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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 18, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, October LETHBRIDGE Peter Newman: the happy iconoclast By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator As his latest book demonstrates, the career of Peter Newman is an extraor- dinary personal achievement but something more in- teresting than that an achievement for the Canadian nation, too. Here I do not venture to review "Home Country" (McClelland and only to note a fact of some national importance. It is that Canada has given a refugee boy from Czechoslovakia the chance of becoming the most vivid if not the most reliable interpreter of its life. And perhaps Canada alone could produce such an unlikely phenomenon. Consider the record: The BERRY'S WORLD pampered son of a rich family flees with his ruined parents when Hitler's army enters Prague, shivers in a French ditch under the German bombers, somehow reaches Canada without a word of English and inside a decade is writing it better, and seeing the nation more clearly, than most of its natives. The record, it seems to me, says a lot that needs to be said, but seldom is said, about Canada, a tolerant land, a truly Home Country. About Mr. Newman himself much has been said, and much of it with bitter hostility in Ot- where he is more feared than cherished. Having painted his surrealist portrait 1973 bt NEA gallery ot our leading statesmen, in gaudy technicolor, the warts deeply etched in acid, he might ex- pect a dusty welcome, and, more likely, a firing squad at sunrise, on Parliament Hill. But for reasons known only to those who know his curious methods, Ottawa cannot es- cape him so easily. It is widely believed, among the trembling elite, that he crouches beneath the table whenever the Privy Council meets and. damp with cabinet leaks, publishes all the state's secrets to the world. If this legend is not literally ac- curate, as one hopes, it is true that he has a unique skill in getting the facts; also that he sometimes gets them wrong and often misjudges them quite outrageously Of the politicians' horror at his approach Mr. Newman remains sublimely uncon- scious, or totally indifferent For in manner he is as mild and friendly a man as ever skinned a skunk or slit a political throat (always with such delicate surgery that the victim hardly feels it until the surgeon has left It cannot be said of Mr. Newman, as Dr. Johnson said of Goldsmith, that he writes like an angel but talks like poor Sol, since he talks very well, though in a soft, disarm- ing whisper, with a boyish smile. But once he finds the nearest typewriter his shrill voice, in print, sounds like an electronic bullhorn in a narrow cave. Oddly enough, he never realizes how much he is hurting the politicians, who seldom complain lest they in- vite a second blast. To him all this is just part of the game and in his strange innocence he wonders why anyone should be distressed Ac- tually, he is more distressed than his victims because he judges them unworthy of the nation that he loves. Over and over again, as in the cases of Louis St. Laurent, John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson and, recently, Pierre Trudeau, Mr. Newman dis- cerns a glittering icon and reveres a new idol, only to find that it has feet of clay. Then the iconoclast grasps his hammer and the fragments of reputation are scattered all over the floor. His judgments of men, right and wrong, matter little. What matters is the refugee boy's discovery of Canada and those qualities in its nature that its own sons usually un- derestimate or, at least, can- not articulate as he can To the hungry, penniless Czechoslovakian boy Canada must have looked like a tran- scontinental candyshop. To the mature man it has become a cathedral of solemn worship, the shrine of his private Canadian Dream. Pursuing it from coast to coast, in queer places, among nameless men unknown to the public, he has turned into what he proudly calls a Nationalist, while protesting, possibly too much, that he is not anti-American, only anti- Nixon. In him, of course, we see more vividly than in less ar- ticulate Canadians the tan- talizing paradox now coloring, and often distorting, our whole political process the unresolved conflict and stub- born antinomy between nationalism and inter- nationalism, with its grave economic and other conse- quences, in which many good men like Mr. Newman are caught and tortured He should not be blamed if he has failed to solve it No one has solved it but Canada, itself a grand and successful compromise, may yet be able to make the best of all possi- ble worlds. In the meantime, as he in- vokes a plague on all the houses of politics (though always trying to improve their health) he cannot be Cool Spring Not just another beer. Cool Spring has less alcohol, fewer calories, costs less per dozen, and has great beer taste. Cool Spring by Labaltls fitted into any neat ideological category At times he appears to stand on the left, at others on the right and frequently in the vague middle. For him, as tor most men ot his trade, it is not the jour- nalist's duty to devise specific policies but only to illuminate the lack of them. Almost everything, in short, is wrong with our politics but nothing wrong with the nation that a better understanding of its in- ner life will not cure To such an understanding he has made his own valuable contribution. You can accept or reject it but hardly ignore it when it is presented with the passion and the wild sur- mise of a Cortez silent (for a brief moment only) on a peak in Darien. or at any rate, the Rockies or the Laurentians If he flits from one side of politics to another, from one defaulting hero to his latest idol. Mr. Newman, as an old friend judges him with friendship's prejudice, is always on the side of the But even they may find themselves vulnerable to his pen pricks No matter, the nation, as he sees it. is or must be made invulnerable, immaculate and forever young A native Canadian should be glad, and perhaps a little proud, that he sees it so in his beloved Home Country. Books in brief "Tales from the Igloo" edited and translated by- Maurice Metayer. (Hurtig