stretched, stalked or otherwise torturednor menaced by a malevolent creature—nhuman or not.nIn the days when the word automationnhadn’t even been coined, workingnin a factory was tough. As there wasn’t anTV set to escape into and as the 21stnAmendment wasn’t ratified until 1933,nthe pulps provided the laborer a modicumnof relief after the whistle blew. Althoughnone wouldn’t particularly wantnhis child to read the pulps, it wasn’ t terriblenif they did: the stories weren’t as lasciviousnas the covers implied, and thenmalefactor typically received his justndesserts from a just hero.nToday there is a resurgence of thisngenre. The pulps have been supplantednby the “slicks.” However, films havenbecome the real replacements. Whereasnthe pulps had no pretentions of beingnanything else but means of withdrawalnfrom drudgery of the assembly line,nmany of the films array themselves in thenEmperor’s clothing and announce thatnthey are Important. Conan the Barbarian—basednon a character created in then30’s—is a rich example. First a quotenfrom Nietzsche rolls up on the screen,nand the viewers are advised that whateverndoesn’t kill them will make themnstronger. Such pomposity and fraudulencentypify the rest of the film, whichnglorifies butchery as the means of selfassertion.nRetained from the pulps are the supernaturalnand gruesome details—a man isntransformed into a snake; bodies arenboiled in a caldron. The suggestive, sexyncovers are replaced with bare skin andnenacted suggestions with such a regularitynthat the director’s stopwatch seems tonbe the only rationale.nThe just hero has been dismissed andnreplaced by an amoral creep. In a lowbudgetnthough equally degenerate filmnthat appeared on screens contemporaneouslynwith Conan called The Sword andnthe Sorcerer, the protagonist does hisnstuff only so he can bed the wench whonrequested the services of his sword. G)nannis on par. Just prior to being choppednup by evil-doers led by a black man (thenpulps came up with more sophisticatednsymbolism), Conan’s Teutonic fathernadvises his prepubescent son: “There isnno one in this world that you can trust—nnot men, not women, not beasts.” Henconcludes, “This you can trust,” andnhands him a sword. Later, physicallynmature and with his father’s mentalnfinesse, Conan remarks that the bestnThe Ellington Legaq^nby Stanley DancenWith the possible exception of LouisnArmstrong, Duke Ellington was thenmost widely celebrated musician jazz hasnknown. Great honors were bestowednupon him both at home and abroad, andnwherever he went he played to packednhouses with enthusiasm. Yet althoughnthe most valuable part of his legacy is unquestionablynthe records he made withnhis own orchestra, during his lifetime thensales of these records seldom comparednwith those of some much-inferior artists.nThe reason for this had partly to do withnpromotion and partly with the fact thatnthe best of Ellington was never readily assimilablenby the masses, which recognizednhim primarily as a writer of “hitnsongs.” The same problem is reflectedneven now in the success of the song-anddancenshow. Sophisticated Ladies, currentlynplaying in New York and Los Angeles,nwhere over thirty of Ellington’sncompositions are presented in rapid succession.nAt each theater an excellent orchestranis on stage throughout, but itndoes little more than provide a brisknbackground for dancers and rather mediocrensingers.nRCA has put out two two-record sets,nMr. Dance is a jazz historian and thenauthor of The World of Count Basie.nnnthings in life are to “Cmsh enemies, seenthem driven before you and hear thenlamentations of their women.” Andnthat’s precisely what this so-callednhero does.nThe parallel with the 30’s breaks downnhere: the refined types packing thenmovie theaters today would have rathernfaced deadly demons than buy a pulp.nBut they buy Conan the Barbarian. DnMUSIC Dnone by the original cast of the shown(CBL2-4053), the other a random, unannotatednselection from its immense cataloguenof Ellington’s recordings (CPL2-n4098). CBS, with equally large recordednresources, has also shown relatively litdeninterest. Nothing exists in this countryncomparable to what has been done bynthe affiliates of these two companies innFrance, where practically everything ofnEllington’s to which they have rights isnavailable. There have, however, beenntributes and salutes by other groups,nsome genuine and some clearly opportunistic,nnot to mention innumerablenbootleg albums derived from broadcasts.nTime-Life, in its Giants of Jazz series, hasnone set devoted to Ellington and oneneach to two of his most important soloists,nJohnny Hodges and Ben Wesbter.nIt has been left to the Smithsonian tonmake an intelligent approach to reissuingnEllington’s recorded material. Alreadynreleased are four two-record sets,neach covering a year in his band’s history,nbeginning with 1938 and continuingnthrough 1941. This was a great periodnthat included what many regard as thenpeak of Ellington’s career. In 1940 thenband had moved from the Columbianlabel to Victor, where it benefited fromnsuperior recording facilities. Its moralenwas also uplifted by the arrival of bassistnJimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonistni47nSeptember 198Sn