balmy breezes blew,
The “trades” took up the tale,
And soon the Perspirus was dressed
In ev'ry foot of sail.
And thus though storms at times must rage,
And Doldrums pain the neck,
Prosperity is bound at last
To shew her face on deck.