Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, May JO, 1972 THE LETHBRIDGB HEUALD 5 Eva lirp.ivsl.cr The amusing antics of Joey the parrot TfcOES he talk? He almost "Hang up. Utng enough." IE attention to the present pel: fascination for that bird, espc- late night news to say f Focus on the TVOES he talk? He almost lalkcrl us out of a country, out of friends, and himself iulu a television rarcer. Like our chimp, we acquired him in on African market. I first met him perched on the shoulder of a vendor who was trying to sell mo a stem of bananas for "tarn, tara" three pennies. An iniquitous gleam in his yellow eyes, the parrot screeched in the pen- etrating voice of the market women: "banana be penny, penny." said the wom- an, "Madam buy banana for penny and take dal stupid bird loo. lie done spoil business." So together with bananas, I boughl a West African Grey parrot who in all the fifteen years I have owned him, is still the bane of my life and yet my delight. His apparent hon- esty; tattling on market prices, turned cut Lo h? no mere Uian an inherent dislike1 or worn on in general. He i.s an incorrigible woman-hater. 1 am the one that feeds him. cleans out bis cage and sets him free in tho garden, weather permitting, but being the most ungrateful bird alive he takes every op- portunity to try and bile me. His bite, with a sharp hooked beak, invariably draws blood and is very painful. However, one cannot be mad at him for long for a moment later, ha will enquire in a seductive, tender voice: "Ilow are you, It is the same ir- resistible tone my son uses to wheedle concessions out of me. Joey, the parrot spent the first months with us in Africa harmlessly enough, .mostly silting on a tree on our veranda, talking pidgin-English or listening to the childrens' lalk and to the sounds and voices of our numerous other animals. He never tried to fly away for even in his natural habitat the parrot is a lazy bird and cannot fly more than a few yards at a lime. He often acquires oven his food without much effort copying baby birds and thus fooling the par- ents of the imitated species into dropping him tidbits in- tended for their young. Now being fed without even (.hat much exertion, he could use his talents for other pur- poses and did so wickedly. One of the first sounds he Jearned v.as a police whistle used only in case of terrorists infiltrating from the French side of Iho Cam croons, As it happened it was never used in earnest, but as the police force was sta- tioned in an old fort near our lioubc, the parrot heard that JiofllJng ivbisUe niJ.cn enough during manoeuvcrs. One evening wn fnrgol to cover him only n blanket over his cage could keep him quiet and in the middle of (.lie night we were awakened by the spine-chilling hoot of the police whistle. Everyone ot course, got dressed. Through the windows we could see in bright moonlight, the police force tumbling out of their fort, racing down our long drive and lining up outside (he house. Guns al Uie ready, they blew their whistle again to call out army troops from I heir nearby camp. A few minutes later the army arrived as veil lo tako up position in our garden. Ev- erybody waited with baited breath for terrorists. Nothing happened until again fhc police whistle went off right into our cars. It came from the parrot'3 cage beside us. Needless lo say army and police were none too ploaseu for being called on! al Ibis un- cartlily hour by a parrot of all things. They would dearly have liked to have wrung his neck but were civilized enough to Inl us get away wilh a warning to keep him covered in future. Whilst he never got a second chance to put army and polico on ak-rt, he rlid pretty well an noving friends and I'm one of the I illicit brains in the is amazingly inventive! in his choice of harr- asbmcnl and torture and no- body can tell mo be docs nnl know what In.1 is Friends bringing I heir chil- dren over In play wilh in inn c o u 1 d seldom rrlax for over a cup of coffee. Invariably we h.'id Ifi ru.'.li oul (o prevent the kids killing each other. Al that is uhal it had sound- ed like. Their small v o i c e H rose from quiet bickering to n nrsfcndn of inviTliu-.