Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuesday, March LETHBRIDQE Vacuous, grubby new magazine appears By William Safire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON When the world's most powerful publishing empire launched "the first national weekly magazine to be started in 20 its executives must have asked themselves: What will compel magazine buyers to snatch our new magazine off the newsstands? What subjects are surefire audience-grabbers at this point in Time, Incorporated? Their market-researched answer is in People, with a opening-week budget promoting the 1.4 million copies of its first issue, a magazine Time describes as "attuned to the free-wheeling 70s and its mood of burning, curiosity, wry detachment and tolerance for other people's manners and morals." By their choice of topics, the Time people have given us a stop-action view of what they think most interests wealthy young people, their prime target audience. By their handling of these topics, the editors give us their frank assessment of that audience: a collection of frantic, tasteless fadcats deeply concerned with social climbing and intellectual pretension, panting for a look at celebrities in poses that press agents staged back in the 30s (with wryly detached captions like "these playboy bunnies are, well, hopping Playing, well, fast and luce with the traditions of time, life and fortune, People's first cover offers us nostalgically coiffed, pearl-chewing Mia Farrow, star of the Great Gatsby. There must have been a soul-searching decision at People whether to go with Gatsby or ride with "The Exorcist: as a compromise, its exorcist story is listed at the top of the list of contents on the cover. Skimming that list (skimmers are replacing People milks the exorcism craze with an interview that repeats what author William Peter Blatty's press agent has been grinding out for months. On to a Kennedy-tragedy rehash, of course, the mixture as before, this time a story on Marina Oswald that stands as the one island of good writing and sensitive photography in the magazine, a curious reminder of what might have been. Gloria Vanderbilt's fourth marriage is duly chronicled. Then the Solzhenitsyn craze is exploited with a phony headline "from his own writing: a chilling account of a good man's arrest" intended to mislead skimmers into thinking the Russian author wrote an exclusive for People, but it turns out to be_a selection from a five-year-old book. Designer Stephen Burrows is listed next as "fashion king of the sexy cling." The article inside misses the point of his colorful and exciting contribution to couture, going instead for the sex angle in what is a transparent attempt to shoehorn one Black into a magazine targeted for well-to- do Whites. "Palm Beach whirl" is listed further down on the about parallel to Miss Farrow's mouth, which is chewing the pearls that people now cast before its readers. In six pages of itsy-poo pictures, festooned with captions impossible to Lampoon "Mrs. George Shrafft, of the Candy family, wiggles out of her scuba gear" Time's offspring presses its readers' noses against the windows of high society, breathlessly describing one old publicity hound as "the regal Mary Sanford." Toward the bottom, the promoter formulating the cover plugs a story that uses some black-and-white stills of an auto race sent over from the reject heap at Sports Illustrated, and sticks in a topical entry titled "the Hearsts, during the nightmare" which turns out to be one double-truck picture of a news conference with a brief caption. That's about it: also inside are two pictures of people in bathtubs, a grotesque story about fat people who wire their jaws shut and a couple of full-page photos of U.S. Senators making themselves look silly. Maybe there is money in this sort of thing; if so, publishing empires whose executives harrumph about social responsibility should leave the field to upstart publishers more adept at grubbiness. People fails on the tawdry terms it has chosen: the sex is not sexy, the gossip is not current, the exploitation not Great effort is needed to lift it up to superficiality. Time Inc.'s insult to the Book reviews American mass audience is compounded by the presstitution of Time maga- zine itself; in this week's press section, the spirit of promotion triumphs over editorial integrity with a story touting the new product to the extent of hawking its advertising page rates. When Time boss Hedley Donovan says anything goes. To reach tycoons and their moppets, the admen have decreed shallow stories about cinemactors and socialites, and pundits like me are dismayed. (Six time-coined words in one sentence you A parent's guide in conflicts "Raising Your Child Not By Force But By Love" by Sid- ney O. Craig (McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 190 pages, Raising children is at best a harassing experience, as most parents will agree. Psychologist Sidney D. Craig explains in understandable language how angry feelings produce angry reactions. "Delinquency