Publishers, 128 pages. This is an interesting collec- tion o! 22 Eskimo folk tales and legends which have been collected hv Father Maurice Motaycr a French-born Obljte missionary who lived tor in the Canadian Arc- lie Those talcs convev ihe grim rcvhu ol existence in Ihe North where nfe one long struggle against A hostile environment and star- vation an ever-present reality Imtil now the Copper Eskimo people passed these tales from one generation to the 1 ora 11 i e traditional legends and fables which reveal a view ol man nature and the supernatural which is much influenced by the realities of a life stvle hound to a land ot ice and snow Thcv give an intriguing glimpse into the culture of Canada's Eskimos The book is illustrated by Agnes N'anogak. nne of Holman Island's best-known artists ERNEST M "The Amazing World of Kreskin" by Kreskin, (Ran- dom House of Canada Limited, 209 pages, Amazing is the right word to describe some of Kreskin's feats In this very interesting book he takes the reader behind the scenes of show business and discusses some of the tensions and tribulations that plague star entertainers Kreskin. quite correctly, does not reveal anv of his professional secrets He was a professional entertainer at the age of 10 and spent years of arduous and dedicated train- ing before graduating to the night club and TV circuit Perhaps his most convincing act IS when hp puts OVTi performance fee on the line At each concert Kreskin re- quests that his pay cheque be hidden and if he doesn't find it then the sponsors have the benefit of a free performance. He's only failed once and that was due to sickness An intriguing book and well reading TERRY MORRIS "The Hiker's Bible" by Robert Elman (Doubleday and Co., Inc., paper- back, 152 An attractively illustrated guide to the art of making hik- ing a pleasant experience Mr Elman. writing in a relaxed, chatty sort of way makes even a lazy soul feel he should be up and wandering to discover some of the exciting and beautiful spots around him Everything required for good hiking and camping in any terrain and in any weather must surely be described in this book clothing, food, utensils, tools, sleeping gear, backpacks Included also, are descriptions of plants and in- sects to be avoided, trails in the United States and Canada which are suitable for novices and for families as well as for more expert and hardv Inkers This hook should be worth its price ELSPETH WALKER Separate schools By Louis Burke, local writer Too often public officials in all sectors of government question the value of separate schools. Indeed, some separate school people hardly know the reasons for their existence, never mind their differences and value So it is little wonder that officials talk amalgama- tion and union especially in school construc- tion But separate schools, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic are different and do have a role to play in the evolution of good citizens. The whole matter is much more than a period of religious instruction boxed in between other subjects in a daily schedule. To reduce the differences to this and money is quite superficial. Speaking for separate Roman Catholic schools, religion is a day-long encounter. The entire philosophical base for Catholic educa- tion rests on providing experiences in religion throughout the time a student spends in school It aspires to create ideal conditions in a community centred institution Religion occurs in every subject language arts, literature, social studies and others Teachers have a freedom of religious expression not provided for in public schools In addition, religious freedom takes concrete forms Students participate in weekend retreats, religious ex- pression of liturgy such as the mass and confession religious exercises not accep- table in public schools. All this does not mean that Catholic separate schools produce saints Certainly not1 But students graduating from separate schools are different. Perhaps, they are less materialistic not so anxious or ambitious to scramble to the so-called more spiritual on the whole All this is supposed to lead to goodness in person and citizenship Separate schools can legally keep the ideal model out in the open Jesus Christ Public schools are not allowed to do this Does that make educational com- mon sense'' There is no doubt manv roads lead to the same end as many Protestant and public peo- ple claimed in time goneby. Now, quite suddenly, only the "public" road is the cor- rect one, it seems. We need not less, but more in separate education Teachers in separate schools, for the most part, are trained in secular univer- sities They are, in fact and training, teachers more suited to a public school system Not all Catholic teachers are good for a separate Catholic school system Some Protestant teachers make excellent personnel in separate schools Much depends on the mind, philosophy and training while the religious label has little to do with suitability. This being so. early commitment to separate schools and adequate training in the correct philosophical principles at university level are essential The lack herein produces much damage system-wide in separate schools. Too often economics alone is cited as the reason for union Are other elements and values to be subjected to the dollar yard- stick? Surely not' Separate schools are experimental dimen- sions of a religious whole, not vice versa. Sex. tor example, is not something a person does. but is part of the very essence of what a oerson actually is: male or female In like manner religion is to separate school systems Union and 'amalgamation are stultifying ideas producing stagnation when carried to extremes More of the same is not educationally sound, or sane. There can be no play in a one-team league There is no doubt the fat systems grow ever weaker, not stronger Last but not least, parents want separate schools. That is how they started in the first place, the public have a right to them and of- ficials still have a duty by them The financial argument is no argument Everyone knows there are three kinds of today the white lie, the damn lie, and financial or otherwise Eockey Night in Canada By Jeanne Beaty, Herald staff writer When it's Hockey Night