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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 17, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta .-Wednesday, June 17, 1770 THE lEfMBRIDGE HERALD 3 Marsha Mc_uhan Re-Visited By Tom Saumlcrs, In The Winnipeg Free Press a nPORONTO: It was nice sil- ting down to lunch with Marshall McLiihan in Lire refec- tory at St. Michael's College, just up the street from the tiny building of which he is direc- tor the University of Tor- onto's Centre for Culture and Technology. It was the first time we had met since we were undergraduates lie at the University at Manitoba, I at United College. We talked [or a time about mutual friends where they were and what they were doing about old days in Winni- peg when we both were young. Then the conversation turned to religion. (He had just come from mass, an everyday ritual for him when at all Akinoln Itoiibi The church, like society today, he said, was iji a stale of chaos, trying lo cope wilh a swift moving situation that it did not understand or compre- hend. Even Ihc Vatican was making all the wrong decisions. But that did not alter the sig- nificance of his own personal faith. Brought up in the Baptist tra- dition, with a brother who has been a United Church minister, be hud come to his own faith as a Roman Catholic. For him Christianity was a mystical, su- perhuman experience. "I had to come to he said. "On my knees." Now his religion in- volved the total involvement and commitment of his life. His attendance at mass each day helped recharge his batteries and unclutler his mind. Though be has been quick to predict some aspects of the future of society, he was loath to make any prophecy about the church that it would endure. "The church will survive as God wants it to survive." As he spoke in this way it was bard lo realize that one was in the presence of the world's best known communi- cations' expert, the prophet c{ the electronic age not only the most famous ex Wimipeg- ger and ex Manitoban of our time but perhaps the most fa- mous Canadian as well. But in due course he got on to some of his pet subjects. He rolled out the puns, slogans and catch phrases as if they were 1 recalled that ho had always had this gift, even as a young man who had .slarled out in engineering and then opted for a course in arts. For, though he has endeavored to develop a whole philosophy based on developments in the communications field from primilive times to what he lore- sees as the electronic future, it is his puns, slogans and catch- phrases that have' caught the fancy of the common man "the medium is the massage1' (or "The global vil- "tile rear-view mirror so- ci-'v." ?nd so on. Even as he talked. 1 found myself wondering about all this about the conflicting opin- Ibos Are Hungry And Barred From Jobs T AGOS The border town of Ikot Ekpene and sur- rounding areas between the East Central state of mainly Ibos and the South Eastern state faced a new hunger prob- lem as the Nigerian Red Cross prepared to end its food distri- bution. The Nigerian Red Cross reck- ons tiiat the stage IILIS been reached when its emergency food program could be stopped, passing on the task of rehabili- tation wlu'ch is what the war-affected people now need- to State governments. This would leave Ihe people to find food for themselves, either by paying for it or by growing it. The state governments and vol- untary agencies have been dis- tributing seedlings to farmers. Planting has already begun in most parts of the war-battered eastern states, but not by the farmers at Ikot Ekpene. Be- cause of its strategic position in the bid by federal troops to link up the road between Aba in the south-west and Umuahia to the north-west, the town suf- fered considerable damage dur- ing the two-and-a-half year civil war. Attempts in the town and outlying areas to clear Ihe bush in readiness for cultiva- tion have led to a new prob- lem. About 30 farmers are re- ported to have been killed and many others badly wounded by mines planted there during the bitter fighting for possession ot the area. The military have begun to clear mines believed to have have been left beliind by the rebel Biafran army, but farm- ers there are toy scared to go near the bush. This aggravates an already worsening food sit- uation, particularly in the town. Along with two other towns in South-eastern state, Ikot Ek- pene has hitherto been classed a "disaster Before the civil war the three disaster areas had a population of people. Ikot Ekpene be- came a war corridor during the war, which left it almost com- pletely devastated by the two armies. A passionate appeal has been made to the Nigerian Red Q-oss by the south-eastern state government not to cease its food distribution. According to the state's Commissioner for Economic Development and Reconstruction, Mr. Michael Ogon, the Red Cross should stay until the end of August. Mr. Ogon suggested that the Red Cross should pull out state by state only as each got enough to eat, not from all the states at once. First crops from the farms should be ready for harvesting at the end of August to the mid- dle of September, when Mr. Ogon reckons that the people of his state which was part of rebel Biafra should be able to stand on their own. But meanwhile people there have been classified as needing emergency relief and must be fed continuously if they are not to die of starvation. There are others classified under the hunger list, who can rely on weekly ration- ing of food to supplement what they can get for