is a 'disease' which is produced by mismanaged feelings. If' parents could learn how to produce loving feelings and avoid producing anger, they would have it in their power to eradicate delinquency." Concerning punishment and its outcome, Dr. Craig explains that basically parents depend on the theory that demands punishment for misbehavior rather than gamble on some more abstract theory which promises good behavior later but provides less immediately observable results in controlling the child's behavior here and now. To help themselves and their children, parents must realize that the long-term deterioration in their own relationship with the child is largely caused by the functioning of the child's irrational thought processes involving three irrational mechanism displays: narcissism (children care exclusively for their own negativism (children's behavior tends to oppose a parent's wishes or and guilt resistance (children develop unusually sophisticated devices to avoid personal sense of guilt.) "The idea that the misunderstanding between generations is caused by, a breakdown in communi- cations is an adult fantasy. The breakdown is not in communications but in the adult's inability to respond sensitively to the child's feelings. Only different treatment of children by adults can correct the attitudes the children have formed towards adults." A superb volume, written with a lot of savvy on raising children. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every parent with children. Definitely a worthwhile investment in the lives of our future citizens. ANNE SZALAVARY Nine vignettes in one "Theophilus North" by Thornton Wilder (Harper and Row, 374 pages, distributed by Fitzhenry and Whiteside An intriguing tale of the adventures of a young man engaged as a tutor for a summer in Newport, Rhode Island. The story takes place in 1926 during the aftermath of the First World War and just before the stock market crash, which had such a I'll be at the wellsite in 20 minutes Long Distance to Houston Call anywhere, anytime, with a mobile phone system ACT General Mobile Telephone Service keeps your going concern in touch with itself and with customers and suppliers. We install the most modern equipment to keep cars and trucks "communications alert" through the regular telephone network. No large capital expen- diture and no extra charge for maintenance at our service centres throughout Alberta. Ask an AGT Communications Consultant what General Mobile Telephone Service can do for you and how little it costs. Short-term rental agreements may be arranged. Edmonton: 425-2710 Caigirf; 261-3111 Olbcr: DM 'If (Zero) ma for ZfnWi 33000 Ton Fne Talk with a .Communications Consultant Keeps you in touch anywhere disastrous effect on North American society. Theophilus, or Ted, as he prefers to be called, compares Newport to ancient Troy, which contained nine complete cities. He points out the various spheres within a community that operate almost as separate entities, even though they are of necessity interconnected. After a brief survey of the community, each chapter is a vignette of a particular character within one of the nine cities. In each Ted operates in a different capacity lover, actor, detective, rascal, confidante. He manages to influence and manipulate the characters while seemingly always remaining on the outside and not becoming enmeshed in the actual situation himself. He maintains his position of detachment and objectivity ty recording each of his adventures in his journal, from which he is writing the book. In his character analyses he displays a wisdom beyond his 29 years and posseses unusual insight into the sensitivity human nature. He reveals the idiocyncrasies of the rich as well as the particular prejudices of the serving class of that era and seems to be able to operate as an equal in either world without prejudicing the other against him. Interesting and engrossing reading worthy of its noted author. _____ BEATRICE ME1NTZER Books in brief "Artifacts of the Northwest Coast Indians" by Hilary Stewart (Hancock Hone. 172 pages, Superbly diagramed, this book of shell, stone and bone artifacts, shows the skill and patience possessed by the coast Indians. Perhaps more suited to the amateur or professional archaeologist, there is a wealth of information for those interested in Indian culture. Highlighted by innumerable sketches, and easily readable text, this is a fine edition. GARRY ALLISON may fire when you are ready, "Plan tonight to sweat less tomorrow" reads the headline of People's biggest advertisement. We can hope that the many talented jour- nalists at Time. Inc. will do just the opposite, and will reshape and upgrade their demeaning product until it becomes a publication. Can people be as vacuous as some editors think? Can People be turned around and made an informative medium that is also a commercial success? Time will tell. Practical junior achievement By Teresa Mulgrew, CANAPACO president "The Trath Abort Selling" by Snivel S. (George J. McLeod Limited, 