Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
nc LBI nvmisuc ncnuku 9 Tribal differences in British Isles Focus, the ability to see clearly, is one of the problems related to being human. When emotion is coupled with that the problem is compounded greatly. But when Ireland is an added ingredient, the problem becomes quite impossible, or so it seems. Recently, the Anglican Bishop of Kilkenny, Ireland, toured Canada lecturing on things Irish. Dr. Henry R. McAdoo said that violence in Ireland was the direct object of less than one per cent of the people. To put that into focus, it means that less than people forced their will on some 4.5 million others 3 million in the Republic and 1.5 million in the six counties of Ulster. When the media focuses on the few, the many suffer. But BERRY'S WORLD to understand the British Isles, one must put many things into proper perspective tribal, religious and economic differences. Like a drama, these islands are the setting for two main tribal groups who live in four small countries England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The main actors include the English, Irish, Scotch and Welsh. The time factor stretches over thousands of years, but the present act began some 400 years ago. Thus is the stage set and the drama wound up in this tragic entertainment. The first problem in focus is related to tribal differences and is basic to the theme of the drama. When outsiders fail to see this basic difference, the entire TON WITH OP 1974 by NEA, Inc "Wan, THAT SAYS IT ALL! You By Louis Burke, local writer situation becomes hopelessly distorted and meaningless. Three thousdand years ago, the Celtic peoples arrived in Ireland from Spain. Some centuries later, the Teutons reached the larger island, England. The former grew into the Irish, Scots and Welsh while the latter contained the Angles, Jutes and Saxons who eventually merged to become the Anglo-Saxons, and in time with the help of the Norman- French after the llth century, became the English. These two main groups have not got any single thing in common except their humanity. Even the languages, though today forms of English, are quite different. No one would dispute the fact that even the dialects used by the English are unalike in many ways. Thus, difference becomes a major factor related to the theme .of all the drama now being enacted in the British Isles. Languages play vital roles in the formation of the minds of the Celtic and Teutonic peoples. Gaelic or Erse is not English; far from it, indeed. Cymric or Welsh is another language again. The Celtic languages were developed long before English had any literature. The Tudor poet, Spencer, tells us that the literature of Ireland is more ancient than that of England. Indeed, much of the learning in the British Isles originated in Ireland at great schools in Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Bangor and elsewhere. This was exported to lona, Scotland, and then to Lindisfarne, England, and to other centers south including Europe which was suffering the ravages of the Huns during the fifth and sixth centuries. Nor is literature the only measure of distinction between the tribes. Music, dancing, manners and any number of elements differ diametrically. AH this presents human beings who are in almost no way alike. In the area of the physical, the Celt is large-chested, round faced and wears a red complexion. The Teuton is often narrow-chested, long faced and wears a sallow complexion. Rarely does the one find it hard to recognize the other no matter what the crowd, or where. This is part of tribal instinct. Even their family names are formed in different ways. In fact, the ways of differences become all but endless, it is easily a "black and white" situation. The Irish writer, Sean O'Faolain, has written as small but significant book entitled The Irish. It pin- points the mental make-up of these peoples. The Celts are individuals, given to great flashes, and often fail to co- operate. The Teutons possess a collective mind, capable of great. co-operation, but they Book reviews never know when to let go. Each group, then, pays the price for its tribal genetic composition. Usually, these tribes can work together, but there exist certain gut issues which cannot be resolved. To expect total harmony is unrealistic and unless one can zero in on the original distinctions of the peoples of the British Isles, it is impossible to grasp what is happening there today. These peoples, the Celts and the Teutons, are close in a very distant way and that is undoubtedly a paradox. Of course, the problems are further compounded by religion and economics, the subjects of further articles. (Pint In a series) South African apartheid "Articles of Faith" by Ronald Harwood (Seeker and Warburg, distributed by Collins, 486 pages, This novel is about South Africa, the history and politics, and the settlers who arrived in the late 18th century when the Dutch East India Company was in command of the Cape Colony. The first settlers were of Dutch origin. Later, when the British took over the rule, the first British settlers arrived. But Dutch and British never seemed to get along too well. The main characters in this book are the descendants of Johannes Henning and Richard Thompson. Henning, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, is being sent to the Cape Colonies with his family to act as predicant at Blouwzand. It seems that here in Blouwzand he feels for the first time he really is accomplishing something by administering to the spiritual needs of his congregation, but then he is kidnapped by a band of renegades who live with their black women miles away from Blouwzand. 