TALKBACK

TALKBACK

TV commercials: credibility gap/Steinmann: why should we be proud?/ Maritime Union: one voice — but weaker?

October 1 1969
TALKBACK

TALKBACK

TV commercials: credibility gap/Steinmann: why should we be proud?/ Maritime Union: one voice — but weaker?

October 1 1969

TALKBACK

TV commercials: credibility gap/Steinmann: why should we be proud?/ Maritime Union: one voice — but weaker?

IN HIS COLUMN criticizing some TV commercials (Television), Douglas Marshall expresses my sentiments exactly. There are several products that, although I know they are good, I’ll never use — as a silent protest against their atrocious commercials.

MRS. FLOYD PERRIER, SCOUT LAKE, SASK.

* I hate such commercials so much I never buy anything advertised if I can do otherwise. The atrocious lies make me sick.

MRS. J. LEBOUTHILLIER, KELOWNA, BC

T Well said! The consumer’s intelligence is constantly insulted. No doubt our apathy is mainly to blame for our putting up with this

garbage. — MRS. W. GOODACRE, DUNCAN, BC

* An elder I am (73), but not “soporific," except when lulled to sleep by the sheer boredom and stupidity of commercials. What sort of dopes do the “creative” advertisers think people are? The monotonous repetition of the same old themes dulls the thoughts, breeds hostility to the product and increases the credibility gap.

MRS. A. D. FISKEN, TORONTO

T Here’s one “soporific elder” who is riling up to rail!

MRS. A. E. WYKES, ISLINGTON, ONT.

T Our group, The Campaign For Better Advertising, organizing in the Toronto suburbs, has the support of the Canadian Council of Churches and is trying to get consumers to take their complaints to government agencies and offending companies. By fall, we will have facts and figures to call a national boycott.

MRS. BERNICE LOVER, TORONTO

T My pet peeve is the commercial warning people to use “the three-pronged plug” alias “the three-pranged prong,” etc. To try to warn the public to use the correct fixtures and then to end up looking ridiculous is more than I can understand . . . But maybe they made their point: I’ll always remember to ask for a “three-pling plong” whenever I have occasion to purchase one.

MRS. BERT COOK, STIRLING, ONT.

T Pretty faces and seductive limbs associated with the less pleasant body processes, in scenarios of sheer banality, serve only to disillusion the susceptible male and make him suspect the so-called feminine mystique. It is barely credible that these greyflanneled writers, so adept with the printed word, can be so insensitive to good manners and common decency. Granted that advertising revenue pays for our entertainment, but must we suffer the constant and boring repetition of outrageous crudeness and puerile stupidity?

W. A. BROWN, PETERBOROUGH, ONT.

Children trapped in crisis

I was very impressed with the article by Philip Sykes, describing the research work being done in the alcoholic family (The Child Of The Alcoholic)The children who find themselves innocently trapped in a sad and cruel family crisis have a most difficult time. A child should have a happy, easygoing atmosphere, free from confusing adult pressures.

PAUL A. HARDING, LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.

T A very worthwhile and informative article; we need many more like it.

MRS. FLORENCE HOPPS, DELBURNE, ALTA.

T The implied conclusion in this survey on alcoholism — in my view, absolutely wrong — is that hate (which, it is admitted in the survey, underlies alcoholism) is a learned trait. Love and hate simply come into being in various ratios at conception. We can control personality but we cannot recreate it. The untruth that drives me to write is that man can supersede God.

NINA GREEN, OTTAWA

Candidate No. 1

Senator Keith Davey’s notion of making Toronto and Montreal into provinces is timely (Platform). I would like to go on record as candidate for the post of Minister of Natural Resources in the Province of Toronto. I'd even take Mines and Fisheries. E. E. GREENGRASS, WESTMOUNT, QUE.

Steinmann: is there an echo?

After reading Steinmann Of The North, I am convinced that so-called primitive civilizations should run for the hills at the first sign that the white man has arrived to save them. So, Steinmann has “for 30 years dedicated his life to a single task: improving

the Eskimo standard of living?” Gosh, he must be proud to participate in some of the immense changes the old life has undergone.. Are Steinmann and the others so deaf that they can’t hear their excuses for this destruction of a culture echo the sentiments of earlier missionaries who placed the Red Man on reservations, taught him English and Christianity and then wondered why he seemed to habituate the beer pubs?