166 ttJSK Here is a collection of over 50 short essays about the art of selling. Sam Susser has been a salesman all his life and he has drawn on his experiences to write an entertaining and skillful defence of a much abased job. The advice he has for prospective salesmen and business moguls would also benefit those who hold power in government and professional organizations. TERRY MORRIS Junior Achievement is designed to give practical business and economic education to teenagers while they are still in high school. No where else will you find such valuable first-hand information about economics and free enterprise without the use of textbooks and lectures. J. A.'s unique approach is to help teenagers organize miniature businesses and get involved in a "learn-by-doing" program. Limited to about 20 members each, these tiny, youth-led companies meet one night a week for two hours, and have a life span equal to the school year. Yet, in that short time, they go through all the basic operations of a corporate giant. They sell stock, elect officers, hold director's meetings, man .assembly lines, keep books, and sell their output. Then, just before summer vacation, they liquidate. Because J. A. is business-oriented, impetus to bring it into a community usually comes from hometown industrialists eager to promote free enterprise. These industries include Canada Packers, Canada Trust, Swift's and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At the first meeting in October each new member will meet the 10 persons with whom he will form a new business. The organizers aim for a mixture of boys and girls, rich and poor, along with a pinch of Achievers from last year's program. Each group has its own sponsoring firm which sends out three of their junior executives as adult advisers one each in accounting, production and sales. By the end of the first meeting, the Achievers vote on a company name and determine a capitalization goal. The stock sells at a share and the average capitalization is This money is used to buy the materials needed to get production underway and to meet other business expenses. They pay rent and a charge for the lease of machinery. Wages must be paid a minimum of an hour plus a 10 per cent commission on sales. By the end of the fifth meeting, the adult advisers are expected to become pillars of silence. The kids are allowed to run their companies on their own. They make their own decisions and carry them out, even and especially, if they're wrong. By now each company has elected a president, secretary, treasurer and vice-presidents for manufacturing, sales and personnel. They have also estimated costs, calculated a break-even point and set a price. Now they are ready to go into production and the race for a profit is on. Once the products start coming off the assembly line each member has to put in an hour or two after school engaged as door-to- door salesmen. By Christmas sales are booming. In December and March Trade Fairs are held at the shopping centres to increase sales volume. Finally, in May, after an eight-month cycle of activity all J. A companies liquidate. The treasurer issues the final payroll and prepares financial statements. Annual reports are published and mailed out along with dividend cheques if the company shows a profit. The year ends in May with a wind-up banquet called F.U.B. or "Future's Unlimited Banquet." On this special occasion deserving achievers receive awards and pins for outstanding work during the year. In Lethbridge there are four companies with an average of 10 in each. They make such products as bulletin boards, string-art designs, key racks and jar openers. Although J A. functions in a business-like manner there are social activities as well. Dances, parties and any other activities that can be arranged are held. In addition there are conferences held in Calgary, Banff, Vancouver, and, at the end of the year, in Thunder Bay. J. A. is much more than a practical way of getting business experience. It provides valuable knowledge for your future life by learning to get along and work with other people, making new friends, developing leadership talents and improving your self- confidence. We at J. A. don't intend to rest in our chairs. Our dream is to reach more and more young people so they too can experience the wonderful benefits J. A. has to offer. Students from grades 10 to 12 wishing to enter the program, should contact Mrs Dorothy Wilkie, executive director. Telephone 327-1748. REPORT TO READERS By Doug Walker Personalizing the newspaper Most newspapers do not provide an outlet for local non-staff writers except in the space allotted for letters to the editor. Even when newspapers have their own magazine section the material is generally written for it by staff members or is filled with syndicated stuff. The Herald is different in this respect. Quite a lot of material by local writers is included on page five and in Chinook. More is received than can possibly be used and conse- quently considerable disappointment is