-, bulled al each other IhrpaleuitiL1 blows and counterblows. Yrl1 wlieij we (irriml at. Ihe .scene to rescue liff.lt! devils they UTIT piny inn, peacefully, nnl. .1 (car or even an angry face in Mglil. Thai wrolchrd parrot used different rhiklrrns' voices so skillfully lie fonlod us over iuul over again. Telephone pnnvprK.it ions irk- rd Ihal bird. Fvru a con- lia.s hardly when he chimes in willi sonic; visocraeks or just calls oul: "Mum, help. Mum, My kids gniun up now 1 no longer fall lor these ru.scs hut if I t o u t i n u o talking he shouts; "Hang up. Utng enough." IE thai doesn't help he screeches; "Shut A ludy whn called jne for Ihr1 first Inne recently said laclfully: "J hope; you don't mind my saying so, but you should tell your children il is r u d e Lo interrupt adults on the telephone." I doubt if sho believed me (hat u small par- rot was creating all IhaL dis- turbance. As for Hie dogs, they must bo the most long-suffering victims of that bird's caprices, llo knows each one by name and still calls for animals we had ten, fifteen years ago but when they don't show up he turns his attention to the present, pet: in o k he coos, using my voice: "Smoky, come here." Smoky obediently comes (rot- ling in. he says in n (.one of patient command: "Sit down. Closer." And (he big black dog sits down right un- der his cage. Then without waging the lillle fcalhered head wilh Ilic big, hard beak shoots out and pecks the poor dog hard on the nose or, almost worse, lie lets oul a piercing whistle that b u r I s the dog's ears- and causes him lo hoirJ painfully. Like me, every dog we ever had fell for his tricks lime and lime again. Television has a strange fascination for that bird, espe- cially some unmentionable, ad- vertisement. While bo softly pings opening bars of music used in serial shows he is even more interested in c a I c r phrases repealed lo wrlvnrljso deodorants, for instance, the parrot whispers into vis- itors' cars. "Your best friends won't tell you." There arc some people who are not amused. Nor do they like it if he re- alistically, copies asmoke r's cough. A television announcer want- ed lo acquire Joey lo have him sit, on his shoulder after I he late n i g h I. news to say nighl l.o his listeners. Hut in .spile of all the. parrot's deeds I eoiild not part with him. At I he end of the day il is that very gentle "good nighi. that mukcs me forgive and forget. And when all is said and done Joey is a living rec- order for he has Ihe voices of all our past in his litlle head. His rendering ol our childrens1 learning efforts, from counting and adding to memorizing mu> st'iy rhymes, is truer than any Jape, A parrot ba.s H Yilii span nf (JO lo fjO years in captivity and sn he uill outlive us and "iir voices for at least another generation. Watchers of the sunset sky -Pholo by Waller Kerber Book Reviews Bias revealed in television news "The News Twisters" ny Edilli Efron (Nash Publish- ing, 510.25, 3ii5 JN view nf polls that show more people trusting tele- vision than newspapers for the news, I here is some lion frir a newspaperman in this book's massive indictment, of the three U.S. television net- works: for distortion Rouig far beyond is usually found in newspapers. But the satisfac- tion is not very great since the prob'cm of bias plagues all agrncics for Ihe dissejninalion of neus and (lie newspaperman knows he now only shares the public suspicion and condem- nation ith his brother Ihe broadcaster. Miss Edith Kfron taped all t h e weekday news programs p.m.) from September J6 to Minc-mbcr 4. 1968 in Ihe three TV networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Her analysis showed that in the selection of mate- rial alone there was a pro- roujiccd political bias in favor of a 'liberal1 position which sup- porled Humplirey over Nixon in the presidential election; op- posed U.S. policy on the Viet- nam war; favored black mill- lants against the white middle- class majority; evaded the is- sue of violent radicals. I'm not completely convinced of the adequacy of Miss Efron's method wliich consisted of add- ing up the words pro and con nn each issue. There are always some arcJdcnlal factors that should be considered in connec- tion with the handling of news. From (he mass of material that normally floods in on a news editor a choice is made in terms of the best written, the freshest, the strongest, all of which could unintentionally sup- port a bias. A story about Humphrey could be? aired on a day when few significant things happening in the world .Unexciting subject "Conic Oiu Smukin1: Joe Champ Nobody Knows" liy Phil IVpe. (Long- man r.-uiiula Limitod, 211 pagrs. OXE must sympathize author Phi! Pcpe, for it's difficult In write an hook .'ibotil. nu unexciting, col- orless person. Pcpe tried, and liio result i.s ;in unexciting, col- orless honk. AnollKT person 1 must ,sym- palhize with is the poor snnl lays out M.Tfi for this S2..K) A .sad note: nboul the is (he. fad. thai (lie only pop in il. i.s .