MRS. J. E. GIBB, KIMBERLEY, BC

We bother

Congratulations to Maclean’s on its type fonts and printers. In what other magazine, or in what newspaper, in this country do the typographical resources extend to “naïveté,” as accurately printed in the first letter of your August Talkback? And even if other magazines have the type, do they know when to use it — or bother? - T. J. ALLEN,

SHERIDAN COLLEGE, BRAMPTON. ONT

Maritime Union: no cure-all

Walter Stewart’s article, Can Union Save The Maritimes?, deals, in large part, with the plight of three people who have not been able to cope too well with the problems of living and with their environment. I suggest you could have found three such people in Ontario within 15 miles of your desk. The summation — “ . . . a single province, with one capital, one legislature, one civil service and one set of laws” — gives the reader the idea that all this will be a simplification of the present situation and contribute to greater efficiency. This is not necessarily true. Stewart fails to point out that the one civil service would be an amalgamation of the three and there would probably not be any diminution in the number of civil servants; there may be a multiplication. The suggestion of “one set of laws” is utterly misleading. The Criminal Code is common to Canada. The assertion that if the three provinces are united they would “speak with a single voice” and therefore get more attention from Ottawa, is a contradiction of the facts. Do you seriously believe that if Prince Edward Island were merged with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, its 98,000 people would get the consideration either from a Mätitirne "government or from Ottawa that it gets today? The whole modern trend is toward greater separation and division of jurisdictions and states, not amalgamation. — E. D. HALIBURTON, PROVINCIAL SECRETARY, PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA, HALIFAX

Writer Walter Stewart replies: "It is true that / could find three people within 15 miles of my desk who cannot cope, hut, to keep the parallel exact, if I were to take the president of, say, the Ontario Holstein Breeders’ Association, a shift leader from the AIgoma

Mines and a top commercial fisherman from Port Dover, I would find that they were coping very well indeed. The point Mr. Haliburton continues to miss is that in the Maritimes economy not even the good, the smart and the hard-working are coping very well and, if nothing changes, pretty soon even the politicians will be in trouble.”

* Instead of clarifying our needs and in-

creasing our influence. Maritime Union would decrease whatever power this region still has at Ottawa. Walter Stewart’s reliance on the Atlantic Provinces’ Economic Council’s fantastic propaganda — estimating a yearly saving of $38 million under Union — is naïve: such a saving would be possible only if this region had a population equal to that of central Canada; but, as it would be only equal to that of Alberta, the alleged saving would be nine million dollars yearly for all three provinces, or a per capita saving of about two cents per day. APEC has admitted that its brief was intended to provoke discussion and it must be so regarded. - F. A. LEWIS. HALIFAX

* We are getting tired of Upper Canadians'

articles downgrading the poverty in the Maritimes. Such articles forever concentrate on the more barren areas. Why not look at some of the developing areas of these provinces? - M. E. CAMERON, HALIFAX

Toronto: ‘that awful place’

In his column, Kicking Toronto Is A Pleasant Pastime . . . (The Lively Arts), Mavor Moore says, “What Toronto needs, for all our sakes, is a push.” Agreed — and may I recommend a push from the north to the south. - ARTHUR PHILLIPS, VANCOUVER

* Come now, Mavor Moore, the city of

Toronto used to be the metropolitan centre for English-speaking Canada. Not only can we not afford to kick Toronto, we cannot afford to be associated with it. So many old and new Canadians are fleeing to British Columbia, the concern here is to check the tide. Moore really should take another look at Canada, and at Toronto. From British Columbia, it’s that awful place where one changes planes to get to Montreal, or wherever. - GRAY CAMPBELL, SIDNEY, BC

* Mavor Moore’s plea -was extremely Touching. It certainly is time we stopped

picking on Toronto. To display The goodwill of Prince Georgians, I suggest that we relieve part of Toronto’s burden by tfafisferring the headquarters of CBC-TV to Prince George. If other cities pitch in and accept responsibility for Toronto’s other “burdens,” Torontonians will have a chance to achieve the happy, carefree life enjoyed by the rest of Canadians.