experienced. Unfortunately it is getting harder to find space for these local contributions mostly because our own staff members, who are being paid salaries to write, have been turning out more material suitable for page five and Chinook. About a year ago I warned that this seemed to be a trend and my records show that for page five this was true in 1973 as compared to the previous year. Contributions to page five from staff members increased from about 40 to over 100. The number of pieces by outsiders actually only dropped from about 250 to about 230. This was made possible by virtually eliminating the practice of reprinting editorials and features from other papers. From the point of view of cold economics it would be more sensible to use columns which we have paid for by contract and are now throwing out or to reprint material from other papers with suitable acknowledgement. The paying of the small honorariums for local contributions requires some justification, then. My feeling is that the paper needs to share its pages to some degree with people in the area it serves. It is amazing to me how many people feel The Herald is their paper: there is pride in the paper and disappointment whenever it does not seem to maintain the standard expected of it. The Herald is looked on almost as an offspring. When there is that kind of attitude it seems to me that a certain amount of personalizing of the paper is desirable. In large impersonal centres such unsophisticated features as "Seen and Heard" on the front page and the whimsical bits I write to fill out the editorial columns wouldn't wash. But in Southern Alberta people tend to know others or know about others in a way that is not possible in metropolitan areas. We like to see familiar names and identify with a guy with an aversion for building a fence. Maybe being able to write letters to the paper ought to be enough of an outlet for people who want to be'a part of the process of communicating news and views. But some people have more to say than is normally acceptable in a letter or want to say it in a space having a different connotation. Articles by people with evident expertise (people at the university and the research station, for instance) obviously have a different status than letters. In no way do I intend a slur on letters. It would be wonderful if the supply of letters became so great that we were forced to be selective about those printed. At present we print almost all letters received some letters still arrive without signatures (even letters printed over a psuedonym must be signed) or are too nasty and have to be set aside. One of the best-read parts of the paper are the opinions expressed by friends, neighbors and business associates in letters to the editor. A man who once had a bone to pick with me over something I had written, upon being invited to write a letter so that his views could be shared with all readers, rejected the suggestion saying that he had no intention of selling The Herald for us. People do not necessarily buy the paper because they enjoy reading things written by those they know but they may be induced to read more than the comics and the classifieds because of local contributions. Achieving a proper balance between what is written by professionals in distant places and by amateurs in the area is difficult. There are no firm guidelines to follow so we must muddle along and hope for the best. ON THE USE OF WORDS By Theodore M. Bernstein More like. Not so long ago this rectangle took up the taboo on the use of like, as in, "Winsocki looks good like an up-and-coming mythological college football team should." The discussion prompted Jim Blauert of Riverside. Calif., to inquire about the following sentence from Wiila Gather's "My Mortal "Her sarcasm was so quick, so fine at the point it was like being touched by a metal so cold that one doesn't know whether one is burned or chilled." Is that use of like incorrect? the inquirer inquired. The answer is no. When used as a preposition, like is properly followed by a noun or a noun equivalent (though not by a complete clause with subject and In the quoted sentence the phrase "being touched, etc." is what is called a gerund a verbal noon and it is the object of the preposition like. It is just as proper as to say. "Her sarcasm was like a sword." Speaking or writing properly (to inject a short sermon) is like obeying the law. AnM slang sign. Some slang words pack a double surprise: first, that they are not modern, as one would suspect, and secona, that, unlike most slang, which is short-lived, they have managed to remain alive for centuries. One such word is corporation, meaning a proturberant belly or paunch. The Oxford English Dictionary traces that slang term as far back as 1753. It may have come into use through its association with the sound corfMtaace. Another term that means the same thing and that one would suspect was to reasonably recent coinage is bay wtedow. That one dates back to the middle of the ISth century. Who would have grossed it?