In a recent article Mr. Gilbert Seldes points to the mechanical aspect of life in the United States--symbolized by the little electrically-made cubes of ice--as a possibility which might develop American taste away from the baroque. The smooth simplicity of things mechanical, embodying at the same time, comfort and even luxury, appear to him to be able to keep the American standard near a same norm.
That there might be some truth in this statement, as shown by the comparatively simple mass-forms of "modern architecture", is not to be denied. However in view of the present day tendency to gaud and show, this is too early a time to even hint at returning sanity. The display complex, engendered to a large degree by the war and the enormous profits it brought with it, is too much with us. flashy things are still far too popular in almost every time in which there can be said to be 'style". Movie palaces of lavishness not excelled in any period of history are a classic example of this tendency. The continued popularity of night clubs, revues in the grand manner, automobiles in garish colors, all bespeak a desire for the rich and gaudy rather than a gradual return to a stately simplicity, while the actions of American tourists in Europe have been such as to show them far ahead of the Europeans as exhibitionists American prosperity made this country go off at a tangent, but once there, everybody rather enjoyed it and is still enjoying it. It is far too soon to suppose that Americans will come back to the little cube of ice, when there are so many more delightful things to attract the eye.