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Premier will deliver it to your site, set it up for you furnishing the mount- ing materials, heat tapes, sewer lines, water lines, etc., give you a step and a one year warranty backed by our fine service department ALL AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU WE'LL GIVE YOU A FAIR PRICE FOR YOUR TRADE-IN Good Used Homes On Display Low, Low Down Payments Easy On The Spot Financing 12-14 Wides and Double Wides The Ultimate In Fine Living Alberta's Mobile Home Supermarket Try Us You Won't Be Disappointed Be sure to visit Premier least before you buy. It will pa OPIN IVININQS PREMIER HOMES, LTD i_ University Turn Off acroaa from Per 3 Golf River Bottom LETHBRIDQE 329-4242 It is here that Henning feels he is needed and he starts preaching the gospel to the blacks. He falls in love with the black girl Alala and they have a boy, Adam. In 1974 Henning is banished to Batavia because of this involvement and it is his daughter, Sybille, who emerges as one of the main characters. After promising her father to find her halfbreed brother, she sets out on a search for him tha; is to last for 30 years, never succeeding. On one of these trips she is hired by Richard Thompson as a companion for his ailing son Michael. After this the two families will become involved with each other again and again. After the defeat of the Kaffir nation, the white settlers begin to set up laws for the blacks, territories are created to house them and the Europeans pledge themselves to the motto, "Nothing must change." It seems that Ronald Harwood, a South African by birth, is trying to make one understand what has been leading to the present state of apartheid affairs in South Africa. A lot of love for his country and a great deal of historical research has been brought into this enjoyable book. HILDEGARD RICKARD Books in brief "An Overpraised Season" by Charlotte Zolotow (Fltzhenry Whiteside Limited, 185 Charlotte Zolotow presents a collection of short stories by 10 distinguished authors. The stories examine the emotional conflicts that can develop between young people and adults, especially parents. Ms. Zolotow has written a short introduction to each story and a brief but informative foreword. A very good and reasonably priced book that should win the approval of short story enthusiasts. TERRY MORRIS "The Will of Magda Townsend" by Margaret Culkin Banning, (Harper Row, 318 pages, distributed by Fltzhenry Whiteside This is a book that will appeal especially to readers over 70 years of age. The author, an octogenarian, has written a semi- autobiographical tale of a novelist, over 80, who, in revising her will, takes a sentimental journey back over the past. Starting at Magda's graduation from high school, it reviews her disastrous early marriage and divorce the familiar story of an ecstatic union with a Prince Charming who turns out to be a dissolute and dishonest husband; the wife's struggle and success in raising and educating her children by her writing; a second 14-year sunset marriage; her widowhood, and finally a puzzling period when she tries to understand young people in general, and her grandchildren in particular. This is pleasant and easy reading, made authentic by the family's experiences during and after the war years, and by frequent references to writers, entertainers, and political leaders of the period. If a nostalgic trip turns you on, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel. MARY HEINITZ Hidden meanings Make friends with the person you're with when you're alone and you'll never be lonely. Photo and text by David Bly Herald reporter New colleges needed By Peter Hunt, local writer Modern myths die hard. People still look upon the middle ages with grossly ignorant eyes, mindlessly repeating to themselves the fabrications of post-Renaissance bigots who handed on a giant myth about the medieval world. The industrial age of science and technology which accepts the evolution of man as scientific fact without even examining the evidence, and without seeing even the elementary difference between physical evolution and total evolution, is the age when stupid myths about our ancestors are swallowed whole simply because it flatters the modern ego. Thus, many a schooling guru lauds modern, progressive education as some wonderful gift to the common people, who, in the view of those who know no history or have a twisted version of it blinding their vision, have been enjoying the opportunity to learn as never before. Ask any present-day student or teacher about medieval education, and you find that they imagine a period when education was the privilege of the few. Yet monasteries, cathedral schools, the multitude of guilds, works of art and architecture, and a wealth of oral literature were commonplace sources of enlightenment and wisdom for the people of medieval Western Europe. Long before England