The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on December 8, 1979 · 15
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 15

Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 8, 1979
Start Free Trial

THE SUN, Saturday, December 8, 1979 A15 Citizen of the world After three decades, Garry Davis is as active as ever in his battle to replace nation-states with world rule 1 By Isaac Rehert People old enough will remember Garry Davis, actor-son of the late Meyer Davis, a society band leader of several decades ago. In 1948, Mr. Davis walked into the United States Embassy in Paris and formally renounced his American citizenship. That was long before people had gotten used to the radicalism of the Sixties. Then the eyes of the world fastened on this former bomber pilot who, with thousands of war refugees ready to commit mayhem for an American passport, calmly announced that he was surrendering his. National sovereignty was an evil thing, he said. Henceforth, he was a citizen only of the world. While the intellectuals debated endlessly about creating a community of the world, he was doing something concrete and dramatic about it. The United Nations hadn't yet gotten off the drawing board, nor had the Cold War reached intense temperatures. Talk of world government and universal disarmament filled the air. :,The time must have been right, for the young veteran, still wearing his leather Air Force jacket and expressing the ideals of weary millions worn out by war, attracted an enormous following. ' For many months the newspapers were full of his exploits, but gradually other excitements grabbed the headlines. In the three decades since then, the world has seen.-a good deal of turmoil, and in Baltimore we haven't heard much of Garry Davis. . One night last week he surfaced here, eating a vegetarian dinner with some friends at a downtown restaurant, discussing plans for a talk he is to give at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Pickwick Jewish Center on Greenspring avenue. His appearance has changed, though not his passion and devotion to the cause. He looks his 57 years, and the leather military jacket has given way to a neat blue suit. His brushed-back hair has turned gray and thin; there are a mustache, a little beard and a large pair of horn-rimmed glasses that, together with contin ual deadpan humor turned against himself, remind you of a crusading, though still somewhat dubious, Woody Allen. With gusto and a grin, he recalls the events that first catapulted him to fame. I didn t know then what I was getting into. I jusllmew that the war had killed my brother, and 1 had bombed God knows how many innocent victims and for what? "'"Already governments had stopped waging peace. It was just a matter of time before they'd be at each other's throats again. ;The nation-states were responsible, and I decided I wouldn't have it any more. I proclaimed that henceforth I was a citizen of the world. had no idea how many people were out there waiting for somebody to sound that signal." Zile recalls a whirlwind of events that turned him into a virtual messiah. IAt that time France had turned the Troc- adero Palace over to the United Nations. As a man with no passport, with nowhere else to go, I pitched camp on the steps there. "It was a sensation in Paris. Imagine, a paperless man-that boggled the European mind. "They saw me as the symbol of the new world. Thousands came by to see me, to offer me support. "The French intellectuals took me up. Sartre, Camus, Gide, Mauriac. I became the cause of literary papers like Combat and L'Esprit. Sartre and Camus later had a major falling-out over what to think about my movement "I could hardly speak French, but we set up an International Registry of World Citizens and collected signatures of 750,000 people. "We made an announcement that I would give a speech,, and 20,000 people jammed the Velodrome d'Hiver (a sports arena." - " They called him Le Petit, the little man, symbol of the millions whose dreams were being forgotten. Little people may have been ready, but the nation-states weren't. East and West polarized, the United Nations moved to New York and began debating, and the United States venture in Vietnam set in motion a revolt closer to home to worry about. Meanwhile, Garry Davis went on about his affairs, convinced of his mission, taking preliminary steps, waiting for the world to fall into step with what he knew had to be. Loading a small pack on his back, he toured the world, carrying no papers and hardly any money. He made it to India where he entered an ashram and studied with a guru. Several times he returned to the States, entering on a non-quota immigrant's visa. He wrote a book, married three times and sired three children (all by his third wife). He became a notorious international nuisance, demanding a palace bedroom of the shah of Iran when the police wouldn't put him up in jail and proposing to Gamal Abdul Nasser former prime minister of Egypt that the Suez Canal be worldized. How did he survive with