Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 6, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, May 6, 1972 THE UTHBRIDGE HERALD 5 'Book Reviews Comments on a variety of publications "This Drakolny" by Philip McCutchan (Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited, 222 pages, rpHIS is a very unconvincing story about a hard-line Russophile, acting prime min- ister of Czechoslovakia and his 17-year-old mistress, tormcr university student, now turned hippie. The characters are su- perficially outlined and one has to truly marvel about the au- thor's naive concept of life and politics in foreign countries. The plot could perhaps hold the attention of Mission Impossible or I spy addicts, but then Lhe price of the book is a complete waste of money. GERTA PATSON. "Planting Your Garden" by B. Warren Oliver (Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, 41 TV'JH. Oliver starts with a tan- talizing graphic and nar- rative description of gardens from other countries and ends with the classic garden. He then starts with the pre- liminary planning for gardens, even suggesting the house loca- tion on the lot. for best use of the facilities. Some graphic lay- outs of various garden and yard layouts gives one the ex- act look at how an expert would do it. This is followed by the area of plant uses and how to make the most of the building by careful selection of types of plants. The how-to-do-it selection for planting shrubs and plants, a small section on pruning habits and care of weakened plants and trees closes this very in- tersting and informative book- let. RIG SWIHART "North With Peace River Jim" by L. V. Kelly (Glen- bow-Alberta Institute, soft- back, 52.00; 76 JAMES Kennedy Cornwall, known as Peace River Jim, in 1910 promoted an ex- pedition of journalists and agri- culturists to tour the Peace River area. One of the mem- bers of the expedition was Le- roy Victor Kelly, a reporter for the Calgary Herald, whosa eccount of the trip was publish- t.-i in installments in his paper. That account is now reprinted for Lhe interest of readers more than half a century later. Mr. Kelly was impressed by: the snoring of one of the company; the poor marksmanship of the hunters; the terrible roads; the vastness of the prairie; the height of the hay. His good-hu- mored account may well have been an inducement to people 'to go as settlers. DOUG WALKER "The King's Drum and Other African Stories" by Harold Coin-lander. (Long- man Canada Limited, 125 pages. 'TWENTY NOTE Aesop type 1 African fables make up this interesting and humorous book, providing a brief insight into the African and his leg- ends. The thought occurs while reading these ancient legends that they are not unlike the legends of the American In- dian inasmuch as they deal with animals, birds, people and the supernatural. One particu- lar story that struck my fancy was about the perils of a man called Money. How apropos this tale is. The only fault with the book is the fact that the notes con- cerning each short fable appear at the end of the hook rather than after each story. GARRY ALLISON "Jefferson McGraw" by Weldoii Hill (William Mor- row, sfi.75, 24S pages, distri- buted by George J. McLeod I.til.) book is about a twelve- 1 year old boy named Jeff and the experiences he had one one summer. It describes a friendship with an escaped con- vict who gave him catfish in return for supplies. It also tells of Ills first love affair and of his encounters with all sorts of troubles. There were many ex- citing parts in the book and I really enjoyed it. PAUL WALKER, GRADE SEVEN. "The Origin and Meaning rf Place Names in Canada" hv II. Armstrong (Alar- inilhin of Canada, SS.93, 31-5 as the or- igin of place names is, the most fascinating thing about l''is hook is the publisher's note on the flvliMf. "Tim dc mand for this book, long out of print, has been such that the, publisher has decided to reis- sue it in its original form rath- er than keep readers waiting for the revision which is in preparation." I cannot imagine why anyone would want a ref- erence book that is soon to be superseded by an improved ed- ition. The 1930 version needs revi- sion. It is preposterously un- balanced in its treatment of Ontario names in comparison to the rest of Canada; New- foundland has joined Confeder- ation since the book was pre- pared and has a rich assort- ment of names to contribute; Chambers of Commerce in such places as Lloydminster will not appreciate their towns being called villages; addition- al research may require some alterations. DOUG WALKER. light switches and other catastrophes. As a matter of fact, this handywoman's book could be easily given to the unhandy man who should