Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 27, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Neophyte priests play good hockey By John Gould In The Christian Science Monitor T ISBON FALLS, Maine -The expansion of the leagues, the attention of television, and the growing interest in the States in professional ice hockey contrived to turn my mind back to the Roosevelt depression, when we used to run up to Quebec City for a quick and cheap holiday. Nobody had any. money, least of all us out on the farm, but it was only a short run up across Maine, and since we knew our way around, the prices were attractive. I still have souvenir chits to prove we had a full week on $32, no matter how many re* cent vacationists doubt this. We did not, of course, subsidize the Chateau, but we would pass through its hospitable lobbies to Acquire the festive mood of Quebec, and then we would go down in the lower-city where we knew of a nook that served a big bowl of pea soup, with bread and butter, for IS cents. In January of 1934 some unexpected increment accrued, and flushed with sudden affluence we decided to make gay. In those days snow sports hadn't caught on, and the tourist tone of Quebec ceased when summer did. In January we found nobody to flag us down to rent a room, and the urchins who cadged pennies were lacking. The city was piled deep with snow and only in a few places was any effort made to remove it. This was done by men with shovels, and horse-drawn sleds hauled the snow to be dumped out on the river ice. From the Citadel this activity on the river looked like some kind of an anthill matter. It was minus-45 degrees P. when we arrived, and that was the warmest while we were there. It was during this visit that we saw the best hockey game ever, and we have long been hockey fans. If that game might be staged in any arenB, it would outdraw the Stanley Cup playoffs, and Orrs and Howes would pale to mediocrity. Bear in mind, that the thermometer was minus-45 degrees F., and then some. Bundled well, and enjoying a brisk walk about brisker Quebec, we became aware of the intense quiet that was settled over the city by the snow and cold. Any sound was flattened in the still, frigid air, and then the snow was acoustical insulation. When a streetcar passed, down in its shoveled slot, we knew it was there because we could see the trolley pole go by - but no sound came upward or outward. Even the bells of the numerous monasteries, nunneries, churches, and retreats of this religiously inclined city were flattened in the air, dis-attuned by the frost. Thus we were instantly attracted to a sound that we did hear - we were passing along a high masonry wall and there came over it the flick-flick noise that in a Canadian winter can be only the action of skates on Ice. With it was the slap of hockey sticks, and it took no great deduction to conclude a game was on. But there was no crowd noise - no cheering of spectators. There was no tweet of a referee's whistle. We just had to see. We made our way across the snow-plugged street and climbed the bank on the other side. From this we could step onto one of those ornamental cast-iron front stairways common to French Canada, and we climbed to the upstairs landing -~we had no reason to doubt and did not expect to be ejected. From here, we could look over the wall and see the rink in the enclosure - where two teams of student priests were playing the most magnificent hockey I have ever gazed on. We had heard no whistle, because there was no referee. In pious rectitude the boys obeyed their own vows of propriety, and reacted to oeca-s i o n a 1 infractions without prompting. There wasn't a neophyte on the ice who couldn't outskate an Henri Richard, and he was doing it under a restraint the Great Henri never experienced - the student priests were wearing their clerical habits, skirts to the ice. Beyond the rink, and facing us and the game, stood a cluster of older clerics and spectators - we presumed the faculty with porrhaps an abbot or bishop. Their heads, in popish garb, turned right and left to follow the game, and they spoke no words and made no gestures. It was silent hockey in a silent close in silent Quebec. Except for the flick-flicks and the clack of sticks. The game was good enough for any Forum, and the uniforms certainly did not detract from our amazed enjoyment. But we had hardly taken all this iii when the house door behind us opened and a most at- tractive young matron asked if we would like to come inside and watch the game through the window. The family, we found out, customarily sat so they could watch these games, and we had impolitely, aebelt In- nocently, arrived to stand in their line of vision. I suggest to one and all that immediate acceptance of such an invitation in Quebec is advised. Quebec people, we assure you, do not make such invitations un- less they mean them. So warm, cozy, and surrounded by a hockey-fan family, we watched the rest of that game and ate several pieces of sugar pie. It was all memorable, and inexpensive, and we saw a hockey game not available otherwise. I think either one of those priestly teams would shut out the Bruins twice in three starts. Winter sunset Prize-winning photo in the Lethbridgs Community College Winter Carnival competition, by Allan Pratt. Book Reviews The unappealing cybernetic society "The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution" By Shulasmith Firestone (WHUam Morrow and Co. Inc., 274 pages, fT.SO, distributed by George J. Mc-Leod Ltd.). rpHERE are a number of books on the market today outlining proposals espoused by the Women's Liberation Movement for the complete emancipation of women from the social oppression they have suffered since Eve took on the role of a sex goddess. Shulasmith Firestone, a 25- year-old "reactionary" in the Lib movement doesn't make any new points in