RENE HOWELL, PRINCE GEORGE, BC

T See here. Moore, aren’t we scraping the bottom of the semantical pickle barrel just a wee bit? Is Toronto also the greatest city in Canada that begins in “Tor” and ends in “onto”? Why did you bother to build up such an elaborate defense if. in the end. you have to modify your praise with such blockbuster qualifications?

ROBERT APPEL. MONTREAL

* A small correction. In extolling the virtues of dear old Toronto, friend Mavor Moore writes that TO is the home of Canada’s “three largest-circulation newspapers.’’ Publishers’ figures submitted to the Audit Bureau of Circulation for their March 31 semi-annual report, and subject to their audit, show Canadian leaders to be:

Toronto Star ......... 387,418

Vancouver Sun ....... 256,806

Toronto Globe and Mail 255,733 Toronto Telegram..... 242,805

Thus we are ahead of two of the three Toronto dailies. We expect to pass the Star in about the time it takes Torontonians to drive from King and Yonge to the old City Hall. - STUART KEATE, PUBLISHER. THE VAN-

COUVER SUN

* It’s the first time in my 70-odd years that I have read such common sense and encouragement. Let’s wake up the Englishspeaking race to the dangers of keeping silent and being trampled on roughshod by outsiders, who but for our sacrifice in two world wars would have been under Hitler’s

heel. - HAROLD BRADSHAW, BARRIE. ONT.

* Congratulations to Mavor Moore for the clever and accurate analysis of the Canadian attitude toward the arts (That All-Canadian Vanity—The Fear Of Being Thought Square . . .). A coterie of small-minded caustic critics do their utmost to disparage the noble work being pioneered by creative and courageous Canadians. Surely it is time to discard our intense humility, inferiority and frustration.

NORMAN A. KEYS, QC, SCARBOROUGH, ONT.

What is the matter, Bonnie?

After reading Canadians You Should Know (August), I can assure you I have no desire to know Bonnie Kreps [co-founder of the New Feminists], What is the matter with these women? Is it a man’s world, really? Even as a child the female has the advantages. I say a few of these women need to sit back, shut up, use their heads just a little, and count their blessings.

MRS. LLOYD THOMAS, PETERBOROUGH, ONT.

Manitoba: what gain?

In your Editorial, Will Schreyer’s Win Tip The NDP To The Right?, you state: “The

election of a New Democrat as Premier of Manitoba is clearly a gain for representative government.” Surely you cannot mean for the people of Manitoba on the federal level: Walter Weir was the darling of the press a few months ago for getting down to the hard facts and “telling it like it is.” Surely you do not mean here in Manitoba where the Progressive Conservative government forwarded this province more in the past 11 years than any other government since Confederation. I’d rather stay with a progressive, dependable government. I don’t want to be used as a guinea pig.

ROBB ENGLISH, FORT GARRY, MAN.

>k The main point in your rather woolly Editorial seems to be that the NDP does not constitute a national political threat because our “generally affluent” society would not vote for its socialist policies. To describe our population as generally affluent is only one more false assumption of the uppermiddle class. The latest data from the Department of Revenue and Bureau of Statistics show that four fifths of all Canadian families make less than $8,000 a year, and that 40 percent of personal income-tax revenue is taken from people earning less than $5,000 a year. It is, as Prof. John Porter pointed out in Maclean’s (Interviews, June 1968), only 10 percent of our society that is “generally affluent.” Aparently you didn’t hear him. - IAN ADAMS, LEASKDALE, ONT.

T You state that to achieve power the New Democratic Party must not propound socialism, but rather present a “fresh, vigorous and flexible” appearance to the voters. How-

ever, this would reduce the NDP to the position of Canada’s other political parties; it would cease to have any distinct ideological base to justify its striving for electoral success.-JEFF BARNARD, SCARBOROUGH, ONT.

Marching marathon

Re $4,500,000 On The March: Canada’s first sponsored walk was held in 1966, when a group of Toronto young people came up with Operation Blister. The idea was picked up by the Ottawa SHARE/CANADA Youth Committee. In April 1967 the Ottawa Miles For Millions, co-sponsored by the SHARE/ CANADA Youth Committee and Oxfam. kicked off a national program of sponsored walks, which has snowballed into a marching marathon beyond our wildest dreams. Contrary to the emphasis in your article, the walks were not originated by Oxfam of Canada. “Miles For Millions” slogan was originated by the SHARE/CANADA group.