-u'dcd (he pir.s-- cure of Muhammad All. Ali ;ip- pcfir.s Ion oflen in n hook snp- poscdiv (ievoiod to Frnzier, nui then Pcpe must, have folt. Ali was dof-'crvinp of a lot of ink lo (lie IKHJO Amount of mon- ey hi! pul in pocket. One glaring error in (hr Nook i.s repealed remark Ihal vas I ho Ameri- can Lo win an Olympic heavy. championship for I ho Uniipd States he wjisn'l PUMI r 1 o s r. Away hack in 10D-] an American hy Ihr name nf Tl e r fi e r look the Olympic hr.Tvyweich! I i I 1 r, thru r.imo the late Ilddic Sanders (whrn Iniiomar Johansson was dis- qualified in (he final houl, re- and I hen there wns T' e t P Hademacher wlui later herame Mv fjrsi amateur lo firiht for HIP lionvywciphl title, llo fouc.hl Floyd Patterson for the litlo in his first pro was fourth, hut ho wns llio fii-si one. lo RO on .iiul win the pro heavyweight title. No, neither Floyd Patterson nor Al u h a m in a d Ali, both Olympic medal winners, won Uic Olympic heavyweight crown. They won the middle- weight and lipht heavyweight titles respectively. Almost cvcrylliin" in the book i.s already public knowl- edge. Throu.Ghout Frazier's reer about, the only (bins tbaL was never delved into hy the jjro.v.s HYJS .JPP'.T three-week Flay in the hospital after tho Ali fjghL. The incident is tho one ilom that Pcpe could have built on, revealing something about Ihe mysteries of tho Jiospilal sojourn. lie sluffs off tho confinement In one paragraph, claiming blwxl procure, a kidney ailmerl and need for rest. What happened in the hospi- tal? Was it. tliat .serious? Why has Frazier nnl> fouuliL onco siiu'o? Did he (hat much of a healing in winning? be ju.st rcsling'.' Pcpo where were you'.' Vnu missed the only real punch you could have thrown. Tlip ivond semis lo lx> lo pul. oul a hook about any sports personality, whether IIP. dr- nf il or is tho hravywpighl champion of Ihe world, that's where ho ends, Aflor that bo is just n normal, home-loving individ- ual, worthy of a lengthy maga- zine article, nol a book. No dmihl there will be- other books ahmii ,loe, if I here are more have onlv one way lo -up. GARHY ALISON. and Nixon could ho relegated to a few lines on a day when many events of interest pushed election rhetoric aside. Such considerations might soften the conclusions about bias but would not likely render JVIiss Efron's charge invalid. Bias seems unavoidable. The news gatherers, the reporters, do not record everything that is said and done; they select what, they consider important, which often means wn.it inter- ests them. This results in ?n innocent rather than a mali- cious distortion. As the author puts it, the sin of the newsmen is "not bias so much as it is that (hey arc ill-educated and intellectually pretentious.1' No conspiracy exists in the net- works to present only the lib- eral view but there is an unwill- ingness on the part of officials (o admit (hat one-sidedness does exist wliich irritates Miss Efron. Perhaps people today should ha pleased that distortion is only accidental. At least this is a gain from earlier days when there was a blatant twisting of the news. Scott Young, writing on the history of Ihe Toronto Globe and Mail, says of George Brown, one-lime editor of Die Globe, that if he were alive to- day, running the same kind of operation under another name, "Iho present editors of The Globe and Mail would not trust him to tell the time v.ilhoul, charging political bias and ul- terior motives." The quarrel that. Miss Efrnn has with UIG broadcasters Is that they are legally required in the I" S. to be noupartisaji and neutral in their political coverage and yet have failed miserably in this regard. She thinks people are protected .snmev.-baf against newspaper bias in that the tlance ot the paper is apparent from the ed- ilorial page so that a skeptical guard can be pul up. But tho tiaming of broadcasters is more iri5tdious because of the assumption that neutrality pre- vails. Apparently tho minds of Americans are not grossly per- verted by this, however. Ac- cording to the author, millions, even a majority, of Americans have delected Hie bias and are angered by if Bias might even pervade this book for all the reader knows. He has no way of checking the hundred pages of lists of pro and con broadcasts on the sev- eral subjects of controversy identified by Ihe author. The unanimous testimony of quoted material indicting thp liberal position of the networks suggest that selectivity has been opera- tive-. Although (he subject of the book is of great interest, the book: iLsdf is nol especially in- teresting. II. suffers by being the report of a study in which tho counting seems lo have lo intrude. The justification for in- cluding examples n[ newspaper and news magazine bias in the appendices of a book on broad- casting bias is obscure, too. DOUG WALKER. Indian life and legend "Recollections of An Assin- Ihnino C'liirf" hy Dnn Kcn- iirriy fiVIcUrllanrJ and Sleu- arl, 160 pages, KENNEDY, his Indian n a m e is Ochankugahc-. lom. He only touches on things, skimming over whn I ciuild In1 interesting n n d informative reading. II i s short, u nd c t a 11 r d glimpses into the Wounded K'lon Massarro nnd Sitting Hull's murder (due mainly In iini.s n a Hern rioso in niu years in (lie making. The- main-slay of Iho book is the interesting collection of logonds uhich bring to the1 fore Uic Indians' deep beliefs in their ancient religion n religion seemingly .steeped in the mys- lerics of Ihu Some