The article below is from 1932 and strikes me as something too perfect not to make a piece around it for Down-Up. It feels like a text I could have written, if it wasn’t for the fact that it is so good. And the fact that the peice featured in a real newspaper as a genuine newsworthy story makes me very happy.

My plan is to make a piece using a traditional wooden style Yo-Yo to go over the spoken text. I’m trying to create some new tricks that suit the older style of Yo-Yo (and trying, uncussefully, not to badly rip off Drew and Ed, who are my current favourite yo-yoers).


My fixed axle wooden Yo-Yo of choice. TMBR Sullivan in Purple Heart

I like the idea of using Yo-Yo technology in keeping with the period of the text, it’s forcing me to pay attention to very small details and movements as these kind of ‘fixed axle’ Yo-Yos are not very forgiving. Often when people discover modern Yo-Yos have bearings in they consider it in some way cheating, using a wooden Yo-Yo addresses that issue and forces me to improve my Yo-Yo vocabulary. Equally, learning the text is going to be tricky…

Enemies of Yo-Yo.

The Yorkshire Evening Post Thursday 8th September 1932

We yo, you yo, they yo. Life was never so full of ups and downs. We toil, and the top spins-or does not spin, as the case may be. And so the population is being divided into three large sections. There are those to whom yo-yo is no longer a vexation but a joyous art, a thing to exult the spirit and cause innocent pride to soar. They do not even need to watch the top-it moves obedient to their will, man and machine in perfect harmony. Then there are those who have striven with yo-yo, have met with little success, but are still persevering nobly. Truly they shall have their reward. What diacipline could be sterner and more salutary? What man was not the better for struggling with adversity? Thus, indeed, is man distingulished from the brutes.

And there is a third section. this comprises (a) the people who have secretly tried, failed, and given up in disgust; and (b) those who, through fear of failure, have never tackled this task of the age. This division of the public never ceases to pour scorn upon the two other sections. Sniggering, supercilious airs, sarcastic utterances are all weapons in their armoury. They even go so far as to put on an air of mock inquiry, and to ask the yo-yo player: “Of course, it is on elastic?” – the question which, more than any other, infuriates the true yo-yo enthusiast, slighting, as it does his deftness and skill. We wish to urge the yo-yoists to ignore the jealous outpourings of these people. The yo-yoers can well afford to do so. For very rapidly it is being realised among thinkers that the yo-yo player is perforce a man of sterling character- patient, determined and (should the paint of his yo-yo be not too much chipped) kindly to dumb animals. He hates to see anyone of anything let down with a bump. He is, in short, the right kind of man to pull things round.


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