themselves. Added to the problem of hun- ger is that of shelter in the south-eastern state as well as in the other two eastern states. The rains have began in these areas and disuse has caused a lot of tradilional mud houses to fall down in the villages. Most people find it easier to seek shelter in the towns in some of the commercial property which has not been open for business since the war. Lack of jobs is worrying young Ibos, who continue to flock to Enugu and Lagos, the nation's capital. They cannot go to the oil city of Port Harcourt, now t'ne capital in the oil industry. According to the Divers Slate Commissioner for Local Gov- ernment and Information, Dr. W. Wakaina, a few Ibos could go to the state capital and stay rf they so wish, but certainly they could not go in the large numbers of the pre-war era. The reason, he said, is that (he people of Ihe state have not for- gotten the atrocities committed by Ibos when the state was part of There was need to allow "things to cool down a bit" Dr. Wakaina plead- ed. He said there were some Ibos in the state but not in such large numbers as to "arouse the anger of the peo- ple of the Rivers State." Some Rivers people bad been "bu- ried alive during the war and properly wantonly damaged too." He denied reports that Ibos had been killed, pointing out thai Ibo houses were be- ing taken care of until such time as suitable condilions would allow the owners to come and claim them. (Written for The Herald and The Observer, London) ATTEMPTING BUDGET PRICES... PRICES EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 19, 20. STEAKS Sirloin Steaks Beef Roasts HiporRump T BONE OR WING RED OR BLUE BRAND BEEF.............. Ib. RED OR BLUE BRAND BEEF.............I ,29 ,19 Red or Blue Brand Or Pork Steaks Pork Butt Roasts Smoked Hams ASK FOR SPECIAL BARBECUE CUTS NO EXTRA CHARGE Ib. R.T.E. Whole OF Shank Half Ib. 59c 69c CHECHEN PORTIONS Breasts, Drumslicks or Thighs Ib. LUNCHEON MEATS 4 varieties 6-oi. pkgs, 2 Steak Knife SETS OF 6 99c Angel Food Cake Mix Robin Hood IS-oi. pkg. 55c Heini Prepared 2 for 37C Honeycombs ,2. 59c APPLE DRINK PINK SALMON ASSTD. PEAS INSTANT COFFEE DILLS ALLANS 48 or. tins SEA LORD Wi tin GATEWAY 14-01. tins NALLEYS BANQUET 32-ci. jar FRESH PRODUCE BUYS Plums CANTALOUPE LARGE SIZE Calif., Canada No. 1 Calif., Burmoso Cabbage Calif., new green Canada No. 1 Calif., Canada No. 1 Ibs. 2 39" GRAHAM'S FOOD MARKET 708 3rd Avenue South PHONE AND SAVE FREE DEUVERY GROCERIES 327-5434, 327-M3I MEATS 327-1012 OPEN THURSDAY TILL 9 P.M. ions on his role as prophet (if the electronic age. Those are "with1" him and I hoy arc neither few nor inconsequential he is one of the great minds of our century, lie has been as "one of the majcr intcliecUuil influences of our time." "one of the most bril- liant sccio cultural theorists writing today." Those who are not "wilh'' him brand him as Ihc alleged expert on com- munications who himself docs nol know how lo coiinmunicate. Perhaps, 1 reflected, (here is something to be said for hcth of these views. That McLuhan knows what he is writing about there is little doubt; but thai ethers don't always know what he is writing about is equally obvious. (I remember giving one of his books The Guten- berg Galaxy to a friend of more than ordinary intelligence and he gave it up after the first few chapters. He couldn't get through it, and its message, as a result, couldn't get through to For others the problem is that they feel that McLuhan is giv- en too much to over-simplifica- tion. He lias an aversion lo qualifying phrases and sen- tences, preferring tile striking statement to the more cautious and accurate one. In the Me- dium Is the Massage, for exam- ple, we read: "The old civic, state and national groupings have become workable." There is a germ of truth here obviously; but equally obvious- ly it isn't the whole truth. The old civic, slate and national groupings never did work per- fectly and they are not work- ing perfectly now. To say that, because of new factors in our contemporary world "elec- tric circuitry" which has "over- thrown the regime of 'time' and 'space' they have now be- come unworkable is to over- state the case. Again he says: "The public, in the sense of a great consen- sus of separate and distinct viewpoints, is finished." One wonders if the final verb here is not too absolute to do justice to the facts. McLuhan lias a tendency to accept a trend as a final accomplishment, to ac- cept a relative as an absolute. But perhaps he does this delib- erately. It is a technique whose great virtue is that .it brings its message home. Over state- ment and over simplification startle people into thought. It is a considerable something and ought not to be brushed lightly aside. Or again he makes state- mente that are not particularly original except in the way they are expressed. But they make us sit up and take notice. They come upon us with the impact of new truth. They make us realize the nature of some of the basic changes in modern living, how rapidly the changes have occurred, and how fleet- ing is the apparently stable world in which our feet are set. He was making such a state- ment now as, lunch over, we continued our talk. "Experi- ence." he said, "is no longer a valid guide. In the modem world we have no previous ex- perience to wlu'ch we can refer and from which we can learn. Man had no previous experi- ence of the moon shots. He had lo decide what would hap- pen through knowledge, not ex- perience." At first blush, this seems a striking thought, (he enuncia- tion