Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 14, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Mirth 14, 1t7J THI IITHIMDOI HRALD Shaun Herron Open letter to Maclean's editor you took over the edi- tonal direction of Mac- lean's things began to look good (or the magazine. Mind you, it was not better than it had been in the hands of Peter Gzwoski; but Gzowski was handicapped by management problems that you got out of the way before you would take the job: SU11, the fact is that you be- gan by producing a good maga- zine. The question begins to be: Are you going to go on that way. Or is all we're going to get a smarter version of ford's high school journal, Sat- urday Night? Take your March issue as an ill omen. It is like all your other issues in one depressing respect: It is Canadian nationalist not be- cause of the virtues or qualities inherent in Canadian life but over-against- the very existence of the United States. What kind of nationalism is that? The na- tionalism of Maclean's is a ne- gative, nagging nationalism, like the nagging of a Pekinese r': an Alsatian in the next yard. is without virtue; it is a poor, defensive thing. fi You cannot cover this sort of deficiency by singing the .praises of Canada like a lover in calf-love. I'm happy that the radio back in the old days made you a lover of Canada. The CPR made me a lover of Canada long before I set foot in the place. They did it with those posters they used to use when they wanted passengers. You can't prove anything about these lovely emotions by spend- ing the rest of your time yell- ing "Curse you, red Yankee' or something more trendy, at the top of your voice. So it's about time your paper r'-vrted to talk about Canada e: .e eld Mac- lean's talked 'I in the old days when it was Canada's national magazine not only here but abroad: as if Canada existed because it existed and not because it is the United States. But there is worse to be said. For an editor who is so anti- American, your paper is pressingly derivative and it derives from the lesser exam- ples of American magazine journalism. McCall's magazine comes to mind and I'm shocked with every issue by the similar- ities. Take some examples. Take Man Oncle Keith by Erna Paris in the March issue of your journal. Let me quote the article is about Keith Spicer, our official languages ombudsman, and it is one of those deep insight pieces of writing that the less- er American magazine are so good at: "Spicer is a fascinating per- sonality, poetic, multifaceted and volatile. Canada, is ing around his ears, but he re- mains the eternal optimist, talking sincerely about latent goodwill in our land." That must have surprised a lot of paeple: We hadn't known that Canada was crashing around our ears. It's a melo- dramatic phrase all right. It may help to lift a dull piece; but how do these writers ol yours find these things out? We had supposed that several de- bates were under way in our land and that the end product of them would be changes of some kind, But disaster? Again: "Phrases like 'human dignity' occur frequently in Spi- cer's conversation and seem io express an inner searching, which is one of the most pelling aspects of his personal- ity." Inner searching? This kind of writing is women's magazine stuff, that is meant to make suburban housewives feel they are in at the deep end. It is the sort of writing that is legitimately open only to no- velists who have invented their subject and are the only peo- ple who can possibly know what goes on inside .them. It is not pretentious in novelists; it is merely a tool; it is silly in journalists, and phoney. "He's a man of deep vibrations Erna Paris says, and we seem to be getting at the root of the matter. Vibs is it The occult- vernacular. The kids' language, which is the verbal equivalent William Harcourt Australian aborigines lose their land CYDNEY Prime Minister William McMahon's his- toric Australia Day statement- on Aboriginal rights recently officially underwrites the de- struction of the Aboriginal way of life. Mr. McMahon refused to grant land rights to Aborigines based on tribal associations, but outlined the means by which the Governmftnt will at- tempt to assimilate Aborigines into the white Australian com- munity. These measures, the Govern- ment hopes, will change the degraded and despised Austra- lian Aborigines historically always a non-people into as- similated Australians. Ideally, the Government sees the future Aborigines as an assimilated group similar to the Greek, Italian and Maltese immigrant communities, which have re- tained their own cooking, folk music and national days but in other ways are indistinguish- able from native-born white Australians. This will not be easy, but the Government felt it had no alter- native because the unique Ab- original Stone Age, nomadic, subsistence culture has been al- most completely destroyed by pastoral and mineral exploita- tion of tribal lands. The opposi- tion Labor party disagrees and has promised to set up auto- nomous Aboriginal trusts to manage the tribal reserves if it wins this year's election. According to Mr. McMahon, the government intends to spend million this financial year transforming the Abori- gines into successful European- style grazierSj farmers, small businessmen and mine-work- ers. An allocation of million will be used to make grants to Aboriginal business enter- prises. Although this policy may sound paternalistic and will probably fail because of lack of co-operation by the Aborigines, it goes some way towards rec- ognizing the feelings of most white Australians, who have one of the highest standards of liv- ing in the world, that some- thing must be done about the appalling degradation in which the vast majority of Australia's Aborigines now live. Australia