such a nonconformist life-style in areas where life is often so cheap? "I was completely nonviolent," he answered. "I had no chip on my shoulder." But, he conceded, he also knew how to wheel and deal with the press. Every new country he'd approach, he'd call a press conference, capturing local headlines about the one-world hero defying the maze of border controls and bureaucratic tomfoolery. He also admitted his comfortable background was an asset. "I was a rich man's son," he said. "All my conditioning convinced me I'd always come out all right." - In Britain he once crashed into the yard of Buckingham Palace in a flight from police. Finally, to get rid of him, police there deposited him, in custody, onto the Queen Mary bound for New York. Angry and protesting, he took his case to Arthur Garfield Hays, then chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Hayes, himself long a prophet for world government, suggested that Mr. Davis stop waiting for it to come, that he create it himself. Mr. Davis did just that. On September 4, 1953, at Ellsworth, Maine, in front of 40 bewildered residents in the town hall, he solemnly proclaimed that a world government existed, with "the territory of the entire earth as the proper home and rightful possession of all mankind." In the restaurant over his baked potato, he warmly recalled the event. "My ancestors would have been proud of me that day. Ellsworth was just 15 miles from where they landed in this country in 1632. 1 was continuing the quest for peace and freedom that brought them here." As a world government, he promptly issued himself a travel document, written in English and Esperanto, and with it traveled to India where he visited his guru, then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. .. When word of his travel document got around, a flood of requests for them arrived from all over the world, for the International Refugee Organization had just shut down. This U.N. organization had been issuing travel documents to people made stateless by the war. To satisfy this need, he created the World Service Authority and spruced up the travel document to look as handsome as any national passport. It is now printed in 7 languages, has 42 pages, is sturdily bound with space provided for full medical information and business and professional organizations. WSA opened an office in Basle, Switzerland, and was issuing passports at the rate of 600 a month. People with bona fide passports paid $32 for them, but refugees, people in jail, people who were homeless and could only flee a repressive regime with his document, were issued theirs free Of charge. Six countries Ecuador, Upper Volta, Zambia, Mauritania, Kuwait and Yemen-officially recognized the document, and 100 other countries honored it on a case-by-case basis, depending on individuals concerned. Many people called the WSA passport a joke, and Mr. Davis, a sly pixie in him responding, agreed. "Certainly it's a joke," he said. "But so are all passports jokes. The way to get rid of them is to show how ridiculous they are." But Switzerland, and also France, where Mr. Davis was living just across the border, were not amused; they reversed their policies. Not only did they ban and confiscate the passport, and freeze the assets of WSA; they also prosecuted the leader on charges of impersonating a government and confusing the public. In court Mr. Davis adopted a startling defense maneuver. He challenged the authority of a national court to try a head of government. The proper forum, he said, was a world court, and he promptly announced the birth of the World Court Garry Davis displays his World Service Authority passport of Human Rights. At present he is back in the United States, operating out of a Washington office in the National Press Building, issuing World Government memberships and travel documents. But be said he can no longer issue them free to refugees. With its Swiss funds frozen, the organization can no longer afford it. His most recent and still pending legal squabble is with the United States government over his re-entry to this country. On his last arrival in May, 1977, at Dulles Airport, immigration authorities, declining to recognize his WSA passport, said he failed to fit any of the legal entering categories: citizen, immigrant, tourist, student or in transit. He is therefore legally not admitted to the United States and may be deported. He has in turn filed a writ of habeas corpus insisting on his right to enter and live in the United States in spite of his renunciation of citizenship Slyearsago. He argues that renouncing his citizenship was in no way a renunciation of his right to live in, or to travel into and out of, his native land. He cites, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, that reserve to the people all rights and powers not delegated to the government. The right to travel is not one that governments can abridge, he argues. He cites the Declaration of Universal Human Rights of the United Nations which this country has signed proclaiming