Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 14, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tunday, Morch 14, 1972 _ THE UTHBRIDGE HtSAlD Shann Hcrron Open etter to Maclean's editor __! you took over the edi- torial direction of Mac- lean's things begau to look good for the magazine. Mind you, it was not better lhan it had been in tlie hands of Peter Gzwoski; but Gzowski was handicapped by management problems that you got out of tlie way before you would take the job; Still, Ihe fact is that you be- gan by producing a good maga- zine, 'ilie question begins to be: Are you going to go on that way. Or is all we're going to get a smarter version of Ful- ford's high school journal, Sat- urday Night? Take your March issue as an 111 omen. It is like all your other issues in one depressing respect: It is Canadian nationalist not he- cause of the virtues or qualities Inherent in Canadian life but over-against the very existence of the United Slates. What kind of nationalism is that? Tlie 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 Uiing. You cannot cover this sort of deficiency by singing the of Canada like a lover in calf-love. I'm happy lhat Ihe radio hack 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 lo use when they wanted passengers. You can't prove anything about these lovely emotions by spend- ing the rest of your time ye1'- ing "Curse you, red Yankee' or something more trendy, at the top of your voice. So it's about time your paper Trted to talk about Canada c.. i rid Mac- lean's talked 't 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 do- pressingiy derivative and it derives from tlie lesser exam- ples of American magazine journalism. McCall's magazine comes to mind anc, I'm shocked with every issue by tiie similar- ities. Take some examples. Take Mon Onclc Keith by Erna Paris in the March Issue of your journal. Let me quote tire article is about Keith Spiccr, our official languages ombudsman, and it is one of (hose deep insight pieces of writing that the less- er American magazine are so good at: "Epicer is a fascinating per- sonality, poetic, multifacetcd and volatile. Canada, is crash, ing aroiiml his ears, but he re- mains the eternal optimist, talking sincerely about latent goodwill in our land." That must have surprised a lot of We hadn't, known that Canada was crashing around our ears. It's a melo- dramatic plirase all right. II may help to lift a dull piece; but how do these writers ol yours find ttese things out? We had supposed that several de- bates were under way in our land and lhat tire end product of them would be changes of some kind, But disasier? Again: "Phrases like 'human dignity1 occur frequently in Sni- cer's conversation and seem io express an imicr searching, which is one of the most com- pelling aspects of his personal- ity." Inner searching? T ii i s 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 Ihe sort of writing that is legitimately open only to no- velists who have invented their subject and arc the only peo- pld who can possibly know what goes on inside them. It is not prelentious in novelists; it is merely a tool; il is silly in journalists, and phoney. "He's a man of deep vibrations Erna Paris says, and we seem to be gelling at the root of the mailer. Vibs is it. The occult vernacular. The kids' language, which is the verbal equivalent William Harcourl 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 lo Aborigines based on tribal associations, but outlined the means by which tlie Government will at- tempt to assimilale 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 nut in other are mdislinguislv- able from native-born while Australians. Tliis will not be easy, but the Government felt it had no alter- native because the unique Ab- original Stone Age, nomadic, subsislence culture lias been al- most completely destroyed by pastoral and mineral exploita- tion of tribal lands. The opposi- tion Labor party disagrees and has promised lo 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 tlu's financial year transforming the Abori- gines into successful European- style graziers, fanners, small businessmen and mine-work- ers. An allocation of million will be used to make grants to Aboriginal business enter- prises. Allhougli tills 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 liighesl standards of liv- ing in Ihe 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- nun ts. But many Aborigines with Book Review tribal connections living in gov- ernment settlements are even worse off. According to a state- ment by Dr. H. E. Klugman, a Labor llcmbcr of the House of Representalives, Aboriginal infant mortality hi southcen- tral Australia is tie highest ia world. Infant mortality in white Aus- tralia is 18 per hut in Ihe Alice Springs area, ai tlie coun- try's centre, Aboriginal mortal- ity has risen from C8 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 Tloofpiint On My Hcarl" by Jim Colcman (McClelianrt and Stewart Limited, 25G panes, WHEN I was first handed this book I nondered 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 I've never seen Max's horses nm. Perhaps this Is just as well as I've had the dubious fortune of siting Max's jumpers jump. However, when I noticed this book was written by Jim Cole- man I grabbed it. I wasn't dis- appointed. Unfortunately 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 (he opportunity to read this master scribe at his best. Whether or not you follow tho ponies makes little difference. The book is, in the main, a col- lection of stories raco track people. People ranging all the way from Max Bell and