THE TAG ON THE little fellow’s basket there on our front cover has a note inside it. It reads like this, and it is a particular message just for you, your family, and your friends. Though man has the faculty of tradition, according to Walter Lippman, it is an uncertain one. “Oftener than not he has been unable […]
By Yankee Magazine
Nov 07 2018
THE TAG ON THE little fellow’s basket there on our front cover has a note inside it. It reads like this, and it is a particular message just for you, your family, and your friends.
Though man has the faculty of tradition, according to Walter Lippman, it is an uncertain one. “Oftener than not he has been unable to absorb and to transmit the vital essence of his tradition. Then he has fallen into dark ages, when he has lost his inheritance, into dull ages when he is uninterested in it, and into ages of bewilderment when he cries out for it and cannot find it.”
For the Yankee this is perhaps the age of bewilderment. He is bewildered, for example, by such an opening sentence as appeared in a recent article in Scribner’s Magazine . . . “The Yankee, like the Red Man, has become the vanishing American”
And he remembers how it was that Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau, said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do td me? Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. The Yankee remembers that and he is bewildered.
He sees himself, his sons and daughters, hungry, on the edge of a civilization which demands mass production, mass distribution, mass advertising, and mass almost-everything-you-can-think-of… He sees individuality, initiative, natural ingenuity-the things he and his fathers and their fathers fought for-about to be sold, to be “swallered inter” a sea of chain stores, national releases, and nationwide hookups.
Coming in out of his fields, his forests, his shop, he is hungry and he is faint and he finds the dwellers of the tents offering him more miles to the gallon, more energy hours to the dollar, more religion per prayer, greater quantity at lower prices. It is in return for these things, for all the things which go with a corporate mass economy existence that he is asked to sell his Yankee soul-his birthright.
He may cry out … but to what ears? His government is a national government. His institutions are national institutions. His markets are national markets. His party is a national party. “As Maine goes, so goes the nation” is no longer a Yankee byword. And what about the press? Certainly here the Yankee ought to find his hearing. But national advertisers wish to reach the greatest number of people;they pay the highest rates to the magazines which do that; the magazines with the greatest circulation make the most money; obviously, the Yankee cannot expect much of a hearing there. The Yankee writer must give his work the “universality” we hear so much about these days or be content with talking to himself. The Yankee reader must be satisfied that he is just one of a hundred and fifty million others and that magazines are made up to please the millions and not the one.
Thus, Yankee is born today-for Yankee readers, by Yankee writers, and about Yankeedom. Primarily, it is New Hampshire’s child. It has been left on New Hampshire’s doorstep because we know it will find a congenial home there. In that environment, it cannot fail to become typical of the great culture and heritage out of which it has been born. Perhaps, as it grows older, it will visit-it will be visited by-other Yankee relatives, its parent’s brothers and sisters, and their families in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont–and the many millions of its kin scattered here and there across the continent.
It has its great heritage and Yankee has its present and its future, too. The little fellow’s charts and gestures will mean memories of days gone by at times, and at other times of the days in which he lives. Fiction, poetry, verse, every nature of expression peculiar to his kind, will be there waiting to bubble out of him. And he will have up to the minute articles to show you, too, by leading authorities in the textile, agricultural, forestry, and shoe trades. Not only these-there will be many other features also to keep you interested and surprised.
His destiny is the expression and perhaps, indirectly, the preservation of that great culture in which every Yank was born and by which every real Yank must live. If he doesn’t behave, “tan his hide.” Give him your care, your interest, your heart, and you’ll be repaid over and over. Above all, see that he makes friends and does everything he can to keep them. His future more or less depends on them. You’ll hear from us once a month, and if anything is in the air which we think might affect his health, we’ll let you know.