everyone's right to enter and leave his country. He said it isn't just for his own right to live in the States that he is battling. "After all, where can they deport me to? That isn't the point. "The point is that nationalism will be the destruction of my country and of the world, and because I love my country, I feel obliged to fight it. "That's why I'm putting the nation-state on trial." He is optimistic about the world government movement. He said events in Iran are proving him right. ( "Iran represents the complete breakdown of the nation system. It shows up the international anarchy under which we live. That system was functional in the borse-and-buggy age, but it needs overhauling today. It needs to be replaced by a world government." With 'Secrets,' Wonder has forged ahead By Bill Rhoden THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS. Stevie Wonder ZXTamla). --Each life has its own beat, moving through space at itsown pace, standing still for no one, and yet you . . . gave tfrhe selflessly life's most precious possession: your time. iRs only my wish that you feel your time has not been given in vain. For waiting is not what I meant for you, but tfcghare with me the images of life that God has sent me t&X&ugh. And if this life affords me again the chance to stare with you the new and the hidden knowledge through song, I will move as swiftly as life demands but never so fast as not to give you my very best." ZZ Steveland Morris. lit has come to pass, in the milieu of popular music, that the i-elease of a new Stevie Wonder album is cause for anticipation and celebration. -In the 16 years of his recording career, the miracle of Wonder's physical accomplishments (overcoming blindness, etc.) has been eclipsed only by his continued ability to reach newer and more creative heights with each successive performance. JHe has mastered self-discipline and his art to the extent that the only limit to what he can achieve is the awesome prospect of infinity. T But rather than being awed by the infinite range of his brilliance or intimidated by it-Stevie Wonder at age 29 continues to search for the roots of that brilliance. In so doing, he challenges the boundaries of that genuis, a feat thai is a frightening proposition for even the most gifted of artists. With the release of his "Songs In the Key of Life" affium in 1977, Stevie Wonder appeared to have reached STEVIE WONDER the end of at least one road. He had exhausted, or so it seemed, the musical combinations which had effectively combined rock, "soul," blues and country-western forms into a uniquely universal sound that also included his personally uplifting philosophy. It was clearly a masterpiece within a particular pop music idiom. For two years after the release of "Song," Stevie Wonder fans old ones from "Fingertips" days, new ones from "Inner Visions" era sustained themselves on the record. Yet there was unspoken speculation that the man had finally peaked, and would now be forced to repeat favorite refrains from past performances. Either that or, being a true artist, he would seek higher ground and risk losing popular support. One way or another, fans could not think of a possible fresh encore. New sounds The most exceptional aspect of "The Secret Life Of Plants," his new record, is Stevie Wonder's success at speaking to listeners in a completely different and unexpected tongue and yet communicating. The music itself takes some getting used to (at least it took these ears some getting used to) simply because it is the antithesis of "Songs in the Key of Life." That the album has not received a lot of air play ("Send One Your Love" has gotten the most) is more a tribute to its uniqueness than it is an artistic indictment. With the exception of "A Seed's a Star," the album is subdued and introspective. Where "Songs" rocked and rolled and preached to the listener, "Plants" offers an introspective symphony under a quiet conversation. The only problem I have with the album is its genesis (Wonder was contracted to write music for an upcoming TV show, "The Secret Life of Plants.") but that has more to do with artistic limitations than it does with the final product of Stevie Wonder's labors. It would seem that an artist's initial inspiration which is the essence of his or her creativity would be obscured or at least neutralized by a business contract, that is, being assigned a theme and then being contracted to fill in the blanks. Of course, the genius of it all is that Stevie Wonder has taken a film producer's theme and created a remarkable soundtrack which adds a classical form to his line of compositional stylings. It is not an "up" album, though one tune, "Venus Flytrap and the Fly," is an interesting one that hints at deep blues and jazz roots the musician has seldom revealed on record. Still, in anticipation of newer and danceable tempos flying off the turntable, a listener can be tempted to dismiss "Secrets" as "different," or "interesting." In fact, the album may be the most important one Stevie Wonder