E. P. Taylor to "Revolving" Ossie Gclber and Jockey Flem- ing. The book is a study of racedom's elite and nou-elUe. From an intense, meaningful relationship with his late fa fiv- er, Coleman moves the reader tlirough his life around the country's race tracks, spinning yarns that even tlie most naivo race track enthusiast ap- preciate. You'll come lo know and IOVQ the Damon Rimyon types writ- ten about in a way that is in- tensely revealing as well as ex- tremely witty. Colemaii has penned a great book about his racing days and one wonders if Gentleman Jim would not enthral "character hunters11 as much as he is en- thralled by hunting "charac- GARRY ALLISON. i gines, freed by government handouts from the necessity which existed in their old way of life of constantly foraging for food, often idle the day away in a drunken stupor. They prefer to liva in bark "humpies" rather than govern- ment-built bungalowc. 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 arc in the Northern Territory where all land is Crown land and much of it has been leased by the government to European, commercial in If the Abori gines had bren granted land rights these leases would have been in jeopardy. Under Mr. M cM ahorV s new deal the government will grant new general purpose leases to Aborigines if they can demon- strate thsy can utilize the land commercially. But if, for ex- air.p'e, the Gurindji tribe, who ample, the Gurindji tribe, who have deser ted the ir govern- ment settlement and are squat- ting on their old tribal lands, could fulfil these requirements thoy would still have to wait until 30 June, 2C04 to take up their lease. Until that dale the EritisEi- owncd Vesty company has a mile lease for which it pays more than S1 per acre aim u al ly 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 26 January, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took pos- session of Austr ali a in th. a name of the Crown and since then there has been no statu- tory recogn Elian of Abor i gin al title to land. (Written for The Herald and Tlie Observer, Ixjndon) High Performance Tire TIRE SIZE G 60-15 Blemished Tube Type f 60-15 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" (Blemished Tube Type TREAD WIDTH 7" 6" 4" REG. PRICE 78.75 70.30 64.60 59.25 52.80 50.85 52.80 52.35 120.00 SALE PRICE S39 S39 S30 S32 S29 S7S MO-TIR 305 13TH ST. NORTH PHONE 327-3181 of that greasy kids' stuff wo used to hear about. Go from this to the illustrated piece by Cliristina about The New Machismo! Of course, the illustrations make the subjects look whtit they are: a coHec- tion of third-class silly asses. Dut tlie Ireatment of the new maclusino as a special feature is itself perhaps a distinctly Toronto thing, like fashion which arrives here two years after it lias Ixjen everywhere else. The so-called new machis- mo has been mocked every- where and has now arrived in the Toronto party circuit with its incurable imitators and echo- chambers of whatever split Uicm in New York a couple of years 2-" Derivative, From the U. of S. Even Carisdna's defintion of rr.acliismo 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 Ihe pride that will not let a man turn from danger or even death and is also re- lated to Long Live Death which hsd great currency during the Civil War, and meant, it is bet- ter to die than to submit, or Ihe only goad Repulhican (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 wrile You Have To Go Home Again, you have to subtitle it: "How else are yoj going to know that Winnipeg is still the Main Street of your mind" But where does the Main Street bit come from? The High Slreet, 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 riols" and that phrase comes straight out of a current American lary- she writes about violence being the natural reaction to 3 repressive society and she clearly means by repressive ths old narrow Qusbec society, but tlie "law" she draws from it is about as valid as if she were to argue that Victorian .society was overthrown not by evolution but by violence. Tlie position she takes is the posi- tion of (he American Radical Loft and even language is borrowed from south of the bor- der. She refers to "flic military occupiion of Qucbsc" with re- ference to the October affair, and this Ls another tiling about your new Maclean's with pecplc like Ann Charney Montreal free-lance writer" and what 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 (o Ihe States to find herself, and your own pieces fore and aft in this issue, what we appear lo have is a mixture of the hip, (lie trendy and the obses- sively anti-American. But I'm wrong lo restrict it to Uiis issue. I picked up Mac- lean's April 1971 issue and opened it at random. What do I see? This is a Walchbird Watching Canada. This Is a Watchbird Watcliirg You a piece about an American news- letter specializing in Canadian affairs! What I'm forced lo ask is whether your Maclean's could continue to publish if America didn't exist as an obs-ession in your mind? What is there in it that, is net 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 hot nationalists like you can't come up with some- thing that belongs lo 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 IJiat 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 lo hate, and they'll find it, condemn it and devote all (heir waking thought lo it the way hate keeps some mar- riages together, as something that is betler lhan nothing. But to call this Canadian Na- tionalism is a bit presump- tuous. Not to misleading. Not lo say barren. (Herald special service) A matter of Hie and death International Herald Tribune 'T'HE action of