has about full or part Aborigines. Of these some still have tribal connections. The remainder tend to form drunken, demor- alized, outcast groups living on the peripheries of urban settle- ments. But many Aborigines with Book Review tribal connections living in gov- ernment settlements are even worse off. According to a state- ment by Dr. R. E. Klugman, a Labor Member of the House of Representatives, Aboriginal infant mortality in south-cen- tral Australia is tie highest in the world. Infant mortality in white Aus- tralia is 18 per but in the Alice Springs area, Ji the coun- try's centre, Aboriginal mortal- ity has risen from 68 per three years ago to 200 per at present. Dr. Klugman speci- fically mentioned government- run Aboriginal settlements at Papunya and Areyonga. In such settlements the Abor- Race track people "A Hoofprint On My Heart" by Jim Coleman (McClelland and Stewart Limited, 256 pages, WHEN I was first handed this book I pondered on the fact that it was a book on horse racing and also on what interest it would be to me. Af- ter all the only race horse own- er I know is Max Gibb and I've never seen Max's horses run. Perhaps this is just as well as I've had the dubious fortune of seeing Max's jumpers jump. However, when I noticed, this hook was written by Jim Cole- man I grabbed it. I wasn't dis- appointed. Unf ortunately Gentle man Jim Coleman, Canada's lead- ing sports columnist, writes for a newspaper chain other than the one The Herald is part of. Herald readers in this book have the opportunity to read this master scribe at his best. Whether or not you follow the ponies makes little difference. The bcok is, hi the main, a col- lection of stories about race track people. People ranging all the way from Max "Bell and E. P. Taylor to "Revolving" Ossie Gelber and Jockey Flem- ing. The book is a character study of racedom's elite and non-elite. From an intense, meaningful relationship with his late fath- er, Coleman moves the reader through his life around the country's race tracks, spinning yarns that even the most naive race track enthusiast will ap- preciate. You'll come to know and love the Damon Ruayon types writ- ten about in a way that is in- tensely revealing as well as ex- tremely witty. Coleman has penned a great book about Ms racing days and one wonders if Gentleman Jim would not enthral "character hunters" as much as he is en- thralled by hunting "charac- ters." GARRY ALLISON. igines, freed by government handouts from the necessity which existed in their old way of life of coostantly foraging for food, often idle the day away in a drunken stupor. They prefer to live in bark "humpies" rather than govern- ment-built bungalows. Many of their children suffer from malnutrition because they are at school when the Abori- gines eat their one customary meal of the day. The Aborigines' tribal land are in the Northern Territory where all land is Crown land and much of it has been leased by the government to European commercial interests. If the Aborigines had been granted land rights these leases would have been in jeopardy. Under Mr. McMahon's new deal the government will grant new general purpose leases to Aborigines if they can demon- strate they can utilize the land commercially. But if, for ex- ample, the Gurindji tribe, who ample, the Gurindji tribe-, who have deserted" their govern- ment settlement and are squat- ting on their old tribal lands, could fulfil these requirements they would still have to wait until 30 June, 2C04 to take up their lease. Until that date the British- owned Vesty company has a mile lease for which it pays little more than per acre annually over the district which includes the Gurindji tribal lands. It is ironic that Mr. McMahon picked Australia day to make his statement on Aboriginal rights. On 28 January, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took pos- session of Australia in the name of the Crown and since then there has been no statu- tory recognition of Aboriginal title to land. (Written for The Herald and The Observer, London) High Performance Tire TREAD WIDTH TIRE SIZE G 60-15 Blemished Tube Type F Blemished Tube Type H 70-14 Blemished Tube Type G 70-14 Blemished Tube Type F 70-14 Blemished Tube Type A 70-13 Blemish Tube Type (W.W.) 155-15 G 800 Radial (Blemished Tube Type) 155-13 G 800 Radial (Blemished Tube Type 1470-15 Blue Streak "Racing Tire" 120.00 (Blemished Type NORTH LETHBRIDGE MO-TIRES 7" 6" 4" 4" REG. PRICE 78.75 70.30 64.60 59.25 52.80 50.85 52.80 52.35 SALE PRICE S39 S30 S32 S29 305 13TH ST. NORTH PHONE 327-3181 of that greasy kids' stuff we used to hear about. Go from this to the illustrated piece by Christina about The New Machismo! Of course, the illustrations make the subjects look what they are: a collec- tion of third-class silly asses. But the treatment of the new machismo as a special feature is itself perhaps a distinctly Toronto thing, like fashion which arrives here two years after it has been everywhere else. The so-called new machis- mo has been mocked every- where and has now arrived in the Toronto party circuit with its man-able imitators and echo- chambers of whatever split them in New York a couple of years Derivative. From the U. of S. Even Christina's defintion of machismo is the popular Amer- ican one, not the legitimate Spanish one. The foundation in- gredient of machismo Span- ish variety is pride. It be- longs in the conpamy of Viva Yo! which being interpreted means To Hell With You Jack, I'm Alright, and Long Live Me. Neither has any essential con- nection with sex or bullfights. Machismo is as intimately con- nected with a Basque cook-up as it is with a Spanish bullfight. It concerns the pride that will not let a man turn from danger or even death and is also re- lated to Long Live Death which had great currency during