has done since he made the transition from "Fingertips Parts I and II." The film score has simply added another experience on THE EMOTIONS his resume and, more important, has given him yet another vehicle for expression. As for the album, a long-time Stevie Wonder fan put it best when he said that the album would become enjoyable. "First," he said "it has to grow on yoir." OUR o WORLD. The Emotions COME INTO (Columbia). While newer sister acts such as the Jones Girls and Sister Sledge have grabbed the recent thunder, the Emotions continue to establish themselves as one of the most consistent and uncompromisingly soulful groups in contemporary music. They are certainly one of the most enjoyable acts on the scene. Like many of the "Sound of Chicago" groups, the Emotions don't rely on audio gimmicks or super-polished stage presence for their success. Their only "secrets" are great songwriters, who provide three sopranos with excellent material, and their musicians. Beyond that it's simply steady, unvarying "Coming at You, Soul." The nice thing about the Emotions on record is their consistent and even performance. Resident cinema expert is an exquisite scourge By Erma Bombeck A lot of parents go through the phase where their children go to college and two weeks later want to have their parents tested for irregular flow of oxygen to the brain. Adults don't know anything. Oh, I can take the humiliation of kids asking, "Do you understand what I mean by the term 'bottom line'?" I can handle the condescending way they spell in front of me. I can even endure their impatience when they ask me something and when I don't hear it they shout, "Never mind!" At wit's end , What I can't stand is their sanctimonious superiority. They all go through it. We no sooner got one child raised who didn't know we managed to feed ourselves without a working knowledge of statistics than we had to live through an economics expert. God has now chosen to send us a son who is majoring in "cinema." Forget the home movies. We stopped showing those two years ago when we asked him to splice together some of our shots of South America. We own the shortest home movie ever recorded in the "Guinness Book of Records." As he said, "There was only 10 feet of film that had any quality to it whatsoever. I cannot believe you left home without a tripod." What really gets to me is that I can't enjoy a movie anymore without his Ronacizing it. Son: "Seen any movies lately?" Mom: " 'The Seduction of Joe Tynan' and I loved it... " Son: "Just missed making a statement" Mom: " ... up to a point. Of course the one I really liked was 'Apocalypse Now,' which was breathtakingly. . . " Son: "Coppola had a concept but it didn't work." Mom: " . . .dull You're absolutely right. Of course 'Luna' was a shakeup for me, really gross. . . " Son: "Beautiful film. Sensitive and real." Mom: " . . . ed a million according to the critics and worth every penny of it." Son: "What about 'Life of Brian'?" Mom: "I haven't seen it, but the Clawsons saw it and walked out of the theater..." ' Son: "Most brilliant piece of satire to come across the screen since Chaplin." Mom: ". . . laughing. My gosh, they couldn't stop." Son: "I'd be interested in comparing your notes on '10.' Or did you relate at all to the metaphor?" With luck, maybe I'll outgrow him. Field Newspaper Syndicate Use disguise to fool opponent By Alfred Sheinwold Bridge players are taught to cover an honor with an honor (often the wrong play). If you don't want an opponent to cover the honor, you must disguise the situation. In today's hand South needs the entire diamond suit. He must hope that West has the queen so that a finesse will work. Trumps & tricks The problem is to stop West from playing his queen of diamonds prematurely. If South leads the jack of diamonds, West will automatically play the queen; but then the suit is blocked, and South will get only three diamond tricks. South solves the problem by putting a beard on the diamonds. At the second trick, South leads the 10 of diamonds. Even if West is a determined honor coverer, he will probably play low on South's 10 since East may have the jack. If West does play low, declarer's 10 of diamonds wins the trick. South continues with the ace and then the king of diamonds, making his contract. o Question Partner bids two no trump (22 to 24 points), and the next player passes. You hold: S-Q108 H-A10732 ' D-Q74 - What do you say?"' Answer-Bid three hearts. If partner has three or more hearts, he will raise. If he has something like K-x of hearts, he will bid three no trump, and you will subside. U Angela Time SyndlcaU South dealer Both sides vulnerable NORTH 764 ?95 OK9632 J 10 5 EAST K93 ?QJ6 085 9763' WEST , J Q 10 8 VA-10732 OQ74 84 SOUTH AJ52 ?K84 OAJ10 A K Q South West North East 2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass Opening lead 3

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 21,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Baltimore Sun
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free