of something new. But again, is it not loo absolute? And how new, really, is it? Didn't Columbus venture across the Atlantic without previous experience, his venture based on knowledge and faith rather than experience? To quote the old saw: When he sailed west- ward he didn't know where he was going, when he got there he didn't know where he was. and when he returned he didn't know where he had been. In some respects, it may be ar- gued, the astronauls had some advantages that he lacked. But as we sat there in the refectory. Marshall McLuhan had changed the subject again: He was back in the old daj-s in Winnipeg and the people wiio had meant much to him in his life as an undergraduate. He got on lo the subject, of his teachers, making special refer- ence to Professors Fioldhouse and Lodge. He had nol, he said, come upon Iheir superiors in any university with which he had subsequently had any con- nection. And he hod a kind word for the lair Prof. Phclns. llr had nol attended rlassrs. but he romemb n r p happy evenings in the Phcips home. I walked back iriib lum the liltlc building where sonic of his students were waiting and we raid our goodbyes. As I made my way back to my hotel I could not help thinking pleasant it was that the man has loday become roccc- nizcd as Ihe voice of the future still had these good thoughts of the past. The Big Mistake From The Winnipeg Free Press MOW'EVER the present guerrilla war in Hie Canadian post office is ended, a larger question will remain for the govern- ment and Parliament lo answer: How long can (lie nation tolerate the breakdown ot its vllal public services? This question was first raised, but not answered, in 1SB7 when Parliament passed the Staff Delations Act. It offered the gov- ernment's employees binding arbitration of their grievances, if they were not settled otherwise, or, alternatively, the right to strike. Most of the civii servants chose ar- bitration. The postal workers chose the strike weapon and applied it within a year to conduct the three-week strike in 1368. At that time C. H. Drury, chairman ot the treasury board, said that the postal unions have been given the privilege of striking "on the assumption it would not be irresponsibly employed." Prime Minis- ter Trudeau added that "I wouldn't want at the first jump to destroy tills right. The situation would have lo get pretty serious before we destroy this right." The situation got so serious, in fact, that the government proposed to call Parlia- ment and end the strike by compulsory ar- bitration. Only then was normal mail ser- vice resumed. But the right to strike was not withdrawn ar.d recently it has been exercised in a new fashion to disrupt local post offices one by one, with the continued threat to a total strike at any moment. Tims both the government's attempt to hold a wage line and the wisdom of the legislation passed in 1967 are under test. Whether the government will retreat from its reasonable wage offer and under- mine its er.tire doctrine of restraint has yet to be seen. Meanwhile it should ba remembered that many of the civil ser- vice unions already have accepted con- tracts for 1970 with wage increases consid- erably below those demanded by the postal workers. This fact was noted by the gov- ernment's representative on the concilia- tion board which failed to settle the dis- pute, but probably most of the public has forgotten it. If the 'government now breaches its wage policy in the case of the postal work- ers the retreat will not end there. The olher unions, naturally, will ask similar treatment as soon as their present con- tracts expire, and while they do not pre- sently have the right to strike they may well seek it at the first opportunity and will have a strong moral claim (or equality. By surrendering to the postmen the gov- ernment would invite more strikes in tho civil service (and in private industry) also or increased wage costs by agreement which, as Mr. Trudcau says, the nation cannot afford. Discussing these problems .in Urn prime nu'nistcr said that civil servants bar- gain nol with a private employer but with the public, particularly the "poor, unpro- tected and unorganized part of the pub- the taxpayers. Or, as Mr. Trudeau put it, the unions approachirg the govern- ment agree U> "squeeze as iv.uch as we carl from the lemon. The juice doesn't come out of my pocket but from Die public." Exactly. The people as a whole provide the juice in taxes, or postal rates. Disputes in the public and private sec- tors of the economy. Mr. Trudeau em- phasized, differ in one very important re- spect. A private company can pay only as much in wages and other costs or it will become bankrupt. It tlwreforc has a compelling reason to watch its expendi- tures. But there is no limit on what the government can pay if it is careless of the effects on the taxpayers and the eco- nomy at large. Its purse has no bottom. If necessary, it can print all the rcoriey it needs, as it already has cone over the last, decade in huge, inflationary volume. Hence, said Mr. Trudeau, civil sen-ants seeking higher wages "are really asking the government to transfer resources by way of taxes or other means from tlio mas of the consumers lo a particular group." That is a precise description tie current hit-and-run postal strikes. Two years ago, despite bis lecture on simple economics, Mr. Trudeau was not prepared to prohibit strikes in the public service. He wished then to see how tbs postal workers would behave in the future and now he has seen. He should also see