Irapic natural phc- iKimciKi arc brought out in the h o n k the disappearance of llu1 millions of buffalo; the dis- appearance of Iho Indian him- DKTO once Assiniboino. now (hey number on ly .J.nuoi. smallpox, the M'Oiiruc nf the Indian (the dreaded disease Ihal hastened the1 Mandan into extinction I. AnnfJuT inU-rcsiinc p o i n f hrouglil mil is Iho ur-o of dogs by the Imlbns as IH.VJ.L-S of bur- den This (if course, uas prior to Iho emu nf (ho horse. Can you imagine tho dip raised by 500 yMping dogs al fording mnrli could tin said abnul Iho failuro nf Iho hook to become morn deeply involved, li is jjoikl. nol a classic mind you, bul an o n j n y ahlo rvoning'fl rrading just (ho same. GAURY AUOiJON. Mtilricnldtwl I CURING Lhr pa.st weeks I haw: had the privilege nf visiting grade- 12 .stu- dents in the 29 Alberta high schools south of Vulcan, accompanied by various combinations of University of Letnhridge students, faculty and admin.slra1ive per- sonnel. The experience has been good tor nil of us and will form Ihe ba.se of a com- prehensive report to be made in iiie uni- versity about ''recruitment'1 as il is called, and the value of visitations to the schools. In fact the next, frw columns will be de- voted to some (noughts about thr recep- tions we received and I suppose these will be 'scoops' on tlv1 actual report to tha university community. However in the con- text of the present time of year and Ilia questions apparently in the minds of par- ents and grade 12 graduands alike, some of the comments here may be of value, and I believe of considerable interest to the people already associated in some way with the university. Considering the above it might be grant- ed that the information for Inese comments is sound 29 schools, that many princi- pals, many more teachers, and several hundred students certainly provide more than simply a cross-section. Because of the complexity of this matter I deal wilh the topic in categorizations, hence the ini- tial subject, the matriculated minds in general. The intention of this mouthful is lo des- cribe the kinds of thoughts which seem lo be running through the heads of those grade 12 students who will complete ma- triculation In June and subsequently bs eligible for admission to nearly all CanR- riian universities, excepting some of (he specialty faculties for which certain matri- culation programs may not be totally ac- ceptable. We encountered what must be a repre- sentative comment from a good many high school students, not just the grade 12 students either, and the thoughts in their minds as they leave those amazing institu- tions are truly interesting. There are the the '-travel- the "definitely the "entrepren- the and the "underid- eds" and so on. The "defmiles" are those who have a game plan for the educational goals which they will seek, they know where they arc goiwg and what the results will be Very cut and ad- mirable. I ho piers1' ura menjUvs of OMI cvcr-incrcasine. grnup pressing nut lo foreign places for Uiat kind of frxpwienc-e. Although a lot don't, how unprepared they are. many are not just making rationalizations when state they are poing to wail a white before nl tending university, to the jot) market ruination to improve. Tin1 "uufjjjjitjy iiyi.s" HirtV In" Ju-f t" firm in their thinking ns Hv hit in the context of consider in f prospects, they are nut in (hr pic'i'i'R, Their objectives include (pchnicnl and v> c.ationat training, complemenl. their mat- riculation achievement and Lliere are cer- tainly a number of excellent institutions and community colleges in this province 'o meet their needs. Perhaps the "entrepreneurslf and "capl- (alisis" can he discussed together. They represent that group which has been well exposed LO the materialistic quests and needs of our society and they wanl to be part of it right now. Salary even as minima] os il may be is the means to those things that certainly won't b c available if one is to pack up find go off lo university for three or four or five years. And although they could continue (his argument by saying they wouldn't ba able to afford what they want afler uni- versity training because of debts incurred, they do seem a bit shortsighted in many instances. The "undecideds" appear to be in rather large numbers. They, like all the others, are confronted with the bewildering array of post-secondary alternatives referred to briefly above, but they are taking a bit longer lo really make up their minds. The next few columns will be directed specifi- cally at Uie "undecideds" and their friends and parents, to honestly attempt, to ans- wer some of their questions as to why a person should enter a degree program this or next January, or for (hat mafter during a summer session (should they be Interested in the rather flexible semester system and admission policy available ex- clusively at The University of