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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 31, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, March 31, 1973 THE UIHBRIDGE HERALD 5 A collection of brief book reviews "Quake1 by Rudolph Wur- lilzer (Clarke, Irwin Com- pany Limited, 158 pages, Unreal, unnecessary, and rid- iculous, this navel raises one question: Why would anyone waste their time reading it? T. M. I "Cancelled Accounts" by Hsi.-rls Greene (Doubleday Canada .Lid., .256 .pages, The live hunted men who were in O.D.E.S.S.A. (the or- ganization of members) wanted to resurrect the ideals and glory of their movement in the fourth Reich. A well-developed plot, but sometimes a bit too wordy tor an otherwise book. Harris Greene was born in Waltham, 'Mass., attended Bos- ton University and did grad- uate work in both George Wash, ington University and Lehigh University. He has served in United States embassies in Rome and Athens, and is at present with the embassy in Bern, Switzerland. A.S. "The Biography of an In- stitution The Civil Service Commission of Canada 1908- 1967." (McGill-Qliccn's Uni- versity Press, 530 pages, S12.50 cloth, SI.05 This book is the first full- scale study of the history of the Civil Service Commission of Canada. It was commissioned by the public service commis- sion. The authors are J. E. Hod- getts, professor of political sci- ence at University of Toronto and president of Victoria Uni- versity; William McCloskey, a planning officer with the public 'service commission; and Reg- inald Whitaker and V. Seymour Wilson of the political science department of Carleton Univer- sity. The various problems of lha civil service commission ara examined. The historical nar- rative culminates in the 1987 legislation which set the public service commission on its con- temporary path. In the conclud- ing chapter, the shortcomings of the "merit system" are dis- cussed, particularly those re- lating to veterans, French Ca- nadians and women. The auth- ors point out that the prefer- ential treatment of the veter- ans and the discrimination against French Canadians and Vomen in the civil service are contradictory to llio commis- sion's oivn j-ules. J, M. "The Events of That Week" hy Nicolas Bentlcy. (Collins, 180 pages, -Of all the books I have re- viewed this mess holds the dis- tinction of being far and away the worst. Avoid this novel like 'the plague. It is disjointed, uninteresting and unenterlain- ing. The only plus in its favor is that it ends. I couldn't figure how this un- artistic jumble of words got published until I noticed the author has something to do with the publishers. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, well you can judge this one that way it has a lousy cover. G. A. "The Jewish-Japanese Sex and Cook Book and How to Raise Wolves" by Jack Doug- las. (G. P. Putnam's Sons. 256 pages, distributed by Longman Canada Ltd.) Having enjoyed Jack Douglsi and his wife Reiko on TV nu- merous times I took tills book with tile idea of finding some of their humor within its cov- ers-bul I was disappointed. The book has few genuinely funny lines and Douglas finds himself wandering off searching for jokes, leaving the story behind on too many occasions. If he could edit out the drivel he would accomplish two things: (a) a hotter book with a good story and (hi a book about half as long as this '.ne. Somewhere in this roiro of oflen offensive humor is a light, interesting tale of a North American ver- sion, of "Born Free" witli Wolf (he wolf, replacing Elsa the lion. Douglas' early drinking bouts with his seemingly weirdo friends add nothing to the book. One wonders just how good a writer Douglas could be if he tried to write in a serious vein. Jfy qiiess is he would bo darn good. The title? Well, its completely ridiculous, as is, un- fortunately, much of this book. G. A- "Tile Autograph Hound." hy John Lahr, (Random Housfl of Canada Limited, 230 pages, Meet Benny Watsh, a dedicat- ed and resourceful collector of autographs whose adventures introduce us to the seamy side o- New York. Whether he is fighting to keep his job, selling his body to the hospital, or hanging around the back alleys of theatres wailing for (he slurs to appear, Benny gives us somclliing to laught at. He is a humorous, pathetic, and rather crazy character who symboliz- es the outer fringe of humanity that we know exists but so of- ten prefer to ignore. Recommended reading for those who can accept the raw language of Benny and his en- tertaining friends. T. M. Rose of Ba Ziz" by Chlp Young (Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited, 50 pages, This book is a fantasy which leads the young reader of thrca to 10 years through a fairy land of excitement. The different names used in the book wilf appeal to the youngsters. In the land of Ba Ziz, flow- ers cause the beloved leader to sneeze. All Ihe flowers are picked and he stops sneezing but the land is no longer beau- tiful. True to the fairy tale, the king leaves his beloved Innd so it would always be beautiful. When the king died, a beau- tiful rose grew on his grave. R. S. "Wilderness Writers' by James (Clarke, Trwin and Co. Ltd., 147 pages, An Indian, an artist-natural- ist and a professor are the sub- jects of this short, enlightening book about three of Canada's pioneers in the ecplogy field. The Indian was Arclubald Stanfield Belaney, better