The Dialectic of Sex, she just hammers on them harder. As other writers before her have claimed, she too claims that cur sex roles are learned. Women are passive, men aggressive because this is what we've been taught since time began. Consequently, whenever women try to assert themselves in the world, society (namely male) is affronted because women should be quiescent and docile. Miss Firestone points out that the oppression of women has biological ramifications; women, she says, secretly envy the sex organs of males. The oppression of women, in turn, is reflected in the matriarchial oppression of children, distorting their natural sex leanings, which, the writer claims, are normally incestuous. Hence the writer's disillusionment with the family; father is the boss, mother and children his oppressed slaves. She says, "thus An example-of a mixed-up kid "The Paragon" by John Kiowlci (Random House, 210 pages, S6.9S). TN comparison to John Knowles' first novel, A Separate Peace, which is a great book, this latest novel is merely a good one. The characters in The Paragon are not as believable as those in the earlier story. Once again the setting is that of an educational institution - Yale University rather than a boys' boarding school. Louis Colfax is a promising student but somewhat erratic person. His reluctant room- A WASP in Quebec "A Game of Touch" by Hush Hood (Longman Canada Ltd., 188 pp., 95.95) rpHE main interest in this novel is the hero, Jake, who is pretty much of a clod. Young Jake comes to Montreal to sow his wild oats and grow up and learn about life so he can take his place in society. Trite? Stereotyped? Right. The only thing that makes Jake interesting is figuring out if he is supposed to represent the typical English-speaking Canadian. Since all tiie characters in Manitoba lives "Pioneers of Manitoba" by Robert Harvey, Winnipeg, Prairie Publishing, $4.00. 82 pages). J\R. HARVEY, a United Church minister who has spent most of his 86 years in various mission fields and churches in Manitoba, draws on his knowledge of early pioneers whose contribution to the economic and cultural development of the province is well known. His interesting and factual accounts of the lives of the 24 pioneers mentioned makes interesting and absorbing reading, particularly for people who know something of the background of early Manitoba. Probably the best known personality included in these portraits is Nellie McClung, the only woman he selects for this honor. This little book would make a nice gift for relatives and friends of early Manito-bans. MARGARET LUCKHURST. the book are stereotypes - the WASP in Quebec, the young French - Canadian politician, the WASP girl trying to become French-Canadian and so on - thereisa good chance Jake represents those among us who are ignorant of what is happening today in Quebec. He doesn't fit any other category. If this is the author's intention, he lias a decidedly low opinion of us, which does not mean he is not accurate. Perhaps we are all a bit like Jake - no great intellect, poorly educated, not much ambition, mostly interested in keeping a roof over his head and a few dollars in his pocket. A few dreams, exchanged all too soon for a steady job and security. Jake functions in the book as a sort of Gulliver, the person through whose eyes we view the various aspects of the situation in Quebec today. It is explained in interminable conversations between the aforementioned stereotypes, the kind of dialogue that is writ ten only by an author who is interested more in ideas than in building characters, a trait that seems to be characteristic of a number of Canadian writers. If one is looking for some insight into the Quebec situation, this is a useful book. Don't read it for the story or the characters. "Little Red Riding Hood" has a better plot and Red's personality comes through better than anyone in this novel. HERB JOHNSON in mate Is a member of the endowing class while his best friend is an Afro-Brazilian with pronounced leftist leanings. The setting and such persons provide opportunities for comment on social and political issues as relevant now as in the time of the Korean war when the events transpired. A relationship with a girl from the drama department forms the core of the story. She marries another man but bears a baby supposedly sired by Louis. The little boy is briefly kidnapped by Louis but is returned to the mother when it is discovered how difficult it is for a man to raise a child. Why Louis should have believed he was the father of the child is a mystery. One of the really dramatic parts of the novel is, after all, the shattering disclosure to Charlotte that her certainty of being pregnant had to be illusion since Louis had taken the precaution of using a contraceptive. And they apparently separated immediately after. Louis' growing fear that he might be mentally unbalanced because of the kind of family he came from is very unconvincing. His relatives - a bad-tempered father, a meek mother, an alcoholic aunt, an anti-fluoridationist politician uncle, an aunt who wrote her will on the wall of her living-room - are not terribly different from the norm (if there is such a thing). Such a collection might be something a sophisticated college boy would be ashamed of but surely not haunted by. Even the ending in which Louis returns the little boy to Charlotte and is told he can have him for periods later on is unconvincing - or unsatisfying. It isn't that a romantic expectation of the lovers being brought together is - justifiably - shunned. Perhaps it is merely the feeling that Louis departs unresolved. Despite my questionings, it is a story that holds the reader most of the way and can be commended for entertainment. DOUG WALKER we see that in a family-based society, repression due to the incest taboo makes a totally fulfilled sensuality impossible