not bo too in- sulted at having it on his book- shelf. With sketches to help the bumble-fingered, its easy (well fairly) to do small house- hold repairs without, having to call in the experts. MARGARET LUCKHURST. starts off by giving the Impres- sion of being an A-one novel but unfortunately sags oft about mid mark. Bonus: big printing. JUDI WALKER. "Don't Turn Me Off, Lord and oilier Jailhouse Medita- tions" by Carl F. Burke (As- sociation Press, 128 pages, paperback, S1.85, distributed by G. R. Welch Company rpHIS collection of medita- tions, complete with scrip- lure verse and prayers, was or- iginally prepared by the author for use in the chapel of Erie County Jail, Buffalo. Carl Eurke's earlier book: God Is For Real, Man; Treat Me Cool, Lord and God Is Beautiful, Man, used the lingo of the pri- soners. This book employs the more "straight" speech pat- terns which may make for a less phony presentation but one wonders about the power of the pieces to arouse any sense of devotion among prison in- mates. Designed now for use with the general public, they seem prosaic, colorless and of- ten irrelevant. The title is the only contemporary bit of the whole book. ELSPETH WALKER, "My Sister, My Self" by Anne Taylor (Longman, 168 pages, lyTY self is Kate, the older of two sisters. She mar- ries young, has an unsuccess- ful marriage, three children, and, eventually, an affair. Her sister is a lesbian. She has a female husband-like companion and has rejected Kate's lover- It is a story of jealousy, love, and human weakness. The book is easy to read. It "James Douglas: Knther of British Columbia" by Dor- othy Blakcncy Smith (Oxford Press, S3.50, rPHIS is another paperback in the series of Canadian leaders and people of note. To date all I have read are short, carefully written and well re- searched. James Douglas, from his ar- rival in western Canada in 1819 until his death in 1877, worked staunchly to maintain the Brit- ish image on the west coast. He wasn't very popular, im- mensely dictatorial, but he did provide a sense of authority which was badly needed to maintain law and order in the frontier society. He was also instrumental in opening the in- terior of B.C. with his project of the Cariboo Road. When he retired in 18G4 he had put in many years in building a typo of reproduction of Britain on the coast and during the gold rush it was a much safer place to live than California. Altogether a readable little book. MARGARET LUCKHURST. "Alphabet Shorthand in 15 Days" by Adolph Gerslen- zang (Grossot and Dunlap, soft cover, SI.50, lil pages, distributed by George J. Mc- Leod ryHIS is a revised edition of the 1943 copyright version. The system avoids the need of having to learn a new set of symbols by employing the al- phabet. Speed is acquired by learning to write letters without loops and flourishes, OUier shortcuts are also indicated. Lessons and tests are provided, DOUG WALKER. Sure sign of spring "The Massage Book" by George Downing, (Random House of Canada Ltd., ALL the dos and don'ts of giv- ing a proper massage are outlined in this book. Extremely valuable for the amateur, all the strokes, ma- noeuvres and pressure points are described and explained with the assistance of pictures. If you want to know how to give a really relaxing massage, this book will tell you. RON CALDWELL. "Okay, I'll Do It Myself" by Barbara A. Curry (Ran- dom House of Canada, Ltd., 173 pages, S4.75, is a "must" for wives hose husbands are either hopeless around the house, or so busy they never have time to get things Lhat need to be done. It would also be a nice gift for a young woman setting up her first bachelor apart- ment, or for widows who sud- denly are faced with emer- gencies, such as plugged plumbing, leaky faucets, brc- Photo by Jim Wright Theory weakened by flawed evidence "Chariots of the by Erich >Von Danikcn (Bantam paperback, SI.25, 163 A SOLUTION is offered by Erich Von Daniken for a variety of unsolved mysteries of the past: unknown space travellers in some undeter- mined prehistoric period brought their genes and genius to the planet earth. It is a theory tliat has evoked keen in- terest on the part of many who have read this book or have seen the TV special based on it. Yet the support marshalled for the hypothesis is flawed and sometimes fatuous. I find it utterly unconvincing. The theory really doesn't solve the mysteries. How an- cient peoples in various parts of the world performed prodigious engineering feats remains unexplained. In a sense the path taken by Von Daniken in opposition to hu- man creativity leads through infinite regression to an ulti- mate mystery. The visitors from another heavenly body must have learned their skills from still