known as Grey Owl; the artist-natur- alist, Ernest Thompson Scion and the professor was Sir Charles G. D. Roberts who taught at Kings College in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Theirs is an interesting story, with all three men years before their time in botli the appreciation of nature and the realization that wildlife must be preserved. This short introduction to these men's lives leaves the reader thirsting for writings by the men themselves. G. A. The Voice Of One -By. DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Waiting ior spring Pholo by Elwoorf Ferguson Essayists, strong individualists "Inveighing We Will Go" by William F. Buckley, Jr. (G. P. Putnam's Sons, S9.25, 410 pages, distributed by Long- man Canada "Hom- age to Daniel Shays: Collect- ed Essays 195Z-1972" by Gore VUal (Random House, 510.25, 449 Buckley and Vidai share ac- claim as exceptionally accom- plished essayists but they share little else, certainly not a love for each other. animosity was given public exposure when they were brought together on one of the American television networks to discuss the 3968 Democratic National Conven- tion. They would probably not appreciate being juxtaposed zgain even in a newspaper but it seems a convenient way to deal with their books. Neither writer enunciates his basic philosophical stance but Buckley claims to be a spokes- man for the conservative view- point while Vidal generally takes a liberal position. In these essays they do not so much speak for their platforms as against what they disagree with. Buckley's book is appro- priately titled; Vidal veils his attitude by taking the title of his last essay, a needling piece alluding to a futile protest oE an early American, as descrip- tive of all. Both men can be devastating. It is fun to read them as long, I presume, as the reader isn't the object of their scorn. They are capable of some ratiicv gon- tle sarcasm, too. Buckley cm- ploys this when dealing with his erstwhile hero President Nixon's trip to China. When Nixon told the Chinese that the ballet view- ed in Peking was the equal of any he had ever seen, Buck- ley explodes wilh "Bullslicks." Speaking of the joint commun- ique issued at the end of the visit he says, Nixon, hav- ing surrendered on the princi- pal poult, nestled into lire clich- es in which all slatesmen can relax." Vidal really cuts loose on Ihe author Henry Miller and his sexual excesses. "As a lover, Henry Miller is a national re- sour v, on the order of Yosemile National Park Hour after hour, orgasm after orgasm, the great man goes about his pri- apic task Henry Miller, by his own account, is never less than superb, in life, in art, in bed, N'ot since the memoirs of Frank Harris has there been such a record of success in the sack For a man who boasts of writing nothing but the truth, I find it odd (hat not once in the course of a long narrative docs anyone say, 'Henry, you're full cf s-.' The essays in Buckley's-book were written over a relatively short span of time while Vid- al's have been selected [rom an output of 20 years. Many ot Buckley's pieces lack abiding interest because they (leal with the evanescent themes of poli- tics the ones about Alienee's first election in Chile already have a remoteness. On the oth- er hand, Vidal's essays of even 20 years ago have a continuing interest for some readers at least because they deal pre- dominantly with literature. Most readers would probably get info Buckley's book more easily than Vidal's because Vi- dal opens with a dreary piece about novelists and critics ot the ISJOs while Buckley repro- duces a lively Playboy inter- view to start his book. There are things of significance in both books. There are even sur- prises such as Buckley agree- ing that students had a point in contending that "I'oc adults' concern for the law is a selec- tive (lung, that we are dis- posed to enforce only those laws we desire lo sec enforced, and lhat we are careful lo select our victims from the ranks of Ihe weak and dispossessed." r thought it was ironic that Vidal should complain of Henry Miller's use of "arcane words." I had just finished Buckley's book and had compiled a list of 55 words I didn't know (e.g. an- fracluosity, maicutic, asympto- tic, rodomontade, deracinated, prescinded, etiolaled and ener- gumen ail employed in the Playboy interview) and then I stumbled over almost as many unknown words in Vidal's book (e.g. plangencies, simulacrum, paladin, Words be- come familiar and roll out too easily when essayists go lo work. But nobody should let that deter liiem from dipping into these essays. After all, if Playboy readers can be expect- ed to consume such fare who arc we (o complain? DOUG WALKEU Preserving tradition costly "Europe's First Momunen- lal Sculpture: New Discover- ies at Lepcnski Vir" by Dran- oslav Srnjovic (Thames and Hudson, 216 pages, dis- tributed liy Oxford University In southeast Europe on the banks of the Danube River a remarkable archaeological dis- covery wa.s made in when a couple trial trenches were cut across a site threatened by a hydroelectric development. Buildings and carvings of a previously unknown kind were uncovered and led to a thorough excavation of the site between 1985 and 1071, Over a period of several cen- turies around Hie sixlh millen- nium a settlement existed in isolation at Vir. Houses of a peculiar design awl in geometric relation to