ALLAINE ARMSTRONG, CO-CHAIRMAN, OTTAWA MILES FOR MILLIONS, 1967

Best of two worlds

I was disappointed in your Travel column. Japan, The England Of The East. The Westernization of Japan is an obvious presence to the foreigner, but scratch the surface of this highly industrialized society and one finds a country closer to its roots than perhaps any other modern nation. This was not achieved by “aping the West,” but rather by combining the best of two worlds. You stress far too much the effect of “overpopulation” upon Japanese life. It is only in modern times that Japan has become even relatively crowded. The “carefully mannered behavior patterns” were established 1000 years ago when Japan was quite sparsely populated, and merely reflect religious and social attitudes of a feudal society. — DAVID

PEPPER, ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM, TORONTO

Stung by ‘WASPs’

One way to know an illiterate, racist halfwit is by the derisive tags he hangs on other nationalities. Your magazine in allowing writers sneeringly to refer to British Protestants as WASPs is just as ignorant, or worse, as you should know better.

G. W. SIMPSON, GALT, ONT.

Ex-nuns: what problems?

I am thoroughly fed up with such articles as “A Christian Underground” For Clergy Who Qpit The Churches (Reports). They give an ‘extremely distorted picture. These ex-nuns who need to go to Bearings-forRe-establishment to get on their feet must not have had much on the ball before or during their convert days. I left after 15 years, got myself á job teaching, and went merrily on my wayÑThe convent gave me back my $500 dowry and added another $500 to get me started. No one, including employers, has ever treated me as odd or queer, and I have retained my convent friends. I am sure statistici would show that 99 percent of ex-nuns make a quiet and happy adjustment to secular life.

MARY MURRAY, LONDON. ONT.

TALKBACK from page 22

A Canadian is a Canadian

The question posed by Alan Edmonds in Expo 70, “What is a Canadian?”, is becoming a great bore. The only reason why Canadians, supposedly, have an identity problem is because they have the good taste not to challenge people of other countries with the same question. Ask our neighbors to the south, “What is an American?” What two Americans would come up with the same answer? Is there any pat answer? Any country as vast as Canada, and embracing so many people of different ethnic origins, cannot and need not have any pat answers to so foolish a question.

FLORENCE RICHARD, PORT ARTHUR, ONT.

Sock it to him

It is astonishing that the Montreal Star should be admonished with the adjective “hypercritical” for stating self-evident facts in articles about Montreal Police Director Jean-Paul Gilbert (Canadians You Should Know). In a city where the numerous unsolved homicides are the rule rather than the exception, it is paradoxical that Montreal police should expend such a great amount of time and energy harassing the so-called “hippy population.” — MAURICE

KLEIN, EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR, TELEVISION SIR GEORGE, MONTREAL

The Dreadful Trade

Roloff Beny’s India was especially meaningful to us living in Pakistan, where there are many parallels with conditions in India. For a Westerner, the beggars’ deformities arouse a mixture of pity and revulsion. However, tourists must harden their hearts. In giving to a child with only stumps where his legs should be, they may be condemning another healthy child to the same fate of being turned into a begging cripple. The dreadful trade in begging is kept going by syndicates of ruthless men who resort to kidnapping children, blinding them or breaking limbs before setting them up to arouse sympathy in unsuspecting and generous foreigners.

MRS. CAIRINE I. CASKIE, GULSHAN, DACCA, EAST PAKISTAN

Make that a double

In How To Make Money (Or Maybe Lose It) On Whisky You Never See (Reports), Harriet Saalheimer describes Jacques Paris as Canada’s only full-time whisky broker. We would like to point out that our company, as a full-time whisky broker, operates the Pacific Clearing House of Canadian Whiskey in Vancouver. - PETER A. PAAUWE,

PRESIDENT, HOLLAND VENTURES LTD., WEST VANCOUVER

Canada — after the anger passes

It Wasn’t My Country Any More . . . was very moving. I am German, but I too went through a period of initiation in English Canada such as French-Canadian singer Tex Lecor describes. It was not until I was able to adjust to my surroundings that hostilities subsided.

MRS. ANNETTE OMMEN, PRINCETON, ONT. □