other visitors and so on. Actually there is a sort of ex- planation of how the great, .stone monuments were erected the giants who came from the stars could have heaved the enormous weights around and into place. This may be an im- provement over the medieval belief in the magic performed by Merlin at. Slonchenge but I fail to see it. Besides, if the author is correct in staling that, the technical resources of ev- ery continent today would be inadequate for building the pyramid of Cheops, the giants would have had to be un- imaginably huge posing problems for travel in space capsules and for mating with earth women! One of the chief evidences adduced for the hypothesis that there were space visitors long ago is the frequent reference to "sons of God" in ancient litera- ture, especially the Bible. This is very flimsy evidence indeed; it is an arbitrary interpretation that ignores literary and his- torical criticism. That it is an extremely unlikely interpreta- tion is indicated by the way the New Testament writers John and Paul speak of be- coming sons of God through faith and not by birth. Von Danikcn land a host of other people) could profit from reading some historical criti- cism of the Bible. It would have been a good thing for him to have become more familiar with the text of the Bible and the u.so of a concordance as well. This could have saved liuu from some glaring errors and foolish assertions. The proposal that, the Ark of the Old Testament was elec- trically strikes me as absurd. Von Danikcn writes, "Without, actually consulting Exodus, 1 seem to remember that the ark was often sur- rounded by flashing sparks and thai. Moses made use of t'is 't. r a n s m Site r' whenever he needed help and advice." Them are no references to sparks in Kxodus or in nlher parts of the Bible where the. ark is written about. Nothing remotely sug- gests that tiie ark was a trans- mitter used by Moses or any- one else. Support for the notion that Uzzah was electrocuted when he reached out to steady the ark is absent, too. What happened to Uzzah is very un- clear. In Hebrew the verse in 2 Samuel 6 reporting the in- cident is much jnore obscure than our translBons suggest. The exegesis in The Interpre- ter's Bible points out. that the Hebrew could mean that Uzzah slipped on oxen droppings and .struck his head on the bare rock of the threshing floor which killed him without any contact being made with the ark. In all (lie versions of the Bi- ble with which I am familiar. Lot's wife didn't fall dead when she looked back at the destruc- tion of Sodom and Gomorrah, as Von Danik.-m states; shs was transformed into a pillar of salt. Since nothing in the story really tells what happen- ed to the old cities, Von Dani- ken seems at liberty to pro- pose a nuclear blast. This is more however, than the usual theory that in a region where l.hcro is a major land fault, an could have occurred thai srl off ex- plosions of accumulated gas. ftzckicl's visions have long tempted people to see far more in them than is warranted. Von Dnnikcn finds in them precise details of space vehicles and thinks the description arc as- tonishingly good. Ho is easily p 1 a s e d; mo.sl. readers of Ezckiel's visions can't, make head or tail of them. They are best read as the ecstatic utter- ance of a visionary in which symbolism associated with Vahwism as well as that en- countered in the religion of Babylonia, where Ezckiel was in exile, is evident. I am not competent to criti- cize most of the other "evi- dence" advanced by Von Daniken but I strongly suspect that it is as flimsy as that which he has attempted to draw from the Bible. Qualified scholars will have lo deal with that though I very much doubt if they will. Von Daniken seems to anticipate that Ills hypothesis will he ignored by them too and snipes at scien- tists for having closed minds. While scientists have some- times been unduly stubborn about examining unorthodox views they cannot be faulted loo strenuously for ignoring a hypothesis as vaguely enunci- ated as the one that unknown intelligences at some unknown time in the past may have in- vaded the earth. 