Leth- As guaranteed in one of these Focii many weeks ago the Information won't be a snow job, just a clear explana- tion of what we have to offer and why think its good, particularly hi light of very encouraging reception we rcccdved recently at many high echools. The Voice Of One DR. FRANK S. MORIEY The crisis of the city A RISTOTLE said that Uie aim ol a city was to make mail happy and safe. Tim modern cily lias had exactly Ihe op- posite effect. Even in daytime it is not sale lo walk certain streets of American cities. On one point Karl Marx appears lo be right in condemning big cilies Irecaus-e they polluted the air, water, and soil. Eli- zabeth of England and laler Oliver Crom- well attempted to limit the prowlh of Lon- don by a greenbelt area bul were unsuc- cessful. Such enforced limitations only lead to overcrowding. Doriadis says that within the next century thirty billion peo- ple may live in a universal cily. Such a prospect becomes the more terrifying when one reads nf Soleri's His cities are designed in solid geometric iorm with a rigid, programmed conform- ity like a gigantic concentric beehive with a terrifyingly complex technology. Such cities arc to lie taken seriously when one considers that his project is supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Motor Company. Prudential Insurance of America, and the United Stales Housing and Urban Developmenl. On the otfier hand cily planning can be- come exhilarating when one considers such a project as that of Litclitield Ari- zona, with its forly miles of hicycle-rn.-ul- ways which nre designed as well [or pedes- trians and elcclrie carls and have a speed limit o[ fifteen mles. Thus some attempt is made to meet (lie needs of Hie si.viy-lhrce million people who are riding bicycle's in the United Stales, a most pleasant and healUiy exercise. Not so luil (lie v.hnle. is designed with a four mile core of shops, offices, and oilier essential hiiilflings fin- business surrounded by six separate hut. inler-rclalod eiuunmiiilies with a central activity complex formed by a large plaza, each communily being composed of villages and each village has four neigh- borhoods acconmir-daling sevenlv five, hundred lo ton peoph'. One can also become cxriled aiioul Ihe lion project called SAND Smilh Arsenal Neighborhood Development in Hartford, Connecticut whore Jack Dollnril IMS do- signed "the everywhere school.'1 Pcachtree Centre in Atlanta ii similarly exciting. Some writers think that for the first time in history man has the means to produca an enjoyable environment combining urban amenities and rural beauly of un- limited potential of delight, Certainly il ha is to do so man must get rid of his loss of belief in his ability to design desirable goals and implement them. At, the present lime all progress is blocked by man's inabi- lity to believe that lie can make the city a more human place. The modern cily is a symbol of over- crowding, crime, confusion, and pollution. The nearer you are to the heart of a city the nearer you are to the highest rate o[ insanity. In the city also is (he most marked differentiation between the rich and the poor. There is a rigid class struc- ture in the cities and most people spend their lives vainly trying to escape it. Fifty years ego (here was no city plan- ning in Canada worth speaking of, but to- day cily has some kind of plan and ideas thought impossible are now being realized. Many programs of intelligent urban renewal arc being carried out in fhe United Stales and Canada. The poIluUm of air and water is being gradually overcome as tho public is justifiably alarmed. Trans- portation problems are also subjected to intense study and changes both ill control and Ihe method of tiansixti-lalien will be very great in the next decade. One of Ihe most serious problems is that of noise pollution and it is the more serious be- cause so few people are seized wilh Ihe nature and extent of Ihe menace. Also discouraging is the fact thai some excel- lent pl.ins ,-ire devised u-liicli tln-oupli greed or slupidily or are difrcgartled. for example, failure lo prcfoivo fijie [arm and [mil nreh.u-ds nf soulhcni Onlario or Ihe farmlands of the lower mainland reg- ion of nriiish Columbia. All the.se problems have profound clhi- eal and spirilual connotations lo wliich tha mass of people are completely indifferent. more pie H.v Dniig H slier T HAVE a frelinK thai T may n.-ve.r sop pie aRain. A Imycoit is hemp imposed. Tlie last, time T had occasion to mention Anne McCrarkon was (o report afhlie- lion lo peering Inlo people's houses. had dinner llio MrCraekms llio very day thai appeared In (Jio paper .incl pio iwn kinds vrnl Anne, had lieen loo busy preparing tha meal In read the so had a cordial lime. The Wasl ramc Ihe next Ihe promise Ihal 1 would never see, pio at lier plaee apain. Oh. well. I'm almost to i pie-less life hy BOW.