Oedipus at Half
to a good brassy rendition of Old Nassau between the halves, with plenty of
sis-boom-bah to give it spirit, may have been somewhat mystified as the
Princeton band took over the grass at Palmer Stadium during half time last
week. Our own representative, a graybeard pushing 30, was forced to admit that
the intermission at football games was never like this in his day.
Nevertheless, autres temps, autres moeurs! Today even the arid author of The
Wasteland, who taught us all the lesson of futility, has taken to himself a
young love and new hope; and if T.S. Eliot can change, why can't we all?
At any rate,
while the gridiron Tigers rested from mauling Colgate, the band put on what
seemed to be a satire of documentary TV by Evelyn Waugh out of John Philip
Sousa. First they formed themselves into the outline of a Trojan Horse while a
sepulchral voice recounted Homeric legend. Then the band struck up The Old Gray
Mare. Following this, an announcer droned on about the sinking of the Titanic.
The marchers formed a ship while their instruments blared Row, Row, Row Your
As a climax the
band formed itself into a huge pulsing heart, and the announcer proclaimed:
"It is 957 B.C. Oedipus, King of Thebes, is groping his way outside his
The music? I Want
a Girl, Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad.
Well, it's a
nervous business in these changing times, but we promise that we will keep
right on watching, and reporting to you, such further fall trends as we spot
On first reading
the news, it seemed the final indignity. It was not enough to be hopelessly
outpointed in every kind of wind and weather off Newport, not enough to be the
object of scorn and ridicule by news writers and cartoonists on both sides of
the Atlantic—now Britain's poor, graceful, ineffectual Sceptre (she was the
other boat, you remember, in those cup races) had got her bottom stove in on
the deck of a clumsy freighter during a storm at sea on her way back to
Neptune, we cried, how could you? But then we paused. That old god of the sea
is no fool, we reflected, and Sceptre's bottom—bulgy, plump and round as a
yearling babe's—was certainly not her best feature. For many a long year
Britannia and Neptune ruled the waves together. Was the old sea-god, we
wondered, trying to say something to his longtime partner?
Now that Sceptre
is going to need some hull surgery anyway...we hope Britons get the