that the legislation of 1967 was a grave mistake because it introduced the strike into services without which any nation is crippled by a small minority. After such experience, why should the government hesitate to admit the original mistake of its predecessor, forbid slrikes in vital sendees ond offer its employees Ihe fair judgment of arbitration? It must soon come to that, anyway, if the postal workers maintain their guerrilla war. No nation will long consent to the coercion of a minority. Condemned By All The World From The Victoria Dr.ily Colonist New York estimates A N authority in tlvat the narcotics addicts there, including perhaps school-age children, steal about billion worth of merchandise a year to support their dead- ly habit. This is only a part of the terrible cost of the traffic, of course, and even without taking into account the misery and tragedy it breeds, a few billions would be well spent to help suppress it A heroin user told an investigating U.S. Senate committee recently, "A TV a day keeps the monkey away." It was a way of saying that a stolen television set or its equivalent would provide a user with the price for sufficient narcotics for his daily need. For a start the producer of the poppies from which the heroin is derived could be, to a large extent, bought off. At present they are selling to a black market, but (hey could probably be induced lo abandon the illicit farming of the plant and severely punished if they persisted. The greater part of the heroin supply reaching Europe and this continent comes from the hill farms of Turkey, and al- though the government has tried hard to check Ihe over-production of the poppy it has proved impossible to prevent farmers from secretly selling in the black market whatever is left over alter legitimate buy. ers have been satisfied. This will go on just as long as poppy-growing is allowed lo remain in the farmer's hands. For 10 kilos (22 pounds) the frugal Turk gets 5350 from the black marketeers. This is considerably more than the government pays and it is a temptation hard to re- sist. Ultimately, this 10 kilos is refined and sold on the docks at Marseilles for Once it reaches the American market and the prices are much the same through- out the western world the dealers pay for the kilo and sell it to the dis- tributors who re-sell by the ounce to a "factory." There it is inevitably "cut" with milk sugar or quinine added and bagged in glassine envelopes for sale by street pushers for an average No doubt if the Turkish farmer were eliminated the narcotics organization would find some other source of supply, like China or remote central Asian lands. But at least it would make it more diffi- cult to get the product; to the pitiable people who depend upon it to find the brief euphoria that is always fatal. The ugly narcotics trafficker Is con- demand by all the world, and surely all the world would be willing to work co-op- eratively for his destruction no mat- ter what the cost Caribbean Dilemma From Tlic International Herald-Tribune the last half of the 18th century, the sug- ar islands of the Caribbean were among the wealthiest places on earth for those M'ho owned them. A slave economy, wilh a virtual monopoly on many of the sub- tropical products that today are canned staples, the Caribbean' tempted Europe in- to many battles for its control: England once debated whether, at the end of a war, to trade all of Canada for one French is- land. During the American Revolution, Yankee privateers and Continental war- craft trailed the West Indian convoys across the Atlantic by grapefruit rinds, hungry for the richest prizes Mien on the seas. But slavery ended, and competition for the ftigar and fruit market, developed in many areas of the world leaving the Caribbean largely black, and poor. When independence came lo Ihe island-studded -sea, it, was poverty ridden; such wealth ,16 there- was focused in alien hands; such economic hope as there, might be seemed lo depend upon alien pockets. What made it worse for young slates, struggling against a legacy of servitude aid striving lo assert national and racial dignity, the in- dustry that supplanted Hie plantation as Ilic chic! source of income was tourism which is, par excellence, a "service'' trade- Thus independence has brought disillu- sionment; economic hardships and turmoil. Trinidad and Tobago, witli a high rate of unemployment, has seen this discontent flower into a "black power'' revolt, and many of the same elements of trouble prc- vade the Caribbean. The dilemma of the Caribbean is very real. For most nations, even those who looke to tourists for substantial portions of Ureir income, the luxury hold and the lux- ury liner are peripheral. For the Caribbean islands, they are central, and humiliating. Yet. there are too many people in the is- lands to live on their own produce, in the present stale of the world market, and such development as takes place is based on imported capital, with the corollary of dividends. Expropriation would hardly solve flic problem Cuba has demonstrated and black power could, as in Ihc case of Haiti, result only in some Papa Doc, unless fliere were a solid eco- nomic base (or that power. The ruling parties in much of the Carib- bean are black, and pragmatic. But unless their pragmatism works, unless it caji en- sure a decent living for all their people, they will be confronted, increasingly. Villi demands for economic justice, for elimina- ting tlie vast disparity between the luxury hotel and the hut-dweller who serves it ;