each other were built. An unsuol fea- ture of each house was sculp- tures embedded in the founda- tions behind the hearths. The sculptures were modelled ex- clusively from large free- s'anding sloncs brought from (lie surrounding mountains. These sculptures show no de- pendence on the crealions of any preceding or contemporary culture. To Vir be- longs tlic distinction of having 1 produced the earliest known sculptures lo represent Ihe hu- man head life-size. A peculiarity of the cull we was that generally only por- tions of the human skull were buried on the site. The as- sumplion is that the dead were left exposed in the surrounding fr.rcst and at a later lime whe.i decomposition was complete, selected jawbones and cranial fragments were given ceremon- ial burial. Only 85 persons are represented by remains which seems like an incredibly small nunrber for a culture cslimated to have iasled over more than six centuries. Tlie author concludes lhat "Ihe culture of Lepcnski Vir was extinguished hccausn of its obstinate resistance k ,fll forms of economic .ind social lifo: its vilality diminished, for all its energies were wasted in Ihe struggle to preserve tracli- limi at ail costs and it remained without descendants jusi. be- cause of this total preoccupa- tion with the past." There's a nwral in that, no doubl. This schorprly work is accom- panied hy 13 color plates. 87 monochrome places, 58 lino drawings, six appendices, a bib- liography and an index. DOUG WALKER style Divorce Is a dreadful experience for children, even it it arguable that div- orce is a better solution than the continua- tion of a marriage that has become impos- sible. It is also a traumatic experience for the marital partners. The rejected part- ner may feel hostile, despondent having suffered a grievous blow to self- esteem. There has to be a sense of fail- ure. The relationship to 'tie community and to friends is changed, since divorce equally with marriage means "forsaking all oth- ers." Consequently there is a high ratio of failure in second marriages, since a feeling of inadequacy is carried over. Psychologists find many reason for di- vorce since there exists in every marriage a complexity of feeling and thinking. Peo- ple change during married life and (lie former compatibility may wane and new ami conflict-causing factors intrude, espe- cially with the advent of children. If there has not been a common background of tastes, interests, and values, a similarity of life-styles, then the marriage is doomed from the outset. A major factor in divorce. is a delcatist attitude to life, a pessimism which makes one feel that with his or her short-comings and disabilities or with pre- destined bad luck, it is impossible to have a successful marriage. This will to fail is responsible for many business failures and similarly some men and women feel it is impossible that anyone could ever love them. People of different religious faiths seldom have a successful marriage. They lack common rituals. The romantic cult and strong individual- ism are causes of divorce''in this modern age. A marriage is considered intolerable if it does not contribute to the develop- ment of an individual's personality. Thus marriage outside religious faith is merely a biological fact without ethical Impera- tives and divorce is viewed as part of the personality development In the same con- text adultery has declined as a cause of divorce since there is a widespread ac- ceptance of adultery and a willingness not only to overlook it in a partner, but to sanction and even encourage it. On Die other hand, cruelty, both verbal and phys- ical, practically unknown as a legal plea before the nieteenth century, has increas- ed as a validd and judicially accepted cause for divorce. Divorce, and especially desertion "the poor man's divorce" -r may be caused by pressure and the inabil- ity to meet it. Thus desertion and divorce may be a desire to escape responsibility, a mark of emotional Immaturity. One most common and overlooked factor in divorce is Ihe foaling that the pertner has a crass disregard of the other's needs and opin- ions, with a patronizing attitude to their likes and dislikes. More and more women also feel that they have been trapped into giving up an attractive career. Increasing- ly also it is felt that marriage is not a sacramental or sacred act and divorce the violation of a divine precept, hut marriage is merely a civil, secular contract to be terminated by mutual consent according to whim and caprice. So divorce is made easier to obloin. All of this is a social tragedy as Mil as a destroyer of personality. The decline moral codes, the loss ot standards, and the destruction of the home and family are evils which no civilization can survive. Youth has good reason to be disillusioned with his parents and consequently to reject their cuKure. Parents don't know what is right and youth wanders in a wilderness of anxiety and emotional and moral confusion. We can do it again By Richard J. Needham, hi the Toronto Globe and Mail It's no secret that Canadian manufactur- ers have lost a lot of their markets over- seas to European and Asian competitors. It's no secret that Canadian manufactur- ers have lost a lot of their markets right here in Canada to Europan and Asian com- petitors. Just shop around in the stores, see where the merchandise comes from, note that while Canada's exports last