for anyone and a well-functioning sexuality possible only for a few. Homosexuals in our time are only the extreme casualties of the system of obstructed sexuality that develops in the family. But although homosexuality at present is as limited and sick as our heterosexual-ity, a day may soon come in which a healthy transsexuality may be the norm. ..." Her opinion of childhood is that it is hell because guidelines (oppression) are set down by mother, with the threat of father in the background; therefore in freeing women from social oppression by males we must include freeing children. Indeed, to Miss Firestone, the whole tradition of the family as we understand it today is on its way out; to be replaced (if children have to be a part of society if only for the perpetuation of the species) by a communal group with no sexual taboos, no discipline, no loyalties except to oneself . . . if the group fails to enchant, cop out, because there is nothing legal to keep one bound. In a kind of 1934 (which isn't far away) Miss Firestone sees artifial reproduction replacing pregnancy which in its present "barbaric" form will then be test-tubed and regulated. Women will be freed from the tyranny of their reproductive biology. Cybernation will take over the function of complex machines, leaving men and women (both liberated) to work out their biological usefulness in a non-family world. The writer claims "A cybernetic socialism would abolish economic classes and all forms of labor exploitation, by granting all people a livelihood based only on material needs . . . jobs would be eliminated in favor of (complex) play . . . love and sexuality would be reintegrated, flowing unimpeded . . . with no taboos on incest or homosexuality because in a biologically familyless society nobody would know who was related to whom . . ." Well, I just don't know. As a middle-aged matron, quite happy to have been born a woman, indeed thankful not to have been a man, I am nonetheless aware that women need more freedom to develop as individuals. Their demands for equal pay for equal work, equal job opportunities and a more involved sharing of domestic chores sounds pretty sensible to me, and I imagine in time these requests will be achieved. But Miss Firestone's cybernetic society, undisciplined, loveless and disorganized sounds less appealing than The Dawn of Man. Frankly, I think she's out of her tree. MARGARET LUCKHURST. Focus on the University - By J. W. FISHBOURNE A matter of priorities fJTHERE is a rather curious fascination about letters to the editor, I usually read them, 'tho I am not really sure why. It is rare that the subject matter is a particular interest of mine, and I never have been much concerned with the hobby horses of people I don't know. Nevertheless, I do read them, and every so often, I am glad that I do. As a case in point, a letter appeared recently in this paper that took a most unusual position on taxation. The gentleman who wrote the letter suggested that the taxes we now pay, rather than being too high, are far too low. If I understood born correctly, he felt that collectively we squander vast sums on the most ridiculous trivia, and could well afford and doubtless profit by a diversion of a high proportion of these wasted monies into several worthy projects or functions that are now impoverished. I think he is completely correct, and applaud him for having the sense to see this, and the courage to say so. That people are far better off than they were, even a few years ago, is undeniably obvious. Most of us have many times the disposable income we had ten years or so back. And we fiddle it away on luxuries of one sort and another, most of which we could very well do wiOiout. When I was a kid (and I'll admit this was more than just "a few years ago") we played hockey. Most of us had our own skates, which were usually secondhand; kids feet grow fast, and new skates each year were too expensive. Most of us had the best part of a hockey stick, too, and usually we could assemble the dozen good ones required to play a game. The more affluent had "store-boughten" shin-pads, and I remember one of my friends had real hockey gloves. When we finally graduated to the status of a commercial league, a generous sponsor got us a deal on a batch of sweat shirts all the same color, provided crests at his own expense, and even found some felt from which we cut out our own numbers. That, was real big league stuff, in those days. Now, most pre-schoolers who show any interest in the game have complete outfits, duplicating everything the professionals use. A bicycle, when I was a youngster, was-something bought second hand for 50 cents or a dollar a week, that went with having a paper route, and was handed down in due course to younger members of the family. Now, if there are six kids in the family, there are probably six bicycles. The neighborhood I lived in was by no means a poor one. It was working class but certainly not a slum. Most, people worked at one thing or another, and I can recall that the fathers of my friends were postmen, policemen, owned stores, worked for the railroad, taught school, kept books, and so forth. We weren't poverty-stricken, and generally there was enough equipment in the neighborhood to play most of the games we wanted to play. Now, every youngster owns his own football, and almost any family could equip a ball team. At the more adult level, In this province last year we managed to find $150 million to spend on booze. We don't expect our cars to last more than two or three years, and one car is not really enough for most of us. A teenage member of the family is considered underprivileged if he doesn't have a motorcycle or a car, and the wherewithal to keep it insured and running. So the gentleman's thesis Is sound, I believe. By simple comparison with the very recent past, most of us are pretty affluent. If we chose to order our priorities a little differently, to place worthwhile and needed services ahead of self-pampering extravagances, we could easily afford the best equipped hospitals, the finest parks and recreational facilities, first-rate residences for our senior citizens - and an educational system that is as good as our claims for the existing one. We won't I'm afraid. No political candidate would risk telling the electorate he intends to tax their luxuries to finance the real needs of society. He'd be drummed out of his party if he did. And in this one odd instance, I don't even blame the politicians; it's the electorate - you and me, brother - whose priorities need at. tention. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY This precious freedom �_ _u- iv- come t, q0j) tne end and purpose of life J^AST week's article tried to show the tragic decline of political freedom. If freedom dies anywhere, it dies everywhere. Because freedom is the result of a certain belief about man's nature. If man is a child of God, made in the image of God with divine capacities, then his personality is sacred. But if he be merely a superior ape according to modem biology, or a machine according to Pavlovian psychology, or a sexual stew as Freudian psychology makes him out to be, be has no such rights. Freedom is "vrai-doom" - truth and destiny, truth about the nature of man and his destiny. Freedom is also "frei-doom," the root of "free" going back to the Aryan "pri," to love. The person who hates is not free. Hostility, fear, and guilt are prisons for personality. They are part of a vicious circle that includes a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy. Hostility thus breeds both anxiety and loneliness, two of the most destructive feaalures of modem life. A man caught in this circle is not free. Only through love, only through identifying with the struggles of mankind against social injustice, poverty, danger, and difficulty, can a man understand his fellows. Spinoza resolved neither to weep nor cry over mankind, but simply to understand them. But no man understands until he leaves the balcony a.xJ walks the streets. On the other hand, without objectivity and detachment one falls into sheer sentimentality. N'j one helps a drunkard by getting into the ditch with him. Compassion demands involvement, but understanding requires both detachment and love. Rejection or contempt for the world cannot be creative. Freedom demands therefore both love and detachment. Thomas Aquinas held that man must be free to be a responsible moral agent. He joined the early Church Fathers in asserting the right to criticize superiors. His basis for freedom went back to the nature of man. The Second Vatican Council similarly found that the truth of the Gospel required that "the person in society is to be kept free from all manner of coercion in matters religious." In all his activity man is bound, said the Council, to follow his conscience, "in order tliat he may Here again the argument for freedom is grounded in the nature of man. So Cardinal Bea, President of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, held that, to work out his destiny, man had a God-given right to decide freely in accordance with his own conscience. Protestants found a similar basis for freedonj in their axiom, "We ought to obey God rather than men." Sadly the church has not been faithful to her profession. Nevertheless such freedom as the world has comes from the Hebrew-Christian faith that "you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. Freedom is spontaneous activity, believed by Christians to be only possible through the grace of God. Hence "love God and do as you like." Freedom is Impossible when there is anarchy in feeling or when reason and feeling are in conflict. The mature person is one in whom reason and feeling are in harmony. Freedom, law, and order are inseparable. The better the musician, the more free he seems, but such freedom derives from the most arduous discipline, concentration, and dedication. Discipline and self-denial are dirty, Puritan words today. Consequently streets and schools are filled with aimless, discontented, and bored youth. Lacking values, dignities, and decencies, they are unhappy, rebellious, neurotic, and maladjusted, unable to handle the conflicts and frustrations which are tho lot of all humans. Most of them "want to go somewhere," without motive, mission, or destination, and are anything but free. Reason and feclinu arc at war and there is anarchy in their inner life which projects into the outer life. Life's education should be a process freeing the individual from crippling complexes and emotions which prevent the development of his true nature and abilities. The anarchy of modern life is spawned by the lack of self-identity in the individual. He lacks unity and a centre of reference. Modern man lacks that "psychic container" of former ages, the security that comes from knowing that religion provides a total frame of reference for life and society. To be a man is to be free, to be free a man must have a religion, thus trn need is for a religion for humanity to provide the matrix for "a world orchestration of cultures." golfers have recently had the plea sure of being able to get out on the course after the winter layoff. Not being one of those addicts who keep honed by practising putts on the living-room carpet or drives into a net in the basement, I was curious to learn how my game had fared as a result of the inactivity. Special shot By Doug Walker My game came through intact - I had all my usual shots: dubs, flubs, honks, slices, over-pitches, under-pitches. I wa3 certain I hadn't missed a single one - until I fell in with Steve MacDonald. Steve showed me a shot I didn't have in my repertory: a sky-drive that takes a bail a long way up but not very far out.