founded its great grammar schools, mainly for the wealthy, there were numerous guild schools and grammar schools and cathedral schools (in addition to monastic foundations) all over England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. These schools were not set up by a government, nor were students compelled to attend them, except perhaps by their parents. All of this was swept away by the dissolution of the monasteries and by the vast socio-economic changes of the later middle ages and the reformation. By the age of industrialism the schools for the common folk, where they existed at all, were frightful and tyrannous centres of gradgrindery, ameliorated only by the occasional good education or good-will of a few teachers. Child labor was the norm; the slaving masses of the poor denizens of the industrial slums were good enough only to make money for their masters. Educational reform came along with changes in other areas of life. Those who pioneered these reforms were often men and women of immense good-will and compassion. They believed that schools could do something for the oppressed and the ignorant. Especially in an age of universal franchise, it was considered essential that everyone have schooling. In those days, often, but not always, educational reformers were people of humanist vision, men and women of culture and enlightened faith in their fellow-man. The noblest example of a vision of universal education in the 19th century was perhaps that of Matthew Arnold. He believed that schools could be a light to the world, a means of ensuring that all men would have the chance to enjoy the "best that has been thought and said." But what emerged? For the most part, and outside truly independent schools with tradition, discipline and devotion to humanistic excellence, what happened is that the state got control of schooling, quite contrary to the convictions of a man whom liberal progressivists usually look up to as one of their own kind: John Stuart Mill. The state's role in formal education has proved to be disastrous. This does not mean that there have not been many state-run schools which are excellent. One has only to follow the history of so many small rural schools, or the record of many highschools or to read the readers placed before the pupils of these numerous foundations. But when education became a business, when it became integrated more and more with a political system which serves the vested interests of industry and big business, and which demands neutralism except in the dogma that dogma cannot be taught (thus contradicting its own premise) schools run by the state have little of value to offer and much that destroys or inhibits the educational experience Schooling, as Illich and Freire have pointed out, has become a superstitious affair of certification and banking methods of teaching, uncritical of vested power and a means of manipulating the common folk who have so naive a trust in governments' businessmen, and educational "experts." With regard to the latter, there has arisen over the past 40 years or so the huge anomaly of schools and school systems being run, not by the Matthew Arnolds of this workd, but by people who have little reading in the "best that has been thought and said." And when I say those who "run the schools" I do not necessarily mean (though some, no doubt, would have to be included among the principals and superintendents) those who actually act as administrators of schools. I mean rather the professors of education who are regarded as the and who tend to promote those practices which they say are backed by research, often in the face of philosophical truth (which they do not know) or a rich experience drawn from history or from class-room teaching. Thus, whole generations have suffered from truncated methods of teaching reading simply because some industrious dolt, whose bases were too narrow, climbed on the bandwagon of a "new" method. Questioning their own assumptions is seldom their forte: for to question adequately requires a breadth and depth of understanding which they do not have. Even professors of higher education often have little knowledge of the origins of universities, not much inter-disciplinary awareness of the complexity of university- problems, and a generally uncritical approach to the work of governments and commissions. But, ironically enough, education does not attract the more brilliant minds, yet they make the decisions that affect millions of lives and the calibre of nations. The solution is the founding of new, independent schools and colleges by people of critical and cultured vision. ON THE USE OF WORDS By Theod9re M Bernstein Lower mathemattct. Often you will run across a sentence like this: "City residents will pay a tax five times greater than com- muters will pay." Usually what the writer means in such a sentence is that if com- muters pay city residents will pay But that is not what the sentence says, very strictly speaking. Five times flOO is however, five tlmei greater than (that is, more than) is If is what is meant, the accurate way to express it is five at much at. A similar error is involved in the phrase five tlmei tmailer than. What is usually meant when that phrase appears is one-fifth at big ai. If you thirst for precision, drink up that fifth.