year (mostly raw and semi-processed mater- ials) rose by 12 per cent, Canada's imports last year {mostly manufactures) rose by 20 per cent. It's no secret that the United Stales, even more beleaguered by foreign competition, is about to shut much or most of that com- petition out of its home market (1) by devaluation of the dollar, making foreign imports more expensive and (2) by sur- charges, import quotas, tariff increases etc. No special exception will be made (or, in my view, should be made) for Can- ada. The U.S. doubtless will continue to take Canadian oil and gas; but it will shut out Canadian manufactures and (to pay for the oil and and gas) will insist on Can- ada taking more manufactures from the U.S. How is Canada responding to this situa- tion? Most Canadians, I think, neither know nor care about it, they're happy with their snowmobiles and color TVs; they're up on the cosy Cloud Nine they've inhabit- ed for the last 30 years; safe and snug in their fool's paradise; convinced every- thing's going lo keep right on being luvver- ly. The young people particularly are un- aware of what's happening, and how could it be any other way? Nobody's giving tho word, nobody's telling it to them the way it is. There's a small minority of Canadians (I'll venture lo include myself among tliem) who see clearly what's happening and what is about lo happen. Most of these angry people are alarmed or depressed or angry. Massive unemployment, ruination! Well, it could be that way if we refuse to adapt to the situation; we could go right back to 1933. But there's nothing I know of lhat prevents us from adapting; if a trade war breaks out. we can'fight in lhat war, just as we fought in a great many others. I think a trade war could fun. I think it would be an exciting challenge to Can- adians. I like the prospect of Hamilton competing head-on with Hong Kong, Mon- treal with Milan, Toronto with Tokyo, St. Catharines with Stutlgart. I think it could be one of the best things that ever hap- pened to Canada like the spoiled kid in Kipling's Captains Courageous who fell out of his rich fathers yacht and was picked up by common fishermen and had to make himself into a man. The way you win a military war is by throwing more at the other guy than he can throw at you. The way 'you win a trade war (as Japan and West Germany have certainly shown over the last few years) is by producing better goods than the other guy, at the same or lower prices. In order to do this, I think Canadians all Cana- dians, not just tile ones engaged in manufac- turing will have lo work more efficient- ly, or for lower wages, or for longer hours, or a combination of all three. Well, what's wrong wilh that? All of us did it during the great pre-war depres- sion, and all of us survived. I got married and brought up kids on a salary which fluctuated between and a week, the equivalent of some today. Am I prepared to go down to that now? Of course; I can manage on aijy wage; as Thweau said of himself, I could live on board nails. Am I prepared to work long- er hours? Of course, when I was running the editorial page of this newspaper, I put in up lo 300 hours a week; same thing when I was cily editor of the Toronto Star. It was great; if necessary, I'll do it again, and enjoy it every bit as much. Okay, but how about other people In Can- ada? Can they, will they, adapt? It seems to me they haven't much of a choice. As I read the crystal bail, the great welfare binge is coming to an end; from here on, Canadians (and especially young Cana- dians) will just have to get cracking and work or else, like the British, accept a sharp and continuous decline in living standards. (Before the war, Britain was the richest nation in Europe; it is now the fourth poorest nation in Europe, beating only Austria, Finland and Italy.) We can prosper wilhout the U.S. if we really want to. We've got the resources, tie industrial concentration (Ontario equals Belgium, Quebec equals the know- how and the capital or easy access thereto. We can, if we really want to, establish an industrial position in the world. And as with the war (from which we emerged in 1915 as the world's fourth greatest indus- trial power' we cr.n have an awful lot of fun doing it. But I'm not at all sure lhat we want that kind of fun anymore. I'm not at all sure lhat we have the social and political and industrial leadership. I'm not at all sure of what has happened to Canadians in some 30 years of affluence and welfare and secur- ity. So I'm willing to bet only 25 per cent that Canada will grasp the marvellous and exciting opportunity now offered it. My 75 per cent bet is that Canadians will simply snarl and whine and "It can't be done." Ho hum, lament for a na- tion. Office ill) ior By Doug Walker I shared the pulpit of McKillop United Church with Blake Anderson one Sunday recently. We did a dialogue on the Plan of Union proposed for the Anglican Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of and the United Church. Despite our awareness of time-keeper Phil Blakeley we managed to nui our prc- alien a little overtime and felt obliged lo our indiscretion. Following the service, Gordon Nelson re- marked that he was interested to hear that all appointments in the new church will be for a staled period of lime and will be its- viewed at intervals. "We'd better let Bish- op Blakcloy know that his office will soon bo up for be said. ;