11 is akin to Ihe hypothesis that unidentified flying objects are to bo ex- plained as evidence of extra- terrestrial intelligence. As the Condon report on UFOs made, clear, it cannot he denied or af- (irnied because it is not lost- able. Von Danikcn says people to- day are less credulous than their If his bonk is an international b e s t P c 11 e r as stated on the rover of the pa- perback serious doubt is cast, on his assertion. DOUG WALKED. Focus on the University By MICHAEL SUTHERLAND Convocation TTXACTLY seven days from when this column hits the stands another 420 persons will be receiving or will have re- ceived their degrees from The University of Lcthbridge. These people have spent the last three or four years in either the fac- ulty of arts and science, or the faculty of education working in anticipation of next Saturday, the fifth annual University of Lethbridge spring convocation. For each person the graduation means something different it may mean another step in the educational process along the way to post-graduate and professional studies, and it may mean the end of as much as 16 or 17 years of participation in the public education system of this and other gov- ernmental areas, from primary through secondary. The convocation this year should be interesting. While one must think there is something strange in an almost continuous reference to "history making" precedence by the university, this event is no exception. Of course, the graduation of 420 persons, representing all life-styles, of all ages and from many parts of southern Alberta, Can- ada and other countries, must be consider- ed the highlight and focal point of Satur- day's ceremonies. The effort put forth by each, by their families, by their instructors, in culmination provides an unending and fascinating book about people. A good deal of interest will centre around the presentation of honorary degrees (Doctor of Laws) to Chester Ron- ning and William H. Swift, both Albertans, and both with past and continuing records of service to their feUowmen. Now residing permanently in Camrose Dr. Chester Ronning although retired from the Canadian diplomatic service in 1965, has a continuing reputation as an international diplomat that assures his stature as one of Canada's most knowledgeable representa- tives in terms of the Far East as well as other world areas, in the past and at the present time. He has been a Canadian dip- lomatic delegate to the United Nations on several occasions and has participated in conference at Geneva and in China to name but a few. Dr. William H. Swift has dedicated his entire life to all aspects of education and will be remembered for a great many con- tributions to education from elementary to post-graduate leveLs in this province. His most recent association with the univer- sity in a formal sense was a chairman of the Universities Commission from 1966 to 1968. Part of his career included E term as deputy minister in the Government of Alberta department of education and his efforts brought about significant changes in education in Alberta. He is credited with major action on such items as the estab- lishment of the Royal Commission on Edu- cation, introduction of Lhe government-sub- sidized textbook rental plan, and framing of the School Buildings Act, Student's As- sistance Act and the development of leg- islation establishing public junior colleges in this province. At an evening banquet In honor of the Class of '72, Mr. David Iwaasa of Raymond will address the gathering, as the choice of fellow members of the graduating group. Always an honor student at the university Mr. Iwaasa was recently awarded the Min- istry of Japan Mombusho Scholarship for one and one-half years of study in Japan and the President's Research Scholarship in arts and science at The University of Lethbridge. As in previous years convocation will be attended by Lhe families and friends and people of the university. Considering the size of the graduating class at more than 400 and the fact that the demand for tick- ets is well in excess of the decision was made to hold the event in the Exhibi- tion Pavib'on. There will be a very limited number of tickets available to the general public and anyone who has not managed to make a contact through a member of the university faculty or staff or the grad- uating class should contact the office of the president at the university specifically concerning convocation. However an effort will be made to ensure that anyone inter- ested in seeing Lhis colorful event, high- light of the year in soulhern Alberla, is given the opportunity. Next week, on the very day of comT-ca- tion, I will take a whack at a subject which receives continuous discussion in most quarters of society and which was stimulated by a question posed by a grad- uating Grade XII sludent encountered at a recent high school visitation "What is the value of a university education The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY The deeper meaning of profanity 'T'HE Canadian public has had a sorry exhibition of profanity from both sides of the House by leading members of the Government and Opposition. Men who speak in this way do not speak as lovers of our country, as men who admire and respect our institutions. The House of Com- mons