Topic: Gen - St - SA
The Critic, 3 May 1916
[From: The Critic, 19 April 1916, p. 24.]
"The Searchlight" from The Critic, 3 May 1916, p. 9.
One of the best mirrors of a society is found in the things people find entertaining. Below is one such mirror. It is an extract from The Critic of 3 May 1916 at page 9 where the popular column produced by a person taking the nom de plume "The Searchlight" wrote pithy little entries designed to be informative as well as humorous. The topics tackled are wide ranging. The Easter Uprising in Dublin, The Western Front, The Sportsman's Thousand, The Kaiser's Birthday, Land Agents, Wowsers, Early Closing, Horse Racing and Fashions to name some of the topics. One must realise that this is a theme of the times and part of that is the overt racism that flows through some of the comments. They will not be censored because this was the society at the time and this was a respected newspaper of that time.
May 3, 1916 p. 9
The Searchlight. (By "Adelaide")
The light that sprays a hundred ways
With biting phrase instead of rays.
The Outer Harbor is still popular for anglers. Well, if you travel second-class you don't need to get to your journey's end even before you get a bite.
During the Dublin riots some of the women, tis said, held out their aprons for the jewellery and other loot from the wrecked shops. Is this the conscription of wealth we are hearing such a lot about?
May Day passed off very quietly this year. Red ribbon was not at all prominent, and neither, for that matter, was green in tie white of the eye.
Managers say that the public are developing a taste for long picture-plays. Humph! Judging by the modern drama, we thought they would have preferred them short and broad.
A fashion exchange says briefly: "Long drops are very fashionable for women again." A leading hangman informs us, however, that he reckons the same length is necessary for both men, and woman. “Long drops,” he says emphatically, “are always preferable.”
On the Kaiser’s birthday six women were killed in Berlin, so great was the crush. And William the Awful will no doubt swank that he is quite a lady-killer now.
We hear a lot about Turkish atrocities. Well we've always reckoned their cigarettes were that, and it was by our idea - judged, and not our ears.
His Excellency the Governor says that the dressing up of the gentle nigger by the missionary is always a great mistake. They catch colds, of course. Niggers aren't the only ones, though, who suffer from colds from dressing up.
Skipping is now recommended as the very best exercise. House-agents declare that lots of their trusted tenants seem to exercise their ingenuity in this way everlastingly.
Theodore Roosevelt declares that he is not afraid to talk. No; it is other people who are afraid of Teddy's talking.
Lots of our swaddies expect to go to France. Judging by the farewell speeches they are subjected to, we should unhesitatingly say they should be quite impervious to gas.
There are many things, says a contemporary, to say about the Turk, but being a family paper it doesn't say them.
The "sweetest refrain" we know of is the encore that the brassy-haired serio-comic refuses to give her admirers.
A fire broke out in Melbourne Her Majesty's picture-palace on Saturday afternoon. Well some of the pictures lately have been a bit on the warm side.
German soldiers have to do a fearful lot of gymnasium work when they are first enrolled. Accounts for 'm being such remarkable bounders, perhaps.
The P.L.L. in Sydney has expressed its abhorrence of the system of boarding out the unfortunate little wards of the State to dairy-farmers and others. We can still weep over the wrongs of the negro slaves in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," but we have precious little sympathy for the real little white slaves of Australia.
The news that sackcloth is fashionable will be very irritating to most people.
There is said to be a great shortage in properly dyed serges, etc. So if you want to get a shot effect, dear lady or gentleman, you need only go out in the last smart shower that comes along, and behold! your smart new suit will achieve it free of cost.
Skirts are sometimes in extreme cases eight inches off the ground. All, what you might call, the height of fashion.
President Wilson is said to be fond of singing. We can picture him singing, "Hold your hand out, naughty boy;" to the Kaiser over the latest outrages.
Travellers on the Parkside and Glen Osmond tram lines are recommended to carry tin-openers with them, in order to cut their way through the other sardines when they desire to alight at any of the streets along Hutt Street.
There are now broad chalk lines on the roadway in King William Street to indicate where people should stand to wait for the trams. Evidently Mr Goodman didn't deem us capable of walking a chalk-line before six o'clock closing.
Dr. Seitz, ex-Governor of German West Africa, has a British guard-of honor, which turns out daily before him and presents arms. International usage, of course, but it's such silly footle that we shall expect to hear of the British presenting alms to their fallen foes presently.
At a recent Durban race meeting a horse named Wedding Chimes came first and Poverty romped in second. Anyone could have tipped it.
That bright musical comedy, "The Dairy Maids," is being revived. A can-can would be an appropriate feature, eh, what?
What's all this yowl about football, races, etc? All the good sports went to the front long ago.
Mr. Hardy Brown landed a 247-Ib. shark at Umkomas. Didn't know that even land agents went that weight very often.
In view of the legs now on view, we have come to the conclusion that Fashion was, after all, charitable enough in that she covered a multitude of shins.
The Temperance Bars are not the success they might have been. Like life, there is too much froth and bobble about their wares. In fact, the hotel-keepers are finding these soft drinks hard cheese, and no mistake.
[Editor's Note: The "the brassy-haired serio-comic" was none other than Minnie Love who made her appearance at the Royal Theatre as Jeannie McTavish in "The Dancing Mistress". She was a brilliant young London comedienne brought out to Australia by JC Williamson for the Royal Comic Opera Company.]
Citation: Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 3 May 1916