the Civil War, and meant, it is bet- ter to die than to submit, or the only gopd Repulbiean (or Nationalist) is a dead one. But my point is simpler than definitions: Maclean's is so painfully derivative that it is painfully American. Even when you get Jack Ludwig back to Winnipeg to write You Have To Go Home Again, you have to subtitle it: "How else are you going to know that Winnipeg is still the Main Street of your mind" But where does the Main Street bit come from? The High Street, that's English. Main Street is American. America invented Main Street. The view from Quebec by Ann Charney is another of these American derivatives. She writes with a perfectly straight face about "police riots" and that phrase comes straight out of a current American vocabu- lary- sfce writes about violence natural reaction to 9 repressive society and she clearly means by repressive ths old narrow Quebec society, but the "law" she draws from it is about as valid as if she were to airgue that Victorian society was overthrown not by evolution but by violence. The position she takes is the posi- tion of the American Radical Left and even her language is borrowed from south of the bor- der. She refers to "the military occuptlon of Quebec" with re- ference to the October affair, and this is another thing about your new Maclean's with people like Ann Charney Montreal free-lance writer" and, what doas that tell us about her and Walter Stewart who wrote Eric's book on Trudeau for him, and Anna Banana who left husband and child and vrent to the States to find herself, and your own pieces fore and aft in this issue, what we appear to have is a mixture of the hip, the trendy and the obses- sively anti-American. But I'm wrong to restrict it to (his issue. I picked up Mac- lean's April 1971 issue and opened it at random. What do I see? This is a Watcbbird Watching Canada, This Is a Watehbird Watching You a piece about an American news- letter specializing in Canadian affairs! What I'm forced to ask is whether your Maclean's could continue to publish if America didn't exist as an obsession in your mind? What is there in it that is not derived, in style or content from across the border? Even Smalltown Canada of that April issue is small town an American notion. What a lot of us are begin- ning to ask is whether there is anything Canadian to write about? If not nationalists like you can't come up with some- thing that belongs to us; if even while you are blasting away at our neighbors you have to de- pend so abjectly on them to provide you with copy, vocabu- lary, and just about everything else, are we to assume (hat hot nationalists are not really Ca- nadian at all but alienated Americans who find themselves lost on a vast continent and feel bereft? I'm told that people like that have to have some- thing to hate, and they'll find it, condemn it and devote all their waking thought to it the way hate keeps some mar- riages together, as something that is better than nothing. But to call this Canadian Na- tionalism is a bit presump- tuous. Not to say misleading. Not to say barren. (Herald special service) A matter of life and death International Herald Tribune action of the Supreme Court of California roost populous state in the United declaring that the death penalty violates the state constitu- tion's provision against "cruel or unusual" punishment is deeply significant on many counts. Most immediately, it means that 106 persons who had faced legal death for crimes committed in California includ- ing the assassin of Robert Kennedy and the killers of Sharon Tate are now sen- tenced to life imprisonment. And the court's opinion provides a moving and eloquent argument against a process that, in the court's words, "dehumanizes and degrades all who participate" in it. What effect this will have on the Su- preme Court of the United States, which is also to rule upon the death penalty in the light of the U.S. Constitution ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment, remains to be seen. That it is certain to strengthen a movement which has led 10 states to ban capital punishment by legislative ac- tion, and the courts of another New Jersey to outlaw it, may be taken for granted. One special aspect of the California opinion is that the Supreme Court there translated the language of its constitution into modern terms. Death at the hands of the law was not cruel or unusual when California's constitution was adopted. It certainly was neither when the Constitu- tion of the United States was adopted, when the nation's leaders were only be- ginning to temper the harshness of the British penal codes by ending executions for robbery and many crimes other than murder; only a few years before the adoption of the Constitution, the State of Massachusetts had whipped, maimed and imprisoned a counterfeiter and this was considered more humane than the previ- ous penalty death. Had the California court acted or should the Supreme Court of the United States act in the spirit of Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott case, when slavery was considered wholly in the atmosphere prevailing when the Constitution was written, the verdict must have gone the other way. Another point and one which also applies to the numerous recent opinions of the United States Supreme Court with re- spect to the rights of defendants in crim- inal cases is that these mitigations of the impact of the law upon those accused or convicted of crime do not come at a time of relative tranquillity, of a low in- cidence of crime. Quite the contrary: Criminal violence has risen spectacularly, and murder, robbery and even rape have been given political justifications. Tiie lone dissenter on the California Supreme Court argued that the death penalty should be retained as a deterrent