is the oldest governing body in the world, older than the American Senate or House of Representatives, and entitled to some respect. Such men are saboteurs of the quality of Canadian life and degrade the quality of Canadian life at a time when the country is undergoing a stupefying change in its morals. Such contempt for decent behaviour damages respect for law and increases crime. It displays an omin- ous loss of a sense of pride in our insti- tutions which reaches down into all areas of living. When the laws of God are held in derision one cannot be surprised if the laws of man are held more lightly. Can- ada is becoming a country with no moral goals and no moral guidelines. A prominent citizen told me the other day that he asked his teenaged daughters how long it would take them to get him sonic marijuana if he gave them a ten dollar bill. They replied, "five minutes." Then he asked how long it would take to get LSD. They replied, "ten to fifteen min- utes." How long then would it take to get some heroin? The reply was "half an hour." So easily are drugs available. The use of drugs tend sto escalate so that marijuana leads to LSD and LSD to the use of heroin. One reason for this is that the gang you associate with tends to de- bauch you. The great department stores have lost entirely any sense of pride in their ser- vice. One has to wait an interminable time to get any attention from a clerk. Recent- ly a woman lost her credit card and in- formed the company. She found goods charged against her card by another wom- an. She took the trouble to see the bills issued against the card and was astonish- ed that the woman had signed her own name and not. the name on the card! The manager explained that the girls were just loo busy to check whether the name on the rani agreed with the name on the bills for goods'. So cle.rks in stores are over- worked to Ihe point, of rank inefficiency. In countries behind the iron curtain my wife and I remarked that the idea of service had been lost. The idea of service is lost in Canadian stores today. This decline of pride in Canadian Institu- tions readies into every area. Strikes are called with utter lack of a sense of re- sponsibility. In the strike in Quebec on the part of hospital workers, however, the Que- bec government had given a lead in a non- moral attitude by its treatment of doctors and sinisters dictatorial methods. In schools mediocrity is carefully cultivated and the nurture of brilliant students ne- glected, which is a prime Communist ob- jective. The discontent of students in uni- versity is quite reasonable considering the lack of teaching by professors and the poor quality of that teaching. All the high and noble things that Ca- nadians possessin their public life they owe to the Judeo-Christian faith. Basic to that faith is the Ten Commandments. One of these commandments reads, "Thou Shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold lu'm guilt- less that takcth his name in vain." Very few young people learn the Ten Command- ments any more, which is a pity. They are as true today as they were when they were first spoken. The Jews considered the. use of the name of God as a matter of the utmost solemnity so that indeed they would not write that name and today the name is lost and scholars have been un- able to reconstruct it. Early in the history only the high priest was allowed to invoke it and then just once a year in the privacy of (he Holy of Holies. The veneration of the name of God points up the fact that the most sacred of all Christian phrases, "In the name of Jesus Christ." concludes the prayer of all Christians, it is intoler- able that the name of God and the name of Jesus Christ should be used blas- phemously by politicians in the House of Commons. Profanity may be the sign of an im- poverished mind. Lord Byron remarked of an acquaintance, "he knew not what to say, and so he swore." Bunyan confessed that before he became a Christian, "I know not how to speak unless I put an oath be- fore, and another behind, to make my words with authority." One frequently, however, hears men and women swearing where there can be no point to it whatever but just an emptiness of mind. More often unhappily swearing shows a lack of n sense, of reverence and this is what, makes one fear for the House of Commons. In the Bible Ihe writer of He- brews warns, "lest there be any fornic.itor, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of mate sold his birthright." The profane pel-son, tiie person without n of reverence or holiness, the type of man who would hold his biiln- right cheaply and soli it for little. If Bible be true Canadians may well fear for the. future of their country.