the Supreme Court of California most populous state in the United declaring Uiat tlie death penally violates the state constitu- tion's provision against "cruel or unusual" punishment is deeply significant on many counts. Most immediately, it mean" '.hat 106 persons who had faced legal death for crimes committed in California includ- ing the assassin of Robert Kennedy and the killers of Sharon Tale are now sen- tenced to life imprisonment. And the court's opinion provides a moving and eloquent argument against a process that, in lire court's words, "dehumanizes and degrades all who participate" in it. What effect this will have on the Su- preme Court of tlie United States, which is also to rule upon the death penalty in Ihe light of the U.S. Constitution ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment, remains (o be seen. That it is certain to strengthen a movement which has led 10 slates 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 tlie Constitu- tion of the United States was adopted, vrlien Ihe nalion's leaders were only be- ginning to lemper the harshness of I h e British penal codes by ending executions for robbery and many crimes olher than murder; only a few years before Ihe adoption of the Constitution, the State of Massachusetts had whipped, maimed and imprisoned a counterfeiter and tliis was considered more humane than the previ- ous penally death. Had the California court acted or should the Supreme Court of the United States act in the. spirit of Chief Justice Tancy in the Drcd Scott case, when slavery was considered wholly in the atmosphere prevailing when the Constitution was written, ttic verdict must have gone the other way. Another paint and one which also applies to the numerous recent opinions of the United States Supreme Court re- spect to the rights of defendants in crim- inal cases is that these mitigations of the impact of law upon those accused or convicted of crime do not come at a time of relative tranquillity, of a in- cidence of crime. Quile the contrary: Criminal violence has risen spectacularly, and murder, robbery and even rape have baen given political justifications. Tile lone disscnler on the California Supreme Court argued lhat the death penaUy sbjuld be retained as a deterrent in a lime of in- creasing criminal activity, and the same line of reasoning inspired Governor Ron. aid Reagan's opposition to Hie decision, and his 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 (o be applied more strictly. H is seeking, in many ways, (o 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 lha credibility of institution.; that insist upon the individual's regard for the sanctity of human life while reserving lo themselves the right to violate that sanctity in cold blood. Reservation tvampum Tlic Hamilton Spectator JNDIAN activist Mike Mitchell wants historic Indian artifacts, now in fed- eral government custody, boused in Indian museums. Tlie concept cVj serves govern- ment co-operation, not opposition. It is not only a question of returning to Ihe tribal councils the historical treasures that are rightfully theirs, though lhat point is important enough, but of making il pos- sible for Indians lo exploil valuable re- sources for Ihe cultural and economic ad- vantage of all Canadians. Mr. Mitchell visualizes Ihe 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 colleclions at- tracting scholars and sightseers and de- velop a job making tourist industry on tho reservations. If Ihe Indian councils support the Idea, the government should not stand in their way. While the important artifacts have to be considered truly national treasures, ot value to all Canadians, there is no disputing their special significance lo 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 Otlawa. Best of both worlds The Otlawa 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. Tlie main designation is simply the word where It used to he "RCMP." That should give everyone ttie best of two worlds. An honored designation is retained. At the same time, greater clarity is achieved, with the designation used on police cars throughout North America. To achieve tv.'o goals with one blow deserves praise, not the Bronx cheers to which the government has been subjected from Edmontonians. E Water and oil JJECENTLY, Uiis worthy journal car- ried a news story which contained a rather grim warning from one of the United Nations agencies, lo Uia effect that the world is rapidly exhausting its supplies of fresh water. Tlie same day, I heard on the radio (Yes, Mr. Editor, I know; hut 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 Ihe wells in Ihe 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 grealesl 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 il 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 lakes many, years, so many, in fact, that for all practical purposes when we use oil it's gone, and cannot be replaced. (Yes, (here are synthetic oils, but producing them isn't very profitable, whicl) 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 lhat will soon need both oil and fresh water more desperately than anyone else. I realize lhat, in spile of economic nation- nlism, surcharges, auto-pacts and all Ihe olher aspects of Nixonomics, we're still tho best of friends. I hope the feeling is mutual and that nothing happens to the supply of Middle East oil. Anticipation By Tlmig Walker were barely seated at the dinner la- when we haven't even the TCfl ble one night wlicn Elspctli uttered Of lls a familiar cry, "Why is everybody eating so said ELspeth, "I know' you are "How can you accuse us of eating fast coine to."