in a time of in- creasing criminal activity, and the same line of reasoning inspired Governor Ron- ald Reagan's opposition to the decision, and Ms present effort to reverse it by con- stitutional amendment. Thus, the United States is engaged in a dramatic effort to repeal the lex talionis in a period when many are calling for the law of reprisal to be applied more strictly. It is seeking, in many ways, to find sub- stitutes for the elder penology of public violence while at the same time struggling with private violence. Much is at stake here. But the California court has refined the issue to the credibility of institutions that insist upon the individual's regard for the sanctity of human life while reserving to themselves the right to violate that sanctity in coid blood. Reservation trampum The Hamilton Spectator INDIAN activist Mike Mitchell wants historic Indian artifacts, now in fed- eral, government custody, housed in Indian museums. The concept de serves govern- ment co-operation, not opposition. It is not only a question of returning to the tribal councils the historical treasures that are rightfully theirs, though that point is important enough, but of making it pos- sible for Indians to exploit valuable re- sources for the cultural and economic ad- vantage of all Canadians. Mr. Mitchell visualizes the development of museums displaying Indian artifacts on the reservations, where visitors could view them and learn about the Canadian Indians' cultural and historical heritage from Indian curators. Important artifacts, such as the wampum belts and documents now stored in Ottawa, could provide the basis for collections at- tracting scholars and sightseers and de- velop a job making tourist industry on the reservations. If the Indian councils support the idea, the government should not stand in their way. While the important artifacts have to be considered truly national treasures, of value to all Canadians, there is no disputing their special significance to Indians. And there is no question at all that the objects could be accessible to more Cana- dians in public museums in the reserva- tions than in government vaults at Ottawa. Best of both worlds The Ottawa Citizen westerners, especially those around Edmonton, should find the new designation on Royal Canadian Mounted Police cars unnerving is difficult to understand. Perhaps the long, hard win- ter has made them edgy. The new designation retains the words "Royal Canadian Mounted Police" in both official languages but in small let- ters. The main designation is simply the word where it used to be "RCMP." That should give everyone the best of two worlds. An honored designation is retained. At the same tune, greater clarity is achieved, with the designation used on police cars throughout North America. To achieve two goals with one blow deserves praise, not the Bronx cheers to which the government has been subjected from Edmontonians. JIM FIS.HBOURNE Water and oil JJEOENTLY, this worthy journal car- ried a news story which contained a rather grim warning from one of the United Nations agencies, to the effect that the world is rapidly exhausting its supplies of fresh water. The same day, I heard on the radio (Yes, Mr. Editor, I know; but it was my car radio, and I just can't read while driving) a report that by isn't very long from now the U.S. will require more oil than can be produced by all the wells in the western hemisphere. I don't know how you react to stories like that, but they sure worry me. My sense of values may be all screwed up, but I don't seem to find the water one all that threatening, at least for now. We Canadians have the greatest supply of fresh water in the world, more than we can possibly use, and the only people with whom it would be practical to share it would be our neighbors on this continent; you can't divert rivers or build pipelines across oceans. Anyway, if I remember my high-school science courses, water doesn't really get used up; we can and do pollute it, but one way or another the water that goes into a field or a factory or a person or a city usually comes out the other end in some form or other, that finally ends up as water again. So even if the demand for fresh water were to exceed the supply, surely we'd be able to figure out some scientific or mechanical method of puri- fying what we'd polluted, or making sea water useable, or something. Oil is a different proposition, I suspect. Again relying on my high-school science, the oil we're using up so uncaringly was made a long time ago, by a natural process that takes many, years, so many, in fact, that for all practical purposes when we use oil it's gone, and cannot be replaced. (Yes, there are synthetic oils, but producing them isn't very profitable, which naturally rules them out of serious consideration.) There are probably several sermons in those two stories, for anyone with the wit to find them and the will to deliver them. At the moment I'm concerned about one narrow issue, the business of being a Cana- dian with more oil in the Athabasca tarsands, if nowhere else than we can use, and the greatest supply of fresh water in the world, living right next door to the most powerful nation on earth, and the one that will soon need both oil and fresh water more desperately than anyone else. I realize that, in spite of economic nation- alism, surcharges, auto-pacts and all the other aspects of Nixonomics, we're still the best of friends. I hope the feeling is mutual and that nothing happens to the supply of Middle East oil. Anticipation By Dong Walker WE were barely seated at the dinner ta- when we haven't even the rest ble one night when Elspeth uttered Of us asked, a familiar cry, "Why is everybody eating so said Elspeth, "I know you are "How can you Accuse us of eating fast to."