in Canada, it's hockey night in our house even if it's Sun- day afternoon in Chicago, as it once was I view hockey v.ith all the fanaticism of a Vvhen v, e moved to Canada a few years ago I thought a check was a piece of gingham that you put icing on a cake, and that the right wing belonged to Barry Goldwater. not Yvan Cournoyer No more I now know a point from a line and it has nothing to do with geometry. I can follow the puck better than most American cameramen, and I know the penalty box is not a confessional Au contraire I used to enjoy summer Now I view it as a long dry spell with no re-runs. My addiction to hockey comes as a surprise to old friends who were under the impression that I am not only an intellectual but also a pacifist For, as it was put to me at a cocktail party a university president who is a native Canadian, and therefore an authority. is the last of the gladiator sports It is also the best show on television It has superb pace If >our drop your gaze to check on player numbers in the TV Guide, you will miss two penalties, a fight and a goal and only one will be replayed. The game has unparalleled suspense. Unlike most shows on TV, victory does not always go to the pure and just In fact, it seldom does And it has some of the finest scripts in the business, even if you do have to be a hp-reader occasionally in French, to pick up the dialogue As for comedy, watching an official climb straight up a glass wall and hang there to get from the action is better than Wayne and Shuster. Now that Canada s national sport (only purists insist on lacrosse) has invaded the United States and when a winter sport con- quers Atlanta it can be considered an in- vasion I have felt compelled to send back some words of advice. Be patient with your home-grown cameraman. I have written. He'll find the puck eventually After all, he grew up playing sanulot baseball diiu not driveway hockey, whereas every Canadian boy is born with a hockey stick in his hand and no front teeth. Our Saturday mornings in Canada customarily begin with the sound of a hockey puck hitting the wall of our house and a shrill voice crying, "I don't wanta be New York. I wanta be Out here in Anglo-Canada nobody wants to be Montreal Hockey is best viewed in color It's easier to tell who's bleeding and you can sometimes spot the blue line before the players do That's known as "offside There are other things such as "elbowing." "boarding." (they don't mean catching the plane for London) and "interference If an official sees them, these are also known as "penalties." The most important thing for the new- comer to realize, however, is that hockey ex- ists in a world of euphemism Your first im- pression will be that you and the announcer are watching two different games. To allay this misapprehension. I hereby ap- pend some excerpts from Beaty's Translations of the Original Hockey Night in Canada Scripts' "Monahan stepped into Richard." Translation "He leaped at him with both feet off the ice." "The checking is getting pretty close out there" "It's mayhem on the ice "They're jostling rather vigorously." Translation. "It's mayhem on the ice "That No. 3's a colorful defenceman." Translation "He'll hit anyone, any time." Or, "He holds the record for minutes in the penalty box "Sittler takes his man into the boards." Translation "He smashes him against the side of the arena." "They're beginning to lay on the muscle." Translation "It's mayhem on the ice." "Orr is covered by Rejean Houle Translation "He's riding piggy-back and he'd better watch out (If the referee doesn't get him. Orr will) "There's an equalization of the manpower situation Translation "Orr and Houle got minor penalties and each team is minus a player "Guy LaPointe addresses words to the referee Translation "Cover that microphone "Tardif failed to hit the short side Translation. "He missed." "Ullman almost found the target Translation: "He missed." "Hatfield couldn't negotiate contact Translation: "He missed." (Either the puck or ati opposing player) "Park got a piece of Mikita." Translation: "He almost missed "The Mahovlichs failed to combine on that pass." Translation: "They missed." "They couldn't control the puck in front of the net Translation: "Everyone missed (Except the goaltender) "Bob Baun has taken a chunk out of everyone who's come near him tonight No translation necessary. Then there are such things as "fore- checking." "back-checking." "cross- and "poke-checking." but by now you've got the idea. On to the coliseum the 26-inch one ON THE USE OF WORDS Bv Theodore M Bernstein Legal lingo. Over the centuries lawyers have produced some of the most atrocious ex- amples of writing to be found anywhere, and a great deal of it persists to the present Part of the trouble comes from the desire to sniff out and plug all possible loopholes that other lawyers might discover and part comes from the fear of deviating from language that has become traditional and what lawyers con- sider safe A simple example is the if, as and when fixation A contract may provide that a real estate broker will gel his commission if, as .and when closes The if doesn't set anv time limit, the as suggests he will get his monev while the title is closing and the when defmilelv fixes the time of payment But the when covers all the contingencies Why. then. Ihe if and the as? The full, traditional phrase is scarcely ever necessary Hut it will dis- appear if, as and when lawyers become aware thai it is excess baggacc. Grammatical error. A recent one of these columns used the phrase bad grammar, and that prompted Mrs A O Williams of Lewiston. N'.Y to ask. "Is there such a thing'1' Her question is a variation of the old chestnut. "Can there be a grammatical error." Those who propound the question say that the phrase is a contradiction in terms, that if something is grammatical it is correct so far as grammar is concerned It is true that one meaning of the word grammatical is in conformity with the rules of grammar, but a much more common meaning is pertaining lo grammar, and that is the sense in which it i> used and understood in the questioned phrase There is no more reason to challenge the phrase grammatical error than there is to challenge the oxnressir1 Ml hcalfb ;